Feline Hair Loss
Alopecia is defined as the absence of hair from areas that are normally hairy. Hair loss may involve thinning of the hair or complete hair loss. Itching may or may not be a factor. Hair loss often occurs on specific areas of the body, like the ears, with ear mites or the face and neck with fleas which helps to determine the underlying problem. The most common cause of hair loss in cats is self induced by itching. Eliminating fleas, inhalant allergies and food allergies cures most of these cases. Hair loss without itching can be due to certain hormonal disorders such as low levels of thyroid hormones. Behavioral disorders can result in hair loss because of excessive over grooming which occurs in Siamese cats.
Feline Alopecia Universalis is a rare inherited disorder specifically created by breeders. Sphynx cats such as the pedigree hairless are an example as is the Canadian Hairless. They are born without any primary hairs. Diagnosis of the underlying problem is based on signs, and lesion location. Blood and urine tests diagnose most hormonal disorders causing hair loss including Thyroid disease. Skin scrapings and tissue biopsies examined microscopically confirm more severe cases.
* Kelp – 1 Tsp Kelp powder in food daily to stimulate a sluggish thyroid gland but in cases where the exact cause of low thyroid function is not known Kelp can promote further damage to thyroid gland and is contraindicated.
* For hair loss associated with psychological disorders- St. Johns Wort is effective to reduce anxiety
* Chelated Zinc – 5 milligrams daily
* Vitamin C – 250 milligrams 3 times a day
* Omega-3 fatty acids improves health of skin and hair coat – 1/8 Tsp Salmon Oil
* Avoid using Aluminum cooking utensils, cats can be sensitive.
My male Siamese seems to overgroom two patches on either side of his body, though I don’t see him doing this, really. I took him to the vet and she took a blood test and found his thyroid pretty normal. WE suspected he might be upset by our dominant little female who seems to boss him and stress him out sometimes. My vet suggested some phenyl barbitol, but I did not want to dope him up and make him sleep more!
I try to give him more attention an defend him against the female cat. I also bought some of this very expensive feline hormone that is supposed to make them more easy-going and stress-free. This has not seemed to help much as he still has the bald patches!
I feel terrible about this and so want to make him feel better! Any help at all would be so appreciated. How much St. John’s wort do you suggest? How might this be given to him (them)? In their food?
Thanks for any help!
The overgrooming is technically part of an Obscessive Compulsive Behavior specifically called Psychogenic Alopecia, which is very common in Siamese cats. It has nothing to do with the thyroid at all. Stress is a big factor and your female cat is likely the cause. The pheromes may help a little, separate him from the female and give him his own room, food, water and private litter box. Improve the diet by adding fresh greens, and vitamin supplements like paaws, available at chagrinfallspetclinic.com will be helpful. Your cat needs lots of love and patience. Play with him and try interactive toys and games to prevent boredom and loneliness. 5 flower remedy, similar to Rescue Remedy, available at chagrinfallspetclinic.com, under stress relief, is a natural mixture of 5 flowers that is a liquid you can add to his food or water or give a couple drops directly by mouth to relieve stress. It is very safe with no adverse side effects and I would try that before St johns Wart.
Good Info! I will keep reading…
I appreciate your feedback and if you have any specific dog and/or cat health issues you would like to discuss please let me know.