Most of you probably remember that I’ve been having problems with some itchiness and hair loss for almost 2 years. I’ve had a few steroid injections and currently take a low dose steroid pill every morning. I’ve been doing better, but the problem isn’t completely gone, so a few weeks ago I went to a vet who specializes in dermatology.
I was very nervous, but the lady vet was nice and gentle with me. She used a scalpel blade to scrape the skin on my belly and she used a piece of clear tape to pick up the dust from my skin & fur to look for any signs of problems. The scraping part didn’t bother me, and it didn’t even leave a red mark, which surprised mom. The good news is that I don’t have any unwanted critters like mites living in my skin and no signs of fungus or other skin disease.
The vet said she was impressed with two things. First, she said I have very furry paws! Second, she was impressed with how I’ve nibbled off the fur from the full length of the underside of my tail but I’ve left the topside with long furs. I’ve also removed the fur from my lower belly and thighs.
When talking about possible causes of my itchiness and hair loss, the vet said the pattern of my hair loss suggest a flea bite hypersensitivity. She said that kitties like me who rarely have fleas can get very severe flea bite allergies.
The last time Mom saw a flea on me was March 2015, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the occasional flea that gets in the house as a “hitchhiker”. There are neighborhood cats and wild thing like raccoons, rats, & skunks that frequently come through our yard, and the humans might bring a flea in the house after being in the yard.
The vet recommended we do 3 months of topical flea control using a product called Activyl. It’s a newer product that kills fleas before they bite, which is critical for allergic kitties. Mom put in on me and she’s washing all of my bedding and vacuuming my perches. Even though the vet was not concerned about me taking the steroid because it is a very low dose, she did give mom a plan to taper me off the steroid over the next 3 weeks.
Oh, Monkey Wrench! About 12 hours after applying the Activyl, Mom saw that I had an adverse reaction and a quarter-sized patch of fur fell out where Mom applied the Activyl. Mom gave me a bath to try to get the residue off of me. She called the vet the following Monday and told them what happened. The vet said Mom did the right thing in giving me a bath, and not to use the Activyl again. (They were also very nice and arranged for Mom to be refunded the $50 for the flea medication.)
Now we’re trying a different anti-flea medication called Comfortis. This is a flavored tablet you’re supposed to eat. Not! Mom had to break it into little pieces and give it to me like a pill. It made me vomit, but that is common and I kept it down long enough that it was supposed to work and I didn’t have to take another dose.
It’s been three weeks since I saw the dermatologist and I have improved quite a bit. Fur is growing back where the Activyl was applied. Fur is also growing back on my legs, but it’s light gray underfurs and not my long, black furs. I still like to nibble on my tail and Mom thinks it might be a bit sensitive, but it might also be a habit I’ve gotten into. I’m almost tapered off the steroid pill so we’ll see if I get more itchy next week when I don’t get that pill anymore.
Tomorrow I see my regular vet for a rabies shot. Mom will ask him if he recommends Comfortis anti-flea pills and if it might help for me to take some anti-vomit medicine before Mom gives me the next pill. I was supposed to get it today, but she’s waiting ask the vet if there’s a way to help me not vomit.
I know this is long and I’ve been away from all my blogging friends for too long. I hope you all are well and we’ll get back to visiting this week.
I still look very odd, so Mom decided to share an old photo of me with my Dad enjoying a sunflower.