Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar universal
Hair loss, scabs and no fleas?!
I am at a loss for what is happening to one of my cats.  A little history.. Kodiak is a 12 year old all black domestic female cat.  She has always been an indoor cat for as long as we've had her and that's about 11 years now.  We moved over 2 years ago and she has adjusted beautifully.  She has always been heathly.  The thing that is troubling me lately is that right at the base of her back and tail she going bald and small scabs are forming.  She had this problem a couple months ago and I treated it with topical bendryl which worked beautifully and it went away and the hair grew back.  This time it's worse.  The bald spot is bigger and she has one large wound and then bunches of small little scabs.  I can also randomly feel scabs trailing up her spine but no balding around those.  She's always been an obsessive groomer but she's never made herself bald so I know that's not the problem.  She has absolutely no signs of fleas and with a black cat we took extra precautions to look for them.  It was a very long examination and very thorough.  Also, I have a 9 year old male cat whom is very very close with Kodiak and he has no problems whatsoever, so I know if it were fleas he would be having a problem as well.  Both cats are fixed and have been since before we got them (they were rescues).  We have 2 dogs as well but they only go outside to use the bathroom and they get groomed and dipped regularly.  I'm beside myself confused.  Also lately Kodiak has been limping which might be a seperate issue all together but just trying to give as many symptoms as possible.  She doesn't seem to bother with the bald spots or scabs but she does like them rubbed (scratched but we don't do that) but at the same time it's tender cause she'll nip at you after awhile, and she's never nipped or bite anyone in the 11 years we've had her.. .  If anyone can help I would appreciate it.  I was going to take a picture but she's black haired and skinned and so it's hard to see in a picture but if i can get a good shot i will post it.
Cancel
48 Answers
Page 1 of 3
609884 tn?1227333003
I'd say there is a very good chance that you've got a case of ringworm.  Ringworm is not a worm, by the way, but is caused by a fungus.  It's very contagious and commonly you would see some on the other cat, but not necessarily.  I have one cat who is prone to getting ringworm and another who never picks it up - it happens.

Over the counter athlete's foot creams take care of ringworm nicely and you can even use the generic version!  You don't want to use the sprays, especially not the powder sprays but the creams work great.  If you look on the label, it even lists ringworm as a treatable condition, although it's not talking about animals it works great on cats.  I have used it many times and it's always worked great.  I got the advice originally from a vet that works with the animal rescue team that I am a member of.

This is not something your vet will tell you.  If a vet diagnoses ringworm he or she will sell you a cream which will be more expensive, in my experience, and will work about the same.  

You do have to be very thorough when applying it and make sure to get every spot, even those without fur loss (and that's normal with ringworm, not every affected spot includes fur loss).  I apply it twice a day, rubbing it in well.

If the condition changes, if complications of any kind come up or if it doesn't clear up in a week or so (or at least show marked improvement) consult a vet.

Good luck.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Will this harm the cat in any way, I have an indoor cat and the vet has treated her for fleas but I have never seen any on her. Do cats suffer from bereavement loss as a close family member passed away recently.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
hi there.my misses.recently started balding on her left side and has odd scaps on her back.shes 11.my friend gave a tee tree oil solution that i see is helping.we feel it could be psoriosis.dryness in he air.not sure where you are.but if you get tee tree oil.delute  it with water and try.it won`t harm her.good luck
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
hi again.i just wanted to say.i went and bought the athletes foot cream.and wow it worked after one applicaton.but i will continue for couple more days.i hope you try.im sorry about suggesting something else.this forum is great and very happy to be a part of it.i wish you a happy thanksgiving.take care
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
685623 tn?1283485207
Mrs Savas has helped by providing one explanation and mymisses has also provided some advice although I would proceed with extreme caution with the tea tree oil.  There are reported toxicities in pets when undiluted samples are used.

I want to give you some reasons to re-think that fleas aren't the issue.

First of all, Kodiak could be allergic to flea saliva and you are seeing the symptoms of flea allergy dermatitis.  The signs you describe are classic for this.   Even to the point of NOT seeing fleas on Kodiak.   Cats (and dogs) who are allergic to fleas are persistent groomers and get to the point of being superb "flea catchers".  Thus, even though they are the ones with the symptoms, you often don't see the fleas on them.

Take a flea comb and comb your other cat and dogs.   You might find live fleas on them (even though they don't show any signs of itching or other symptoms).  If you do, then your mystery is solved.   Getting a good flea and tick medication to put on ALL pets in the household will help to resolve the issue in about 3-4 months.  

Remember, even though your dogs are groomed and "dipped" routinely, the chemical used for flea dips does not have a long residual effect.  So, within about 1 week after a dipping, your dogs could start harboring fleas from outdoors.  These fleas will lay eggs on the dogs that then fall off into the carpets, bedding and furniture (hardwood floors too).  The eggs hatch into larvae within about 1-10 days and then larvae feed on organic debris in the environment (shed skin cells, flea feces, etc).  The larvae will then spin a cocoon after 5-9 days and new adults will emerge in another 5-6 days under good conditions (over 70 degrees ambient temperature, over 50% humidity).  Those new adults will then jump onto the dogs or the cats and start the cycle over again.  If you find fleas, get everyone on a good flea medication like Frontline, Advantage or Revolution.

