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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 30386
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat has a strange growth/sore on her head just above her

Customer Question

My cat has a strange growth/sore on her head just above her eye. It's raised above the skin maybe a quarter of an inch. Yesterday it was a very dark color and today it appears to be grayish. Looks like the skin around it is very dry. She is starting to lose the hair in this spot, might be from over grooming it. Any ideas?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Can you upload a photo of this growth/sore to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (not if you're using the chrome browser) or you can use an external app such as imgur.com or dropbox.com. I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thought I did add an image. I'm not on a computer, I'm on my phone. I used the Add files button and after I choose the image I want, it shows up at the bottom of the screen. Can you not see it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Oops, now I see I had to add a message. You should see the image now.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Yes, thank you. I see scabbing on a small raised area which isn't terribly helpful to you because it can indicate a number of skin conditions. Can I trouble you to thoroughly wash away the scabbing and thereby expose the underlying skin and then take another pic for me? 3% hydrogen peroxide or even a bit of regular soap and water should suffice. Is Fiona restricted to the inside or can she go outside and contact the dirt as well?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I tried my best to wash the scab away but she wasn't very cooperative. From what I can tell, there seems to be a lump under the scab. I was hoping it was a buildup of blood or something like that, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Almost like a mole that got scratched and bled a bit, you know? But I don't remember ever seeing any bump there before. Ugh, sorry, that's probably no help. She is an inside cat and does not go outside. But there are also two dogs in our house and they go out all the time.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

I appreciate your efforts. Cats don't always appreciate ours! If she doesn't go outside, a ringworm kerion (focal fungal infection) is unlikely. That was my initial concern. If it is raised, a rapidly arising neoplasm such as a mast cell tumor or simple injury that now is infected should be our concerns. I know you didn't come here to be told that her vet will need to take a look at that skin lesion but that's the best advice I can give at this time.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Now that I think of it...I did feel another bump on her chest/neck area a few weeks ago. I thought maybe her brother got a little too rough with her when they were playing. She also has a flesh colored bump just under her mouth. That's been there for months. Almost looks like a pimple. Could they all be related?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.

Perhaps her brother is responsible for this skin lesion and bump on her chest/neck area but not the flesh colored bump.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
She's not even 3 years old yet, could she really have a tumor?!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
for example mast cell tumors may be found in young (less than 4 year old) cats and are commonly found on the head. The good news is that they usually spontaneously regress in young cats.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Karen,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Sorry, we were out of town. Here are some updated photos. I was able to remove most of the dark scab and she seems to have removed the rest of it herself - along with hair and her eye brows. I'm assuming they'll grow back eventually. So what's left is a dark patch of skin. Doesn't seem to be swollen or raised above the skin. Almost like a birth mark! Does that make sense?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you! Just hyperpigmentation remains which is consistent with skin that had been inflamed - very much how we turn brown (we tan) after our skin reddens. She's likely to completely normalize within a month.