How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question

Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 26151
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

My cat has a hard, pointy lump on her skin underneath the

Resolved Question:

My cat has a hard, pointy lump on her skin underneath the fur behind her ear. It is approx 0.5cm in size and has a small scab on it. It seems possibly slightly larger than when I first noticed it a week or so ago. She is a long haired cat aged 2 who recently changed from being an indoor to outdoor cat. She doesn't have fleas though (I've checked, and she was treated recently) and is otherwise perfectly fine. She protests mildly if I try to examine the bump but otherwise it doesn't seem to be bothering her, although she does scratch her head and ears a fair amount, but not in this area specifically.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Can you upload a photo(s) of this pointy lump to our conversation? You can use the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see the icon) or you can use an external app such as dropbox.com/ I can be more accurate for you if I can see what you're seeing. My initial thought was a cutaneous horn.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm sorry, it's almost impossible because she won't keep still and I can't get the camera to focus close enough while simultaneously keeping the fur out of the way for you to see. It's more by feel. I'm attaching a picture but it's not very clear I'm afraid and is taken from above, so all you see is the apex, with the scab. The whole thing sticks up from the skin in a point, like a mountain, but I couldn't manage to get a pic from the right angle to show it.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I understand. It's much too dark a photo to be diagnostic. Cutaneous horns can vary in appearance but all are circumscribed, conical or cylindrical masses of keratin that may originate from underlying actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, papilloma, or a diated pore. They're benign and of little consequence and can be easily excised if my patient or caretaker is bothered by it. Please see here for images of cutaneous horns in cats and let me know if you think Lily's lump indicates a horn: https://www.google.com/search?q=cutaneous+horn+cat+image&tbm=isch&imgil=6LKb-a02InX9CM%253A%253BXz73X9CjP89GDM%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fvetbook.org%25252Fwiki%25252Fcat%25252Findex.php%25253Ftitle%2525253DCutaneous_horn&source=iu&pf=m&fir=6LKb-a02InX9CM%253A%252CXz73X9CjP89GDM%252C_&usg=__FW7cjIhbrBs2mbXbbp3wxLlajGA%3D&biw=1920&bih=955&ved=0ahUKEwiksMjUvJHNAhUXQFIKHROkClYQyjcINg&ei=v2lUV-TUDZeAyQKTyKqwBQ#imgrc=6LKb-a02InX9CM%3A

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hard to tell as it's still very small compared to these images, though as I mentioned it does appear to be growing. Also it us darkish in colour and not bony as such, but I suppose it could be the very beginnings of something like this. Why would it have a scab (a fairly fresh one, easily made to bleed again when I just touched it with my thumbnail)? Just from her scratching it? What should I watch out for, if anything, while monitoring it? Anything to suggest it could be more serious or require attention? Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

I wouldn't expect a horn to scab unless it had just poked through the skin and the skin is trying to heal over it. I don't know the significance of it being dark; I regret that I'm constrained from here to be more accurate for you. In general, any skin lesion that enlarges at an alarming rate, bothers my patient or caretaker, and/or ulcerates/bleeds should be excised. At that point, a vet can then advise if biopsy is indicated or not. Biopsy would be necessary for a definitive diagnosis but a definitive diagnosis isn't necessarily important when surgical resection is complete.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Can you define 'alarming rate' please? If the scab heals and it seems no bigger in a week or two, should I leave it for now and monitor it for a little longer? Or would it be better to get it removed sooner just in case?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

Doubling in size within a month would alarm me. There's no urgency here. A young cat is very unlikely to develop anything so serious that would preclude a few weeks of "watchful waiting".

Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 26151
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok thanks very much.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 9 months ago.

You're quite welcome. Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
< Previous | Next >
  • It was so professional, so personally concerned (as we were) and you answered all of our questions. George and I are so happy that I found ""JustAnswer"" on my Google search -- you are now in my ""Favorites"" list! And, yes we do love our kitty - she makes our life complete! Bev & George
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Joey

    Dr. Joey

    Board Certified

    Satisfied Customers:

    576
    15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ZF/zforward/2012-6-6_202211_headshot1.64x64.jpg Dr. Joey's Avatar

    Dr. Joey

    Board Certified

    Satisfied Customers:

    576
    15 yrs in practice, specialist canine/feline medicine
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetdeb/Debbie Headshot 500.64x64.jpg Dr. Deb's Avatar

    Dr. Deb

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    185
    I have been a practicing veterinarian for over 30 years.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NE/nekovet/2013-8-20_23339_nekovet.64x64.jpg Dr. B.'s Avatar

    Dr. B.

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1345
    I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/doggfone1/2009-07-16_133633_vet_pic.jpg Dr. Scott's Avatar

    Dr. Scott

    Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    3955
    15 years of small animal, equine and pocket pet experience in medicine and surgery.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VE/vetforyou/2012-6-20_33122_PearlPhoto.64x64.jpg Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    3073
    UC Davis graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AN/andrewDVM/2012-4-27_12585_iStock000011751407XSmall.64x64.jpg Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    2359
    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/fshlee/2009-7-15_23110_drlee.jpg Dr. Lee's Avatar

    Dr. Lee

    Cat Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    1219
    8 years of experience in veterinary medicine and surgery
 
 
 

Related Cat Questions