Also, if fleas are found, go find a good area treatment for your home and make sure it has an insect growth regulator in it.   Vacuum your home thoroughly and then treat all areas that the pets have access to.   Vacuum every day for two weeks and retreat on the 14th day.   The vacuuming seems to stimulate the cocoons to hatch out into adult fleas, who will then die after coming into contact with the flea medications on your pet.

If you don't find fleas, I would consider getting Kodiak to the veterinarian for a fungal culture (to look for ringworm) and potentially a skin scraping to look for demodex.

Good luck to you...keep us posted.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
hi your knowledge is wonderful.i changed my name.this is mymisses.yes the tee tree oil was not good.its so hard when other people suggest things.its very hard not to try.but after the tee tree is when she broke out in scabs.now i read what you said about fleas.ive been using advantage since last may.last tube was less then a mth ago.i think i may have to do one more mth.since were not in a deep freeze yet.her scabs are gone but still balding feel little bumps .i have noticed today that the fur around the balding is oily and getting thin to..i was wondering to if maybe its the food.my other kittie is good.no problems.im starting to get concerneed again.i did check them for fleas but didn`t see any.i hope you can help me.thank you
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
well thank god for walmarts.they had a homeopathic formula  for itching,scratching due to hot spots,dry eczema,fleabites and allergic dermatitis.it goes in mouth and seems to be helping.thank you all for your advice but i found the solution.good luck to you all with these problems.im sure theres a walmart in the states.maybe check it out.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
hi Leanne.i was wondering how kodiak is doing?my misses seems to alttle better but still scabing in her one spot and she  seems to be irritated still on other part of her body but no balding anywhere else .im so trying to avoid the vet.next i will change her food.if that don`t work then the vet it is.i hope i didn`t loss my mr.i sprayed the house for fleas tonite and he hasn`t come home yet hes never been this long.i love my pets very much but with all the stress and confusion i may loss them. i would love to hear from you on how kodiak is doing.bye for now
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
hi angel....how is my misses making out now??
I also am going thru similar problems with my Sami...although his scabs are on his face..have done the food/litter changes to fragrance/chemical free.
have also done the cortisone shots.
by a swab done by my Vet he was dx'd as eosinophilic plaque...a symptom of an ALLERGY...............he has NO fleas, but may have been bit by one and thus the allergy reponses.
he is now on antibiotics and is responding well so far...this maybe due to a secondary virus from the scab site???
If the scabs/sores reappear he will undergo a full biopsy and could be than treated with a medication called ATOPICA...
let me know how my misses is doing, has the homeopathic treatment still working?
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
hi there.well still haven`t taken her to vet.the drops help her relax so she not biting herself so much.she still has hot spots that she won`t leave alone but no scabing.i went and bought advantage 2 days ago but there both still scratchig.my place is very dry and wondering if its just dry skin.my mr goes outside and gonna be warm again next week.so i guess i`ll see what happens..i love my kitties but there oh so much like kids.they are getting older so im sure this won`t be the end to problems.i just pray everyday things will get better.thank you for your concer
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
I've done alot of reading on this 'allergy' dermatitis or similar lesions on their skin....one thing I've seen recommended alot is COLD WATER FISH OIL  and  OIL OF PRIMROSE together, it keeps their coats/skin from becoming dry.
I've been using it on Sami....and he has a beautiful coat not at all dry.
something is working good right now, maybe a combo of the antibiotics and the oils?
those scabs must be terribly painful for them when they need to be scratching at them so much....I sure hope you can find something to give them relief..
take care and good luck
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
thank you .would i dampen it with cold water then put oil on it.ya she not doing good.and its making me unwell.all i have right now is olive oil.what i can`t understand is why shes scratching like she has fleas when i jusy gave he the advantage.i do think i should get her to vet when i have money
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
I'm so sorry to hear she is not doing well...than I would suspect allergies??
the COLD WATER FISH OIL and PRIMROSE OIL is taken ORALLY....they are both essential fatty acids and are so good for the skin and coat...also switch her food to something different...NO chicken,turkey or duck....my Sami is refusing to eat any of the hypoallergenic diets the vet supplied, so my vet suggested I get a store bought brand with FISH as the ingredient...and he loves it, so will see if this helps him from another breakout.
I know how hard it is to find the money to take kitty to a vet....I struggle with money too...
Try your best, remember how stressed kitty is with all these itchy issues going on and I hope you can find a way to help her.
best of luck to you both, let us know how things are progressing..
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
1058660 tn?1283785717
well i just got home from the weekend.my misses is ok.but my mr is seriously ill.i so don`t understand why my babies aren`t well.hes not eating drinking.going outside. like i may even loss him tonight.oh opus my heart is so broken.there all i have but of coarse i have to prepare myself for the worse.im just not ready to loss either one.but my mr is sick.and i can`t take him to the vet.thank you for being my friend.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
I have a 3 week old kitten that has sposts that.would look like egzama on us an I dont have money for a vet but I want to help the kitten he has 5 other brothers an the mom cat has scabs everywere but nothing like yhe baby what should I do??
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
first of all tell me exactly what you are feeding the mother cat? the name/brand and the first 3 ingredients on the label.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
my gut instinct without seeing pictures is that it could be ringworm.  if you can take a pic or look up ringworm online it might help you determine if it that or not.  if it is be careful because people can get it also
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
http://www.cat-world.com.au/ringworm-in-cats
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
874521 tn?1424120397
the first post I did I was concerned abt food allergies that momma has and since these will also affect the immune system in the kitten(don't know why just the one so far?)...I will send you a link, could also be ringworm or mange, also sent links for that too...please respond.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_notoedric_mange.html

