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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16316
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Our 7 month old spayed kitten has developed a bald spot

Customer Question

Hi, our 7 month old spayed kitten has developed a bald spot behind her left ear. its quite large (about 1.5 inch in diameter) and has a couple of pinpick sized scabs in it
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I am afraid that the expert you have requested is not currently available. Still I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Are you seeing any crusting, scaling, or pimples/pustules with this?

Is Tiggy scratching the area ?

Any sign of discharge or redness in her ear?

When was she last treated for fleas? What did you use?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, I am happy to have a look (since it will let me see what you are seeing). To post them, you can either use the wee paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi, have noticed her scratching her ears (both) but no patch behind hte other. We've had her about 5 weeks, got her from the vet and they treated her for fleas (not sure what with). Its Winter here and she's an inside only cat so fleas aren't an issue. Trying to get a picture but she's in a playful mood so won't keep still - best I can do are the ones attached,There are 2 tiny little scabs on the lower part of the bald patch but no inflammation around them .

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Lynda,

Now I am grateful for the photos, but unfortunately the flash has whited out the bald patch preventing me from seeing the details of the skin. So, hopefully there are no crusts, scaling or dandruff to be seen. The reason is because seeing that alongside baldness in this area can be a sign of ringworm (which is contagious and can be spread to people). And in that case we'd want her to be seen so that could be confirmed and addressed.

That aside, if she has been scratching her ears, I would be suspicious that the hair loss could be related to self trauma (which what will be causing the scabs). And I would note that we don't always see similar lesions on either side even if both ears are affected. This is because she may be particularly irritated with one or the nails on the back foot on that side may happen to be sharper and therefore inducing changes on that side. So, we don't always see matching bald spots (and when we do that tends to be when we have odd hormonal issues present).

So, with everything you have told me, I would be suspicious that your lass's visible hair loss is actually a side effect of an ongoing ear issue. Especially if you are not seeing any of those signs of ringworm or those other bacterial induced signs I asked about. And I would note that ear mites are high on the list of suspicions for itchy ears in cats, especially when we are seeing severe discharge or pus in the ear. (and that is why I asked about her flea treatment, since some brands also cover against ear mites as well).

So, that would be me clinical suspicions based on what you have reported. If it has been 5 weeks since her last flea treatment, you can consider re-treating her at this point with one that will also address ear mites (ie Advantage Multi/Advocate, Revolution, Stronghold, etc). That way you can rule that out for her. Further to this, we want to clip those back claws to prevent her from damaging the skin further and we can cleanse the area with dilute chlorohexidine (available OTC at most vets and pharmacies) a few times daily since this will help against bacterial and fungal concerns. If you try this but she isn't settling, then we'd want to consider a check up with her vet at that stage, so they can examine her ears to rule out or treat any other infection present and to check the skin and make sure there are no hints of anything more then the self-trauma we suspect here.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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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! : )

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks Embarassed

Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome, Lynda.

All the best for Tiggy,

Dr. B.

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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! : )