Monday, December 04, 2006

Help please - Skin problem

Update on 15 Dec 06:
We took the little boy to ARC Balestier for an appointment with Dr Sulnyi and waited and waited for more than 1 1/2 hours even though we had an appointment. Very bad impression already as the longest we had ever waited at our regular vet (with appointment) was less than 30 minutes and that was because the dog which was treated before us collapsed just outside the building due to some terminal illness. The owner was sobbing uncontrollably as she carried her dog in. It was a very sad scene, something I wish will not happen to us. I wish that if the kxbc gang needs to go, they go peacefully and gently in their sleep.

Anyway, Dr Sulnyi was quite good, listing out all the food and environmental allergens possible, things which our regular vet had also highlighted. It was a confirmation that both vets are correct and knowledgeable in their field of expertise. Little boy Chang Chang is confirmed to have no ear mites or any flea infestation.

As Chang Chang had licked himself sore in one area, he had an injection which will reduce itchiness for a week or so. The injection kicked in a few hours later and hopefully this will break the licking cycle for a while.

So in the meantime, we are taking the Feline Pine out of his litter and staying with Cat's Pride. Dr Sulyni suggested using paper pellets but it simply will not do in a multicat household. We have moved his bedding from the room with the litter box to the living room so that pine sawdust in the air, if any, will not cling on to his body. We have also switched him to a single protein dry food (Natural Balance Venison and it is super expensive for such a small pack; the gang can easily finished one pack in slightly over 1 week) but he does not really like it. So we are hand feeding him at least twice a day, hoping that he will grow to like the smell of the new food. We will also reduce the amount of floor detergent we use and wipe again with clean water even though we do not think that is the problem since we had been using that detergent even before he was borned.

And now, we sit back and try to reduce our stress level, which may pass on to our sensitive boy (so boss, less work lah ok?) and see if these measures will have any effect on his licking problem. Hopefully his fur will start growing back before CNY. Fingers crossed.


Update on 13 Dec 06:
Bought the Oscar C cream as recommended by Moglee last week and applied on him. I think it did quite well except that he licks even more vigorously after application to get rid of the cream.

Haizzz, no choice already. I had made an appointment with Dr Sulyni of ARC today. I understand she is quite experienced in felines. Hopefully she (I think Dr Soo is a she) has a solution to Chang Chang's skin problem.


Update on 5 Dec 06:
It got worse last night while we were asleep. He pulled out chunks of his fur and now his flanks are very very patchy. We thought the bath on Mon night had soothed his skin a little bit but we were wrong. We will be paying Pet Lovers tonight to get the recommended creams, shampoo and cleaner. E-collar probably would not work as he gets very agitated easily and will be snapping like a crazy cat and will be terrorising the other 4 non-stop to vent his anger.


Chang Chang has been having skin problems for almost a year. He is licking excessively around his tail, inner hind leg region and his stomach until they are now totally devoid of fur.

The vet suspected flea/mite infestation and prescribed Frontline and weekly flea bath. We did it consistenly for 2 months and it did not get any better. He was still licking himself. And we did not think that it was flea/mite infestation as the other 4 were not affected at all. Lately, he had become allergic to flea shampoo and Frontline as he would scratch himself excessively whenever we bath him or apply Frontline on him

Suspecting food allergy, we switched from Royal Canin Indoor 27 (major ingredient: poultry) to Science Diet H/B Control (major ingredient: chicken) and now to IAMS Lamb & Rice (read somewhere that lamb will probably not cause food allergy). But still he is not getting better.

It cannot be an environmental allergy as well as we have not switched any household cleaning products or beauty products which he might have come into contact with. His bedding is now cleaned even more often.

Stress is ruled out as the dynamics of the kxbc gang have not changed and he is still the No. 2 cat, if not the Top Cat.

It has been getting worse these week as he has been tearing his fur out in frustration. Clumps of fur on the floor will greet us whenever we come home from work. And he is so itchy and agitated he has lost his appetite, and growing thinner.

I am bringing him to the vet again tomorrow to see what the vet will say but I suspect he will ask me to monitor again. But I don't have the patience already. It pains us to see him licking himself every waking moment.

Have any cat owners/fosters/feeders encountered such a problem with your cats before? If so, what have you done to help your cat recover? Any products you have used which may help? Thank you in advance for your help.

