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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 142
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Hi there I am very wodried about my male black long haired

Customer Question

Hi there I am very wodried about my male black long haired cat Charlie. He is appx 13 years (he was a stray). Over about a year the hair around his eyes has deteriated and the thicker ones look like they have snapped off. Sometimes the eyelids look red and swollen. I have now noticed hair loss on his ears as well as a sizeable chunk of furr missing on his kneck. He loves his food but seems to have gone off it even though i have been trying to mix it up and find something he likes. He also seems very unhappy wagging his tail if i stroke him and hasnt purred in months, he used to love cuddles. He lived with my parents last year and I thought it could be the ant poison that my dad put all over the kitchen near his food, this was nearly a year ago now though and I think the problem is getting worse. As far as I know he does not have fleas. He now lives with me and dossnt have a lovely big garden like he used too. Also lots of other cats in the area . I have caught a couple coming in the cat flap and stealing his food. I have another cat as well but she has settled well and seems fine. Please help! Thank u, Adele ps the furr loss to his eyes is all around mostly to the top of the eyes, this where I can see the appearance of broken off bits. Thanks

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 3 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry for the delay in responding to you, Adele. I suspect that many vets were puzzled by the changes you've seen in Charlie's eyes and skin. My initial concern is that red and swollen eyelids suggest infection with the feline herpesvirus in the great majority of cases. Charlie's eyes, then, may be pruritic (itchy) and he then rubs his face with his paws, thus breaking off hairs and denuding himself. Can you upload a close-up photo(s) of Charlie's face to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as or I should be able to be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.

I'm also concerned about any 13 year old who has become inappetant. There are far too many etiologies for inappetance at that age to list in this venue but my primary concerns are renal insufficiency and malignancies. Are you noticing Charlie drinking more than usual or forming more urine than usual? Are there any other symptoms you can report - vomiting, diarrhea, increased respiratory rate, pale mucous membranes of his gums and tongue, e.g?

Please respond with additional information (photos) and further questions or concerns if you wish.