Q:

How do you treat hair loss in cats?

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Quick Answer

Veterinarians treat hair loss in cats by addressing the underlying cause when possible, such as by prescribing medication to correct a hormonal imbalance, fungal infection or thyroid issue, explains PetMD. Sometimes hair loss occurs because of a behavioral problem such as a nervous habit of over-grooming, in which case the veterinarian can suggest a behavior-modification protocol. Topical medications are sometimes effective at treating hair loss that results from a skin condition, such as a skin erosion.

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Full Answer

If hair loss, also known as alopecia, occurs due to an allergic reaction, minimizing the cat's exposure to the allergen may reduce the problem, states PetEducation.com. A veterinarian may also prescribe steroids or antihistamines to treat the reaction. Examples of substances that may trigger allergic reactions in cats include carpet deodorizers, dyes, poison ivy, antibiotics and wool.

It is not always possible to treat hair loss in cats, notes PetMD. Sometimes the alopecia results from cancer or is simply genetic. A veterinarian can perform a variety of diagnostic tests to determine the cause of hair loss in a particular cat. Blood tests can diagnose any hormonal imbalances or thyroid issues present, while imaging scans are useful for detecting cancerous tumors and adrenal gland abnormalities. A skin biopsy helps screen for skin conditions that can contribute to hair loss.

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