? Severe over grooming, HELP!! cat in anguish. on too many medications!!

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by lovemycat444, Jan 4, 2018.

  1. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Hi! My beloved cat Taco has had a severe over grooming, itchy skin problem for over 9 months now. I thought 6 months but now I realize it has been closer to 9 months.

    He had licked all the fur off his back hind legs and all over his stomach. He started growling at his stomach and areas all over his body. He mainly attacks always one area of his stomach, his lower stomach. Here he becomes furious and attacks his stomach. He growls and bites at it.

    He's had to wear a soft cone since August now! The vet is truly dedicated to Taco. We've tried a wide wide array of medicines, changed diets several times, (if it was a food allergy), he went to a specialist a cat dermatologist. The vet has prescribed medicines to Taco since Spring/ early Summer to now. I'm terrified that he has been on WAY TOO MANY MEDICATIONS at this point. and in such a short amount of time (over 9 months) to have been on SO MANY PRESCRIBED (STRONG) MEDICATIONS. The vet is terrific and has not given up on Taco but Im please !! wondering has anyone else had a case similar to this?

    Not only is Taco in extreme discomfort, he hates wearing the cone, his quality of life is diminished because although a soft pliable cloth cone, it's still a cone and he has a hard time playing. He can't see a ball when I throw it and he'll run to chase it but it's sad to see him not be able to play and run like he used to (without the cone!)

    It is maddening and mental torture to see him in such anguish. I can't imagine what he is feeling. When he tried to lick groom the areas of his body that are upsetting him he looks very angry and frustrated.

    With the vet, we went from thinking it could be fleas, a food allergy, to now his severe constipation is causing the over grooming.

    Thanksgiving 2016 Taco had fleas. I gave him flea baths and it seemed as if he was flea free.
    I didn't realize I was meant to treat my apartment every few months and have Taco have Bravecto every 3 months. So the vet thought summer flea eggs were hatching.

    Since over the 9 months now, Taco has been prescribed, (0ut of order) the list; Temeril P (the only thing to stop the overgrooming for several days but his blood glucose was near 450 so I asked the vet to take him off it right away, (she did), he was prescribed gabapenten for pain (didn't take his over grooming itchiness away), cyclsporine, (none of this worked), for a potential food allergy he was on hydrolized wet food, this gave him diarreah, potential allergy to Prozinc, he was put on Lantus (didn't work), 7 milligrams of Zyrtec, apoquel for licking over grooming, also Prednisone for this, amatriptalyne 10 mg (for potential nervous mental anxiety) he's been on Cosequin and Zobaline for shaky front legs (this did work) (he did has swaying back hind legs neuropathy when first diagnosed diabetic, over 2 years ago, hind legs recovered soon after diagnosed as diabetic and insulin treatment), metronizadole (i think for ear infection, i forget), bravecto for flea prevention, Keto HX to wash, sterilize the scratches from biting/strenuous over licking he'd made on his stomach initially in the beginning last spring / beginning of summer. Muricin ointment for afore mentioned.

    Now he is starting to lick his soft cone. He does this in a motion to lick the areas of his body he can't reach. He only started doing this about a few weeks ago.

    The vet reccomended baby clothes so he could have a break from the cone.
    I bought a baby sweat shirt and a baby top and bottoms but he crawled out of the tops (he also hated them) and the pants I realized didn't have the holes needed for a cat's tail, and to be able to defecate and urinate.

    Does anyone please know of special clothing made for cats. For cats recovering from surgeries who would need soft covering clothing to keep cats from licking at their sutures from surgery, etc?

    I had ordered a brand (I forget the name of the company) but the top and bottom were so small I couldn't get two arms in the top.

    Also, Taco my cat is a large cat. He's not a coon cat but he's a large tabby. He weighs 16 lbs and the vet says this is a good weight for him. He's not overweight.

    Please please help! I desperately want to give him a break from the horrible cone. During this time that we have another vet appointment next week. Vet thinks it's his chronic severe constipation that is causing the over grooming to be a secondary response to his very uncomfortable constipation. He's on Lactulose and Cisapride for the constipation. .He had a much much needed enema about a month ago at the vet's office.

    Pumpkin used to work for his constipation. But this year pumpkin, Miralax, Metmucil none of it works for him.

