Cat Dermatology

Skin problems are the most common complaint we see at Animal Medical Center.  From itching to infection, we diagnose and treat cats regularly. Because of this, it is important to discuss common skin problems so you know when we need to help.



Listed below are the common signs we see in the clinic.   These symptoms lead us to certain tests and treatments to restore skin health.

  • Itching
  • paw  licking
  • shaking the head
  • pawing at ears
  • redness
  • scabs and crusts
  • scale and dandruff
  • hair loss
  • oily skin
  • pustules/bumps/masses


We see a wide variety of disease, some curable and some manageable.  Some skin diseases simply require some medication for a few weeks and the problem is gone.  Others need constant management and life long treatment. Listed below are the most common skin diseases we treat at Animal Medical Center.

  • Infection-Whether it be bacteria or fungus, we treat for infection regularly.  In some cases, the infection is just a symptom of another problem. Others, it is a simple case where a few weeks of treatment cures the cat. 
  • Fleas and ticks-We see these parasites often.  They cause itching, infection and irritation. Simple monthly preventatives provided at our practice keeps these pesky pests from causing disease. 
  • Atopy-Commonly thought of as basic allergy to things in our environment, atopy is a top diagnosis in our practice.  Allergens can include molds, pollens and grasses. We see paw licking, hair pulling and itching in these cats.
  • Food Allergy-Some cats are actually allergic to things in their food.  Like people being allergic to peanuts, some cats are allergic to things like corn, chicken and soy.  The difference is that cats present with the same symptoms as atopy. So it can be difficult to identify the problem. 
  • Mites-Commonly called “mange,” mites bury in the skin and cause hair loss and sometimes itching.  
  • Hormonal (Endocrine) disorders-Sometimes skin problems are secondary to bigger diseases.  For instance, hair loss with a bloated belly and big appetite can be caused by an overactive adrenal gland (hyperadrenocorticism.)
  • Cancer-cats get skin cancer too.  This includes squamous cell and melanoma.


Besides getting a good history from the owner and a thorough physical exam, your veterinarian may run certain tests to diagnose the problem. 

  • skin scraping-The top layer of the skin is “scraped” with a dull blade.  The skin material is then looked at with a microscope to diagnose mites.
  • skin impression-The surface of the skin is evaluated under a microscope by rubbing a glass slide on the skin.  The slide is then stained. This helps in diagnosis of bacteria and fungus. 
  • Wood’s light-We use a wood’s light to see certain types of ringworm (fungus.)  The hair will glow an apple green. 
  • Bloodwork- occasionally, blood work is needed to diagnose diseases like  hyperadrenocorticism.
  • Biopsy-in extremes instances, a biopsy of the skin is needed for diagnosis, especially in cancer cases. 
  • Culture-in persistent infection, we run cultures to see what organism is growing and what medication it is susceptible too. 


Treatment is based on the underlying cause.  Again, it may be short or long term. Usually, treatment requires a combination of drugs and topical treatments to heal the skin.  It does require some patience with some curable cases taking several weeks to heal. It is important to maintain rechecks with your veterinarian during this process.  Often the vets at Animal Medical Center use the progress during the rechecks to help with drug changes and future relapses. 

If you have any questions or think your cat needs to be checked for skin disease, make an appointment by scrolling down or call 806-794-4118.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Office Hours

Walk-ins accepted from 8am-11:30am and 2pm-5:30pm

Lubbock Office


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-6:00 pm


7:30 am-12:00 pm




10209 Quaker Avenue, Lubbock, Tx . 79424

  • "AMC has been our vet for the last 28 years with personal fur babies and now going on 12 years with our Morris Mutts. We could not be here and actively savings dogs without your help and expertise. Thank you thank you"
    Sallie-Morris Safe House
  • "They have the best vets and a wonderful staff and I couldn't be happier with the quality of service and how well they take care of my dog when I take him there! Definitely check out AMC for a friendly, affordable Lubbock vet."
    Kayla B.
  • "Always receive sound judgment, veterinary advice and excellent care here. Strong & trustworthy veterinary care providers. (I can also be a bit intense & all the staff have consistently been patient and kind each visit, intense or not.)"
    Betty H.
  • "I have used AMC since 1999 with all my babies. I've brought them dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rescues I pull off the street. They have given amazing service every visit. I also work at a local pet hotel, and when I call to check on client vaccinations, they are helpful and professional."
    Jeana D.
  • "Great doctors, friendly people and fantastic service."
    Mary W.
  • "Caring staff; knowledgeable vets"
    Virginia M.

Featured Articles


Sign up for more articles