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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28439
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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I have three indoor-outdoor cats. We moved to a country

Customer Question

I have three indoor-outdoor cats. We moved to a country location in Maine this June. My dark grey cat has gradually lost the fur off both ears and I can gently scrape a thin layer of scab off his ears. All cats are up to date on vaccines, vet visits, leukemia vaccines and are treated monthly with Tritak. It is my understanding mites would be found in only one ear at any given time. I've never seen this phenomena on any of my indoor-outdoor cats in over 20 years in Maine - mostly living on the Coast.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Can you upload a photo(s) of Gunny's ears to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if that icon is visible) 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. Mites (feline scabies/notoedric mange) are intensely pruritic (itchy) and far more likely to affect both ears. Feline demodicosis is another mite-related consideration and fungal infection (ringworm) and allergic dermatitis should remain on my differential diagnosis list as well. An allergic dermatitis is expected to be pruritic while fungal infection is variably pruritic. Finally, autoimmune skin disorders such as the pemphigus complex and vasculitis are possible.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** That's really helpful. My guess was that this was likely fungal. Gunny rarely scratches his ears -- and certainly not on the outside where this is occurring. All three of my cats preen often and scratch the inside of their ears, but no more often than normal. The other two cats have shown no signs of these symptoms. Gunny is outdoors right now and is, unfortunately, generally gone for hours at a time. I don't typically wait this long to see the vet as I can walk from where I live with cat in tow. He will be towed to the first available appointment before his handsome ears have no hope of restoration. I appreciate your thoughts and expert insight. Thank you again.
- Sue Hefler
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. Sunny is now in my customer photo folder. Baseline information should include skin scrapings and a fungal culture. Please note that feline pinnal (ear flap) alopecia is uncommon (as compared to preauricular alopecia/hair loss "in front" of the ears). When seen it's characterized by periodic episodes of nonpruritic (not itchy) alopecia. The skin is otherwise normal, however. You've reported a thin layer of scab.

I can't set a follow-up in this venue and so would appreciate your returning to our conversation with an update - even after rating - at a time of your choosing.

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