Feline Endocrine Alopecia Treatment

Not everybody knows a feline endocrine alopecia treatment, as this skin condition is quite rare. At the moment, the cause of this cat health condition is not pinpointed, but hormones represent the main suspects. More precisely, the hormones that are believed to be involved in the development of this disease include:

  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone
  • Thyroid hormone

Identifying the symptoms and reporting them to a veterinarian is very important. A proper feline endocrine alopecia treatment can be prescribed only after a detailed diagnosis is performed. This is done in order to make sure that the symptoms to not pertain to another feline health condition.

Signs and Symptoms of Feline Endocrine Alopecia

Alopecia is just another name for baldness, so hair loss is the main sign of this health problem. Neutered males and spayed middle-aged females are predisposed to developing feline endocrine alopecia.

In cats suffering from this skin problem, hair loss will be noticed symmetrically. More precisely, the affected areas are:

  • Inside of the legs
  • Genital areas
  • Lower part of the abdominal area
  • Perineum

Once you observe hair loss in these areas, you need to take your cat to the veterinarian, so a proper diagnosis can be performed.

Diagnosis of Feline Endocrine Alopecia

Baldness may have a hormonal nature, like in the case of feline endocrine alopecia, or it may occur as a result of over grooming. The latter is known as psychogenic alopecia, is caused by stress and affects more frequently cats from the following breeds:

  • Abyssinian
  • Burmese
  • Siamese

The veterinarian needs to make a distinction between psychogenic and endocrine alopecia, in order to prescribe an adequate and effective treatment. Hairs from the affected area need to be analyzed under the microscope to determine the most likely cause.

The second test implies skin scrapings, so diseases caused by ringworm, mange mites and fleas are excluded. Blood samples may also be taken and sent to a laboratory, in order to determine the levels of certain hormones. Once all the other cat health conditions that share common symptoms with feline endocrine alopecia are excluded, it is time to discuss the available treatment options.

Feline Endocrine Alopecia Treatment

Even though feline endocrine alopecia might be caused by a hormone deficiency, treatments with sex hormones need to be avoided. Such treatments may lead to a series of severe side effects, such as:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Bone marrow toxicity
  • Diabetes melitus
  • Liver toxicity
  • Mammary gland tumors

One of the first measures that need to be taken is to place an Elizabethan collar on the neck of your cat. This plastic cone collar will prevent compulsive self-grooming, so psychogenic alopecia is ruled out.

If a medical treatment is chosen, the cat will be given certain drugs either orally twice a day, or through injections. The drugs need to be selected carefully, so the side effects listed above are avoided. Liothyronine, which is a thyroid hormone, can be successfully used for treating feline endocrine alopecia. You can start administering 20 mcg twice per day and increase the dosage gradually to 100 mcg per day, given in 2 portions.

Serum chemistry and blood count need to be monitored periodically, so you may need to take your cat to the veterinarian every once in a while. This is necessary in order to observe the efficiency of the treatment.