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My cat is pulling hair out again.

 
 
littlek
 
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 09:54 pm
Every spring he goes through a ritual of tugging out hair down around the base of his tail. Usually, he plucks from the base of his spine (just before the tail), but this year he's plucking from his tail. I think he does it because his skin is itchy and flaky. I can't easily change his diet because he is diabetic. I usually just wait it out, scooping up the hairballs, until he stops. But, someone said something a couple days ago that made me wonder if I should bring him back to the vet. When I asked them about this in years past, they didn't have anything tooffer as help, so I don't see whay I'd spend the money again.

Has anyone's cat done this kind of hair tugging?

Pdog - you still around?
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 10:02 pm
Oh nooooo.

Well, if they didn't have any ideas last year, I'm sure they won't this. They checked him for external parasites, dry skin, and so forth?

Oh, the question. No, none of mine have. One of the yard cats lost all the hair on the front of all four legs, and recovered nicely. Don't know if she plucked it, ran into some sort of chemicals, or what. If I had any ideas, I'd share them, of course.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 10:14 pm
Thanks Roger.... yeah, they checked for skin parasites, we don't have any fleas that I know of. Maybe it's allergies....?

Weird about that cat of yours. If she lost all her fur at once (over a day or 2) I'd guess she wasn't plucking.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 10:20 pm
She's weird, but not mine. I feed a couple of strays at work, and this one is just friendly enough to push my hand away from the food bowl.

Allergies is a possibility. Maybe the pdog or cowdoc will show up.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Mon 25 Apr, 2005 10:27 pm
mmm....
well, I'm off to bed. Thanks Roger.
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 12:01 am
i still think it's the gland that is just in that area. i know it ends under the tail, but our dog was doing precisely the same thing year after year. it's a very easy procedure, should not cost much. i'd have no idea what it would be called in english, literal translation is anal gland, and also dunno if cats and dogs are same in this. but it's a thought.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 12:58 am
My cousin's cat licked herself bald in certain spots. My cousin happens to be a family therapist, and she thought of ritalin. Mentioned it to the vet. He gave the cat a low dose, and it worked. This was years ago, and the cat is fine and hairy still, although of course, older. I don't know if it is still on low dose ritalin or not.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 05:40 pm
Dasha - it was you who spooked me! We call them anal glands and the the procedure is called expressing the anal glands. Mmm, lovely.

I've thought of anti-anxiety pills. It's like he has OCD.
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 06:03 pm
littlek,

One of my daughter's inside cats was pulling out the fur from one of her front legs. The vet diagnosed it as a stress-related problem and prescribed some pills for the stress and some lotion to put on the leg.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the situation may be the same for your cat, but the lotion that was prescribed might be appropriate. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of it, but it was a white lotion that has a two-fold purpose. One, it soothes the area where the fur is being pulled out, and two, it keeps the cat from pulling at the fur. I suspect it has a bitter taste or something. In this case, it did work and the fur grew back.

What I would suggest is phoning up your vet (or any vet) and describe the lotion that I've mentioned and see if you can buy it without needing a prescription. It may be an "over-the-counter" product, or equivalent.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 06:05 pm
Reyn, my vet would have me come in for a visit and make me pay a visit fee right off the bat. But, maybe that bitter-apple spray would work.
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 07:57 pm
Methinks it's time for you to change vets if they won't even give advice over the phone.

Not familar with that spray that you mention.

The other thing you could try is a really good pet store (we've got a PetSmart here) and ask them or check their miscellaneous section for "care products".

Other than that, it's the old Elizabethan collar routine if it gets real bad.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 08:01 pm
ooooh, the e-collar! I may even have one for him. As I recall, it doesn't stay on him long. I think that pet stores have bitter apple. It deters puppies from chewing on things - but I bet it'd work for my cat.

Yeah, the vet is not the best. But, it's a city and I dunno if any other around here would be any better. And, there's all that history (cat's diabetic).
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 08:12 pm
Well, why not give that spray a go? Probably wouldn't do any harm, and see where you go from there.

Does your cat have a lot of compulsive /obsessive behaviour? For example, playing with certain toys, doing certain "rituals", etc?
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 08:50 pm
Not generally an OCD cat.
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Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 10:22 pm
Hmm, ok....

How old is your cat?
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Apr, 2005 10:25 pm
11 years in May.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2005 07:24 am
I've used bitter apple on cords I didn't want chewed. I have never used it on the cat. I dun'no. . . .
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2005 07:29 am
littlek wrote:
11 years in May.

My wife and I have been puting our heads together on this and the only other thing is that it's an age-related thing. Possibly a cover for something like arthritis.

Let us know how it works out, 'k'.....
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2005 06:24 pm
Reyn, thanks to you and your wife both! The cat has been doing this for years.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 27 Apr, 2005 09:05 pm
Oh. Poor little Screech. Poor littlek. You've sure had some experiences.
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