Feline Hair Loss
Has your cat been suffering from feline hair loss?
There are a number of possible reasons for cat hair loss, some of which can be quite serious. In some cases hair loss can be prevented by something as simple as providing a healthy diet full of protein. The best form of protein for cats is salmon or turkey, since beef and chicken don't tend to provide enough in the way of nutrients.
You need to make sure your cat has received all of his vaccinations to protect him against any serious diseases.
Finally, make sure that you use a preventative treatment against fleas, mites, heartworm, ringworms and ticks.
Most Common Causes Of Feline Hair Loss
- Hyperthyroidism - This is the most common cause. Other signs you may notice: weight loss, change in grooming habits, excess urination and thirst, increased appetite.
Treatment involves medication or radioactive iodine therapy.
- Fleas - If infestation is bad enough, cat hair loss can occur. Fleas can be so bothersome to your cat that he'll end up biting off bits of fur, leaving bald spots all over himself.
- Cat Allergies - When a cat allergy is present, feline hair loss and itching can occur. This is caused by an allergic reaction to a food your cat has eaten, or by something he may have come into contact with in his surroundings.
Pinpointing the source of the allergy is difficult. Once it is determined though, treatment involves taking the item out of your cat's diet or surroundings.
As a cat allergy reaction becomes less severe, itchy rashes will start to disappear. Your vet may give some medication to provide some relief temporarily for the itchiness. Most cats will re-grow their fur in time.
- Pyoderma - This is a bacterial infection that occurs when the skin is damaged from scratching and biting. Hair loss occurs, and puss will excrete from the skin which will end up crusting over the lesions. It is important to clean the discharge gently so that the area heals properly. However, since this is a secondary infection, you will need to find out the root cause.
- Mange - Mange mites cannot be seen. They go deep under the skin and cause immense itching. This is diagnosed through skin scrapings where the mites can be seen under a microscope. Treatment is through a pyrethrin product given by a vet.
- Ringworm - This is a fungal infection that forms a circular patch of cat hair loss. Treatment involves dips or oral medication. Some vets may even recommend completely shaving a cat to remove the fungus. Once the fungus is all gone, the fur should grow back.
- Notoedres Cati - This is a lesser known parasite that causes Alopecia in cats. Feline hair loss occurs on the ears, neck, eyelids, other facial areas, and the upper body. This is the 2nd most common parasite.
- Cushing's Disease - Also known as hyperadrenocorticism, this is a much less common cause of cat hair loss. Other signs to be noted are: increased thirst, appetite, mild to severe lethargy.
The cat's skin may be thinner. The hair he's missing on one side will likely be almost the same as the hair on the other side. Hair loss can occur on the mid to lower stomach, but can occur just about anywhere.
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