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DrChristineM, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3713
Experience:  6 years in small animal medicine, focus on feline medicine
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My cat has flakey dry ears. There is hair loss on the ears

Resolved Question:

My cat has flakey dry ears. There is hair loss on the ears.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Is this affecting the whole ear flap (pinna) or mostly the edges of the pinna?

Is she itchy at all?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
50% of the ear. Not itching at all.
She is a white cat.
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Does the skin look red or damaged (other than the flaking)?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Ok, thank you for the additional information. In a white cat, we always have to be aware of a cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) which targets white cats and is generally seen on the nose or the ears. Although this does not sound like SCC, i did want you to be aware of it so that if anything changes (the skin becomes damaged looking or you notice ulcers/wounds on the ear) you can be proactive in getting it checked.

From your description, this sounds more like ear margin dermatosis--we don't really know why they get this (there are several theories, but nothing proven), but it generally starts on the margins and can progress down the pinna. We see flaking, hair loss and sometimes a small amount of crusting. The problem is generally cosmetic. To try to treat, we recommend gently cleaning the ears to remove debris and applying a moisturizer to the affected area. You can also consider adding omega fatty acids (fish oil or safflower oil has lots of these essential fatty acids) to the diet.
If none of this helps, there are some oral/injectable medications your vet can give you that may help.

Again, if no improvement is seen or the ears start looking much worse, you should have Freya seen.

I hope this helps, please let me know if I can answer any other questions.
DrChristineM and 2 other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  DrChristineM replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for the photo--I didn't get it until I had already posted my previous answer. Based on the photo, I would recommend having Freya seen. This looks a bit more severe than dermatosis, and I am concerned about SCC. I would recommend having her seen and considering a biopsy of the ear to make 100% certain that this is not cancerous.