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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14884
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Hi, My cat has been developing hard, raised bumps on her

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Hi,
My cat has been developing hard, raised bumps on her ears, accompanied by a lot of scratching. About 6 weeks ago I took her to the vet and they told me they weren't concerned; they ruled out ear mites and told me that her ears will itch if she's gotten bitten and it's healing, or something to that effect. At that time, she also had one scab on a bump on her nose.

Now, the bumps have increased. There are some on the back and edges of both ears. The ones on the edges have scabs; the ones toward the middle of the ear are hard, raised bumps. I don't notice too much redness with the bumps. Additionally, there are now 4 or 5 bumps/scabs on her nose, 1 scab just on the upper rim of her left eyelid, and 1 scab on the lower rim of her right eyelid. When I comb her neck and chest, she has that automatic scratching response with the lower leg. This behavior is new as of this week. She's a long haired cat, so it's difficult for me to see the skin there.

She's a light-skinned cat - orange and white fur, and her ears and nose are pink. She spends some time outdoors (we live in a city, but we do have some grass/bushes/trees), but only a couple hours a day (she asks to go out, but comes back on her own within 20-30 minutes). She's about 10 years old.

She was treated with Program injection, a rabies shot, FIV and FCVRP vaccines at the vet.

I'm really concerned about my cat... worried it might be anything from mange to cancer based on what I've read. Any insight or suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time!

Dr Kara :

Hello, I'm sorry to hear about your kitty.

Dr Kara :

The hard raised bumps on her ears and face could be several things, from vasculitis (an autoimmune type condition or body attacking itself) to reactions to mosquito or flea bites, or a condition called solar dermatitis in light skinned cats (UV rays causing sunburn and subsequent skin damage).

Dr Kara :

Another possibility is tumors called mast cell tumors.

Dr Kara :

While all of these are possibilities given that she has lesions on her haired skin as well I do believe that allergic dermatitis is the most likely cause.
Program does work as a flea birth control but it does not stop fleas or other insects from biting her and if she's allergic then these bites will lead to symptoms. In allergic animals I prefer Frontline or Advantage applied monthly.
The way to avoid mosquito bites is by keeping her in at dawn and dusk when these insects are most likely out.

Dr Kara :

To treat her itchiness give her 4mg or chlorpheniramine orally once or twice daily and an omega 3 fatty acid supplement. I like 3V caps or Derm caps. Together these work synergistically to stop the itch.

Dr Kara :

You can also try applying a small amount of cortisone cream (like cortaid) to the affected areas.
If this is related to solar dermatitis then keeping her in during prime sun hours, 10 am to 4 pm, ans using sunscreen on her ears and nose is recommended.
If this therapy does not improve her condition in a couple weeks I recommend biopsying these lesions for a definitive diagnosis

Dr Kara :

This is a picture of a cat severely affected with solar dermatitis

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Dr Kara :

And this is a cat affected by mosquito bite dermatitis

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Dr Kara :

This is a picture of vasculitis (it's a dog but will look similar in a cat)

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