From the very desperate Daddy of the kxbc gang

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Blogger cat_aunty said...

Dear KXBC daddy, I only have limited experience in this, because I brought Spencer to the vet in the initial stage, when the tummy and inner thigh started to get botak. The vet ruled out any physiological causes, gave me some mild antiseptic ( chlorhexidine maybe ) to clean the area with, and Bach Rescue Remedy. I spray Feliway on the beddings and baskets. We also limit access of other cats into the house. I use very little detergents when I wash the beddings, and dilute the biological cleaner when I mop the floor.

Good luck. I know what you are feeling now.

8:38 AM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Thank you, cat_aunty. Bach Rescue and Feliway should reduce the stress level for Spencer. What brand of biological detergent are you using now and where can I buy it?

8:58 AM, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

My Ken Ken licked and bite his tummy and leg around till it bleeds. It went for a year plus. There is nothing the vet can do. It's not food, products or skin diseases. I did my own treatment. What Ken Ken did was excessive grooming. When the skin was healing, he felt itchy. By licking, he felt relieved. I bought Breeder's choice Skin relief spray. It contained avocado oil. Don;t buy any spray contained tea tree oil cos its poisonous to cats. Everyday, I cleaned the affected area before I sprayed. For about a month, I noticed he groomed lesser on the affected area. I stopped using the spray. Until today, he only grooms when he needs to. I changed the kitties shampoo to Han System - Send them a feeling. It contained natural plant extracts and effective in getting rid of mites. I stopped using adult shampoo and used kitten shampoo instead because its milder. I changed all my kitties diets to Nutro Salmon w/chicken and snappy tom can food. Natural Balance Venison formula dry food is worth a try.

It has been 2 years now. Until today, Ken Ken only grooms when necessary. No more bleeding! No more tearing to his body. The affected area has very tiny furs growing but he is happy, I'm happy. Feline furs grow every slow.

To heal the skin tissue, you may want to consider Oscar C - botanical cream. A wonderful healing cream that is naturally made from plants. It is not harmful if the cat licks it.

My Ken Ken is allergic to Accurate flea and tick drops but he is not allergic to frontline. If your cats are indoor type, you don;t need to use any drops. Even if need to, you can consider accurate drops. Its formula is non toxic.

Good luck!

9:30 AM, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Opps! Hans System Shampoo formula - Send them a fleeing....not feeling. :)

9:39 AM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Thank you Moglee, for the detailed treatment you had given to your Ken Ken. You have listed quite a few products I am not familiar with or have not seen in shops.

I am currently using an oatmeal based shampoo (enriched with aloe vera) for his itchy skin. Thinking of switching back to kitten shampoo as well since it is way milder.

Question 1: Where can I buy the Hans System Shampoo formula? I have not seen it in the 3 pet shops near my place.

Question 2: Where can I buy the Oscar C botanical cream as well?

Thank you again.

10:06 AM, December 05, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Answers to both questions: I got both items from Pet Lovers Centre.

Lastly, be patient and don;t despair. I practically weep everyday and one day, (drum rolls), the results prevailed! Expect 2 to 3 months to show improvement, it is a slow healing process.

10:41 AM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger kuro.shiro.neko said...

ok, i will share with you my experience with excessive lick-till-bald" weiwei.

went to vet and he prescribed a e-collar for him. basically the rationale is to break his habit of grooming himself. it actually worked (though i suspect not being able to groom himself caused him more stress!), and broke the cycle/habit.

you may want to consider that.

as for food, well, good luck, cos it really depends on the cat. my brood did not do well with royal canin beauty and fit formula, and after i switched to nautural balance for 3 months, it seem that weiwei's fur is starting to grow back gradually.

note that this is a long process (well, longer than i expected), and you really have to be patient to see results.

as for flea and/or shampoo treatment, i really dont believe in them, no matter how mild or organic or herbal they are, they're still chemicals.

ksn's formula - i buy calendula flowers (herb) from organic shops, boil it to get an extraction, and after washing with baby shampoo, i pour the calendula extraction to soothe weiwei's inflamed skin.

good luck! and keep us posted.

secret is really to persevere, there is no one answer - you have to experiment and research :)

11:30 AM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger Max said...

