Tue, May 7, 2024
Excessive itching
Flakey skin or dandruff

Hello there. I first want to let you know that I’m happy to tell you that LJ’s diarrhea is gone! Once she stopped the metronidazole, it went back to normal. She still has a vet appointment for next Tuesday-the vet has been out at a teaching seminar and won’t be back until next Monday.

For the last 2 weeks LJ has not had much interest at all in playing. She’s not lethargic and her personality is completely normal. I thought it had to do with the diarrhea, but that stopped 4 days ago and it’s still ongoing. Her itching is such an issue. She chews on her back leg until it’s red. I’m going to have the vet do allergy tests when we go next week. Which test do you think is better-skin or blood? Also, can environmental allergies cause her to not want to really play? Could the itching be making her depressed? The interesting thing is the itching completely stops when she’s watching rabbits in the backyard and also when she’s sleeping. Is that normal for a cat to have times where the itching just seems to completely stop during certain times? I just want her to not be so uncomfortable. Again, it’s mostly her legs and paws. I was wondering if she could be allergic to her litter, but it’s no worse when she exits her litterbox. Thank you for your time!

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Dr. Wilkins
Dr.Tail Vet

I'm glad to hear that LJ's diarrhea has resolved after discontinuing metronidazole. Regarding her lack of interest in playing, it's possible that the discomfort from her itching is affecting her mood and activity levels. It's not uncommon for animals to become less playful when they're uncomfortable or in pain.

For the itching and redness LJ is experiencing, allergy testing can indeed be helpful in identifying the cause. Both skin and blood tests have their advantages. Skin tests can be more sensitive to certain environmental allergens, while blood tests are less invasive and can be performed regardless of the cat's current medication status. Given LJ's symptoms, a skin test might be more appropriate, as it can help pinpoint specific allergens that cause a reaction on her skin.

It's interesting that LJ's itching stops when she is distracted by rabbits or while sleeping. This could indicate that the itching is not constant and may be exacerbated by stress or boredom. However, it's also possible that the act of watching rabbits or sleeping simply takes her mind off the discomfort temporarily.

Environmental allergies can indeed cause a cat to be less playful, and chronic itching can lead to a decrease in overall well-being, which might be perceived as depression. It's also worth considering that LJ's litter could be a contributing factor, even if the itching doesn't seem to worsen immediately after using the litter box. Cats can develop allergies to certain types of litter, and it might be worth trying a hypoallergenic or dust-free litter to see if there's any improvement.

In the meantime, to help alleviate LJ's discomfort, you can try using a hypoallergenic diet, as food allergies can sometimes manifest as skin problems. Additionally, ensure that LJ is on a high-quality flea and tick prevention regimen, as flea allergy dermatitis is a common cause of itching in cats.

If LJ's condition worsens or you notice any of the following symptoms, it would be best to seek immediate veterinary attention: difficulty breathing, swelling of the face or paws, open sores or significant hair loss, or any signs of infection at the site of the itching, such as pus or a foul odor.

Remember to keep LJ's environment as stress-free as possible and maintain a consistent routine to help her feel secure. If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to come back to us! Thank you.