Alopecia in cats
Hair loss (alopecia) is a common problem for cats. Hair loss in cats can be partial or complete, and the patterns vary or are symmetrical. Treatment options exist, although they are limited.
Symptoms and types of hair loss in cats
Signs include partial or complete hair loss. The skin around the area of hair loss may appear normal or it may have redness, bumps, scabs, and skin loss. Alopecia in cats can appear symmetrically, or it can be random on the cat’s skin.
Why is my cat losing hair?
There are a few different reasons that cats can lose hair. In older cats diagnosed with cancer, alopecia is common. Nervous disorders (for example, over-grooming) can also cause cats to lose their hair. Hormonal imbalances, specifically too much thyroid or increased levels of steroids in the body, can lead to hair loss in cats.
Some cats experience skin allergies, which can also cause hair loss. Parasites that cause scabies and fungal problems, such as ringworm, are also a common cause of alopecia. Another less common factor is heredity.
Diagnosis of hair loss in cats
Often times, to diagnose hair loss in cats, a blood test is performed to determine if there are hormonal or thyroid imbalances that cause alopecia. Various imaging tools, such as X-rays and ultrasounds, are used to rule out signs of cancer or abnormalities in the adrenal glands. In the meantime, if the vet believes the hair loss is due to a skin problem, a skin biopsy or culture may be done.
Treatment for hair loss in cats
If alopecia is due to a skin disorder (for example, skin erosions), thyroid imbalance, or another hormonal imbalance, there are medications and topical treatments available.
If the hair loss is due to a behavior problem, a modification treatment can be taught to lessen the problem. In general, treatment options for hair loss in cats are quite limited.
Care for hair loss in cats
In addition to administering the appropriate medication, you should observe the condition of the cat to make sure it does not get worse.
Prevention of hair loss in cats
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