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Cat pulling hair out of stomach.

Species: Cat
Breed: standard
Age: 2-5 years
Dark has been pulling the hair out of his stomach for over a year. He now has a patch of black skin about 2 inches in diameter, somewhat thicker and rougher than the surrounding whitish skin, that is growing. His fur is black.

He has been to two vets and use of Depo medrol, conofite lotion and a fungal culture have provided no clue to the problem. We have changed his litter brand. He seems healthy otherwise.

I could send you a photo. . . .


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi and thanks for your question! Just so you know, this month 100% of our profits are going to support the Ottawa Humane Society's building project, so thanks for helping us support this worthy cause.

What you are describing with your cat sounds very unusual. I have a few questions for you before I see if I can help:

-was there any improvement at all after the depo medrol injection?
-Does the dark spot seem to be growing?
-Does the dark spot itself seem to be itchy to him?

I'd love to see a picture. You can send any pics you have to drmarie@askavetquestion.com. I will be online for a few more minutes and then back again this evening.

Thanks!
Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the picture Kay...that is definitely an unusual lesion. I can't say that I have ever seen anything exactly like that.

Sometimes we can see pigment changes simply from chronic licking. And some cats can lick as a result of "stress". I say stress in quotes because really cats who do this are not stressed like we know stress but rather the cat has some type of anxiety issues. The licking could also be due to allergies of some sort.

However, because the black area is so unusual, if this were my case I would definitely be doing a biopsy of the area. For most cats we could do this with a local anesthetic. It may cost around $300 or so, but it is definitely worth it.

If the biopsy tells us that we are simply dealing with a lesion caused by chronic licking then we can take steps to stop the licking such as trying a hypoallergenic food or temporarily trying some anti-anxiety medicine.

Another diagnosis we may get on biopsy is something called an eosinophilic plaque. These are generally treated by an injection of steroid (which is much more powerful than a cream). Some cats need 2 or 3 shots a few weeks apart before they go away.

It is unlikely to be a cancer, but this would also be something I would be asking the pathologist who looks at the biopsy to look for.

I hope this info helps!

Let me know if you have more questions.
Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.