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Cats/Weird thing in Cat's skin

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Question
I have a 4 year old neutered Maine coon male who lives exclusively inside. Today I was petting his belly and found a little spot that initially felt like a scab between his forelimbs. I asked my husband to pass me a flashlight, thinking that it was possibly a tick, since we do have a dog who goes out to do her business every day.

When I shined the light on it, it didn't seem quite like a scab. Rather than having the skin gathered around it, the spot almost seemed embedded directionally in his skin. So I gently pressed the skin around it, and an odd specimen popped out of his skin. The initial spot I had seen was only about a third the size of the whole, the entire thing measuring approximately a quarter inch long, and about 2/3 of that in width. It had a tan color with a black line just under the part that was under the skin, almost halfway down. Through the whole removal process the cat was quite calm and clearly not uncomfortable, and the skin around the specimen was clear, pink, and normal except for the small hole.

Since his fur is so thick, I find it unlikely that something random just got jabbed into his skin. It almost looks like the exoskeleton of a tick without legs or head. I am a biologist and know most of the parasites around, but have never seen anything like this.Is my cat in danger?

Thanks,
Nervous in NC

Answer
Amanda,

I would be concerned about the potential for a skin infection that might have attracted a maggot or two based on your description... I really think that it might be a good idea to have that spot looked at by a vet just to be sure that there isn't something more serious like a skin infection going on under all of that fur... Be forewarned your kitty will probably be quite naked in and around that area so that the vet can check for similar spots - if nothing obvious is found then perhaps the vet will suggest a wait and see approach or maybe a course of anti-parasitics and antibiotics... I wouldn't suggest leaving this for too long - if this had happened to my kitty they would be in to the vet clinic within a few days! I would certainly be interested to hear what your veterinarian's verdict is so please feel free to follow up with me. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again at any time - I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can.

Kind regards,

Ali

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Ali

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I am the proud guardian of 5 mixed breed cats ranging from 12 weeks to 13 years old and one purebred ragdoll. I have 20+ years experience working with mixed breed cats from a variety of different situations. I have fostered cats/kittens with special needs/behavioral issues. I have rescued/rehabilitated/re-homed a variety of stray/abused cats. I can offer advice on managing feral cat colonies, rehabilitating strays and finding them forever homes. I can help you to determine whether a cat is stray or feral, there IS a significant difference. Improperly introducing a new cat/kitten can result in aggression between newly introduced cats because cats are territorial by nature and they don't like sudden changes in their environment. To learn more about a peaceful way to introduce a new cat into a home with other cats please check out my previous answers on this subject. Proper nutrition for cats can be confusing, I recommend checking out catinfo.org which was created by a veterinarian (Dr. Lisa Pierson) who takes a common sense approach to explaining feline nutrition. Cat behavior and instincts are different from those of humans, I can help you understand your cat's needs so that you can meet them adequately and have a balanced, psychologically and physically sound kitty. Cats vary in personality, energy level and intelligence, different approaches may be required to achieve results in terms of training and interaction with your feline companion. An intelligent, high energy cat must be kept busy or they will make their own fun. I am NOT a licensed veterinarian and I can't offer medical advice. If your cat is ill/injured my advice is always the same: get prompt medical treatment provided by a veterinarian. If finances are an issue I will try to find resources in your area that can help with medical costs or make other choices to ensure the welfare of your cat.

Experience

I have fostered feral and stray cats, rehabilitated and homed cats that many people recommended euthanasia for. I am willing to make an effort to do the research and ask questions because I care enough to find solutions to behavioral problems rather than giving up. I have an interest in the use of alternative therapies to help provide the best possible care for all cats and I can say in all honesty that I've seen some incredible things happen for some incredible cats and their human caregivers when the right alternative therapeutic modality is used by a qualified veterinarian with expertise and experience in the field.

Education/Credentials
I've earned my diploma as a veterinary assistant with honors.

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