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Hair loss, scabs and no fleas?!
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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.
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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.
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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 (psoriasis).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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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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
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874521_tn?1375890587
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?
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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
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874521_tn?1375890587
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
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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
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874521_tn?1375890587
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..
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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.
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Avatar_f_tn
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??
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874521_tn?1375890587
first of all tell me exactly what you are feeding the mother cat? the name/brand and the first 3 ingredients on the label.
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Avatar_f_tn
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
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Avatar_f_tn
http://www.cat-world.com.au/ringworm-in-cats
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874521_tn?1375890587
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
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Avatar_f_tn
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
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681148_tn?1285160820
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.
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874521_tn?1375890587
great post FM....could you start a new thread on this so everyone see's title it Natural Flea Treatment...don't want this to be hidden away in an old thread..
thx:)
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Avatar_m_tn
I have three cats theyare all sisters.  Two of them are having a problem.  One has lost all the hair on her tummy and  licks constantly.  She also has some bald spots in different areas.   She does not have fleas and has been given a steriod shot.  The other cat has these scabs up her back and is licking them too.   She has alittle hair loss on tummy but not much?  The third one nothing at all!  They all eat the same food, except the one with no problems does not ear Iams dry food for the mature cat.  I changed them to mature not too long ago.   Could there be something lacking in the dry or causing this?  The Vet is ordering special food and we will do a test for food allergy once it comes in.




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874521_tn?1375890587
hi....this has to be a quick reply for now, I'm in a mad rush....this is definite signs of FOOD allergies...I assume you are feeding dry food....get some good quality can food, NO grain. its the additives/preservatives and the grains in these dry foods that cats are very allergic too. save you tons on Vet bills!!! and stop the steroids...will lead to diabetes and other health problems
YOU DO not NEED TO FEED A HYPOALLERGENIC DIET as you Vet will suggest, very expensive and cats don't like...just get a good quality can food with NO grains...

read this on how to transition

http://www.catinfo.org
/docs/Tips%20for%20Transitioning%20PDF%201-14-11.pdf

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Avatar_f_tn
hi. I have been reading the comments from opus88 and angelfire 09.   I noticed a couple little scabs on my cat below the mouth on the chin. kept an eye on them - they went away and now they are gone. I got a picture.  how do I post.  I would like to know if it is ring worm.      about 3-4 months ago. my cat had a worm .  it was coming out of her bottom.  I bought over the counter worm medicine from walmart.  used it once.     and then 3 weeks later - repeated the medicine but im not sure is she ate all the food I put the medicine in.  now those scabs are are back.. I deeply concerned.
what should I do?  by another worm medicine.  what kind and where  ?   vetsmart said that they would treat the cat for a $3.00 fee.   what do you suggest
.
Gizzie
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681148_tn?1285160820
I suggest starting a new thread, because you will get more people to notice your post and will be more likely to be able to respond.  

Keep in mind that ring worm is not really a worm at all.  It is a common name for a fungal infection.  There are several types of parasitic worms that our pets can get, but the most common kind is round worm.  I think you should definitely get the kitty treated by a vet if the over-the-counter medications haven't been working.  The vet will be more likely to know what kind of parasite is bothering your cat.

Others here will be more familiar with the types of medications that are used in veterinary medicine for the various parasitic worms and even where the cat would have picked up the pest.  What I know is that this needs to be treated now and should not wait.

There are other types of parasitic worms that our pets get, but I've never really had to contend with these dangerous infections.  So, I don't know a whole lot about the various medications that are used to kill the parasites.  I do know that you need to be careful with the medications.  Make sure you research the medication that the vet suggests before giving it to your cat.  Some medications have made cats very sick, so do your research.
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Avatar_f_tn
Every time I put cream on spidermans back for his scabs he licks it off even after I rub it in very good.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi Angelfire 09, what was the name of this product you got from Walmart? I live in England soiI would have to buy this on the internet. Thanks
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7052683_tn?1392942395
Hi Guy's ,

Just in general all of the above symptoms can be attributed to sooooo many things. You really need to have the areas tested to see what parasitic , fungal,allergic or even phycological reaction is happening is happening.

This problem depending on where it is and what it looks like could be Scabies, Stud Tale, Allergy to fleas, Alopecia,Ring worm, Lice, Dermititis, Food or inhalant induced allergies ..Yada, Yada, Yada.

You could be smearing everything but the garbage on these areas and still  be treating the Symptoms not the cause. In rescue we see every one of these descriptions --all different, needing different care. Please visit a vet for a look-see by a professional.

