Scabs on a Cat’s Ears (Ear Edge Dermatitis)

Scabs on cat ears

At a glance

Ear edge dermatitis is a common condition in which the cat develops crusting along the ear margins.


  • Ear mites
  • Sunburn
  • Solar dermatitis
  • Frostbite
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Pemphigus
  • Allergy
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Ringworm
  • Sarcoptic mange
  • Demodicosis
  • Notoedric mange
  • Insect bite or sting


This will depend on the underlying cause.


Known as pinnae, the outer (visible) part of the cat’s ear is susceptible to developing thickening, crusting and scaling. The medical term is ear edge dermatitis or ear margin dermatitis.

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Diseases Cats Can Catch From Hunting

Bacterial infections


Yersinia Pestis is the bacteria responsible for the black death which killed millions of people in Europe from 1346. There are several modes of transmission of this highly infective zoonotic bacteria including flea bites, coughing and sneezing (pneumonic plague) and eating an infected animal.

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Parasites Cats Can Catch From Hunting

Hunting has a significant impact on local fauna but not only do cats pose a risk to wildlife, but wildlife also poses a threat to animals from injury and infection. There are several diseases that cats can catch from eating infected prey, many of which are parasitic and rely on an ‘intermediate host’ to pass on the infection. Worms, flukes, bacteria, viruses and protozoa are all able to cause infection in cats from hunting and eating their prey.

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Pneumothorax in Cats


Pneumothorax (new-mo-thorax) is an abnormal accumulation of air in the pleural cavity which is between the lungs and the chest wall. Usually, there is a small amount of serous fluid in the pleural space which acts as a lubricant during breathing. Air entering the pleural space means there is less room for the lungs to expand when the cat inhales and causes the lung(s) to collapse (which is why the term collapsed lung is often used when describing pneumothorax).

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Feline Ischemic Encephalopathy


Feline ischemic encephalopathy (FIE) is a neurological disorder caused by parasitic infection of the Cuterebra larvae common to North America, South America, and Canada.

Cats are accidental hosts; the parasite usually infects rodents and rabbits. Endemic areas include southeastern parts of Canada and northeastern parts of the United States although some species of Cuterebra occur further south, west and into Southern America.

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