Dear Friends of Estorbo
The cat has given me permission to respond to all your kind suggestions - and some hyenic laughter, tsk tsk - regarding his licking problem. Notice how he hands over to me when the going gets tough. Day in, day out.
janitabean - thank you for the tip; unfortunately anything applied to his skin will be licked off, and will actually make him lick. Cats hate having anything on their skin. He does not actually have any bacterial infection (he's been tested before).
Food allergy - John, thanks for your recommendations...Estorbo's food was in fact changed mid year to Wellness (hey Wellness, how about free food for the plug?).
Itchy skin. He does not seem to actually itch, and has no dry skin or flakes. His fur looks very good. The licking always begins after he gets a very small, innocuous-looking scratch, and therein lies the detective work: is it from outside, maybe from a rose, or does he scratch himself with his back feet, and a sharp claw, which I keep quite trimmed?
Gentian violet, Sherri B and Anne Boleyn - I quite like this suggestion. I don't believe it will stop the licking, because only a barrier between his raspy tongue and the affected patch seems to do that. But it does dry skin out and leaves no residue.
Dr Ted (I know who you are. You are a d.a.r.g.) - gedoverid is a good suggestion, as much as I dislike steroids, but they don't have Overid here. I tend to think that his licking may be connected to his lack of cojones (we refer to what's left as "quarks", I don't remember why). My family has had at least two neutered male cats who licked. Overid helped a lot. I leave the door open to that one. Wow - taking advice from a dog.
webb and kate on Clinton. It's Estorbo. Not Escorbo and not Estorba. Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger. webb and Bumblevee - he does receive a small dose of velcote, an oil recommended for hot spots and good coats (and imported from Canada!) but since its contains wheat germ oil perhaps there was no point in changing his food so it contains no wheat? Also, does it work? Who the hell knows! Hm. As for chiropraction - I wonder. I think Estorbo might eat the chiropractor.
Which reminds me to write a post about a creepy osteopath in Chelsea.
I am, in general, incredibly sceptical about supplements. I tend to think that supplements are a massive racket, making major bucks for their producers with very, very little to show in the way of proof of efficacy.
Holistic may be a good way to go, but again, it will take a lot of time and a lot of money. So do repeated visits to the vet who lands up telling you that the cause could be anything. I am not pouring (more) endless hundreds of dollars into this problem, with so many possible causes. I have no health insurance and the cat has no health insurance. I want Obamacare for cats. Now.
Stress (Rachel and Michelle) - hard to say, Estorbo is a pretty tightly wound kitty and has been since day one. He has a short temper. Perhaps because he was kicked or hit on the head before I got him. I am perhaps also a pretty tightly wound kitty, but his licking started early last year, not the day I got him, so I don't think it's me. And it's not Vince, who is very laid back. I am most certainly not going to put him on a tranquilizer, although it is tempting: he plays hard and he bites hard! He sleeps hard, too. Rescue Remedy is tempting...
He is back in his cone for a few days, to see if I can get the back leg to clear up. He tolerates it and if I keep it pushed forward (I had it folded back because I felt sorry for him), he doesn't seem to be able to get at the legs. The shirts he tolerates really well, but pants are just ridiculous.
So there it is. Day in. Day out.
See you in the trenches.