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November 10, 2009


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Elizabeth Mozo

What do you do for a german shephard with Fiberglass Dermatitis?


Does (or did, given the how long ago this was posted) your neighbor's cat have longer fur? I'm in East Oregon and have been looking after a stray with long fur. It's been snowing the past week and the cat has been showing up with bits of insulation in its fur. So apparently it finds some kind of shelter when I'm at work...I'm just hoping the insulation isn't too harmful because this cat will not tolerate grooming, and I've tried it with metalworking gloves and puncture sleeves...


Hello, Gerald,
The cat had your basic domestic short-hair (aka "alley cat")short cat hair.

It's direct contact with skin and fibers that causes the irritation. They are prickly.

They'll fester out eventually. If the cat isn't traumatizing itself, I wouldn't expect any problems.

Ruth Rackley

I have a collie that go in contact with insulation and just layed in it. He started itching and also pulling his hair out and biting himself. We took him to the vet and he gave him a steroid injection. It seemed to help but it is worse now. What can I do at home to make him better. He is a yard dog & doesn't come in the house at all.


Hello, Ruth,
If you haven't already given him a good bath, you should do that.

Benadryl may help a little, sometimes it just makes them too sleepy to scratch, but at least the dog gets some rest. Check with your veterinarian for an appropriate dose.

It will take some time for the fibers to work their way out. I don't know anything else to do right now.


I adopted a 14 year old rescue jack Russell who had been kept as an outdoor dog. The owners provided her with a fiberglass insulation lined doghouse. She has large patches of tough darkened skin. Red and black belly. The edges of her ears are black and crunchy. She does have other issues that could contribute to her skin but I'm convinced the years of fiberglass are the primary culprit. I have a specialty shampoo and we've gotten her a cytopoint shot but haven't seen much relief. Any suggestions for giving this old lady some relief that she deserves?


Hello, TK,

Black crunch ears sounds like a vasculitis problem - inflammation of the small blood vessels. I would recommend a biopsy of the affected areas. The fiberglass might be part of the problem, but usually you have to have direct skin contact with it, and I don't think the edges of the ears would be getting much contact.

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