Why a Cat's Skin Infection is Healing Poorly

by Cas Lucas
(Berkeley, CA)

Example of a Superficial Bacterial Cat Skin Infection on Face<br><small>Source: Washington State University</small>

Example of a Superficial Bacterial Cat Skin Infection on Face
Source: Washington State University

My cat Arthur has had chronic ear infections since I got him as a 2 y/o in 2007. Over the last few weeks, he developed a skin infection on the area beneath his ear and his head. The hair fell out and sores appeared, scabbed over, and are in the process of healing.

He's been to the vet several times, including on Tues for his 2nd injection of antibiotics.

The area around his wounds look great... no puss... what the vet described as "healthy healing wounds" However, in the last couple days, there's been a darkening around the scab on one side. It appears to be bruising, but he's not scratching/has not required a collar in weeks.

It could just be his hair starting to grow back... he has gray hair.

I called my vet today, and then went to see him. Here's the thing, I can literally poke the area where this darkening is and he doesn't react. He is not in pain in that area or on the other side.

I myself have seen human wounds go through a lot of color changes, but his infected area has been bright pink the entire time, until the last 48-hours.

Please advise,

Cas L.
Berkeley CA

Vet Suggestion Cat Skin Infection Healing

Hi Cas,

I’m afraid I can’t give you much information about the color change associated with your cat’s wound without examining him. You are right, it is possible that what you are seeing is simply part of the healing process, but it could also be an indication that things are not proceeding the way they should. I worry that the darkening you describe could be a sign of poor blood flow to the area, which could result in tissue death and sloughing.

It sounds as if your cat’s ear and skin problems are rather serious. I recommend erring on the side of caution and making an appointment for the recheck rather than assuming all is fine and risk a relapse.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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