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Unread 09-06-2009   #1 (permalink)
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Question Cat pulling out fur

My cat Chonje has started tearing out the fur on his back. He has had tooth problems for the last year or so, and two weeks ago had to have the remaining teeth in his upper jaw removed. A few days before the surgery, I noticed he'd torn out a bit of fur from his back, but the vet and I hoped he'd stop when he'd recovered.

Unfortunately, even though his mouth has healed, the fur pulling has got worse. I took him back to the vet on Friday and she prescribed Clomicalm to try to de-stress him. I'm not aware of any other psychological or health problems in his life - nothing has changed - he still gets on well with his 'sister' cat Kiri and my two dogs. He also doesn't have any parasites. He is eating and drinking normally, and purring like crazy most of the time.

The pills don't seem to be helping yet, though the vet did say that it might take a while for them to take effect.

I don't want to put him in an Elizabethan collar as I suspect it would stress him out even more, anyway it would mean he would have to be locked indoors which he's not used to (except at night).

Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can do to help him? I can't bear to see my precious boy mutilating himself like this.

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Unread 09-06-2009   #2 (permalink)
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Ohhh poor baby. I wish I knew something that might help. All I can think of though is to give the Clomicalm some more time. I know that in humans, anti-depressants and similar drugs it does take quite a bit of time to get enough into the system for them to start working the way they should.

I’m sure you already are giving him a bit of extra love and attention right now but that’s the only other thing I could suggest, maybe someone else will have another suggestion.
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Unread 09-06-2009   #3 (permalink)
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It surely does sound like a sign of stress. But it could also have something to do with hormones. Did the vet test that? Maybe you should ask about that.

I think I remember another member having this problem and it had something to do with hormones.
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Unread 09-06-2009   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by KatrineA View Post
It surely does sound like a sign of stress. But it could also have something to do with hormones. Did the vet test that? Maybe you should ask about that.

I think I remember another member having this problem and it had something to do with hormones.
Thank you, I'll certainly ask but unfortunately my vet is away for the next two weeks and the locum probably won't be able to help. Great timing!
Best regards, Liz
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Unread 09-06-2009   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply. I'm giving him as much love as he's willing to take (of course!). Another member suggested it might be hormonal, though I'd be surprised that it would come on so suddenly. Still, it's another avenue to explore
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Unread 09-06-2009   #6 (permalink)
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Poor Chonje! Do you think having to have his teeth removed may have contributed to the fur pulling? My sister-in-law had a Burmese Red called Tornado who had to have his teeth removed to due to gingivitis. Are teeth problems common in this breed? My little Newt over grooms one of her front legs sometimes & causes a little bald patch, no idea why. I really hope your handsome boy feels better soon.
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Unread 09-06-2009   #7 (permalink)
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I'm convinced that Chonje's teeth problems have lead to the fur pulling - he's never done it before. From what I've read on the internet, tooth problems are common in Siamese and other oriental shorthairs, so I guess that includes Burmese. Although I have been owned by many Burmese cats in the past who have had no tooth problems until late in old age (18+) - anyone of that age is entitled to a few problems, but my little Chon is far too young to be going through this. I'm just grateful that my golden boy is still capable of eating normally including his Hills pellets and the Whiskas Crunch treats which I have to import privately from the UK as they are not available in SA. By the by, I'm sorry if it sounds like an advert, but various sick cats I've had over the years have only started eating again when I offered them Whiskas Crunch, so I'm a great believer in it.
Chonje is currently fast asleep curled up with his sister in front of the TV, but I'm going to have to wake him shortly to give him his pill, poor baby!
Is your Newt also Burmese? It seems to me that Burmese have a lot more 'issues' with life in general than other cats! Perhaps that's what makes them such special people...
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Unread 09-06-2009   #8 (permalink)
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Newt is a moggy, she is a little tabby. There are photos of my cats on my profile page (I've tried to take more today with little success!). The part of her leg she over grooms is where the vet shaved for the anaesthetic / IV when she was spayed a year & a half ago. She's doing it again at the moment, she has let me examine it so I'm sure it isn't hurting her, I just don't know why she does it.
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Unread 09-06-2009   #9 (permalink)
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Our cat Sahara has chewed off fur from her back haunches and underneath on her abdomen. She started doing that when I separated from my husband for a while. We are back together and she still has bald areas. I thought at first a separation anxiety issue but it has continued. I also thought of a thyroid problem( I had a dog that had a hypothyroid problem that chewed out hair and gained weight)since she is overweight but the vet told us that cats don't get hypothyroid problems. I plan to get a second vet's opinion. Those are just a few ideas I had from personal experience.
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Unread 09-07-2009   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady View Post
Our cat Sahara has chewed off fur from her back haunches and underneath on her abdomen. She started doing that when I separated from my husband for a while. We are back together and she still has bald areas. I thought at first a separation anxiety issue but it has continued. I also thought of a thyroid problem( I had a dog that had a hypothyroid problem that chewed out hair and gained weight)since she is overweight but the vet told us that cats don't get hypothyroid problems. I plan to get a second vet's opinion. Those are just a few ideas I had from personal experience.
Is she scratching the area also? If you touch it is it hot & of a red color?
If yes to all this, it may be lack of hormones. That's what happened once to my now-gone Pochee. You can mention this option to the vet, too.
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