Bald Spot on a Cat – the Reason of Hair Loss


09.10.2018
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Often the appearance of a bald spots on cats is perceived by the owner as lichen. However, there can be many causes of receding hair, most of which are not pathological. When you encounter such problem, you should take your pet to the veterinarian, who will determine what caused the hair loss.

Symptoms

Focal baldness in cats is often accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. Severe itching, especially in cases of infection with fungi, external parasites and allergic reactions.
  2. The bald area is covered with rash, papules, ulcers, crusts.
  3. Changing the color of the skin.
  4. There are peeling on the type of dandruff.
  5. The area of irritation gets wet, sometimes the pus stands out.
  6. Digestive disorders may occur.

Reasons

Poor care, disease or mechanical effects on the skin may lead to appearance of bald spots. Here are the main reasons for this problem:

  • Deficiency of vitamin. An unbalanced diet causes baldness in some parts of the body.
  • Injury or burn leads to the  detach of the skin layer along with the coat. In severe lesions scars can remain, hair follicles on which are not restored. If the cat had an operation, a bald patch is formed in the seam. Wool often falls around the jab area. Itching for such spots is atypical. A wet bald spot in a cat that does not last long and exudes a putrid smell can be the result of infection of the wound.
  • Allergic reaction. Hypersensitivity to food, chemicals or plants causes irritation, itching and loss of hair foci.
  • Ectoparasites. Fleas, louse, ticks and lice are irritating skin. Often there is rash and redness in bites places, especially in sensitive cats. Wool on other parts of the body becomes dull and unhealthy in appearance.
  • Diseases of internal organs. Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract and endocrine system can cause local hair loss. Along with dyspeptic disorders there likely may be bald spots on cat’s back, legs or stomach. Hyper-and hypofunction of the thyroid gland, diabetes mellitus, pathology of the adrenal cortex are more rare factors in the formation of receding hairline in cats.
  • Lichen. The primary symptom is a rash, then, a bald spot with clear boundaries is formed, covered with red flaky skin with a white coating.
  • Soaking dermatitis. A skin inflammation accompanied by rash, ichor discharge, itching and peeling. Due to this disease bald spots on cat’s head appear, more rarely on the legs and body. Causes are gastrointestinal diseases, allergies, hereditary predisposition. Wet bald spot appears from strong combs and damage to the hair follicles. The disease passes with periods of exacerbations and remission.
  • Seborrhea. This disorder in the sebaceous glands often leads to baldness of the base of the tail, but can affect other parts of the body.
  • Periocular alopecia. Bald spots on the muzzle, around the eyes and ears are not a pathology, do not itch and are not transmitted to other pets or humans.
  • Autoimmune alopecia. Manifests itself by rounded bald spots that do not itch.
  • Pyoderma. Bacterial infection of the skin is manifested by small purulent rashes. Wool in these places is thinning and there are bald spots on cat’s belly, muzzle and areas with the most delicate skin. If the disease is triggered, the infection can enter the bloodstream and cause sepsis.
  • Pemphigus. Disease of autoimmune nature, affects the nose, nipples, ears and paw pads. Foci of baldness are covered with erosion and scales.

Diagnostics

To determine the cause of the bald spots on the cat on the basis of visual inspection can be difficult. To do this, the vet may conduct a number of laboratory studies. The allergen can be detected by observing the body’s reaction to various substances or by using special tests and blood tests.

The presence of lichen is confirmed by microscopic and luminescent analysis of skin scraping. The diagnosis of ” wet dermatitis ” is put in the presence of at least 3 characteristic symptoms. They also take the analysis on pathogenic microflora. Ectoparasites are easily detected during regular examination of the animal. Pyoderma is diagnosed by bacteriological seeding, in rare cases can resort to biopsy. To determine the pemphigus cytological analysis and biopsy are used. Diagnosis of diseases of the internal organs may require blood tests, analysis of feces and urine, ultrasound or x-rays.

Photo of cats with bald spots

bald spot on a cat above eye bald spot on a cat on back bald spot on a cat on belly bald spot on a cat on head bald spot on a cat under ear

Treatment

In case of allergy and wet dermatitis, a course of antihistamines is prescribed, and in severe cases, it is supplemented with corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drugs. Lichen therapy is determined by the severity and area of the lesion. Single spots are treated with antifungal ointments, large-scale inflammation requires oral medication or vaccination.  If parasites are revealed on the skin, the animal should be treated with drops or spray against them.

Note!
If the bald spot appeared as a result of internal diseases, first of all it is necessary to eliminate them. When endocrine pathologies, hormonal correction is carried out. Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract are treated with a diet, specialized food and drug therapy.

When pyoderma, hair is cut around the infected area. It is treated with antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ointments. If the disease is running, antibiotics and gamma globulins are prescribed. It is also necessary to take immunostimulatory drugs.

Treatment of pemphigus is based on the treatment of erosions with antiseptic agents and special shampoos. To prevent infection, corticosteroid ointments, antibiotics for external and internal use, drugs to maintain immunity are prescribed. Good results are obtained by intramuscular administration of gold solutions.

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