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Cat with head and neck pruritis

(6 Posts)
paddypoopants Wed 27-Jul-11 10:35:52

Does anyone have any experience of this?
Our cat is 10 months old and has shown signs of this since we got him. He had a big outbreak at 10 weeks nd then nothing until 3 months ago when it went mad. The vet suspects allergies and he is on a hypollergenic diet which so far doesn't really seem to have done much. The vet is going to do allergy blood testing next. The poor cat has always got big raw bits on his head and we seem to be chasing it all around. It heals up and then starts off again. I have been reading about it and skin scraping for mites seems to be useful- our vet doesn't seem to think this is useful. I would be grateful if anyone who knows anything about this could give me some tips. The cat spends his time in a big collar as otherwise he mithers at them until they get infected but sometimes even this will bring him out in ones on his neck even though the collar's not tight.

I could have written this post myself... I have a Maine Coon with the same problem and we cannot find out WHY. He has made himself raw scratching ..only his head and neck. He has very sensitive skin anyway..allergic to fleas (one bite and he scabs over head to toe) but this time we can't find any cause and have been back and forth to the vet.

To be honest I think the vet is right.. it's very unlikely to be mites if it's just that area (ear mites are different) and he has likely got into an itch scratch pattern he can't get out of.

The ONLY thing we have found helpful (diet hasn't worked) is steroids. Morphy has an injection followed by a course of tablets which relieve the irritation and give his poor skin a change to heal. It's an ongoing problem but the steroids definitely work.

I wouldn't be keen on the collar to be honest..can you imagine having a really sore itchy neck and having to wear one?

I'd ask about the steroids...smile

Lizcat Wed 27-Jul-11 13:34:01

The generally agreed policy is that a skin work up including scrapes, plucks and tape stripes should be done to rule out parasites, fungi and bacteria before heading down the allergy route.
However, in my experience in cats if you can't see fleas or flea dirts or lice and your flea treatment is gold standard it probably is not parasites. Saying that I would still do the skin work up in case one day I am wrong - there are very occasional cases of sarcoptes in cats. Very occasionally ringworm presents like this too.

paddypoopants Wed 27-Jul-11 14:18:22

Thanks lizcat and medusa. The reason we have the collar on is that he tends to scratch the wound until they get ulcerated and spread- if we stop him scratching they tend to disappear really quickly. As it is his brother has managed to lick away at one area last night so it's a whole lot worse. We have 3 cats so we treat for fleas regularly but I'm wondering whether he got bitten at the beginning of the season and that's what started the latest flare up. I suppose it's going to be really difficult to get rid of. Anyway off to the vet this afternoon for his 6 week check up and I'll see what he says.

paddypoopants Wed 27-Jul-11 17:22:01

Vet agreed the cat couldn't carry on without treatment for the ongoing wounds - so he is going in tomorrow for bloods for allergy testing and a skin scrape and then he is getting a steroid injection to help clear up the problem as it stands. I pushed for the tests earlier than the vet wanted but I don't see the point of waiting another 4 weeks to get them done when we could know what we are dealing with. Poor big lump is lying in the sun now with yet another collar on.
The vet said he would prefer to put him on some sort of long term anti-inflammatary that is used mostly for dogs rather than steroids. Can't remember the name of it - anyone know the pros and cons of this?

coff33pot Thu 28-Jul-11 01:14:10

My cat used to do this all the time and had to have regular steroid injections every two months. Turned out to be scarcoptic mites from in the fields along with an allergy to fleas. I changed to Stronghold for fleas as this also helped this problem. It cleared up and never again did she need a steroid injection so that is worth a try.

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