Sometimes long-term illnesses can be really hard to get on top of, but that makes it extra rewarding when we get there! Poor Bo developed itchy skin due to an allergy, leaving him pulling his fur out, but with the right medication, he’s at last back to his usual cheeky self.
Skin problems can be challenging to treat, as even when we know what the problem is, different cats can respond differently to each of the medications available.
How it started...
When Bo started overgrooming his legs, the team were quick to perform the first-line investigations, allowing us to rule out skin parasites and other infections as a cause and check that Bo’s internal organs were functioning normally. With these causes ruled out, an allergic itch looked increasingly likely, but unfortunately a dietary trial suggested that a food allergy wasn’t the problem - or at least not the whole story.
He improved with anti-inflammatory steroids, but these are not a type of drug we want to use long-term if we can avoid it, especially at the very high doses Bo needed. When it became clear that this was going to be a long-term problem, Bo was moved onto a different allergy medication, but unfortunately this didn’t agree with him so we had to keep on with different options!
To get more specific information on what was making him itch, Bo had an allergy test which showed that he was allergic to several types of grass and other common garden plants, which was enough to make him itchy even though his only outdoor access was in a protected “catio”. We had personalised allergy vaccines made up to help his immune system become less sensitive to these allergens, and over the course of a few months his fur began to grow back - but still he was not 100% :-(
Not content with leaving him uncomfortable, we agreed with his mam that we needed to consider more unusual treatments, and after discussion with a veterinary dermatologist, we started Bo on an allergy medication intended for dogs. We weren’t sure how this would go, but we, the dermatologist and Bo’s owner all felt it was worth a try to finally get on top of his itching. To our delight, with the allergy vaccines and the new medication, Bo has at last got the relief he needed!
Bo... living his best life
Since starting on his new medication regime, Bo has been back to his usual mischievous self, ruling the roost and eating every meal with gusto - no more leftovers for his sister Bobbi to snack on now! His fur has been growing back more than ever and his mam couldn’t be happier to see him back to himself again.
She says, “He wasn’t as active or playful, and I thought it was maybe just that he was getting older, but now his skin isn’t bothering him he’s like a different cat. It’s not just his coat - he’s really got his personality back, it’s amazing to see.”