This might be an instructive story which may guide some cat owners but please remember that cat owners who are unqualified in veterinary medicine should be very cautious about self-diagnosis through Internet research. You might get some ideas through personal research but you will probably need the input of a veterinarian which of course is always recommended. And remember too that veterinarians can get it wrong especially with conditions which are harder to diagnose.
The picture shows the ear of a male cat allowed to go outside. He lives in Atlanta, USA and his owner says that he spends time outside during the day. These bumps and scabs appear during the warm months but they go away in colder weather. This is a seasonal condition, therefore. What is the cause?
A veterinarian, online, Dr. Deb ruled out the following:
- Fleas or an allergic reaction to the flea bite;
- A food allergy;
- Ear mites.
You can see that she was thinking along the lines of an allergy. Her diagnosis was miliary dermatitis due to a seasonal allergy from pollens, grasses et cetera. This is caused cat to scratch because it itching.
As she decided that it was caused by an allergic reaction the clue is the fact that it happens during a certain time of year and warm weather. In short, she believes that this is an ear allergy which causes itching and skin redness without drainage. The condition is called otitis externa which is an inflammation of the ear. Ear allergies can sometimes affect the skin of the ear canals as well as the ear flaps i.e. the visible part of the ear.
The veterinarian also suggested it might be caused by fly bites because the cat had bumps on his nose as well. Fly bites can be seasonal too. Allergies which affect ears like this are treated with steroids such as Cortaid which is a topical ointment (for the skin). The intense itching causes a cat to scratch which is harmful and which can lead to a secondary bacterial infection. The read sore patches in the photograph where the skin has been broken was caused by scratching.
I can remember years ago my mother living with a Siamese cat whose name was Suki. She had a similar sort of allergic reaction to something possibly food which showed up in her ear flaps. I can recall Suki suffering from this and my mother not really doing much about it. Looking back I feel bad. The point is that it is very uncomfortable for a cat to suffer from this kind of itchiness of their ear flaps and therefore prompt remedial action is required with veterinary advice.
SOME MORE ON ALLERGIES SUFFERED BY CATS: