Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. You’re describing what we call bilaterally symmetrical truncal alopecia, which in a cat can be due to quite a few things. External parasites, like mange and fleas are a possibility. I know you said she doesn’t go outside, but consider these if you have other pets in the house. Food allergies also come to mind, and if she were my patient I would try a hypoallergenic diet for no less than 6 weeks. I would also run full blood work and a urinalysis to rule out underlying hormonal problems (especially with the weight loss).

Sorry, I know that’s a lot, but these are kind of tough. I would start with the blood work and if that’s normal I’d likely try the diet trial. And consider that this could also be a behavioral problem – cats chew their hair out of boredom or stress – and she may need medication for that.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Most of the time, it is nothing to be concerned about, but it is still recommended to take your feline friend to a vet for a general health checkup. Reasons your cat may be losing hair could be a poor diet, allergies, fleas and ticks, stress, or even hypothyroidism.
In children, common causes include fungal or bacterial infections, telogen effluvium (stress-related hair loss), and traction alopecia. However, the most common cause of hair loss in children is scalp ringworm, which is a treatable fungal infection. Doctors can treat most causes of hair loss and can often reverse it.
Though less common, hair loss can be a symptom of deficiencies in certain nutrients, including: Vitamin H, or biotin, one of the B complex of vitamins, which help the body to convert carbohydrates into glucose to fuel the body. Zinc, an essential mineral involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism.
Only riboflavin, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12 deficiencies have been associated with hair loss. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) is a component of two important coenzymes: flavin mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) [22].
Parasitic infections.

Tinea capitus is a disorder that produces scalp eruptions and hair loss in both children and adults. The infection typically is caused either by Microsporum canis or Trichophyton tonsurans.

Fleas and other external parasites

By far the most common cause of a bald patch on your cat`s fur is fleas or other external parasites.

Iron and Hair Health. If you are not getting enough iron through your diet, you may experience excessive hair shedding (Telogen Effluvium). You may also find that your hair will not grow past a certain length.
There is some evidence that having a vitamin D deficiency does cause hair loss and other hair problems. Vitamin D stimulates hair follicles to grow, and so when the body does not have enough, the hair may be affected.
Foods that contain the most biotin include organ meats, eggs, fish, meat, seeds, nuts, and certain vegetables (such as sweet potatoes) [2,12].
It is normal for kids to shed some hair each day. But certain conditions can cause abnormal hair loss in children. In fact, hair loss in children is estimated to account for 3 percent of visits to the pediatrician. Just like adult hair, kids` hair has a fairly predictable life cycle.
Alopecia areata is a disease that happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. Hair follicles are the structures in skin that form hair. While hair can be lost from any part of the body, alopecia areata usually affects the head and face.
Tinea capitis is a fungal infection that can cause patches of hair loss (non-inflammatory) along with redness (inflammatory).
The Most Common Reasons for Cat Hair Loss

In most cases, the cause isn`t serious. Allergies: They`re the top cause of hair loss. Like people, your cat can be allergic to food, insect bites, medicines, dust, or pollen. To ease the itch, they`ll lick their fur until there are bald spots.

Typically, an infant`s birth hair will naturally fall out and begin to regrow shortly thereafter. This can take awhile—hair usually only grows about 1/2 an inch to an inch per month. Every year, your kid can expect approximately 5 to 6 inches of hair growth.
Hair loss is not usually anything to be worried about, but occasionally it can be a sign of a medical condition. Some types of hair loss are permanent, like male and female pattern baldness. This type of hair loss usually runs in the family. Other types of hair loss may be temporary.
Cirrhosis Symptoms

Symptoms of cirrhosis include coughing up blood, hair loss and jaundice (a yellowing of the skin and eyes). Learn more about cirrhosis symptoms.

Symptoms of low B12 often occur when blood levels drop below 300 ng/l and include hair loss, breathlessness, lack of energy palpitations, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, tingling in the hands and feet.
Will Hair Grow Back From B12 Deficiency? Yes! Your hair will grow back as soon as you treat the deficiency. On restoration of vitamin B12 in your body, your hair cells will replicate adequately and support your hair follicles to grow healthy hair.
Many people with low vitamin D do not have symptoms, but some children with low vitamin D get bone and muscle pain. Very low vitamin D can lead to soft bones, causing rickets in children and a condition called osteomalacia (os-tee-oh-mah-lay-shee-ah) in adolescents and adults.
But scientific research is scarce on how long it will take for hair to grow back — and if there is a significant amount of hair regrowth — after upping your vitamin D intake and improving your levels. Anecdotal evidence, though, suggests hair may stop shedding and regenerate in as little as two months after treatment.
Sources of Biotin

This includes walnuts, peanuts, cereals, milk, and egg yolks. Other foods that contain this vitamin are whole meal bread, salmon, pork, sardines, mushroom and cauliflower. Fruits that contain biotin include avocados, bananas and raspberries.

