Alopecia is damage and loss of hair, leading to partial or complete baldness in animals and people. Cats baldness can have polar-different causes, be completely normal, or a formidable symptom. Consider the common causes of hair loss in cats and methods to combat the disease.
Hair loss as a normal physiological reaction
Genetically, all cats have a hair coat, and the birth of hairless kittens is considered an anomaly. The so-called “bald breeds” were obtained by selecting applicants, by many years crossing suitable producers, sometimes close relatives. However, most people prefer fluffy pets, and a "spoiled coat" will alert each owner.
From a global point of view, baldness can have two nature of origin - a natural physiological reaction of the body that does not threaten health and hair loss due to illness. Of the reasons that do not threaten the health of the animal, one can distinguish:
- Molting - seasonal change of wool. Most often, cats molt much stronger than cats, dropping the entire undercoat. Do not worry, if the female has only the outer hair, by the winter the undercoat will appear again.
- Traces of bandages, collars, harnesses.
- Stress - after a trip to the veterinarian or in an unusual situation, the animal may lose a significant amount of hair, which is not a cause for alarm.
- Age-related changes - partial baldness of ears in cats, the area around the eyes, abrasion of hair on the legs, elbows, shoulder blades, chin, loss of mustache.
- Frequent bathing - in nature, cats swim and bathe, only when absolutely necessary. Bathe your pet as it gets dirty, cats living in the apartment need only one bath in 5-6 months.
The above reasons for the loss of hair do not require medical intervention, provide the animal with peace and give time for recovery.
Note! Cats can not be bathed with soap or human economy shampoos. Choose a specialized product based on the breed and type of animal hair.
Skin diseases and parasites
The next, not acute, but requiring treatment reason is a series of skin diseases, visual examples in the photo:
Lichen - a group of diseases, accompanied by the formation on the skin of a rash or small nodules, scales, loss of hair. The lichen category includes: fungal infections (ringworm), weeping eczema, psoriasis, viruses that provoke rashes with loss of coat. The nature of the disease is twofold - the infection can be bacterial, including spore or fungal in nature.
Vlasoed - parasite insects, which are sometimes called ticks. The parasites are so small that they cannot be seen without examining the wool under a microscope. The life cycle of the lice-eater is short, however, the “uninvited guest” multiplies exponentially. Insects feed on blood, cells and skin secrets, which causes pain and itching. Parasitization is accompanied by thinning and loss of hair, coarsening of the skin.
Dermatitis - skin irritation caused by exposure to chemical, physiological, biological or other factors. Cat baldness after treatment from parasites, a clear symptom of chemical skin irritation. Cat baldness in cats, which spreads to the stomach, is a clear sign of an allergic reaction.
Seborrhea - violation of the sebaceous glands, accompanied by excessive separation of sebum, itching, metabolic disorders of the skin, the death of hair follicles. Tail baldness in cats is more often associated with impaired secretion of the sebaceous glands. The disease, referred to as the sebaceous tail, is accompanied by a gradual contamination of the pores and hair loss on the back and near the tail. Treatment consists of regular pore cleansing and special care.
Scabies - the disease caused by the scabies mite is accompanied by severe itching, a small rash, purulent inflammation during infection of the affected areas. The complexity of the treatment lies in the fact that the parasite has microscopic dimensions and “hides” under the skin, in addition, the disease is transmitted by contact through other animals, sometimes people.
Hormonal disorders - most often, a violation of the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, which adversely affects the functioning of metabolic processes.
Vitamin deficiency or excess - Vitamin A plays a key role in the functioning of the hair follicles, more precisely, in the blood supply and nutrition of the upper skin. In case of deficiency, the bulbs gradually die off and baldness in small round areas. Hypervitaminosis can “hit” the most unexpected places, and baldness, the most harmless consequence of a number of possible.
Note! In most cases, it is almost impossible to establish the root cause of hair loss "by eye"; a study of skin scraping under a microscope is required.
After diagnosis, the animal is given treatment. Fungal and bacterial infections are more difficult to overcome, many microorganisms adapt to ointments and external treatment. Most often, in combination with local procedures, maintenance therapy that stimulates the immune system is prescribed.
Cat baldness as a symptom of serious illness
There are a number of so-called idiopathic (stated on the basis of a comprehensive examination) causes of alopecia in cats:
- Viral diseases and other pathologies - almost any disease adversely affects the state of animal hair, it becomes faded, puffed, covered with a coating, falls out. Visual deterioration of the coat is associated with metabolic disorders, dehydration, oxygen starvation of cells. The body "mobilizes" all the forces to maintain life, and hair is not a vital factor in survival, so the hair follicle nutrition stops in the early stages of the disease.
- Toxin Poisoning - wool accumulates poisons of various origin, the subsequent loss of cover is one of the ways of self-cleaning the body.
- Irradiation - radiation sickness that occurs in the case of a long, aggressive exposure to ultraviolet and other ionizing radiation. It can be a consequence of external exposure - the sun, radiation or the ingestion of substances having a radioactive background into the body through the mouth, mucous membranes, skin - air, water, food, plant spores and so on.
Naturally, baldness for idiopathic reasons cannot be cured by the local method. The veterinarian makes assumptions and determines how to treat the animal based on the anamnesis, clinical presentation, tests and examination results.