Does he lay on anything that has cedar in it? That can cause a reaction like that in alot of animals. And pet manufacturers seems to put cedar in EVERYTHING.

12:08 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Thank you, ksn.

1:44 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Thank you, Max.

I don't think I have any cedar products in the home unless it is part of their food? But I don't recall cedar as part of the ingredient list since it's wood.

1:49 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger cat_aunty said...

I got it from Pets Station. Heinebio All Purpose Biological Cleaner and Deodoriser 1000ml for $10

9:28 PM, December 05, 2006  
Blogger Mary said...

I really would recommend change of food; try Natural Balance Allergy formula-venison meat, purple bag in color. Too much bathing and stuff applied on his body may stress him further, and caused more licking.

9:29 AM, December 06, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Would suggest you don;t bath him for the next two weeks. Use a wet clean towel to clean the sore area before you apply any cream or spray. If you can carry him or distract for few minutes to let the application absorb into the skin. For 1st few times, he will still continue to lick the area, however he should gradually break the habit. Once he does that, the skin will heal.

Don't worry. The problem will heal before you know it.

10:30 AM, December 06, 2006  
Blogger auntie p said...

Sorry to hear about Chang Chang. I'd used a shampoo recommended by the vet called "e-smooth" (?) (forgot the name) which comes in a white and blue plastic bottle. It's mild on the cat's skin and had tiny bits of oat/grains in it...also available at the pet shop.

Jon Jon the community cat is also losing weight and hair due to an itch problem. The worse thing is that she won't allow me to apply any treatment on her, so I try to entice her to eat to maintain her weight. I've tried giving her Royal Canine (with skin conditioners) and now Solid Gold, which she is eating with some interest and enthusiasm.

10:18 AM, December 07, 2006  
Blogger jennifer_yq said...

one of my community cats used to have bald patches all over the body..mum told me that maybe its past owner fed him salty food... when i am caring for him, i had feed him chicken meat mixed with rice... after 5 months of eating this mixture, his condition had improved vv more patches except a bit on his neck.

maybe if u had the time, peel boiled chicken meat, mix with rice... do not add salt... just make it bland...

8:50 PM, December 09, 2006  
Blogger Cat said...

Hi KXBC, just read your blog. Sorry to hear abt Chang Chang's problem.

How is Chang Chang now?

11:30 AM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger kuro.shiro.neko said...

dear daddy, dr su (actually her surname is tan) is very experienced with felines, and she is very patient (well, can be a little loh soh... haha... dont tell her i said that).

good luck and keep us updated of chang chang's progress!

11:51 AM, December 13, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

yeh,,,,,,chang chang got to break his licking habit...sometimes it is psychological effect..he just does it. Play therapy may help. A workout that allows him to sleep more.

Sorry chang chang....

7:25 AM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

ksn, I have been trying to post comments on your new addition for 2 days already but the beta version kept rejecting my blogger name and even if I try to post as anonymous.

This beta version is like a straw - IT SUCKS!!!!!

Anyway, I suggest "Charcoal Pill" but it seems like a tongue twister especially when you are screaming at her to stop doing something. How about Amber for her beautiful amber eyes?

9:51 AM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Good to stop using Feline Pine. Recycle paper is a good alternative. Are you using Cat Pride's Natural? It is either that or Fresh n Clean. Don't use scoopable cos of the clumping effect. There is another type of litter called Magic sweep. It is quite popular and I know a vet uses it for her cats. I will go check it out and see if it is suitable for Chang Chang.

So you went to the hospital? With an emergency case like this it happens in any vet,there will be a long waiting time.

11:27 AM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger Mary said...

Recycle paper is a good choice. i am using Breeders Select, 35 litres-$33 for 7 of them and it lasts me for close to 1 month (+-) with 2 changing per day. Regarding NB, you may like to mix the previous brand with the new; and let them slowly get use to it. Some stomach are more sensitive than others; so it's good to mix the old and the new together. Do fill up the membership form and keep the bar code because every 10 packets of NB will entitle you to 1 free packet. They will inform you via email.

12:42 PM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Mary: Got such thing eh?? Opps, throw away the packaging already.

