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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19632
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat has a dark crust on her vulva. She also has allergies

Customer Question

My cat has a dark crust on her vulva. She also has allergies and over grooms to the point of creating lesions on her belly. She has one of those lesions now and it is swollen and oozing. I had originally thought that she couldn't wash her rearend well because her swollen belly got in the way and that was the cause for the crust. I have started washing her belly and her rearend once a day to try to help her belly heal (she is taking clavamox now for her belly lesion and Zyrtec for her allergies) and noticed that her vulva has dark crust built up every day (even though I scrub it off each time I bathe her) - would a lack of grooming create a black crust daily or is there something else going on? I can feel swollen lymph nodes on either side of her back. She is about 8yrs old and was spayed as a kitten. If it is a uti, will the clavamox take care of that?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She just started the clavamox - she has only had 3 pills.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.
Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner. If you would still like assistance, can you tell me:
Did her vet send her home with a full course (ie a week's worth) or antibiotics?
Does she have any thickening of the skin in this region?
Does the crust come away if you bathe this area?
Has she been showing any straining to urinate or passing small frequent urinations?
Does she appear to have any urine dribbling?
Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, this will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the too bar above your text box. Or if you cannot see that on your computer/phone, then you can post them on an alternative site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, imgur, etc) and paste the web link here for me to check.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have added some pictures showing the dark stuff around her vulva. I took these pictures tonight (almost 23 hours after her bath yesterday - not the worst I've seen, but you can get an idea of what it looks like). Afterwards I washed her belly and rear end and took another picture of the area. I also added a picture to show how her belly hangs over the area and a picture of the whole belly area in general. Note - when I "bathe" her, I only wash her belly and rear-end, I don't scrub her belly, but I have started using an old soft bristled toothbrush to comb thru the hair on her rear end to remove the crust (if you zoom in on the post-bath picture, you can see specks of the crust that were not removed). I have been told that the dark specs on her belly (around the hair follicles) are comedones.Please see my answers to your questions below:
Did her vet send her home with a full course (ie a week's worth) or antibiotics? Yes, I have 2 weeks worth (28 pills)Does she have any thickening of the skin in this region? Not that I have noticedDoes the crust come away if you bathe this area? Yes, but not if you just lather and rinse with soap and water. I use a toothbrush to help remove the dried on bits from her fur- I try not to scrub her skin with the toothbrush I just sort of use the toothbrush as a comb to loosen the crusty stuff from her fur.Has she been showing any straining to urinate or passing small frequent urinations? I haven't noticed either, but I really haven't been around or noticed when she uses the litter box. I have more than one cat, so it is hard to judge by the litterbox too.Does she appear to have any urine dribbling? I don't think so.Let me know if you need different/better pictures or any additional info, Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
I have received your reply and photos. I will compose my thoughts about your wee one and be back to you shortly.
Speak to you again soon,
Dr. B
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,
First, thank you for the photos. Now based on these, the discharge actually looks suspiciously like a yeast based discharge (and if our trigger, then would not have responded to the antibiotics). We can see yeast overgrowth on the skin in animals and we could see this quite severely (as here) around the vulva if the skin is region is often moist (if she does dribble urine or cannot easily keep herself clean).
In regards ***** ***** you can have her vet swab the discharge for culture or to examine it under the microscope. If yeast is confirmed, then they can dispense anti-fungal treatment for this if need be. Otherwise, I would note that you could try an anti-yeast shampoo like Malaseb. The full strength version is prescription only and you would need your vet to dispense but the milder version is available OTC (even on Amazon @ if you wished to try it for her. So, that would be a symptomatic option to see if you care reduce this recurrent discharge and the general moist dermatitis underlying.
Finally, if you find that this is persistent for her, I do want to note that we can see yeast issues secondary to immune compromise and underlying disease. Therefore, if she isn't settling, then it'd be worth a blood and/or urine test to make sure she has no other underlying health issues (ie diabetes, thyroid issues, viral infections, etc) that could be making her prone to secondary yeast overgrowth issues.
I hope this information is helpful.
If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!
All the best,
Dr. B.
If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.