Nuts and seeds are generally good sources of biotin, although the amount of the vitamin varies. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, and pecans, for example, all provide biotin. A quarter-cup of roasted almonds contains 1.5 mcg of biotin. A quarter-cup of roasted sunflower seeds contains 2.6 mcg.
Pediatric dermatologists at Nationwide Children`s may recommend the following treatment options: topical steroids, injections of steroids, topical minoxidil (Rogaine), topical irritants and immunotherapy, or pills that turn down the immune system.
Peanuts, corn, and spinach contain Vitamin E, which stimulates hair growth. Folic acid, found in foods like asparagus, peas, citrus fruits, and turkey, will help promote hair growth by strengthening strands so they don`t break off prematurely. Drinking water—four to six glasses a day—will keep hair hydrated.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My female c at is 5 yrs old. Losing hair on both r sides of body and maybe loosing wt. Appears healthy never been outside.
ANSWER : A. You’re describing what we call bilaterally symmetrical truncal alopecia, which in a cat can be due to quite a few things. External parasites, like mange and fleas are a possibility. I know you said she doesn’t go outside, but consider these if you have other pets in the house. Food allergies also come to mind, and if she were my patient I would try a hypoallergenic diet for no less than 6 weeks. I would also run full blood work and a urinalysis to rule out underlying hormonal problems (especially with the weight loss).

Sorry, I know that’s a lot, but these are kind of tough. I would start with the blood work and if that’s normal I’d likely try the diet trial. And consider that this could also be a behavioral problem – cats chew their hair out of boredom or stress – and she may need medication for that.

Q. My dog is house trained but has started pooping in the house, why is she doing that?
ANSWER : A. It could be the type of food you are feeding. If you are feeding a lower quality kibble, it will be packed with fillers. These fillers will cause your dog to poop more than is necessary, and it can cause your dog to poop indoors because of the excess poop. Finding a higher quality kibble like Taste of the Wild, Orijen, or a high quality food like Ziwipeak, or Honest Kitchen, will help with that issue.

Remember to NEVER scold for accident indoors. The more you scold, the more fearful your dog is of pooping in front of you, the less your dog will want to poop in front of you outdoors, the more he will poop indoors, the more you scold… it’s a vicious cycle.

Have you been cleaning messes with Nature Miracle? Pick up a bottle, and try cleaning with that instead of regular cleaner. It will eliminate the smells deep down (even to your dog), which will discourage him from potting in that spot again.

Maybe he needs to be taken outside more often, and maybe he needs to be kept outside longer each time. He should be allowed at least 10 minutes of roaming outside before he has to come back inside. Allow him 10 minutes every single time you bring him outside, just in case he has to poop. He needs every opportunity you can give him. Bring him outside every hour if he’s full grown, every 40 minutes if he’s an adolescent (6-10 months), and every 30 minutes if he’s a puppy (2-6 months). If you have a doggy door, you should still be bringing your dog outside yourself to encourage him to stay outside longer, and poop. When he does poop outside, you should praise him, and reward him with lots of treats!

Q. My puppy refuses to walk outside on the leash. This only happens when we’re outside… Is it stubbornness or fear?
ANSWER : A. It is never stubbornness. Dogs are not stubborn, they can’t be. Dogs do not generalize well, and dogs display fearful behavior that appears to be stubbornness. Absolutely NEVER force this dog to walk outside when he is uncomfortable with doing so.. the more you force him to do it, opposition reflex – the more he will resist. The more he resists and is forced into it, the less he learns about being comfortable, and the more he becomes fearful of you and of the situation.

What you can do is carry extremely high value treats outside with you. Things like cooked white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks – all cut up into tiny little pea-sized pieces. You can also use peanut butter in a squeeze tube. First, put on the leash indoors and begin feeding him the treats. Help him make positive associations with having the leash put on. Then, take the leash off, and start over in 10min. Put the leash on, feed treats, walk to the door, open the door, feed treats, close door, take off leash. Start over in 10min. Put on leash, feed treats, go to door, feed treats, open door, feed treats, go outside, feed tons of treats and praise. Keep Titus in his comfort zone. If he doesn’t want to go far, just feed him tons of treats where he IS comfortable going. Make sure everything is calm/happy/positive. I bet in a week of doing this, he will be happy with walk further and further all of the time. If ever he is uncomfortable, feed him lots of treats for being a brave boy, and then turn around and go back home. It’s all about keeping him in his comfort zone.. it’s all about remaining within his threshold and never forcing him to feed uncomfortable.