Moglee: The queue at ARC was terrible even though I had an appt. There was a lady who was there at 2.30pm and did not get to leave till 6pm!!! And she waited an hour to collect the medication!!! I looked at their process flow for paperwork and realised this is where the jam is. Too much filing and paperwork such that the counter staff do not have time to pack medication and attend to customers. Any consultant willing to sort out their processes? Maybe you will get free treatment for your pets for life.

1:34 PM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger Mary said...

Yes, there is such thing lah. Go and scold the shop where you bought the NB from. Ask them for the NB membership form; they should give you a copy and you can either pass the form back to them to return to NB sales man or alternatively post it yourself.

5:44 PM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger cat_aunty said...

Hope it works this time. Poor ChangChang, and the other 4 may be stressing out also, not to say both of you. Lavender oil anyone?

Why must be CNY? Muse meet the relatives is it?

Yeah, damn BetaBlog

7:27 PM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Some staff must be on leave. I don;t have to wait that long for my previous visits. It was settled within 2 hours.

They have other branches i.e. Bukit Timah, Kensington Park and Simei. Dr Su is sometimes at KP or Simei.

6:53 AM, December 16, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. They have been very very helpful.

Chang Chang is now doing better. Licking very much less now and more active. Not sure if it is due to the changes made to his food and litter or due to the injection given. As for the NB Venison, he absolutely hates it and refuses to eat until he is very very hungry and has no choice. Maybe it is a little too smelly.

cat_aunty: The vet says that we should be seeing improvements in his condition in 2 months or so. And CNY is 2 months away. Thus, CC should be welcoming the new year with a new coat. :)

moglee: Glad you did not wait long at ARC. But even if some staff are on leave, it does not make sense that their processes are so laborious. Do you know they have to swap the paper in the paper tray everytime they print out the invoice and other stuff as the paper sizes used are different? They easily lose out 2 minutes swapping the paper and waiting for the printer to respond. I would say let's just use one paper size for everything or have 2 different printers with different paper sizes. I think there are other processes done in the backroom which I cannot see which holds up the whole process. Change is definitely in order somewhere. Process change consultants, this is a chance to make some money. :)

1:45 PM, December 17, 2006  
Anonymous Moglee said...

Expect the medication to wear off in a month time. When it does, if Chang Chang does not lick more,you're safe. If it does, you will have to go back to Dr Su to decide if you want the injection or other options available.

Do you still apply the Oscar C? If not, you can keep it in the fridge. This cream is an effective skin/tissue healer.

About the alternative litter, Magic Scoop, crystallise stones that does not produce any residue and according to my colleague, it is very neat and clean.

May I suggest you don;t use the oatmeal shampoo? It does not help in many types of skin sensitive or allergy.

There is one more brand of food you can consider. SAVA, a holistic formula with no preservative and additives.

9:24 AM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger kuro.shiro.neko said...

hi kxbc, so do we get to visit you and CC during CNY?

11:59 AM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

Moglee: Thanks for the advice. The Oscar C cream is quite good. I'll keep it for use on the others if need be.

Never seen Magic Scoop before. I think they are crystal litter? I used crystals before. They are not bad but it is pretty expensive for a very small pack. I used to mix them with Cat's Pride. If his condition gets better, I may re-introduce it.

CC hates the NB Venison a lot. He takes in max 20 kibbles a day and that is through handfeeding. I'll see what other kinds of food are single protein source. I thought SAVA has a strong chemical smell? I read it somewhere before.

12:00 PM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger kuro.shiro.neko said...

haha... it could have been me who said SAVA has a strong chemical smell...

sorry, but coming from the petfood industry, i wasnt impressed with the quality.

stick to NB, it's not bad, even for my licking-myself-bald weiwei.

how about NB Ultra? i think its the other flavour but i forgot what exactly is the flavour liao.

1:36 PM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger KXBC said...

ksn: You want to see my kids? Must give ang pow one you know. But wait, you have 6, I have 5 only. Wah! Bo hua!!! hahahaha...

3:02 PM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger kuro.shiro.neko said...

wah... heng ah, i got one more than you... at least win you better than lugi when visit humans... i dont mind.. hehehe...

3:25 PM, December 18, 2006  
Blogger CatDonna & Cats said...

Good to know CC is improving. :)

12:40 AM, December 19, 2006  
Blogger Mary said...

NB Ultra contains chicken meat.

11:17 AM, December 19, 2006  

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