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Cat with crusty areas.

Species: Cat
Breed: tortishell, short ha
Age: 2-5 years
Hello, I'd like some advice on diagnosis and treatment for my cat. She has had recurring black crusty areas under her chin, and also around her anus. Her coat seems to be losing condition as well. We took her to a vet who took a scraping, told us it was mites, gave her an injection two weeks apart, the symptoms reduced almost completely but did not disappear entirely and are now increasing again. The vet gave us no record (and has 'lost' own records) of what she was treated with, and exact diagnosis (we live in Kenya and finding a good vet is very difficult, also reluctant to get her injected again as vet hit a nerve with the needle and cat screamed for minutes afterwards). Your advice would be much appreciated!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Oppermann is having problems!

What a frustrating situation! I wish you were able to find out what it was that the vet found the first time. In my area (Canada) mites are relatively uncommon in cats. In fact, other than ear mites, I am not sure if I have ever diagnosed mites in a cat.

In some parts of the world a parasite called Demodex can affect cats. You may want to ask vets in your area if Demodex is a common problem.

There are a number of other possibilities. It is possible that your cat has some allergies. If so, having the vet prescribe steroids may help. Switching to a hypoallergenic food if one is available for you is a possibility as well.

It could be that there is skin infection in these areas in which case she would need antibiotics.

Sometimes black debris can be flea dirt. Take some of the black debris and put it on a white paper towel or piece of paper. Then, put some water on it and see if you can get it to smear and make a rusty color. If so, this is flea dirt.

If this were my case I would likely be applying a good flea prevention product such as Revolution as this would kill many other parasites including certain mites as well.

Chin acne can cause black crusty areas on the chin but shouldn't affect the anus and the rest of her coat.

I hope everything is ok!

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.