Psychogenic Alopecia- Causes and Diagnosis

Akita Dog Breed Information

Excessive grooming leads to psychometric alopecia. Cats may spend up to a quarter of their wake time grooming themselves. Why is my cat losing hair on her back ? When grooming becomes the prerogative it can cause psychogenic alopecia in the cats. It is hair loss that is caused by an emotional or psychological origin.

Psychogenic Alopecia- Causes 

When your cat is stressed it can groom itself excessively. This involves a transition of the environment like:

  • A new house
  • The family schedule changing
  • A new family member or a pet
  • A pet or a family member leaving the house
  • Aggressive cats at home
  • Movement in the way furniture was placed
  • House renovation that results in upheaval or noise
  • Seeing other animals outside
  • Frustration or boredom

There may be other reasons that can give cats stress. When cats groom themselves, it relaxes them. So when they are anxious they over groom. This can be habit forming. Irrespective of anything stressful, the cats may now be over grooming themselves. It becomes a compulsive behaviour.

Psychogenic Alopecia- Diagnosis

There are no diagnostic tests that can confirm psychogenic alopecia. One way of diagnosing it is by ruling out other skin ailments in the cats. Some of them are:

  • Flea allergy
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Food allergy
  • Inhalant
  • Ringworm or other fungal infections
  • Parasites like lice, mites or fleas
  • Skin cancer and
  • Bacterial infection

A very can perform a physical examination and help you diagnose it better. He can tests like:

  • Hair examination
  • Blood testing
  • Fungal culture
  • Skin scraping
  • Flea combing
  • Hypoallergenic trials
  • Allergy tests
  • Examining the anal sac
  • Skin biopsy and
  • X Rays

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