Itchy Red Bumps and No Hair After Being Neutered

by Christie Bunetic
(St.louis, Mo)

Reader Question and Editor Suggestions on Cat Hair Loss after Neutering

My cat was neutered on 8/10/21. He had a descended testical. After his visit he has not been the same. His hair never grew back on his belly. He has red itchy bumps. He is constantly grooming and licking his belly and inside his legs.

I took him to a vet who scraped his skin and found nothing. He was on revolution for a few months with no improvement. I have 7 other cats and not one of them have any symptoms, so I don't think it can be contagious or fleas. I have tried coconut oil on his skin, fish oil in his food, many cortisone sprays, supplements, and over the counter medications. I also buy him food for skin sensitivity.

He will not let me give him benadryl. He gets very anxious in the car and I am trying to avoid stressing him out more with another vet visit.

I am not sure how to help him. Please advise. He is my baby.

Suggestions for Skin Care After Cat Was Neutered

Hi Christie,

I'm sorry to hear about your cat's discomfort since his neutering procedure. It sounds like you've been very attentive and have tried various treatments, but let's see if we can figure out a more targeted approach to help your little one feel better. Here's some potential causes for the discomfort and a related course of action. You can work through each of these with the assistance of your veterinarian who may agree or disagree with each approach.

Post-Surgical Reaction or Allergy: The most likely reason for the persistent itching and lack of hair regrowth could be a reaction to something related to the surgery, such as the shaving, surgical scrub, or even sutures. It's also possible he developed an allergy or sensitivity afterward. Since you've already tried several skin treatments without success, it might be worth
considering an allergy test or a trial with hypoallergenic diet, even though he's already on food for skin sensitivity.

Action: Consult with your veterinarian about allergy testing and possibly trying a different hypoallergenic diet. They might also prescribe an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine that's easier to administer than Benadryl.

Psychogenic Alopecia: This condition is often stress-related and causes cats to excessively groom themselves. The stress could have been triggered by the surgery or the change in environment afterwards.

Action: Look into environmental enrichment for your cat. This can include more playtime, interactive toys, or even pheromone diffusers like Feliway. Sometimes anti-anxiety medications are prescribed, but given his stress with car rides, this should be a last resort.

Localized Infection or Dermatitis: Even though the skin scrape was clear, there's a chance of a localized infection or dermatitis that wasn't detected.

Action: A different type of skin test or a second opinion from another vet might be necessary. They can check for conditions that might have been missed earlier.

Food Allergy: Although less likely since you've tried special food, he might be allergic to a specific ingredient in his diet.

Action: Discuss with your vet about an elimination diet trial, where you feed him a diet with limited and novel ingredients that he's never had before.

Remember, it's important to work closely with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. It's understandable you want to avoid stressing him out with car rides, but sometimes a vet visit is necessary to get to the bottom of such issues. You could also look for a vet who does home visits.

Above all, keep providing him with love and comfort. He's lucky to have a caring owner like you.

Best wishes,

Editor and Publisher
Cat Health Guide

Please note: This information is intended to complement, not replace, the advice of your pet's veterinarian. Always consult a vet for professional medical advice about your pet's health.

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