This is very common for puppies. The world is scary! It’s brand new to them, and it’s up to you to make their interactions and discoveries positive, happy, calm, and to never force them into anything.

Q. How do I know if my pet is overweight?
ANSWER : A. There are many ways to determine if your pet is overweight: breed standards, body condition score (BCS), body fat index (BFI), and morphometric measurements. These tools are used to determine how overweight a pet is, as well as to determine how much to feed to reach the pet’s ideal weight. Most weight loss programs fail because food dose calculations are based on inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

Current methods of estimating ideal body weight (body condition score/ guessing) are most likely to underestimate % body fat and therefore overestimate ideal weight, which leads to overfeeding. Pets are being overdosed on food because of inaccurate estimations of ideal body weight.

To determine body condition score it’s often helpful to have a scale from 1-5 to compare to: http://www.hillspet.com/weight-management/pet-weight-score.html. This scale is based on your ability to feel or see the ribs, the size of your dog or cat’s waist, and the appearance of the abdomen.

An overweight animal can be predisposed to several health conditions including high blood pressure, arthritis, endocrine disorders such as diabetes, and hypothyroidism. This is why it is important to determine an ideal weight for your pet and work hard to maintain a healthy weight.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. Russian blue mix cat – usually velvet soft coat but hair on back hind qtrs. is thinning, remaining hair seems less velvety than normal
ANSWER : A. Changes in coat appearance can be caused by a number of things. In older cats, hair loss or changes in coat and skin confirmation may indicate a metabolic issue such as thyroid problems. Cats can begin to lose hair and may also show other changes such as weight changes or appetite changes. Blood work is usually done to check for this, and most pets do very well with a daily medication treatment.

Hair loss can also be caused by mites on the skin, external parasites or even skin and fungal infections. These may cause red bumps or sores to appear on the skin in addition to the hair loss and coat changes. Your vet can take a skin scraping of the area to check for mites and infections, and a preventive flea treatment can remove any external parasites. If an infection or mites are present, your vet can also prescribe an antibiotic or topical cream to treat.

After any treatment it may take a month or two for completely bald patches to grow back in. This is normal as the skin and follicles need some time to heal prior to beginning the hair growth cycle again.

Q. Healthy German Shepherd has extremely loose stools once a day. I added 2 spoonfuls of pumpkin puree that hasn’t helped. No diet changes. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. Loose stools can be caused by a number of factors, and the first step is always to bring a stool sample to your local veterinarian to check for anything. Fecal exams can check for common bacteria and parasites in the stool that may cause chronic diarrhea.

Diet problems can also play a factor in loose stool as well as chronic illness. Dogs can be allergic to many different ingredients in the diet, however grains such as corn, wheat and soy products can be the most problematic. Adding a probiotic supplement can sometimes help such as a scoop of plain yogurt ever meal, or commercial product from your vet.

Illnesses and metabolic disorders may also cause chronic loose stools. German Shepherds are prone to a disease called Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency which is a problem with the pancreas (the same organ that dysfunctions in diabetes- however that is ENDOCRINE function in that case) producing enough digestive enzymes. This causes stools that may be loose, discolored grey or yellow and appear very fatty in color. Shepherds can also be prone to chronic small intestine infections that cause loose stool as well. Luckily, treatment for these conditions often just involves adding a daily digestive enzyme supplement to the food, or daily anti-biotic designed specifically for chronic bowel issues.

Read Full Q/A … : Veterinarians

Q. My cat is lossing a lot of hair she is 13 yrs old and been to the vet twice and had antibiotic and the next time steroid and advantage plus . I’m at
ANSWER : A. There are many possible causes of hair losss as I’m sure your veterinarian has explained to you. At 13 years old, your cat is in the right age-range for diseases of the thyroid gland to develop. Itchiness and hair loss can sometimes be a symptom of thyroid disorders. It may be necessary to have a full senior blood work up to check the thyroid levels and overall health of your senior cat. Other causes of hair loss include allergies to fleas and contact dermatitis (allergic to some chemical in the enviroment such as scented cat litter, air freshners, laundry products, floor cleaners, etc). Hair loss is a symptom of a larger problem and can be frustrating to treat. Try to get to the underlying cause.