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Cat has flaky skin.

Species: Cat
Breed: Maine Coon
Age: 8-11 years
My Maine Coon, Nino has had flaky skin for quite awhile. I had him at the vet a few months ago for crystals (now all cleared up) and I had the vet do a skin scraping to see if there were any creepy crawlies, none were found. He's strictly an indoor cat and lives with a dog and 3 other indoor cats. Dog has no flea issues or any other things. So I was combing him and noticed that his roots are black, the actual part that's in the skin. None of the other cats have this and they are in close contact with each other. I haven't seen any sign of anything on his fur, as in nits or fleas. There's no sign of dried blood like from flea bites. His skin isn't red, there's no rashes or irritated areas. He is a silver shaded tabby but I've never seen black roots before and it's a bit on the weird side to me.

He does have an appointment with his vet on the 31st to see if she knows what this is. Searching on the net has given me nothing!

Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

Patty


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question.

I can't say that any medical conditions are popping in to my mind when I read your description of Nino's skin issue. I have seen cats that naturally have a different color of fur at the root than the rest of the hair shaft so this can be a normal thing.

Sometimes flaky skin can be related to a cat's diet. You may want to ask your vet if adding some omega fatty acids to the diet would help.

If Nino is overweight, it is quite common to see flaky skin, especially over the back near the base of the tail. This is likely a grooming issue in these overweight cats.

Most likely, if Nino does not seem uncomfortable I would not be too worried.

Hope that helps but let me know if you have more questions.

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.

Customer reply:

Thanks for the quick response. It's not his hair but the actual root end, you know the little bulb at the end, what you see when you pull a hair out of your head. His hair is white and shaded black at the tips. Totally baffled myself as all my other cats have normal whitish roots.

Thanks again!

Patty


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I definitely understand what you are talking about with Nino's hair. I can tell you that I have seen this in many cats including one of my own. She was a calico cat but many of her white and brown hairs would have about 1-2mm of black at the end. This really shouldn't be anything to worry about. :)



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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.