Picture of bumps and scabs on a cat's ear caused by an allergic reaction

This picture of the external part of the ear of a domestic cat, called the pinna (ear flap), might be instructive to somebody. It shows bumps and some bloody areas. You might be able to guess what happened. The cat has scratched his ears because they were itching. This sort of condition is often caused by an allergy to something. 

Allergies are caused by allergens and there are a wide range of allergens in very many areas of the life of a domestic cat including in the air and environment generally, in their food, and household items, in chemicals around the house which you don't necessarily know exist and so on. It can be difficult for a veterinarian to work out which allergen is causing an allergic reaction in a domestic cat. They have to run a lot of tests.

I have a particular interest in this sort of ear flap damage as my late mother's Siamese cat, Suki, suffered from the same problem. She did not deal with it properly and promptly which irks me to this day knowing that it caused her cat so much distress.

Picture of bumps and scabs on a cat's ear caused by an allergic reaction
Picture of bumps and scabs on a cat's ear caused by an allergic reaction. Photo: the cat's owner who remained anonymous.



The symptoms are distressing for a domestic cat because of intense itching. The cat scratches which breaks the skin. This may lead to a secondary bacterial infection and more problems. It's a case of self-mutilation. It's why cat owners need to act promptly to deal with allergies like this. It is called otitis externa: the external part of the air is inflamed in the form of bumps. It is not the whole area but just small parts of it.

A veterinarian diagnosed this condition online through the photograph. As this cat developed the problem during the summer months when he was outside in Atlanta, USA the veterinarian decided that it was a seasonal allergy caused by allergens such as pollen and grasses. She was able to discount other allergens such as those in food and around the house because of its seasonal nature.

But it might have been caused by a flea bite as some cats are allergic to flea bites. Or it might be caused by food and so on. It is just that it was possible to pin this one down more accurately because of its seasonal nature.

A secondary possibility was that the cat had been bitten by flies because he also had bumps on his nose. Fly bites are going to be seasonal as well for obvious reasons.

The picture is quite instructive because I think allergies which manifest themselves on a domestic cat's ear flaps are quite common. They look rather benign and not particularly important but they are. They cause itchiness which is very distressing if that itchiness is present all the time 24/7. Think about it and how it might feel if you had a persistent and powerful itch on your ear all the time.

Please deal with these sorts of illnesses quickly and see a veterinarian because it can be very difficult to self-diagnose domestic cat illnesses and conditions accurately. This condition is dealt with through a topical steroid cream which your veterinarian can provide recommend. 

But of course, the best treatment is proactive, namely to prevent your cat coming into contact with the allergen or allergens which cause the condition. In this instance it would probably be wise for the owner to keep her cat inside during the summer months which would be very difficult because he's got used to being outside enjoying the sun.

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