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Overgrooming or something more
Hi guys. I'm new to the community, but seem to have exhausted my resources. I have a absolutely precious and sweet 5 year old orange tabby. I am his only owner found him at about 4 weeks and raised him ever since. Starting about a year ago he started to develop a little redish patch on his tummy near his hind legs. This red patch has grown to a hairless, red, flaky, senstive rash encompassing his entire belly. As well as a patch of scabs (that I can't see but do feel) around his collar area.
I have my theories to some of it, but not the underlying issue. I clearly see him over grooming his belly, constantly licking until it bald and almost raw. I also see him scratching whit his hind paws at his collar area which just perpetuates the scabs. I have taken him to the vet 3 times in the past year and have done lots of research nothing is working. The first time the vet said it is was nothing and should go away. The second time the vet did scrape test and nothing came back positive, the third time the vet said it could possibly be allergies and presribed him zyrtecs. The zyrtecs did not really work and is expensive.
So running with the idea of his problems being a cause of allergies, I got my carpets professionally cleaned, changed his shampoo, switced to wheat free food (he threw it up daily for ten days until I switched back), changed his kitty litter, I wipe his stomach with peroxide then clean it with water(that works a little bit), and got an E collar (which admittedly I haven't been using as consistenly as I should)
As a college student I do not have $200+ to spend on each vet visit with no results. Any suggestions would be deearly appreciated I hate seeing him suffer and it just seems to be spreading. There are more patches popping up up near the nipples on his chest as well as a patch under one of his front arms.
So my question to you guys are there any alternative options I could explore? The e-collar fixes the symptom and not the cause because as soon as I take it off he is right back at it, and I imagine the itch-you-can't-scratch-feeling is horrible. :(
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746512 tn?1388811180
You need to switch more than just a wheat free food to test for food allergies.  You should try a completely novel food, something with a different protein and carbohydrate source than you are using now.  

If you are feeding a chicken, corn and wheat based food you could try switching to a grain free fish based food or another allergy food.  Food allergies take time and you have to also stop treats as well.  

Natural Balance has a duck and green pea or vension and pea that would work, Nature's variety also has some, Go natural and Acana are also a couple other brands.  

It can take a couple of months to notice any differences also because the body has to settle everything down after the allergen is removed.  

Another thing that may help is the addition of omega 3 fatty acids in the form of a fish oil supplement, it is anti-inflammatory.
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