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Dr. Peter
Dr. Peter, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 32486
Experience:  16 years of small animal internal medicine, surgery and preventive medicine.
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My cat is approx. 6 years old. She has sensitive skin and

Customer Question

My cat is approx. 6 years old. She has sensitive skin and digestive system (is only allowed to eat fish and chicken flavoured foods otherwise she vomits). She has recently had white flaky skin on her back and some scabs. In the last few days she has started loosing some hair on her back - more towards her tail. I have treated her with Advantage flea treatment but in the years we have had her I have never seen fleas/flea dirt on her. She does suffer with dermatitis when stressed and looses hair on her ears when this flares up (usually if she has to go in the cattery) but quickly grows back. I was wondering if there is anything else I could try before taking her to my vet
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
Welcome and thanks for asking your question. My name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian. I am happy to answer your question today. First I need to ask you a few questions to be well informed and give you the best advice.

1- Is she strictly indoors?
2- Is she licking/gnawing at the affected area?

There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I type out a thorough reply for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

She does go out in our garden but not for long.


She does gnaw at it now and again

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.
1- I know you mentioned never seeing fleas, but have you combed her for fleas?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

not with a comb but I go through her fur daily with my fingers parting her fur

Expert:  Dr. Peter replied 4 years ago.

Emma, the skin description you provide is consistent with an infection which can be secondary to allergies (food or environmental), hormonal disorders, unkown, etc. The area that is being affected is also consistent with "flea allergic dermatitis." Cats that are allergic to fleas only takes one flea bite to cause the entire skin inflammatory response. This is what you can do:

1- Change the diet to a grain free diet with a different source of protein then what she normally has had in the past. For example: If she seldom ate fish then put her on a food that has fish in it. When on this diet she should not eat anything else.

2- Start her on Benadryl (diphenhydramine) 2-4mg every 12 hours for the next 10 days.

3- Supplement with omega 3 fatty acids. You can buy this over the counter in any pet store or online. Give at label dose.

For the lesions on her skin this is what you can do:

1- Need to stop her from licking/gnawing or she is going to delay healing. Pick up an ecollar (cone) in your local pet store to stop her from licking/gnawing at affected area. Keep her indoors while she has the ecollar.

2- Pick up in your local pharmacy "Hibiclens" antimicrobial soap or chlorhexiderm scrub. Wash area with this soap 2-3 times a day. If you do not find the above soap use over the counter antibacterial soap.

3- After washing affected area as above apply a topical antibiotic like neosporin or bacitracin. Do this 2-3 times a day for the next 7-10 days.

4- If no significant improvement after doing the above follow up with your family veterinarian.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!

Dr. Peter