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VetTechErin, Licensed Vet Tech
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  Published author in veterinary medical journals and on the Veterinary Information Network with a focus in toxicology
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I was looking could be wrong with my cat's ear. They

Customer Question

I was looking for what could be wrong with my cat's ear. They have crusty spots on the tips and edges of their ears like mention on this page. I guess it could be ringworm, but I'm not familiar with what it looks like on cats. I've caught it before and didn't know where I got it since I didn't own a cat at the time. Maybe I was petting a neighbor cat or something. That was a long time ago. So I know what it looks like on humans but not on the cat. It sounds reasonable since my cats go in and out. Where do they pick it up, from stray cats or other places? We do have a lot of deer in our area and wild animals at night. I live in the foothills so there could be wild animals, but my cats are usually in at night when the wild animals are prowling.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would like to know how the cats catch ringworm, if it's in a particular area or plant or just from other animals. If that's the problem. I haven't contracted it, so I'm not sure if it's ringworm or just sores from being in a fight, but being both of my cats have it, it seems to be something that is passed from one to the other. But one of the cats look like it's ears are clearing up and the other cat has a sore just in front of the ear and I've only been putting antibiotic cream on it. I try to put on the ears, but they won't hold still long enough. I'll have to employe some help to get the anti-fungal cream on them if that's what it is. And can I use regular anti fungal cream at the store or is it a specific type for ring worm?
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi there!
My name is ***** ***** I would be happy to help you with your question about your kitty.
Ringworm is a possibility, but given the fact that this seems to be located around the ear tips, it does not be the most likely possibility. There are a lot of things that can cause hair loss and crustiness around the edge of the ears and around the fronts of the ears, but the most common one is mites.
If you want to try to put an anti-fungal cream on the area to see if that helps, over-the-counter Lotrimin is often used to treat fungal infections in cats, though keep in mind that two cats will often groom creams off of each other or off of themselves, so sometimes an oral anti-fungal medication may need to be acquired from a vet.
Ringworm is a fungus that is typically transmitted from an infected animal to a non-infected animal, but it can also live in the environment of an infected animal. That does make outdoor cats more susceptible, especially if they are coming into contact with other animals outdoors.
Ear mites tend to cause similar signs of crustiness around the ears, and sometimes you can see a black coffee-ground-like substance inside the canal of the ear as well. These can be passed from cat to cat and are also something that is very common in outdoor kitties.
If you try the lotion and are not seeing any improvement, the vet can take a quick, easy look in their ears and give you some ear drops to kill mites. This is usually faster and easier to take care of than ringworm tends to be.
If you have any questions, feel free to follow up with me!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** it might be ear mites too, but their ear canals seem clean enough. I've had cats with ear mites and usually they scratch a lot on their ears. I was thinking it could also be fleas if not mites. It seems to clear up with the antibiotic cream, but I'll pick up some antifungal cream as well, just in case. Since I haven't gotten any areas of ringworm on myself, I kind of doubt it's ringworm, although I just may have gotten lucky. They do clean each other's ears and head and why I try to be cautious about what I use to treat them. I will also get some flea medicine and that might do the trick too. They are inside more than outside and don't wander far, but it is a rural area. I would take them to the Vet but finances don't allow me to do that now, that's why I contacted you on this site, I can afford the $12 as opposed to the $70 just to walk in the door at most Vets around here. And that doesn't include the medications or treatments they might do. So too costly for me right now. Thanks for the response and if it continues even after I try the different remedies, I'll think about going to the Vet if I can find one at a reasonable rate.
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
You're very welcome! The Lotrimin shouldn't hurt them if they lick a little off themselves or each other. It just won't be as effective.
If the crustiness improves with antibiotics, secondary skin infections are possible with any number of things including flea allergies. With a skin infection, you also have to treat the underlying condition.
Hopefully the cream will give you a place to start, and let me know if you need anything else!
Expert:  VetTechErin replied 2 years ago.
Hi Tammy,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Sushi. How is everything going?