    Also footnote: I've given Taco ear prick blood glucose curves since this over grooming, biting started. He became regulated on his insulin just recently, I believe within the last 4 months. His insulin was increased from 2 units to 4 units. Now he urinates so much less. I was alarmed that he was urinating so much even on insulin. The vet thinks that is the sign that his diabetes is regulated.

    He has a vet appointment next week for Senior blood work. Taco was a stray kitten but I think he's around 10 years old now.

    I'm extremely concerned that he might have a cancer, a tumor, or some lower stomach disease, illness that is causing him such extreme discomfort at the exact area in his lower tummy it's the exact spot where his over grooming turns to real growling and extreme biting.

    Please advise from your experiences, would you suggest I have Taco have stomach x-rays or ultrasound?

    I'm so afraid of it being cancer a tumor and not finding out until it's too late to treat him. and also he is in such discomfort too often while he's awake. He's peaceful when he sleeps but waking hours he is most often licking at his cone now trying to reach areas on his body that upset him. It's so often Im afraid he'll start getting cloth, even cloth lint off his soft cone stuck on his textured cat tongue.

    Thank you so much!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Reason for edit: forgot to mention additional medications Taco has been prescribed
  2. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    I'm just going to throw a couple of ideas out there. They may not help - you may have already tested for them. But, if you haven't already then testing for a UTI would make sense given the area that seems to cause him the most trouble. And you might want to run a pancreatitis test - try to avoid the SNAP test and have one run as part of blood work. The SNAP test can only show you normal or abnormal as a result, where the full test will give you an exact reading against a normal range. With Miralax, you can increase from the initial dose until you get the results you're looking for. However, it doesn't work well for every cat. Lactulose may be a better option for Taco and if it's working for him, I would stick with that.
     
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  3. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Thank you so much owner of Manx cat!
    I'm beside myself totally exasperated and I feel really helpless and not working hard enough to save Taco from his pain
    I cannot thank you enough
    Both are great ideas- testing
    As well trust me I am so open to any ideas and those really make a lot of sense
    Very grateful,
    Taco and Jane
     
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  4. Wendy&Neko

    Wendy&Neko Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    tagging @Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey who had to use kitty clothing for a couple of her kitties. I think this Cover Me was one of them.

    Licking/overgrooming on one spot sounds like something our neighbour's kitty did. It was just a general allergy, not related to that area. Have you tried unique proteins, instead of the hydrolized diet? Something like lamb, venison, duck or other protein he hasn't eaten before. I've heard raw diets can help a lot with itching. I've seen a formerly all pink itchy shelter dog turn white again on raw ostrich.
     
  5. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    I would try a novel protien such as rabbit. He could have developed an allergy to common chicken which is in most cat food. If that doesn't work perhaps a raw diet.

    Are you using any cleaners in your floors? If so switch to pain water or water and vinager.

    My cat will sometimes overgroom her belly and bite her nipples raw when she's stressed or constipated. She did it when she was diagnosed diabetic until we got her regulated, and again a year later when she started coming out of remission. Do you check her blood glucose levels daily? What have her numbers been this week? 4 units is a very high dose.


    Is your cat currently constipated? Does his belly feel bloated and hard? What are you currently feeding? Do you add extra water to the food? Is he properly hydrated? A few rounds of sub q's could help.

    If he's stressed, try adding a few feliway stress defusers around the house. You can buy 6 pack refills cheaper on amazon than any pet stores.

    Are there currently fleas in the home you are battling?


    Google onsies for cats and I'm sure there will be diy instructions on how to use them so the cat can still urinate.
     
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  6. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    BTW, zobaline isn't really a medication, it's a vitamin supplement.... If your cat has digestive issues it's not a bad thing to continue. You could probably give half of a tablet a day since he's not showing signs of neuropathy. The cosequine you could continue too. It's for arthritis and has anti inflammatory properties

    I wonder if omega fish oil supplements could help?

    You could also try cucumin which is the active ingredient in turmeric and has anti inflammatory properties as well as its supposed to support the immune system.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  7. Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey

    Tricia Cinco(GA) & Harvey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2011
    Hi Jane,

    I'm so sorry you and Taco are going through such a hard time. I had similar issues with two of my cats. My civvie, Sasha, had some kind of seasonal allergy, and every fall she would start licking her back until it was bare of fur and raw. We tried Pred, novel proteins and all kinds of topical ointments. We never did isolate the cause.

    Cinco used to get terrible hot spots and nothing would stop him from licking them. Then I found the CoverMe, which Wendy linked for you above. He was blind, so cones were a special kind of torture. The CoverMe kept him from licking the spots and they went away. There are other cat onesies out there, but these offered the best coverage.

