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Flea dirt around nipples?

Species: Cat
Breed: Aegean we think
Age: 1-2 years
She is a 20 month old seemingly very healthy happy cat. There is a very good chance she's pregnant. I noticed her nipples we starting to get bigger a few weeks ago and today when I rubbed her belly I felt something crusty. Her nipples are getting crusty, which being a mom myself I understand could be a normal sign of lactating. The thing that's concerning me is most of her nipples have brownish spots around them. I've read that it could be from flea's. She did have a major flea episode a couple of months ago but she's in her second month of being treated with "Bayer Advantage II" flea treatment for cats over 9 pounds.
Is it possible this is from the old flea bites or could it be something else? She doesn't show any signs of having fleas now and my daughter has no new bites.(they sleep together at night). She had all her shots when she was a kitten, but I don't take either of the cats to the vet unless something is wrong because I have Multiple Sclerosis and my only income is Social Security disability. I can send you picture if you need me to.
Thank you for any help you can give me.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

What you are describing certainly does make it sound like Gracie is pregnant!

I would love to see a photo of what you are describing. You can send it to photos@askavetquestion.com.

However, what you are describing sounds nothing like flea dirt. It would be unusual to see it around the nipples like this. I have seen some pregnant cats have a brown waxy debris around their nipples and on the abdomen and this can be totally normal.

If I remember right, Advantage and Advantage II are not labelled for use in pregnant cats. It's a tough call on what to do though. Most likely the product is safe for use in pregnancy, but the company has not done the testing to guarantee that it will be safe. Revolution is a product that is safe for use in pregnancy so it may be worthwhile to ask your vet for Revolution in order to continue Gracie's flea treatment throughout her pregnancy.

I look forward to seeing your photos. I will check in on your question in the morning.

Dr. Marie.



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

I sent you 2 picture one of one of her nipples and one of her, as you will see her coat looks fine, I'm just worried about her nipples, I can't find the black dots anywhere else on her body. As far as using the flea treatment, she went into heat after her last treatment, but I'll get the other treatment for her for now. Thanks again for your help.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for the photos! Your girl looks like a sweetheart!

Here is the photo of the dirt around the nipple. I've cropped it to show just the important part:

dirt around cat's nipple

Now, keep in mind that I can't make a diagnosis over the internet. What I can tell you though is that this is very unlikely to be anything to worry about. It doesn't look like flea dirt to me. I have seen a number of cats that get marks that look like this around their nipples and they are nothing to worry about.

If you feel that the area is itchy, red or bothersome to Gracie then I would have your vet look at her. But I will be surprised if that happens. Hope all goes well with her delivery!

Dr. Marie.



Customer reply:

Thank you very much. She has shown no signs of it bothering her at all. I found you during an internet search and decided the investment to ask the question worth it when I looked over your website. My gut told me she was ok, but she's by baby's baby and I just couldn't afford a vet visit right now. If I had to I'd borrow the money from my sister. You pretty much confirmed what my instincts were telling me and for that I'm grateful. Take care : )


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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.