Skin Ulcers Average Cost

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What are Skin Ulcers?

Skin ulcers in cats are defects in the surface layers of a feline’s skin. The ulceration is often slow to heal, requiring careful observation and veterinary care. The majority of skin ulcers are the result of trauma from an outside source, but can also be linked to certain varieties of disease.

If you notice a crusted wound on your cat’s foot, nose, or skin, it is likely that she has a skin ulcer. Skin ulcers in cats can be a red, inflamed sore spot on the cat’s skin, or the wound can open, seeping discharge from the affected area. Feline skin ulcers have many possible causes including parasites, infections, allergies, disease, burns, and a variety of other skin irritants. Cats also have a tendency to self-manipulate a wound, licking or biting continuously until the skin problem becomes severe. 

Symptoms of Skin Ulcers in Cats

The initial signs of skin ulcers in cats is a crusted area of the feline’s foot, nose or skin. As the ulceration progresses, or if the cat has inflicted self-manipulation, the skin problem can progress into an extensive lesion. The affected area may open, draining a thick, white substance, the area around the ulcer may become red and irritated, and the cat may lose hair in the area. 

  • Depigmentation 
  • Alopecia (hair loss)
  • Multiple lesions 
  • Skin erosions 
  • Skin ulcerations 
  • Discharge
  • Dried crust 
  • Inflammation 
  • Swelling 
  • Redness 
  • Self-manipulation (licking) causing hot spots or infection 

Causes of Skin Ulcers in Cats

There is a long list of possible causes of skin ulcers in cats that includes: 

  • Zygomycosis (a type of fungal disease) 
  • Urine scald (prolonged urine exposure due to urinary incontinence) 
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis (immune reaction to drugs or infection) 
  • Tick bites
  • Tail gland hyperplasia 
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (skin tumor) 
  • Sporotrichosis (fungal infection)
  • Spider bite
  • Solar dermatosis (sunburn) 
  • Skin fold pyoderma
  • Skin cancer
  • Sebaceous gland tumor
  • Rodent ulcer (allergic syndrome) 
  • Ringworm (fungal infection) 
  • Pythiosis (mold) 
  • Superficial pyoderma (bacterial infection) 
  • Deep pyoderma (bacterial infection)
  • Psychogenic dermatitis (self-manipulation) 
  • Phaeohyphomycosis (fungus) 
  • Pemphigus vulgaris (autoimmune disease) 
  • Pemphigus foliaceus (autoimmune disease) 
  • Pemphigus erythematosus (autoimmune disease) 
  • Panniculitis (trauma, trapped foreign bodies, infections, autoimmune disease, idiopathic) 
  • Notoedric mange 
  • Nocardia (bacteria)
  • Mosquito bite
  • Miliary dermatitis (allergenic syndrome) 
  • Myeloma (tumor)
  • Mast cell tumor 
  • Mammary Cancer 
  • Lymphoma 
  • Lupus erythematosus (autoimmune disease)
  • Lice
  • Hyperthyroidism (overproduction of the thyroid hormone)
  • Hot spots
  • Histoplasmosis (fungal infection)
  • Hemangiosarcoma (tumor)
  • Granulomas 
  • Frostbite
  • Folliculitis (hair follicle infection) 
  • Flea allergy dermatitis (allergic reaction to flea bites) 
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Feline pox 
  • Feline leprosy (bacteria) 
  • Feline herpesvirus 
  • Calicivirus 
  • Erythema multiforme 
  • Epitheliotropic lymphoma 
  • Eosinophilic plaque
  • Eosinophilic granuloma 
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Burns
  • Bite wounds
  • Bowen’s disease 
  • Bee stings
  • Basal cells tumors
  • Bacterial infection 
  • Aspergillosis 
  • Abscesses

Diagnosis of Skin Ulcers in Cats

Skin ulcers in a cat takes a timely differential diagnosis, as this skin condition can be caused by numerous conditions. Diagnosis of a skin ulcers in cats will require a review of the cat’s medical history, plus a great deal of communication between the pet owner and the veterinarian. Pet owners will be required to tell the veterinarian when the ulcer was first noted, where the cat spends most of her time and what the pet owner suspects could be the cause of the skin problem. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, the veterinarian may choose to perform a variety of diagnostic tests including:

  • Skin cultures: swabbing the skin and examining the sample will determine if the ulceration is caused by an infection of bacteria, or fungus. 
  • Aspiration of Fluids: Syphoning a small sample of the draining fluids can be used to determine possible caused when examined under a microscope.  
  • Skin biopsy: a portion of the surrounding tissue may be removed to be examined in a laboratory setting. 

