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Feline acne?

Species: Cat
Breed: Gray-White Med Hair
Age: 2-5 years
Dr. Marie,

About a week ago I noticed a small grayish black nodule on my cat's lip. It seems to have come up suddenly and has not changed since I first noticed it. At first I thought it could be a burn as he has taken to chewing on power cords recently, but there doesn't appear to be any healing. He has iris melanosis of the left eye. The veterinary ophthalmologist took a look last June and said no melanoma. There have been no changes to his iris appearance since June (no pigmentation change, nodules, lesions, elevations, pupil distortion, etc). Here is a link to a picture of the lesion on his lip. Should I be worried?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/69731743@N02/8587989102/in/photostream

Thanks,

Carrie


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for sharing this excellent photo with me:

feline acne

Now, I can't officially give you a diagnosis over the internet but I can tell you that this looks very similar to feline acne. We don't know why cats get acne. Often it will look like little blackheads. The acne is usually on the chin or lip.

If there is just one dot and it doesn't seem to be bothering him then I wouldn't be worried about it and I wouldn't recommend doing anything. However, if there are lots of them or they seem to be inflamed and bothersome then it's best to see the vet to get some treatment. I will sometimes treat these with a human product like Oxy-pads. Or, I will sometimes prescribe a special cream for them.

It is believed that some cats get acne from an allergy to plastic, so if Gizmo eats out of plastic dishes at all, I would change those to either glass or ceramic or stainless steel. Also, be sure that the dishes are kept nice and clean.

If this one spot gets much larger or starts to ulcerate (open up) then it's worthwhile to have your vet take a look. Another possibility is an eosinophilic ulcer which is again, not a huge deal, but often needs steroids in order to clear up.

Something like a tumor would be quite unlikely.

I hope that helps!

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.

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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.