Cat Hair Loss Not Responding to Frontline

by Debra Wadsley
(Lincoln, UK)

Reader Question: My three year old cat has increasing alopecia down the right side of her body, including her back legs. The skin is smooth with no lumps, abrasions etc. this has been going on for about a year.

A visit to the vets indicated a flea allergy, however, after several doses of Frontline over the past months and treating her bed and other parts of the house, the problem is getting worse. She is also prone to eating a lot and is gaining weight. Other than that is seems active and healthy, and is a lovely, cheeky, affectionate cat.

Suggestion from our Vet

Hello Debra,

Have you spoken to your veterinarian about the fact that your cat’s condition is worsening rather than improving with treatment?

He or she is in the best position to come up with a “Plan B.” In some cases, fleas do not seem to be responding to Frontline as well as they have in the past.

If your veterinarian is still convinced that a flea allergy is to blame for your cat’s symptoms, switching to another parasiticide would certainly be worth a try. I like Revolution because it kills some of the mites that can be hard to diagnose in cats. If your veterinarian is concerned that something else might be going, some simple diagnostic tests (e.g., a skin scrapings to look for mites, a fungal culture for ringworm, and skin cytology to rule out infections) would be a reasonable next step.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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