Treatment of Skin Ulcers in Cats

Treatment of skin ulcers in cats vary depending on the underlying cause of the skin condition. Your veterinarian will tailor a treatment plan to your cat’s specific condition and overall health. The majority of felines can receive treatments at home as an outpatient, but if your cat requires supportive care, she may be required to stay in the clinic for a few days. An Elizabethan collar is often sent home with patients to prevent the cat from licking, biting or scratching at the ulceration, making the problem worse. Pain medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics and antifungal medications are just a few medical options your veterinarian may recommend to your cat with a skin ulceration.

Recovery of Skin Ulcers in Cats

The prognosis of skin ulcers in cats depends on the underlying condition that caused the feline’s skin to ulcerate. Follow-up care with your veterinarian is highly important to ensure the wound is healing and the therapeutic treatments are working as planned. Felines with underlying disease or poor health can often develop secondary infection to the ulcer, and should be evaluated for evidence of complications.

Skin Ulcers Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

2 Months
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Under right arm pit has a large sore.missing hair around for two inches left to right.ive washed it and put triple antibiotic on it but doesn't seem to be working

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1207 Recommendations
Areas like the armpit (axilla) can be difficult to treat as they are areas with poor airflow and moisture can be your enemy there; clipping the hair in the area will also help with airflow and will stop hair matting the area if it is wet. I would suggest visiting your Veterinarian as systemic medication may be required, it may be a fungal infection which can be tricky to treat. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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tabby orange and white
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pus around open sore

I recently noticed my cat has a patch of missing hair on her front, right, upper leg, but they're us also a small, pencil eraser sized ulcer/open sore in that bald spot. Im not sure if it used to be an abcess or what! What could that be from? It came out of nowhere.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1207 Recommendations

It may be due to an abscess or from a cyst; treatment would normally revolve around keeping it clean and free of debris whilst it heals (clean with dilute chlorhexidine or betadine). It would be best to visit your Veterinarian to get a c

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15 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


I have a 15 year old female long hair cat. I noticed a ulcer type sore the size of a quarter on her abdomen. All her fur is missing in that area. And she has l9st some fur on her back legs . And one of her back paws on the top of the paw is loosing her fur. She is eating and drinking . And when i clean her litter box nothing is out of the ordinary. What could be her problem. Thank u for your help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1207 Recommendations

Firstly ulceration of this size would need Veterinary attention immediately to prevent secondary infection and to determine the underlying cause. Possible causes would be infection, autoimmune disease, cancer, hormonal conditions, allergy or chemical irritation (list not extensive). Especially in a cat Meeka’s age, it is important you get her examined by her Veterinarian and bloods taken. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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domestic short hair
12 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Doesn't bother her

Several years ago our cat developed a small hairless spot on her face about 1 cm in diameter. Our vet at the time thought it was an allergic reaction to "something". She cleaned it and told us to come back if it reoccurred. It happened one more time. Both times the spots cleared up and hair grew in within about 2 weeks. We have since moved and the problem is now back. She has developed several spots (always one at a time), this time we have seen some bleeding and scab development. Our new vet has treated her with antibiotics. Despite the medication, she has developed another spot. She is 12 years old. The spots are always on her face, near the ears or mouth, in different areas. Our other cat has shown no symptoms.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1207 Recommendations

There are different causes for lesions of the skin, whether on the face or anywhere else; these include bacteria, fungus, parasites, tumours, allergies, hormonal conditions etc… If Frankie isn’t responding to treatment with antibiotics, it may be worth having a skin biopsy taken to determine the underlying cause so that treatment may be directed accordingly. Since your other cat isn’t showing any symptoms, it may be due to some systemic illness; blood tests may also be useful. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

No Recovery
Treatment Cost: $0.00
Thank you for your advice. We are having a bad weather in Portland, OR area now so we do not have a chance to go out now, it may be next week. We also find a better vetenarian office in Hillsboro or Beaverton ,OR. Frankie is a cat, not a dog. Thanks again. Masa

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