Calling all vets

Cat problem - should we be off to the vets (again)

19 messages
10/08/2006 at 11:58
Hi all

My all black cat has got a bald spot on his shoulderblade that is surounded by white fur - Its new and we noticed it about a week ago - I think the spot is getting bigger but I am not sure.

Could this be ringworm (or worse) It doesn't look like any of the picture I have found on the web - but who knows. The skin seems fine - just hairless.

Any advice would be greatfully recieved - many thanks.
10/08/2006 at 12:03
How long did it take him to get the bald spot and how big is it? Do you treat him for worms and fleas regularly? Is the bald spot inflamed? Watch his behaviour, is he scratching that spot with his back leg?

10/08/2006 at 12:11
Only noticed it a week ago - no idea if it appeared before that. It is about 1cm by 1/2 cm rectangular shaped (ish)

Treated for fleas but not worms - he's a house cat and were told they wouldn't be a problem.

It's not inflamed, and he doesn't scratch it (that we have seen) but I'm not sure he could reach it if he wanted to.
10/08/2006 at 12:35
Ok, have booked appointment with the vets this evening asI just don't want to wait and worry, tis not worth the hassle
10/08/2006 at 12:46

Hi JJJ, it sounds like they have scratched a little bald spot - my cat does that sometimes. Or eczema can look similar. Sure he'll be fine.
10/08/2006 at 12:56
Thanks Mrs Holgs ;-)

Just want to check it out to be sure - especially if it could be ringwork, yuck.
10/08/2006 at 14:34
I wouldn't be too concerned either, particularly if he's a housecat. One of the dab on flea treatments also treats worms, Frontline I think. Good luck with the vet, I'm sure you will be reassured for the little fella.
10/08/2006 at 15:06
Thanks CM - thats really what I'm after.
10/08/2006 at 16:02
My cat is currently flopped out on the floor trying to convince me to feed him. Cat dinner time is usually 5pm!

I meant to say earlier, do post how you get on.
10/08/2006 at 18:47
JJJ - Advocate does fleas & most worms. It's a spot on treatment so no wrestling with tablets. You'll need to get it from the vet - not on general sale.

You'd know if it was fleas as you can see them if you search through his fur (and you'd probably have been bitten yourself by this time).

Skin problems are quite common in cats & are a bliddy nightmare to get to the bottom of sometimes.
10/08/2006 at 18:50
Fleas are usually visible on the ears as black specks so I would have thought you'd have noticed them.
11/08/2006 at 16:16
JJJ - did you get sorted? Hope he's good.

A cat-related question - has anyone ever owned a long-haired cat?
We got 1 from the RSPCA this year, and this is the first summer with him - he has very fine, long hair, I just wondered if it's normal for him to molt(sp?) absolutely loads? It comes out in handfuls!
11/08/2006 at 19:53
God help you if it's ringworm JJJ. My daughter caught ringworm from some cats abroad last year and she ended up with loads of bald patches on her head. Not pretty.

All the sheets and towels had to be changed daily no-one could share any flannels or anything. Nightmare.

In Spain they just burn everything and then bleach what can't be burned.

Her hair has grown back now - but apparently it doesn't always.

Get it checked out.
11/08/2006 at 19:57
Mrs Holgs - yes long haired cats do moult a lot. Short hairs do too but you just don't notice it so much! As long as he's not got bald spots or scratching too much then he's fine.

Long haired cats need grooming at least once a day to prevent them becoming matted. Once matted it's impossible to untangle and either knots need cutting out or if it's really bad it'll have to be shaved!
13/08/2006 at 15:51
Hi all,

Well my fluffy baby does not have ringworm (thank god), but true to form the vet doesn't know what it is.

Thinks it may be an injury - maybe something hot splashed him, but that doesn't explain to me why it is getting bigger.

Also discovered he has gingivitus (sp) so have to rub a gel into his teeth twice a day - oh the fun :-D
13/08/2006 at 16:58
My cat has been known to have the odd bald patch... Sometimes when she's had a scratch or nick when the scab comes off there's a small bare patch left for a while: I guess this is what your vet thought your cat's problem is.

She's also been known to overgroom: she literally licks the fur off herself. At one time she was naked on belly, base of tail, elbows and armpits. Rather embarrasing to take to cattery...

The problem first became really noticeable when my other cat became seriously ill. The vet diagnosed eczema (though the skin mostly seemed fine with just the odd iritation) gave me cream for her but it didn't do any good: just drove her nuts and made her groom more if I put it on! So I only used it if the skin became really iritated, and the bare patches persisted for a couple of years. The turning point was when she had an allergic reaction to some food and ended up with scabs all over her face. Not nice, but the vet gave her a steroid injection which seemed to give the hair elsewhere time to grow back as well. She's now fully covered again, aside from the odd scab and resulting small bare patch...

So... if it persists maybe you should try and work out if there's something that could be stressing your cat out? And see if your cat is grooming obsesively: mine seemed to almost go into a trance sometimes and was hard to distract. If your cat is an overgroomer I've heard a change of scene, eg a trip to cattery, can get them out of the habit. But it didn't work for mine... Hard to say for sure, but I do think it was the steriod injection that turned the corner for her.

13/08/2006 at 17:15
God, I hope it's not stress related as I'm moving next week and will no longer be living with my flatemate - so new house and only one of his owners - I'll have a bald cat! Couldn't take him to the cattery, he doesn't eat if he is not settled. he'll come back thin and bald. I'll def keep an eye on the grooming though, thanks for the tip.

Our dog used to have really bad bald patches on her back and the looks we used to get cause people assumed the dog was neglected - she was so spoilt it was unreal.

Hope my baby doesn't go bald :-(
14/08/2006 at 01:30
Don't panic! I reckon there's a good chance the vet's right and it's just where the hairs come away as something's healed. Only time will tell really, but it's not the end of the world even if they do end up a bit patchy.
14/08/2006 at 14:48
My cat had a receeding fur-line caused by stress when we moved house.

It was on her belly so we didn't notice it for several months and the area was the size of a hand by the time we got her seen to. The vet gave her steriods but these made her so ravenous that we took her off them after a couple of days.

Lots of attention cured the problem and the fur grew back (but she looked stupid for a while).

Otherwise I think your cat has probaly just got a scab or a flea/worm problem. I work for a tiny animal charity and we will only use Frontline as it is the only thing guarenteed to work. And with up to 30 cats in at a time, we can't afford to use a product that is only 90% effective.

But remember that all worm/flea treatments are insecticides. Take precautions with using it - wash hands etc - and don't use it too often. How would you like to be doused with insecticide weekly as I have known some people to do?

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