    I know how frustrating the situation can be, and I hope you find a way to help Taco.
     
  8. JanetNJ

    JanetNJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2016
    My sisters dog every fall would rip out huge patches of fur on his back. Poor thing was miserable. They had allergy testing done and it turned out he had an environmental allergy to ragweed. I believe he had to take benadryl in the fall season.
     
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  9. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Thunder Jacket is a brand name. Our dog was terrified of thunder/fireworks so the idea is adjust for a snug fit and the dog will feel like it's being hugged. A bonus for you would be that the affected areas could not be groomed and possibly the lamp shade could come off. They're machine washable, lots of Velcro for a good fit and because they're not meant to just be cute you won't pay for crap you don't need. Obviously this will affect any meds or cream on Taco but on the other hand it will hold a pad or gauze with meds on it firmly in place. And of course no air circulation.
    I feel your pain on this, it's happened to us but only due to a neurotic condition with both a dog and a cat. Wishing Taco better luck.
     
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  10. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Just throwing out more ideas here! (No clue whether or not they may have any merit.)

    I saw you mention that you were feeding a Royal Canin high fibre wet food. Is it this one by any chance?

    https://www.royalcanin.com/products...at-food-6-oz-loaf-in-gel-24-cans-case-/164080

    If yes, then I see that carrageenan is listed in the ingredients. Note that carrageenan can trigger inflammation in the body. (I've read that it has been used to trigger inflammation in lab animals ready for trials of anti-inflammatory drugs. Can't find the source for this now but I remember it was from a quite reputable site, not one frequented by members of the lunatic fringe.) It's also a good idea to examine the ingredient lists of all foods offered to check for common allergens (e.g. soy, sometimes listed as 'vegetable protein').

    [Saoirse overgroomed her belly till it was bald when she was being fed Royal Canin Rx dry foods (urinary s/o moderate calorie; satiety (got really poorly after only a week on this and her coat was an absolute mess); obesity control). The vets we were registered with at the time put this down to stress/boredom/mild allergic reaction at every one of Saoirse's check-ups, gave her a hit 'n' hope steroid jab and packed us off out the door, but they were wrong. (Based on the evidence and painful 20/20 hindsight, I think the poor diets were responsible for Saoirse's development of chronic pancreatitis and FD). Saoirse's fur regrew and the behaviour stopped when I switched her to a wet, low carb species appropriate diet. In my time here I've seen a few other members share very similar experiences with their cats (also fed the RC diets). Given the diet changes you've been through I doubt whether this nugget of experience will be of much value to you but I thought I'd just chuck it out there to see if it might give you some ideas of avenues to investigate. Saoirse also started pulling fur out of her side when she had a bad pancreatitis flare. Again, the behaviour stopped when the flare subsided.]

    With chronic, severe constipation in the mix perhaps something at felineconstipation.org may help you with this. Also with the worsening constipation maybe do some research to see whether feline megacolon might cause abdominal discomfort and subsequent overgrooming? (I've never had to deal with megacolon so I don't have any practical suggestions to add.)

    In case inflammatory bowel disease might be a contributing factor then ibdkitties.net is a valuable site for information on this. Slippery elm bark can soothe the GI tract and may help a little with constipation issues (probably not as effective as the other treatments you've been using).

    If you do need to use a pet body suit (and they are much less stressful than the Cone of Shame) then bear in mind that Taco won't be able to get at the rest of his fur most of his fur to groom himself most of the time so you may need to brush him/bathe him to stop the rest of his skin becoming irritated due to build-up of loose fur/skin flakes. Allermyl veterinary shampoo can be very soothing (worked well for Saoirse when she had hotspots and needed to wear a body suit). It's a good idea to order suits in a couple of sizes (as long as you are allowed to return the ones that don't fit for a full refund!). Once you know which size fits OK it's a good plan to then order a couple of spares so that you can keep your kitty protected while you're laundering the other ones. (Note: To reduce risk of problems with fleas, sticking the pet suit in a baggie and popping it into the freezer overnight will destroy any parasite eggs.)

    Another thing to perhaps check for is bladder uroliths. Calcium oxalate crystals can cause pain and irritation and this, too, may cause the cat to overgroom. They can be picked up via ultrasound scan and they need to be surgically removed.

