So &’s been licking bald spots into her fur these past few weeks.
Did I solve this problem by utilizing my networking skillz and call the vet I know (apparently, my name is listed under her phone contact list) who happens to be the best vet who ever veterinarianed? No. Because I didn’t want to bother her during her off hours without consulting fees or anything. So. I took & into the vet and they checked her for the things I’d called in saying I thought it might be: for lice, ringworm, et all. I should have been suspicious that the doctor checked for the stuff I said I was concerned about it being, but didn’t offer any other ideas about what else it might be. He combed & for lice, noted that there was no redness, wounds or puss, and yes, her skin pigment had turned black and it wasn’t just her black fur growing back in. And was very nonplussed about this because nothing looked ‘wrong’. I should have refused to pay the vet visit fee when it was so clear something was wrong. I was so annoyed by the shoulder-shrugging as an acceptable explanation, I commented that, ‘I think something more is wrong with her. I mean, in humans, it’s usually a bad sign when we rip out chunks of hair and our skin pigment changes color.’ And he didn’t recognize that as the insult I totally meant it to be.
So I paid the $70 they charged me to say there wasn’t anything wrong with my cat (who had licked chunks of fur out of her skin and her skin had TURNED BLACK) and went back home. The vet said he’d call to check up on & in a week (he never did). And STILL I didn't call the Super Vet because, well, &’s fur was growing back and maybe it was a fluke.
A day later, there was another bald spot on her back foot.
And then this morning, I noticed another chuck missing on the inside of one of her back legs.
I couldn’t stand the thought of going back to a vet who’d say, ‘I can’t think of anything that could be wrong, except for there being 4 bald spots on your cat and the skin blackening—so she’s probably fine’ so I did what I SHOULD HAVE DONE FROM THE START and called Super-Vet.
The conversation went like this:
nepenthe: Help! My cat’s licking chucks of fur out of her skin, and when it starts to heal, the pigment turns black! The other vet says nothing’s wrong, but clearly this is not normal.
Super-Vet: Did they check for lice?
nepenthe: Yes—with a comb, and for ring worm—when he said he didn’t think it looked like ringworm, the ENGLISH MAJOR was not pleased and asked for it to be checked under black light, like actual doctors do.
Super-Vet: Good girl! How old is &?
nepenthe: About a year-ish.
Super-Vet: Food allergy.
nepenthe: . . .? Really?
Super-Vet: Yep. Just like people pets can have allergies too, and it makes their skin itch in different places.
And then Super-Vet gave me instructions, actual SOLUTIONS and I’m just. Just. IT WAS SUCH AN OBVIOUS ANSWER. About a month ago & got sick and was puking up everywhere and then refused to eat her food and I actually suspected the food so I switched to a higher-quality brand and wasn’t sure if that did the trick, but & was better. I didn’t make the connection that she went from puking up the food (she was puking because she was allergic—that’s why she had no fever and all the tests came back negative except for her liver that first go round. I was right when I told the vet that it sounded like food poisoning—it sorta was, but not) to itchy. Not as bad, but certainly not good.
Once again, I’m mad that I didn’t just call Super-Vet at the start. Hell, she said she had my name in the phone and it was never any bother so. Yeah. No more of that pussy-footing around when &’s a sick kitty. I will call the doc I know isn't a nitwit FIRST.