MTX is off the hook…this time

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So yes, everytime I have any weird sort of symptom, I immediately look for a way to blame it on my RA.

A week and a half ago, I woke up and my armpits were itching.  Not just a little bit but almost unbearably.  I had just restarted methotrexate so I looked on WebMD and a couple of other places and found a few articles linking this to a. irritation from deodorants or b.some sort of fungal infection not uncommon in those who have suppressed immune systems.  Immediately, bells went off in my head.  Damn you, methotrexate, damn you! 

I was absolutely certain it was (b) but went ahead and bought hypoallergenic deodorant just in case and added it to my list of things to discuss with my doctor this week.  The deodorant didn’t help so I just knew,  JUST KNEW, that it had to be the immune system fungal infection.  I mean, what else could it be?  

Tuesday evening, I was sitting on my couch with a cat on my lap, enjoying a cold fall night.  I was berating myself for not vacuuming up all the leaves I had tracked in when I saw it.  IT.  On my cat.  A wee beast.  Crawling up her neck.  And another!  On her belly.  And OH MY GOSH- another one- on her leg.  I brushed her and examined the fur on the brush- little black specks everywhere. THE HORROR.

A quick call to a doctor friend confirmed the sinking feeling in my stomach: generalized itching could also be caused by fleas.  Especially if the cat spent the day sleeping on my bed.  Which would probably lead to unbearable itching in the morning.

I took a trip to the vet rather than the rheumatologist on Wed (not for me, for the feline) and what I suspected was confirmed: the cat who has never been outside and only sees other animals through the window has a raging case of fleas, most likely picked up from leaves I tracked in.  

So with a good dose of Frontline and furious cleaning efforts on my part, the itching is gone.

So, no fungal infection.  Can’t blame methotrexate for this.  Or even RA.

FLEAS.

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6 responses »

  1. Glad to hear that is was “only” fleas. I’ve done this as well, blamed something completely unrelated on my RA…in my case, it was sciatica. Sounds funny, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that health issues can be caused by something else other than RA, no?

  2. All my cats have had fleas at some point, and yes, it’s horrible, but at least it’s quite easy to sort out once you know … and hurrah for it being in no way RA related.

    I did once have the opposite problem to you, at the vet’s. She was adamant that Middle-sized Cat’s skin allergy was due to fleas and therefore that therefore he had to have fleas. I said he didn’t have fleas. She said she’d prove that he did. She got out her flea comb and combed … and combed … and combed … nothing! Ha! Told her so! Believe it or not we’ve traced his allergy to … wait for it, wait for it … cardboard boxes!! He adores cardboard boxes, especially corrugated ones he can scratch to bits … and that’s the problem. The dust from doing that causes a skin allergy – so poor chap, his favourite toys are now banned.

    • I am so glad that I’m home by myself right now…otherwise, I would have to explain, once again, to my darling husband why I’m sitting at my computer laughing my head off!!

      We’ve had the FLEAS this year. Couldn’t get rid of them this summer because I couldn’t do my usual “insecticide” sweep through my yard (I was just happy when I could get out of bed and make it to the bathroom without crying. No way was I going to make it through any type of yard work this year.) Finding out your pet has fleas has a way of making you feel like the worst pet parent, doesn’t it?! And one of my cats is allergic to most of the topical flea treatments, so that’s why I have to treat the yard. She lost her hair one year after the vet had used the topical treatment on her.

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