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_food_allergies.html
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Avatar universal
Thank you.  Just gave the cats and dogs a Dawn bath and did find 8 fleas on the black chihuahua.  Will treat at Vet office with flea drops and maybe antihistamines.  Thanks,
Michele
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
681148 tn?1437665191
Some additional steps you can take are for the home and not more stuff to bathe or put on the animals.  I would suggest doing a non-toxic flea removal thorough search.  I did this for myself a few years ago when I suddenly had a flea infestation with an indoor only cat.  So, I learned a lot about the flea cycle and why we got infested.  Thankfully, I don't have to do battle with the outside on the property of the apartment complex I live in, but I learned that a good thing to do would be to add nematodes (buy at a plant nursery) to the soil in the areas in the yard where there is a lot of shade.  Your pets like the same places fleas like in the spring and summer when the flea issues are the worst.  In those shady places, the soil is more likely to stay damp.  That's where fleas hang around until there is a host (your pet) to jump on.  Nematodes eat fleas.

Follow directions you find online for using diatomaceous earth in the home.  Keep kids and pets off of the carpet for the amount of time required--usually two hours.  Diatomaceous earth dessicates fleas at all four stages.  Place diatomaceous earth in places under furniture and in crevices and not just on the carpet.  Fleas love crevices.  Buy some dust masks when you buy the diatomaceous earth.  While the weather is decent enough to keep the pets outside while applying the diatomaceous earth will help.  Diatomaceous earth is natural and it is safe, but it's very fine particulate, so you don't want to breathe it yourself or have your pets breathing it.  They're closer to the ground, too.  But, the awesome part is that once you vacuum the diatomaceous earth back off of the carpeting and anywhere else where your pets go, there is no need to worry about the safety of your pets.  Do make sure you wash ALL your pet bedding in hot water, as you would regardless of which flea removal method you choose to use.  Wash your own bedding, too, if your pets sleep with you.  I would also place some diatomaceous earth between the mattress and box springs.  You shouldn't have to vacuum it back out until the next time you flip your mattress unless you find it too dusty, but do wait at least two hours before you do.  The added bonus here is that diatomaceous earth is great for all insects (and spiders), so it should help with bed bugs, too.

So, more is involved than just the inside of the house.  If you take care of the places where the fleas would be on the outside of the house on your own property, that should help you out immensely.

Since my own cat is an indoor only cat, once I got rid of the fleas in the apartment that one time, we haven't had any more problems with fleas.  So, you absolutely need to take care of the fleas in the yard.  I would look for some other ideas besides the nematodes for getting rid of fleas in your yard.  The more you can do to keep them off the pets and out of the house, the better off all of you will be.
Comment
Cancel
Comment
Avatar universal
Comment
Comment
Comment
Post Comment
Your Answer
Avatar universal
Answer
Do you know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
Answer
Post Answer
A
A
Recent Activity
406584 tn?1399591666
Blank
dominosarah, and 10356 commented on stilltrying1965's status
1 hr ago
675347 tn?1365464245
Blank
ginger899 Wishing everyone a very Hap... Comment
8 hrs ago
495284 tn?1333897642
Blank
dominosarah commented on Last Chapter of the P...
Dec 12
Top Cats Answerers
874521 tn?1424120397
Blank
Canada..., SK
506791 tn?1439846583
Blank
Saint Mary's County, MD
242912 tn?1402547092
Blank
CA
740516 tn?1360946086
Blank
Brazil
134578 tn?1483549754
Blank
Cats Community Resources
Top Cats Answerers
874521 tn?1424120397
Blank
Canada..., SK
506791 tn?1439846583
Blank
Saint Mary's County, MD
242912 tn?1402547092
Blank
CA
740516 tn?1360946086
Blank
Brazil
134578 tn?1483549754
Blank