Cat With Bloody Patches Of Hairless Skin! Disease or Injury? **GRAPHIC PICS**

fowl farm

7 Years
May 9, 2012

Hey everyone,
Nemo (the cat) has been getting these hairless bloody patches, generally on his head, for a couple months now. Because we have three strays hanging around, we assumed they were injuries. They've always seemed to heal. However, this time it got worse. Maybe hotspots? You can't see it in the pictures, but his chin also has a bloody spot. It's in the exact location of injury from last year that scarred up and looks like it was re-opened.
He doesn't uncomfortable in anyway and he can't lick the spots. If it is just an injury, I think we'd put antibiotics on it and take him in if it gets worse (since it doesn't look infected). If it's a sickness, we'd take him NOW because of his and the other pets' safety. Please let me know. I do not want to make a pointless vet trip, but I don't him to make him suffer.
Where do you live? I'm in Australia but as far as I know blue pigeon lice are in America and other countries too. My cat had a recurring scab on her back, often a bare patch of abraded skin just like that.

I treated it like a wound at first, then an infection, but nothing fixed it. It would go away and come back, go away again and come back again, for years. After a while, seemingly without cause, these spots started popping up in other places. Finally they got to her face, and she ended up with a hairless, crusty-scabbed face. Daily she'd lick and clean the scabs off, making her face raw, just like she had with the other scabs. She was paranoid about all bedding or sleeping areas, and grass, though this was possibly due to her nearly dying from paralysis tick poisoning. She never trusted grass after that.

It became obvious that she was going to die, as in need putting down, if the solution was not found. I felt it was blue pigeon lice from the description I read in an old herbalist's book, and started applying pure cold-pressed neem seed oil. She hated it, and did her best to remove it the first few times. The next few times she liked it and tried to assist me with applying it. I covered her in it, massaging it down to her skin.

She's made a total recovery. She's quite old, too. Before I treated her the last time, there were literally millions of miniature B.P.Lice eggs in the fur of her back legs alone, never mind the rest of the body. Before that, they'd never once been visible. B.P.L can kill dogs and cats, and are caught from birds, and are transmittable. But none of our various dogs or cats got it. We had a dog with congenital mange who also didn't pass it on, I do believe it's got a lot to do with the other animal's health. We've also had adopted ferals etc with cancer, and the sores look different; I've never seen anything like B.P.L. before or since, and I've rehabbed many animals of many species with many serious issues.

Anyway, if it is B.P.L., you won't see them in all likelihood. The adults are tiny and burrow into the skin, making the animal remove all or most of the layers of skin in an attempt to rid themselves of the pain. I had a single one bite into my ear lobe, and all by itself this single louse caused a large amount of irritation. They seem to prefer an existing wound to enter the host's skin. Rosemary tea is a specific and very gentle way to treat it while helping heal the skin; it's a little known fact that good rosemary is one of the best wound healers, even for dirty bite wounds. Coastal rosemary is best.

The neem seed oil was great but for the fact that I don't have a 'cone of shame' (lol) so my cat licked her fur as clean as she could --- but the neem seed oil is not meant to be ingested. It seemed to irritate her digestive tract, but she had other issues around that time too, so I'm not sure it was that.

Neem seed oil, cold pressed, is also used for hot spots, 'Queensland Itch', psoriasis, eczema, acne, wounds, parasites, cold sores, ulcers, sun spots, ring worm, fungal conditions, athletes foot, summer itch, etc --- all of which rosemary is also good for. (Not the most ornamental types of rosemary though).

She used to be an incorrigible bird killer/maimer despite my various attempts to stop her, but after this infection, she won't even look at a bird. She runs from them, can't stand to be near them. I don't think your cat needs putting down, and I hope you find what it wrong and treat it successfully. It really does look like B.P.L. to me, without any knowledge of any other symptoms, offhand. Best wishes.
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I would take him in to the vet. A few things that come to mind are ringworm and hotspots but the animal will probably need a skin scraping to know for sure. Ringworm is contagious to most other animals and people. It is a fungus and needs special anti fungal medicine.

Are the spots swollen? He may have abscesses especially if it is the site of an injury or he has been fighting with other cats. Abscesses are really nasty and need to be taken care of by a vet. They are fairly common in cats.
No swelling what so ever. He acts like it's normal and it doesn't seem to irritate him at all
I highly doubt it's ringworm. Our cats had that on and off for years in one place we lived in, the kids would get it too; it does not look like that in my experience. I've seen abscesses, both open and still covered, and it does not look like that either. It's a dead ringer for blue pigeon lice. I waited years after guessing the correct diagnosis to treat it as B.P.L. needs treating, because it sounded so unlikely and the vets didn't notice it either. I kept trying to treat it like a wound or infection and so forth.
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Classic abscess, especially since you have strays around and have noticed other wounds that have "healed". That is pretty much how abscesses form.... Cat nails and teeth are super sharp, and they can easily penetrate and puncture tough cat skin. Those little holes "heal" or close up, which gives the bacteria a warm, moist, dark environment to thrive and multiply in. When the pressure of the resulting pus on the surrounding skin is too much, it breaks open, often sloughing a chunk away that results in the raw open wound you see now.

If your budget will allow, you can take the cat to the vet for some antibiotics, though it is likely the cat will heal okay without much care from this point on. Just keep a close eye on the cat and the wound...

You also need to know that you are exposing your cat to the entire gamut of feline diseases by letting him roam outdoors and fight with other stray cats. There are cat diseases that can only be passed by bite wounds from other infected cats. I would definitely discuss your cat's lifestyle with your vet, so the cat can be properly tested and vaccinated for the diseases it will encounter.
You (the thread starter) said he has these patches on a few places including his chin, and they have recurred after a year. If you feel around the one on the chin there would likely be swelling if it's an abscess.

By all means treat it as if it's an infection or abscess or whatever, as I did with my cat to begin with, but please bear in mind that just because some people think it's a classic abscess does not mean it is.

It's classic symptomatically for blue pigeon lice, which I'd guess is so unusual most people dismiss it out of hand. If treating it as an abscess doesn't fix it, chances are it's not an abscess. But best to try, I'd guess.
Quote: The problem with that is that the thread starter said it's a hairless bloody patch, not a hole. That's different to an abscess which is deeper. But it's a blurry photo and not much specific info, so I guess we'll find out.

Best wishes.
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As a vet, we do not have blue pigeon lice in the US. We have various parasites that do need to be ruled out in such cases, but they are not called blue pigeon lice.

I have treated several cats with similar injuries, but it's best to take him in and have some diagnostics done. I always suspect allergies with these cases as well.
Res, I doubt it's an abscess. Our other cat had one (nasty!), and this looks nothing like it. And there wasn't any kind of lump and, considering the size of the wound, I'd think there would have been a big one. Also, we vaccinate routinely. All our cats have been very healthy (the last one to die passed at the ripe old age of 14, and he was an outdoor cat. Cat number 3 is 11-12 and still going strong). The vet is aware of their lifestyle and they have never gotten "sick", though they have managed some pretty impressive injuries.

Thanks for all the info! It has already started to heal. If it happens again, I think we're going to the vet.
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