Tag Archives: over grooming

Puck has Fur Again


As some of my readers know, our Puck has struggled with an over-grooming problem since shortly after we moved into our new home just over a year ago. He licked most of his fur off of his legs and backside.

The first vet we brought him too said he had a flea allergy even though the vet never saw any fleas on Puck and neither did we. Nonetheless, and gave him a steroid and antibiotic along with flea medication. I don’t know what brand it was but I do know we were buying Advantage at Petsmart after that for a ridiculous amount of money.

None of that worked although he did get slightly better for a short time before getting worse again. Off we went to vet number two several months later. He checked the records from the last vet and then did a test for mites. When that came back negative he decided to go the natural route first and put Puck on a special diet to test for food allergies. We tried that for a while but that ended in failure.

I didn’t want to go back to the vet and subject Puck to more useless drugs so I did nothing for a while. Eventually I brought him back to the second vet’s office where Puck was seen by vet number three. This vet was the owner of the clinic.

He examined Puck and saw no fleas but, like the first vet, assumed Puck had a Flea allergy. He gave Puck a Steroid and antibiotic, which all vets love to do, and started him on a flea medication called Activyl. He said Advantage no longer works in Florida even though Petsmart has no problem selling it here.

I hate to admit it but these invisible fleas seem to have been the cause of Puck’s problem because he now has fur again, It hasn’t fully grown back yet but there is a noticeable difference and his skin feels smoother.

our cat Puck

our cat Puck

Compare these to the one below taken several months ago.

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I don’t like that I have to put medication on our cats every months but I am glad Puck is finally doing better.

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Adjusting to a Limited Ingredient Diet


A couple weeks ago Puck visited a new vet for his over-grooming problem. The vet said it was probably partly due to stress but he was also having an allergic reaction to something. The vet recommended a Feliway Diffuser for the stress and he recommended switching Puck’s food for three months to see if the problem went away. The vet had food that I could buy but they didn’t push it on me. The dry food was $64 for an eight pound bag. I decided to try my luck at a local natural pet food store where I buy the cat’s current wet food, Earthborn Holistic Chicken Catcciatori.

The Feliway was expensive, over $50 at the pet food store, but I did find it on Amazon for Under $30 so I ordered it. The food was also expensive but getting it at the pet food store was cheaper than getting it at the vet.Limited IngredientLimited Ingredient

I needed to buy a food with a single protein that was unlikely to be in our cat’s current food. The vet suggested rabbit or bison but he did not limit it to those two. He said duck was okay but sometimes an allergy to chicken can cross over to duck since they are both fowl. The woman at the pet food store helped me and we found a dry food with rabbit as the main protein from Nature’s Valley called Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet Rabbit Meal Formula. I shared an Amazon link to the food so you can see what it is but in this case it was cheaper to get it at the pet food store.

While the dry food was more money than normal (I don’t remember what I paid), it was not unreasonable. The Instinct wet rabbit food, however, was too much to justify buying, especially considering that I have to buy it for three cats since I don’t want the trouble of trying to separate them for meals. I don’t know the exact price but it was around $3.50 per can.

The pet food woman found another brand of rabbit food called Wild Calling: Rabbit Burrow, for $1.89 a can. That was just a little more than I was already spending on wet food so we added a few days worth of that food (about 6 or eight cans) to my order. I didn’t want to buy too much in case they didn’t like it.

Finally I picked out a cat treat that was also rabbit. This was yet another brand called Vita Essentials Freeze Dried Rabbit. The one I bought was labeled “for dogs.” It was a larger package then the one for cats but had the same ingredients. The entire order was just under $64.

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They loved the dry food and the treats, but unfortunately, they were not crazy about the wet food. When I would open a can they would all get so excited and then Frankie would give me this “What are you trying to push on us?” look.

20151219_084515After a couple of days of that I went back to the pet food store and we decided that I didn’t need to feed them just rabbit. The goal was to avoid the proteins that Puck was eating such as chicken, beef and salmon. With that in mind I bought food from a company called Mauri. They use a single protein, New Zealand sourced meat that is unlikely to be in American pet food. Their website even says it is great for pets with allergies. I bought New Zealand Unagi, Wild Brushtail, New Zealand Venison, New Zealand Hoki, and Australian Wild Kangaroo.

These are mostly pâté type foods that our cats are not crazy about but they seem to be okay with this food. Chris does not generally care about wet food, he is more of a dry food junkie (hence the girth) but yesterday he would not give up his Venison to Frankie. Usually Puck or Frankie scarf their food down and then take what is left of Chris’s food. Chris usually takes a couple of bites and is done by then anyway or he walks away when he sees another cat coming his way, but this time Frankie had to force his head into the bowl because Chris would not walk away.

20151227_Cats_516The Feliway showed up about a week later and I plugged it into the bedroom where Puck was spending much of his day. He was in a self-imposed exile until Rose’s son left the day after Christmas. I then moved it out into the living room near the door to the patio.

It’s been a couple of weeks now and Rose seems to think Puck’s fur is looking a little better. I am not sure I can see a difference yet. The vet did say it could take eight to twelve weeks because certain allergens can remain in their system for that long. If it doesn’t work, I don’t know what else we can do.

Related posts:

New Vet, New Hope

Puck’s bald spot returns

Puck’s Vet Adventure

 

Puck’s Bald Spot Returns


Two months ago I brought puck to the vet because he had over-groomed himself to the point of having a bald spot on his back and the inside of his legs. She suggested he was allergic to fleas, even though she could find none on him. She gave him an antibiotic and a steroid which I was hesitant about accepting but I saw little options while I was in the vet’s office. I thought I would allow it one time but I would not have it be a regular form of treatment like it was for Tigger, who had recurrent mouth infections, until he died at the age of eight.

The problem got a little better and his fur grew back somewhat but he was still over-grooming and the bald spot never fully went away. Recently it has gotten worse again and I don’t want to subject Puck to another traumatic vet visit just to have him put on drugs that may or may not help in the short-term but will almost definitely harm him in the long-term.

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My other options are to leave it alone, try to find a solution myself, or find a holistic vet which is rare near me. I could only find one holistic vet near me but she has no office and only makes house calls which may be over my budget at this time.

Update: I forgot to include a link to the original story, Puck’s Vet Adventure.