By the way a good way to check for Fleas is to get a white sheet and comb each animal separately--if you see little black dots you can bet there are fleas somewhere. Sometimes if you crush the black spots they turn reddish brown like blood. These are eggs, feces, or fleas. At least it may help you identify Flea allergies.

I always defer to a Vet--I am no expert, they are, and if you are going to use treatments on your pet you should know exactly what treatment you are using it for.  Also ringworm will be seen under black like like a glowy green/yellow. I know EEEWWWWWW!!
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7349426_tn?1390264616
Just so you know my cats are indoor and do not have or have had fleas ever..........So my problem started off 4 months ago with 3 of my cats losing hair near there bums, now its just Big papa Clark that has little next to no hair around his bum and sides of his belly with soars and scabs. The two girls that had it have gotten better on there own. While this is not the only problem my kitties face it is at the moment my main concern. I would love to help my little man out the most natural way as I can. I had problems with hair balls so I had switched the food to a hairball control formula but that had no effect. so I moved on to a all organic hairball food from Wal-Mart but still not affecting my cats hairballs. Now back to Clark he is almost 4 and a proud papa of 12 children of his own( no they don't all still live at home ) he his been losing his hair for 4 months and I have taken him to the vet and they don't have a clue what is wrong I have tried changing his food. I have diluted and added natural ingredients like cod oil, garlic oil, and olive oil to tuna which he loves to eat so I am sure he is getting it all in him but nothing is working......... keep in mind I have brought him to the vet 8 times in the last 4 months and they still have nothing to say......please help my Clark
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi....first of all STOP the garlic that is toxic to cats.
have you gotten anything new in the house this past while such as carpets or furniture?
or started using fabric softner or a new cleaning agent on the floors/carpets?
ANY new scents or chemicals around the house at all?
different litter?
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874521_tn?1375890587
you feed dry food.....there are also many chemicals and preservatives especially in dry food, cats can become sensitive to these as well...don't know whats all in this 'organic' food from walmart. you really also need to use a wet canned diet with NO grains...grains are also huge for allergies or sensitivities...these would have to be bought from a pet store and not from a walmart or other grocery chain, more expensive but a whole lot cheaper than all those Vet visits:)
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7349426_tn?1390264616
HI ........ first of all opus88 are you a vet......... the Vet said there is no problem feeding my cat garlic oil plus I have looked it up (Is garlic safe to give to pets? That all depends on how you give it. If you feed garlic to your pet the way they do in laboratory research studies by force administration, in medical terms, 'gavage' - through a tube inserted into a hole made in their stomach, the answer is NO! If you feed it naturally, the way it was meant to be eaten, the answer is YES. With few exceptions, garlic given in small amounts, mixed into food, can be beneficial to the health of most dogs and cats) http://www.petremedycharts.com/Learning%20Center/Introduction%20to%20Herbs/LH%20Garlic/Garlic_for_pets.html   right from this site and many others plus it the same information I got from the VET............ no I do not have carpets in my house nor have I ever used softener on my clothes.  
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7349426_tn?1390264616
Also is it not good to just feed your cat soft food it destroys there teeth. I tried the holistic food from Wal-Mart hoping it would stop there hairballs but it didn't so they are back on blue buffalo hair ball formula
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7349426_tn?1390264616
my profile pic is the most recent picture of my main man........ you might be able to see the hair loss.
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874521_tn?1375890587
no I am not a Vet, I am simply a pet parent who has read and followed many sites along the years. you do not have to follow my advice, I was merely giving you my opinion, I thought that was what you were looking for?

I urge you to read a wonderful site by a very knowledgeable VET...read all her pages they are very informative, but first scroll down page one to the blue area of dental disease and read her opinion of how wrong the claims are for dry food cleaning the teeth....

http://catinfo.org/

and here is one site by drs. foster and smith...who have long been pet advocates. the site talks abt the toxicity of garlic, how it causes a breakdown of red blood cells and leads to Heinz Body Anemia. the only thing I do not agree with is them claiming, the small amount in some foods have not been shown to cause problems...if the cat was eating this same food for a long period of time there would be a build up, I don't believe any amount is safe, is it really worth taking a chance on?

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1&aid=2414

I do not know the author of the site you provided, but I do not agree with their claim. but  that is just MY opinion, you are entitled to your own as well.
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874521_tn?1375890587
I meant to add some sites on hair loss....adding some Omega 3 fatty acids maybe beneficial. I do advise against antihistamines and steroids as these only treat the problem and not the cause. also all steroids are dangerous to cats...they will lead to many health conditions one being diabetes.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Cats/Hair-loss--scabs-and-no-fleas/show/665747#post_9862317

http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=2134
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