Ask the Veterinarian/Cats dandruff


My cat has severe dandruff so I took him to vets ...he said he had fleas so he treated him but now still after a month or so cat is still loaded with dandruff really severe....he never scratches or bites skin.Still eats normal amount and drinks
and pees 3 times day and hard stool.When looking at him walking from behind he looks all sunken in near rear quarters.
I can touch all over and he doesn't mindI asked vet if it could be that thyroid disease and he said no his heart rate was fine.
Only other thing I can think of would be Diabetes but he isn't fat..weighs now about 10.4lbs and is 17yrs old
I dont want all kinds of tests done on him and dont want to give insulin shots.

What do you think it could be

Hi Debbie,

The main reasons for such a condition can be due to Diabetes,Hyperthyroidism,Seborrhea,
Demodicosis,Cheyletiellosis (walking dandruff),Contact dermatitis,Poor grooming,Old age,Dry conditions( less humidity),Ring worm,etc.The best thing is to find out the actual reason or the reasons for this situation.

The diagnosis of course requires:
Complete blood count, urinalysis and biochemical profile to evaluate the overall health of your cat.
Skin scraping test to evaluate for mites or ringworm infection.
Tape test to evaluate for skin parasites.
T3 and T4 tests to check thyroid hormone levels in the blood.
Blood tests to check glucose levels in the blood.
If allergy is suspected, a skin prick test shall be required.

As you don't want all these tests to be done, try some  home treatments for cat dandruff:

Getting moisture to the skin both inside and out is the basis to treating dandruff. There are many ways to do this.
Adding humidifiers around the house in the winter months to help moisten the air.
Adding omega 3 fatty acids to your cat's food
Feed your cat a premium quality cat food diet.You can add a table spoon full of olive oil once or twice per week  to promote natural oil production.
Moisturizing shampoo to use in order to treat the dandruff.
In severe cases, an anti-dandruff shampoo for cats will be recommended.
Don't use human anti-dandruff shampoo on your cat, this is way too harsh and will damage  his skin.Talk to your veterinarian about skin and coat moisturizers which can safely be used on cats.
Cats who have difficulty grooming themselves due  old age (and soreness) will need to be groomed regularly by you. Five minutes a day is all it takes in most cats.  

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Dr S Bindu Anand


Large and Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, Farm Management,Preventive medicine


A Senior Veterinary Surgeon with more than 25 years’ experience in the field of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry. Mixed animal Practice that will utilize my skills in medicine and surgery, public health, client relations, and developing relationships within the community, such as humane society

Veterinary Consultant with Department of Animal Resources,Ministry of Environment,State of Qatar (Present). Animal Husbandry Department, Government of Kerala, India. Oakland's Park, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Severnside Veterinary Center, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom. Saud Bahwan Group, Sultanate of Oman. Trivandrum Regional Co-operative Milk Producers Union,Kerala,India.

BVSc & AH (Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry) 1990. College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Mannuthy, Thrissur, Kerala, India under Kerala Agricultural University. Certificates Of Accomplishments- Equine Nutrition- University of Edinburgh Principles of Public Health-University of California, Irvine. AIDS- Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. General Environmental Health – EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Food Protection-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Zoonoses:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Food Safety:University of Minnesota-School of Public Health online. Occupational Safety and Health-EPHOC-Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health. Rabies Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Animal Handler & Vaccinator Educator Certified -Global Alliance for Rabies Control. Wildlife Conservation-United for Wildlife

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