ASK-THE-VET: CAT WITH VERY DRY SCALY ITCHY SKIN

Question: I have a cat with very dry scaly itchy skin and she is losing fur. I’m worried, broke and have no idea what to do

Answer: Thanks for your inquiry. There are a number of reasons that cats develop skin irritation and hair loss and you should see your veterinarian for a complete physical examination and evaluation. Common causes of itchiness, skin redness, dry scaly skin and hair loss include flea allergy, ringworm, mites/mange, yeast and bacterial skin infections—yes, even in indoor cats. Dry irritated skin may be caused by a food allergy or could be related to the artificial dyes, additives and preservatives in many cat foods.

Choosing a high quality natural food can minimize your cat’s exposure to these ingredients. Check out my article on dry skin in pets for other common causes of skin problems and some natural remedies. Regardless of the cause of dermatitis, often supplementing essential fatty acids (like those found in Halo Dream Coat) can help decrease inflammation and help ease the discomfort associated with the skin problem. Ask your veterinarian if fatty acids might be a good choice for your cat.

Many times a simple (and cheap!) skin scrape is the first tests done at your veterinarian’s office and can often identify the cause of the problem inexpensively. Sometimes hair or dandruff cultures, allergy testing, skin biopsy and/or blood tests do need to be performed to get to the bottom of the problem…but see your vet for the best advice.

Good luck. Hope this helps.
Dr. Donna Spector

Answers provided to pet owners by Dr. Donna Spector should be considered information and not specific advice. Answers are to be used for general information purposes only and not as a substitute for in-person evaluation or specific professional advice from your veterinarian. Communications on this site are very limited and should never be used in possible cases of emergency. Halo, Purely for Pets will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on any information or content contained in a blog or article post. If you have consulted your veterinarian and if you are still concerned about your pet’s condition or if your pet has chronic, complicated or undiagnosed problems, Dr. Spector can offer consultations for you and your veterinarian via www.SpectorDVM.com.

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