Dog ate chocolate?

ask a vet

Crusty ears on a cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: Bengal cat
Age: 3-6 months
My just over 3 month old, 100% indoor kitten has some crustiness on both tip/edge of his ears. One ear has it all along the edge. There isn't any blood but some definitely crustiness and hardness. His ear is curled back a little bit. His other ear has just a little starting on the tip.

Tuna doesn't seem to be too bothered by it but I have noticed that he does scratch his head/ear area every now and again.

Like I said, he is an indoor cat and has never been outside. We also don't have any other pets.

I am sending a bunch of pictures in .


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thank you for sending me these photos. Your boy is beautiful!

I have included a couple of the photos here:

crusty ear on cat

ear margin dermatosis on a cat

These images have me a little concerned. There is a chance that this could be something relatively serious. One thing that can look very much like this is a condition called pemphigus foliaceus. This is an autoimmune condition. It can usually be controlled with medication but it can be a lifelong condition.

Another possibility is something called squamous cell carcinoma. However, this would be unlikely in a 3 month old kitten. This is a type of skin cancer that is very serious.

In an outdoor cat, I have seen ears that look like this as a result of mosquito bites. Some cats can have something called mosquito bite hypersensitivity. But, at this time of year, this would be quite uncommon in an indoor cat.

In a three month old cats, ear mites are fairly common but this does not look like ear mites. Cats with ear mites have dark crusty material deep in the ear canal and not really on the tips or margins of the ear.

Another unlikely possibility is ringworm which is a fungal condition, but I haven't seen ringworm affect the ear margins like this.

I would highly recommend that you have your vet examine your boy. They will want to do some tests and will probably need to do a biopsy of part of the ear in order to determine what is going on.

If you do get a diagnosis, I would love for you to post back and let me know.

Dr. Marie



Check out our dog age calculator and cat age calculator.

Want to receive pet coupons, vet advice and info on new pet products in your inbox?

* indicates required

We'll only send you great stuff, never spam. Unsubscribe any time.

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:

We took Tuna to the vet. It turned out to be ringworm. His ears got better on their own after a few more days, with the crustiness flaking off and the hair starting to grow back. We found another crusty spot on his upper body though, which the vet diagnosed as ringwork by flashing a blacklight over it and turning the fungus a bright green.

We're using topical medicine with good success. All is well!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm glad to hear that! Hope things clear up quickly!

Dr. Marie



Search for similar questions:

ask a vet

Popular questions...

Pregnant cat question. Back in March approx. around the 9th my cat Faith went into heat. During this time... (20677 views)

Not eating and vomiting. Our Dog won't eat and drinks very little if any. Friday last weekend Harper's... (10343 views)

Dark spot on eye. scooby recently has a darker spot on his pupil, other than that his health is... (19381 views)

Inbreeding dogs. is it true that if a female dog and her son have a relationship will the puppies... (29182 views)

My dog wants to sniff everything. I have miniature schnauzer who refuses to poop in “timely manner outside. I take... (7428 views)

What caused my cat to die? Hello Dr. Marie - I found my cat dead yesterday morning under my neighbors van,... (28301 views)

Bumps on schnauzer. Hi Dr. Marie, Firstly, I'd like to thank you for this very valuable, yet... (14345 views)

Dog has lump on top of head. My great dane will be 1 year old on Dec.10th, 2010. We had gotten him from a... (25890 views)

Not well after vaccines. Had rabies distemper & bord shots fri Gave her frontline & heartguard yest night.... (6289 views)

Sudden death in a dog after swimming. My dog was swimming in the lake for 1-2 mins, she came out, then ran around suddenly... (9086 views)

See all questions...

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.