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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 30273
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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How do you do? My cat incessantly scratches her right ear,

Customer Question

How do you do?
My cat incessantly scratches her right ear, which causes gash, and cuts. There are also bumps on the outside of her ears.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Nattie. The proper manner in which to proceed is as follows:

1) Both of her ears need to be scoped to better understand if an otitis interna/media or externa exists (inner, middle, or outer ear infection exists) and if an inflammatory polyp or other neoplasm is present in that particularly problematic right ear.

2) A cytology of any exudate in the ear(s) should be performed. This is a microscopic exam of that exudate looking for abnormal numbers of bacteria, yeast, or mites.

3) Treatment is then predicated upon findings in 1) and 2) above.

4) If the ears are unremarkable, her "bumps" may indicate that her only problem is miliary dermatitis - a form of allergic dermatitis in cats usually seen with flea saliva allergy, atopy (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.), or food intolerance. Nattie's vet will need to differentiate one allergy from the other. In most cases a conservative approach will be taken at Nattie's age and that's likely to be a very low dose of a steroid such as prednisone which nevertheless is a potent antihistaminic (and so antiallergenic) drug.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.