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One of our 2 cats has a recurring problem that I thought I'd explore with the Board to see if anyone else has had a similar experience.

Ruli is a mostly white (grey at the last 1/2 of her tail) DSH who is 7 years old. Periodically, starting about 4 or 5 years ago, she starts licking the inside of her back legs (in the 'thigh' area). She'll lick so much that she strips a patch bald, and then the skin begins to redden and sometimes will develop abrasions and scab a little. We've tried ointments (she licks them off and we're loath to use an Elizabethan collar just for that), laundering (where possible) the fabrics she sleeps on, scolding her when we catch her licking. A vet (in Indonesia where we were living at the time) said it was dermatitis and prescribed the ointment. A review of available information on the web suggested a contact dermatitis and recommended the laundering.

The baldness usually lasts from a few weeks to perhaps as much as a few months, and then clears up. We've never been able to attribute anything we've done to the clearing. Earlier this year we changed their diet to eliminate dry food and started feeding them exclusively grain-free low carbohydrate canned food and the baldness Ruli was experiencing at that time cleared up in a few weeks, so we attributed the clearing to the diet change.

She has started again, and I noticed the beginning of the bald patches earlier this week. Another web search yielded the term "Lick Dermatitis", hence the title of this post. According to this site it is psycogenetic meaning there is little if any physical component. Interestingly we have in the past thought that the condition would clear if we starting being more persistent with our demonstations of affection (cuddling, skritching, playing, etc - Ruli is NOT a lap cat and all such activities are strictly on her terms). I'm not willing to concede causal relationship, but we did go out of town for a week over Thanksgiving: did this affect her? How far can one go anthropomorphozing our friends? What really is going on in that little furry crainium?

Has anyone on the Board experienced something like this? Intermittent (periodicity not descernible) dermatitis, with associate licking to the point of scabbing, no identifiable cause? I just want to cure & prevent - it can't feel good.

Kevy, Boodle & Ruli's dad and sometime shrink(?)
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I can't help with the dermatitis, but there are different kinds of Elizabethan collars you might want to look into.

Much softer and more comfortable.

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We had a Golden that used to have the same issue, in the front paw areas. We ended up giving one Benedryl (daily) and it seemed to really help with the licking/bare spots. Scotty passed ~8yo, but only had this issue for the last 2-3 years.

I will say that you'll want to consult your vet prior to following this.

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I would think that it could be a combination of allergies and behavior. On a quick search I found this article: which discusses dustmites as an allergien.
"The three major causes of pruritus in cats are parasites, allergies, and infections. Psychogenic skin diseases are rare and difficult to diagnose...These episodes occurred during the first week that the air conditioning or heat was used. Dust and debris collect in the air return vents when they are not used and are blown into the house when the heat or air conditioning is first turned on. It is possible that this dust and debris contain high concentrations of house dust mites. "

Another article:
"If all medical problems have been ruled out, then we normally treat overgrooming as the result of some form of stress in a cat's life," Dr. Perry says. If possible, she recommends making changes or introductions gradually; bringing familiar items (such as bedding) to a new home; adding cat-friendly vertical space - high places where cats can retreat and feel safe; and keeping their environment stimulating by finding a few minutes (ten to 15 minutes daily will do) to play with them each day...In addition, like people who bite their fingernails, the repetitive act of licking may involve a stress-relieving pleasure component that reinforces the behavior, Dr. Perry says. Thus, feline licking can become a habit that persists after the cause is identified and resolved. "Usually, the behavior is forgotten [naturally or with the help of medication] in about a month," Dr. Miller says."

I would work with your vet, or maybe get a referral to a specialist in skin disorders.
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If link doesn't work, bty googling Spirit Essences Obsession Remedy.

You put a few dros in water. It doesn't conflict with any medication. Also the cat who doesn't need it, it just won't do anything. Totally safe.
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