Nose Skin Disease in Cats

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Nose Skin Disease in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Nose Skin Disease in Cats - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Nose Skin Disease?

Some nasal dermatoses may heal with time, but if the condition does not go away within a week, you should contact your veterinarian to find out what is the cause of the problem and if any special medication or treatment is necessary.

There are many types of skin diseases that may develop on the nose of a cat. We would consider a fungal or bacterial infection, cat acne, a bite wound, cancer or other condition that causes nasal lesions.

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Nose Skin Disease Average Cost

From 528 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$400

Symptoms of Nose Skin Disease in Cats

The symptoms may vary according to the origin of the skin disease, but usually consist of:

  • Ulcers with crusts and/or pus
  • Redness 
  • Loss of pigment
  • Loss of hair
  • Nodules that drain pus
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Causes of Nose Skin Disease in Cats

Some of the most common nose skin diseases in cats are:

  • Abscesses, which are the accumulation of pus in fluid-filled nodules and may be caused by an infection due to a bite or wound. There may be a crusty area on the ulcer, and the cat may have loss of appetite, fever and depression. The nodules may open and drain.
  • Aspergillosis, which is a fungal infection that usually enters the cat's body through the nose. It may cause ulcers on the nose that drain as well as drainage from the nostrils.
  • Bee or wasp stings that may vary dramatically in severity. Immediately after the bite, you may see redness, swelling, and possibly itching. Draining ulcers may develop, and depending on the cat’s reaction, there may be hives or anaphylaxis (though this is very rare). 
  • Sunburn is also called solar dermatosis and is common in cats that have white fur and pink skin. There may be scales on the nose, and crusts and ulcers can develop later. There is often redness and hair loss. 
  • Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection that is usually transmitted through bird droppings. Cats with suppressed immune systems may be more susceptible. The nose may develop ulcers and other parts of the body may be affected. 
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Diagnosis of Nose Skin Disease in Cats

In order to correctly diagnose nose skin disease in cats, your veterinarian will ask questions about the medical history of the cat, including changes in your cat’s lifestyle, when the symptoms started and if you remember anything that may cause lesions such as recent sun exposure or an insect bite. The vet may take samples of skin from the nose to culture for fungi and bacteria testing or to do a biopsy. Diagnostic tests may be recommended to rule out some of the possible causes of skin disease, because some symptoms are seen in several different skin diseases. Other diagnostic tests may include examining hair and skin under a microscope, analysis of scabs, and blood tests for allergies. The doctor may also monitor how your cat responds to a trial of dietary modification or medical therapy.

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Treatment of Nose Skin Disease in Cats

Once the veterinarian determines the cause of the skin disease, he or she can prescribe a treatment. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be recommended to relieve symptoms and discomfort. Some of the possible treatments are:

Abscesses

Surgery may be required to open and drain the abscesses and flush out the pus. If there is infection, the appropriate antibiotic will be prescribed. Most also require anti-inflammatories and pain relief.

Aspergillosis

The veterinarian may want to surgically remove lesions before prescribing antifungal medication. There are several different antifungal medications that may be used. Some require nasal washes under anaesthetic.

Bee or Wasp Sting 

Antihistamines and/or steroids will be prescribed, and if the lesions are ulcerated, a wet dressing may be applied. The doctor will also protect the area so that your cat cannot self-inflict trauma; this is often achieved with a buster collar.

Sunburn

Your cat must avoid further exposure to direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 10am – 3pm during the summer. In some cases, feline sunblock and steroids may be prescribed. 

Cryptococcosis

Since this is a fungal infection, antifungal medication is prescribed. Depending on the severity of the lesions, the doctor may want to remove any plauqes prior to administering fungal medication.

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Recovery of Nose Skin Disease in Cats

Depending on the severity and cause of the nose skin disease, the predicted outcome of treatment is usually good. It may take a week or more for the medications to clear up the disease completely. It is recommended to take your cat back to the veterinarian after the nose heals to make sure all the symptoms are gone. 

There are some things you can do to help prevent skin diseases, starting with feeding a balanced diet and providing good grooming. Make sure your cat is not exposed to known allergens such as certain foods, dust mites and plastics. Your doctor can help with this after diagnosing the nose skin disease. If your cat has white ears and a pink nose, keep it out of the sun during the peak hours of sunlight. Even sunbathing through a window can cause sunburn so consider blinds if your cat is a sun worshipper. It is also recommended to have your cat neutered because this will help keep it out of fights that could result in an injury on the nose.

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Nose Skin Disease Average Cost

From 528 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$400

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Nose Skin Disease Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Aidi

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Nine Years

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11 found helpful

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11 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Sneezing

My cats nose is completely black when it was pink. She constantly is sneezing and expelling a foul smelling liquid.

Jan. 15, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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11 Recommendations

I'm so sorry this is happening to your cat. You don't say how long this has been going on or if any tests have been run but, from the photo, I would be concerned about: A cancer, a fungal disease, a severe bacterial infection etc. She needs to be seen by a vet who will examine her in person and may run some tests such as a biopsy. Treatment will depend on what the diagnosis is. Regardless, she will almost certainly benefit from some antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to help with any discomfort and treat any secondary bacterial infections that are present. I wish her the very best.

Jan. 15, 2021

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Maine coon

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Eight Years

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2 found helpful

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2 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Brown Spot On Nose

My vet thinks he was bitten by a wasp a week ago. There is a small crater like spot under his chin. He developed nasal discharge and a red rash on one spot on his face shortly after. The vet gave him a short acting cortisone and antibiotic shot. The discharge and reverse sneezing seems much improved but now he has developed this brown spot on his nose. My vet is closed- should I take him to an emergency clinic? He is eating/drinking and doesnt seem distressed. His left eye is draining in the picture because he has no tear duct on that side so this is normal for him.

Sept. 5, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Hello- If he is eating and drinking, I don’t think you need to see the emergency veterinarian, but I would recommend making an appointment for him on Monday. It looks like well you’re going to need additional antibiotics for him. Thank you!

Sept. 5, 2020

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Nose Skin Disease Average Cost

From 528 quotes ranging from $200 - $1,800

Average Cost

$400

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