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Ask the Veterinarian/my cat is losing hair on front legs



My name is Savannah and my cat's name is Crookshanks. We actually share the same birthday (swear thats what the vet said) witch is January 25. Of course our age differs a little. He is about a year and a half old. He's always been the sweetest cat. He's actually almost dog like. When he was younger he would actually fetch this one toy i would throw for him. And he is kind of obsessed with me, not that he doesnt like other people, he does, but when it comes to me he really loves me.
Also, i should mention that i am training to become a Veterinarian Technician and will be done this Decemeber. So while i'm pretty well versed in most things. This is just stumping me.
Yes i have asked teachers at my school and other classmates, although i havent got a chance to ask my own veterinarian yet.
Anyway, here is the problem.

So Crookshanks has long hair, hes never kept it very clean, so he's always looked kind of greasy, which i was okay with because he still seemed healthy otherwise and happy and it didnt bother me. Then the other day, i'm looking at his front legs and i could see the dark patches of his skin. Im guessing these dark patches have always been there because he is spotted in random places and they dont seem to be irregular but nonetheless i could actually see skin. I convinced myself that maybe i just had never noticed it before because he seemed fine other wise and it didnt hurt him to touch his legs, and like i said besides the hair loss, his legs looked normal.
Now come the other symptoms, he seems to be sleeping abnormally long, i know cats sleep a ton as it is, but i rarely see this cat moving and shaking like he used to. He also seems to have started eating more than usual, i mean not a ton, but ive noticed. He hasnt increased his thirst though.
The last symptom and why i decided to seek some other help is that all of a sudden he has become semi aggressive towards me. Mind you this is and indoor cat, never goes outside. doesnt have any other cat/animal buddies to play with and like i said his entire life he has been obsessivly in love with me.
I do have to get him neutered still and i know that normally helps with these types of things, but the other symptoms have me worreied.
Could this be some kind of hormone problem? I vaguely remember reading something similar to his symptoms a while ago, but i just cant remember and its just really frusturating.
Obviously im taking him to the vet to see what they have to say, but i was wondering if i could get some answers maybe a little sooner.
Please let me know what you think, and i know that this is long and way too many details, but i know that the details can some time be the deciding factor in a diagnosis so here ya go.

Thanks for your help.
~Savannah and Mr. Crook

When I read a history like yours, I wold first think of a ringworm infection on the legs.  A blacklight examination and a dermatophyte culture can help your vet rule this in or out.  If the cat is allergic to something in the house, it could develop a skin inflammation that causes some secretion from skin glands causing the discoloration.  The vet may be able to help you there.  Sometimes, it is just patched of seborrrhea, an oversecretion of the oil glands that just happens in some animals.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

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