    I understand how distressing things must be for both of you at the moment. I hope you manage to find the cause of your kitty's discomfort and, most importantly, a treatment/diet that successfully resolves the problem.

    :bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  11. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Thunder Jacket. Infinitely adjustable.
    Could not find a cat example, thought a pic might make more sense.
    thunder_jacket01.JPG
     
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  12. Sandi & Whisper

    Sandi & Whisper Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2015
    We have a cat Thunder Shirt, but I am not sure that it would give coverage low enough on his belly. But Thunder Shirt does have a money back guarantee.

    We had it to calm a cat when he was stressed -- he actually liked it a lot and we would put it on at home too. I don't have a good pic of him wearing it and he passed away years ago, but if I can get our current big boy Max to wear it (he is about Taco's size), I will take a pic to show you the coverage on his "undercarriage".

    And similar to @Critter Mom along the bladder/ibd line of thinking, I was wondering if you had had an ultrasound done too.

    You're a good mom. We can clearly tell how much you love your boy and I am sorry for how hard of a time you are having. :(

    Best,
    Sandi.
     
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  13. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Lucky you Sandi. We had to physically manhandle poor Hannah before she dug a hole to die in behind the furnace. Eventually we turned to a low dose Valium and covered her crate in quilts. I popped a neighbor once for having a fireworks display in his backyard in his backyard on a weeknight. The police never came.:oops:
     
  14. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Agree. I've got one, too, and it's highly doubtful it'd do the necessary in this situation. I think a persistent, desperate cat might be able to force it to ride up enough to get at the affected area. I also don't think a Thundershirt would be suitable to wear 24/7.


    Mogs
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
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  15. Squeaky and KT (GA)

    Squeaky and KT (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Kidney disease can cause 'phantom itching' especially on the belly and upper back. That was the first what I now know was a 'clue' that there were issues developing. Dakota started it before I had bloodwork done verifying kidney failure but I still hadn't learned that 'clue' yet - I assumed fleas even tho I hadn't seen any. Snow started it a few months ago then began the extra water consumption (no he's not diabetic). Yep, bloodwork says his are beginning to fail also.... :(

    ETA: Source is www.felinecrf.org, this specific page/section 'itching': http://www.felinecrf.org/symptoms_regulation_waste_products.htm#itching
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
    Reason for edit: Add source.
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  16. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    :(

    :bighug::bighug::bighug:


    Mogs
    .
     
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  17. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2016
    Hi, when they do the blood work , make sure he gets tested for thyroid hormone because having problems in the thyroid can cause severe skin problems itching, dryness and could also make them susceptible to fungus

    Giving him omega 3 could help his skin and has some good effect on his hair so giving it a try could help

    Sending you :bighug::bighug::bighug: hope you can find the origin of his problem
     
  18. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Agreed. Maybe suitable for a neurotic condition but like a straight jacket could do more harm than good. I've never had to deal with a serious skin condition or the under-lying causes. At least it's not a huge and wasteful investment.
     
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  19. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Re omega-3 supplementation - watch the source:

    - Some cats are nauseated by/allergic to salmon oil.

    - Some cats hate the taste of fish oils and won't eat it in their food.

    - Moxxor do a green-lipped mussel omega 3 supplement. It's not cheap but the gel capsules are really small and quite easy for a kitty to swallow.

    - be careful about sources where heavy metal toxicity might be an issue.


    Mogs
    .
     
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  20. Critter Mom

    Critter Mom Well-Known Member

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Just spotted a note on Tanya's Site mentioning that B vitamin deficiency can cause itching (and poor coat condition).


    Mogs
    .
     
