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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20620
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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I have a 21 year old cat. last few months he's has small

Customer Question

I have a 21 year old cat. For the last few months he's has small crusty type scabs that fine bleed or ooze but today I noticed a bald patch in between his shoulders with little red marks at the top of hair loss. Very worried. Thanks ledlee
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Using the wrong medication for fleas can be dangerous. You should definitely talk to the Veterinarian. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Leslee?
Customer: I haven't used any flea med on him because he doesn't go outside and he's 21
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 12 months ago.

Can you upload a photo(s) of this bald patch to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see that icon) or you can use an external app such as

I can be more accurate if I can see what you're seeing. Small crusty type scabs that bleed or ooze are likely to represent the papulocrustous eruptions of miliary dermatitis - a type of skin disease most often representative of an allergic dermatitis. The bald patch may be yet another manifestation of miliary dermatitis but I'd like to take a look before I make that call.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
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Customer: replied 12 months ago.
One of the pictures is here. Where the bald spot is. There is no oozing. Just crusting
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Did you get the pictures
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 12 months ago.

Good morning,

I am afraid that Dr. Salkin has opted out (as it may have been quite late when he was speaking to you). Though I am happy to help as much I can.

Now I have reviewed your photos and they just appear to be more scabs/inflammation from self-trauma due to scratching. Therefore, we would want to start supportive care for them to prevent infection developing. To do so, you can salt water (1tbsp salt to a pint warm water) bathe any open sores for him. This can be done 2-3 times daily and patted dry afterwards. If he is scratching or rubbing the area, we may need to put a baby tshirt on him to protect the skin (this tends to be tolerated better then an e-collar and also blocks him scratching with his back feet).

As well, since these skin changes in this area often are related to allergic dermatitis triggered by a flea bite and it only takes a single bite to set them off on weeks of irritation), we'd want to ensure he is up to date on flea treatment. So, you would want to cover that base for him and if he is very delicate you could even use Frontline spray (which we use for kittens >2 days old) to counter any risk of fleas.

Finally, since allergies tend to be the root cause of these reactions as Dr. Salkin mentioned, you can consider a trial on an OTC antihistamine. Most commonly we use Benadryl/Diphenhydramine (More Info/Dose HERE) at a low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of their body weight twice daily). Alternatively, you can also use Cetirizine (just 5mg for a cat) once daily. For either, we like to keep the dose low, since it can cause drowsiness (just like people). And of course, these shouldn't be used if your wee one has any known health issues or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Overall, I share Dr. Salkin's suspicions on your lad's lesions. So, we'd want to take the above approach to see if we can soothe this for him and give his skin a chance to heal. Of course, if these linger, you see any pus or he is very itchy, then we'd want him to his vet for further treatment.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


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