I have a 4-year-old cat who has been biting herself and pulling her hair out. The fur on her stomach and the insides of her legs is gone.I took her to our vet and they put her on a hormone pill that helped, but once she was finished with the pills it started again. Plus, the pills made her gain a lot of weight. I found a new vet who felt it was anxiety. She put her on paroxetine, an antidepressant, and Derm Caps Liquid.The biting seems better, but her fur is still not back and it's been over a year now. She still bites a little, but doesn't seem to be pulling any fur out.Any advice? Are we on the right track? She was tested for fleas and her skin was scraped for other bacteria and all is fine on that end.
J.B., Clinton Corners, NY Feb 20, 2005
Your cat could indeed be suffering from anxiety, or she could have a food allergy. But her symptoms could also indicate that she has the most common hormonal disease in cats today, which first appeared in the 1970s -- namely, hyperthyroidism.Other symptoms include weight loss, increased drinking and eating, vomiting of food, restlessness, aggressiveness, and neurological and heart problems. So your veterinarian should check your cat out for a hyperactive thyroid, which can be effectively treated in most cases with antithyroid medication.
Because of Dr. Fox’s schedule, he cannot accept nor respond to e-mails concerning
pet health and behavioral problems. You may find answers in his
Archives section and in his
Special Reports. If you have a
pet emergency, please contact your nearest veterinary hospital or clinic.