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  21. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2017
    Thank you SO SO SO MUCH for all the sage advice and varied and great thinking and thoughts regarding other potential illnesses Taco might have in addition to his diabetes but the cause of his non stop itchy skin and horrible routine of growling and biting at the same spot on his lower tummy. We're going to the vet tomorrow bc they have a senior sale for senior pets and regardless i left a message for the vet today that tomorrow I asked if he could be tested for pancreatitis (thanks so much to a reply another wonderful sugar cat owner suggested here. I cannot thank everyone who replied here thank you so much.
    Taco's illness has been beyond frustrating and I feel as if I'm not doing everything I can to help him but I keep in literally doing everything I can for him
    I love him so dearly and feel horrified when he growls when I put his soft cone back on after eating. The vet said she wanted to avoid our bond being damaged. I'm following what the vet wants to try since these past 8 months
    This past summer the vet had him on wet food hydrolized food and same dry food and it gave him loose stool semi diarrhea and he started pooping a tiny bit in my bed at night I'd wake up in the morning literally feeling as if there was a tiny pebble or a rock in my bed that I was sleeping on and it was a dried tiny piece of his poop This was progressive to the point where he was leaving little soft round poops on the kitchen floor and on my roomates couch (who totally freaked out even though she's had a dog) and it also progressed to a few round pieces of poop in the kitchen on the floor that one time I had to maintain a conversation with my roomate and lightly kick one of the poops under her desk so she wouldn't see it and lose her mind. I kept on cleaning them up and poor Taco! His system was all awry. So the vet took him off that diet. After this he was severely constipated again. Several times I noticed him standing up holding himself up with his front paws on the edge of the litter box and he was straining so much he was standing up on his litter box.
    I don't begrudge Taco I know he's sick and regardless I love him unconditionally. This does feel desperate at times when he won't eat his watered down wet food that I have to spoon feed him and he walks away uninterested and then subsequently is starving. And when I'm not home I leave wet food out but he only rarely eats it only if he's starving I guess. I can't leave dry food out for him because he needs watered down wet food for his constipation.

    So when I'm not home I'm constantly worried he's so hungry. I have a dry food times feeder I bought that was for me very expensive. But now I realized it's not designed especially for wet food

    Kind people here had suggestions and I'll try them out m

    I am so SO grateful this site is here and you all the sugar cat loving so unbelievably dedicated pet parents thank you !!!!
     
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  22. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

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    Jul 10, 2017
    Thank you for your information and I'm so so sorry about Snow his bloodwork pointing to he's beginning to fail. Sending you cat hugs and imso sorry to hear that. You are a wonderful cat owner
     
  23. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

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    Jul 10, 2017
    So sorry to hear about Hannah you are a great cat owner
     
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  24. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

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    Jul 10, 2017
    Thank you so so so SOOO much !!!
     
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  25. lovemycat444

    lovemycat444 Member

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    Jul 10, 2017
    Yes thank you! That's the R Canin wet food he's been eating the only difference probably not Important but his cans say "high Fibre" thank you!!!
     
  26. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    If you add some water to some of his wet food and freeze it later on you can leave in on his plate when you are on your way out, he won't be able to eat it immediately but it will slowly melt during the day so he can have some food later on when he gets hungry
     
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  27. Noah & me (GA)

    Noah & me (GA) Well-Known Member

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    Dec 3, 2016
    Thanks. Border Collies can become quite neurotic and have quite sensitive hearing. The hardest part was convincing our vet how bad the problem was along with dog owners who think if one is good then two is better = dead dog. First we tried something oral beginning with an "A'. Her eyes rolled back in her head and more than once we thought we had killed her. Valium was the answer, a nice smooth delivery with a long lasting effect.
    Did you read about Piper the Collie that chased geese off a military runway? She was a media star, sadly passed away this week at he age of nine. Border Collies have also been used to chase geese off of golf courses. They know when to stop and don't have a killer instinct.
     
  28. manxcat419

    manxcat419 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    Acepromazine? It's recommended now much less often than it used to be as it's come to light that while it may prevent the outward physical signs of stress, it actually doesn't alleviate stress within the animal's brain - so they're still as stressed as they ever were but are unable to show it. That may account for the symptoms you did see. It's a great med as a pre-med for surgery, but isn't all that wonderful for relieving stress. I'm not all that surprised you had better results with the Valium.
     
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  29. JeffJ

    JeffJ Well-Known Member

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    Jul 7, 2016
    Our non-diabetic kitteh Little Dude has been itching up a storm. He eats a lot of dry food. We had changed it, and that started the itch fest.

    We just changed back to the dry food from 6 months ago. He is now scratching less. I think a simple diet change can often be the cause of issues like this. So it may be worth just changing up Taco's diet. And maybe he shouldn't be eating so many tacos!!! :D
     
  30. Lisa and Witn (GA)

    Lisa and Witn (GA) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Diet change is the easiest to try. I used to have a dog with a severe a─║lergy problem. A single protein diet worked for her. Make sure you also check the ingredients for corn, fish, wheat, dairy and eggs. For my dog, fish was the cause of her allergies. It is amazing how much fish is in dog food.

    For covering the skin to keep from overgrooming maybe something like this would work https://sheddefender.com.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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