Black gunk on skin between paw pads. Vet thinks it's nothing.

marlowtheman

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Hi all, a while ago I noticed that my 4 year old cat, Marlow, had a bunch of dark gunk on the skin between his paw pad and toes. He was gnawing at it pretty frequently. I took him to the vet and she said it might be a yeast buildup and gave us some pads to swab his paw with. He totally hated it and they didn't make a difference, so we went back. She gave us a new medicine, Ketohex, which also didn't do anything. We let her know and she said that as long as he's walking fine and not in pain, we probably didn't have anything to worry about. Well, now he's got the same stuff on his front left paw! I have no idea what's causing this. We are using the same Crystal cat litter he's had for years. I'm planning on switching to a new kind just to be sure it's not causing this, it only just occurred to me that it could be contributing to his issues.

Has anyone experienced this problem before? I can't find much online that sounds like his issue. I attached some photos of both paws, sometimes the black stuff is gone and it's just stained reddish brown.


Any thoughts? I don't want my poor guy to be suffering!
 

catwoman707

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Hi and welcome!

You know, in the first pic, it almost looks like blood? If you took a scrape of the gunk off, and put it in water would it turn red? That would be the only way to find out.

It's odd, and I doubt it has anything to do with his litter either.

He is not declawed correct?
 
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marlowtheman

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Hi and welcome!

You know, in the first pic, it almost looks like blood? If you took a scrape of the gunk off, and put it in water would it turn red? That would be the only way to find out.

It's odd, and I doubt it has anything to do with his litter either.

He is not declawed correct?
Hi! No, he's not declawed. I believe it could be dried blood or a scab, if I try to wipe at it it usually leaves a dark red residue. He could be causing it to bleed by constantly gnawing at it, maybe? He does have quite sharp teeth...
 

catwoman707

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Would you say it's possible that he is keeping a wound going by chewing it often?

Personally here is what I would do, although I know people hate those e-collars, I sure do, but it is effective, that's for sure.

I would make him wear a collar so he is unable to chew his feet. During this time I would have a solution of chlorhexidine in a dish and set one paw in it to soak for as long as possible, even if only 10 or 20 seconds.

It is an excellent topical animal cleaner. If that is out I would do the same but with witch hazel.

It should only take a short time to get this healed, and once it is healed he won't have anything to pick at and mess with.

Otherwise, you know how long time wounds have a better chance of infection, and of course you don't want it progressing to that.
 

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Hello. We are newly cat owners of a pair of exotic breed Devon Rexs. We got our cats about a month ago and they will be 6 in June. Our male cat Echo was vomiting fairly regularly and was very gunky. The first two things we did was switch cat food to Instinct (grain free) and Nutro wet food (grain free) and litter to Dr Everly (sp?). On Monday I took him to the vet who said it is yeast build up probably due to the food he was eating when we got him which was Iams. In a matter of 24 hours on a probiotic, no more vomiting at all and the gunk is going away. If you look on Amazon, the probiotics are very reasonable, he was given the Purina packet ones. Yesterday my husband left the empty packet on the counter and he was trying to lick the residue out of the packet. Maybe try a probiotic?!

 
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marlowtheman

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Hello. We are newly cat owners of a pair of exotic breed Devon Rexs. We got our cats about a month ago and they will be 6 in June. Our male cat Echo was vomiting fairly regularly and was very gunky. The first two things we did was switch cat food to Instinct (grain free) and Nutro wet food (grain free) and litter to Dr Everly (sp?). On Monday I took him to the vet who said it is yeast build up probably due to the food he was eating when we got him which was Iams. In a matter of 24 hours on a probiotic, no more vomiting at all and the gunk is going away. If you look on Amazon, the probiotics are very reasonable, he was given the Purina packet ones. Yesterday my husband left the empty packet on the counter and he was trying to lick the residue out of the packet. Maybe try a probiotic?!

Thank you so much for sharing! I bought some probiotics today and mixed it in with his food, really hoping it helps!
 

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Would you say it's possible that he is keeping a wound going by chewing it often?

Personally here is what I would do, although I know people hate those e-collars, I sure do, but it is effective, that's for sure.

I would make him wear a collar so he is unable to chew his feet. During this time I would have a solution of chlorhexidine in a dish and set one paw in it to soak for as long as possible, even if only 10 or 20 seconds.
It is an excellent topical animal cleaner. If that is out I would do the same but with witch hazel.
It should only take a short time to get this healed, and once it is healed he won't have anything to pick at and mess with.
Otherwise, you know how long time wounds have a better chance of infection, and of course you don't want it progressing to that.
:yeah: If it were me, I'd definitely take this approach. If a wound is kept open too long, permanent changes can occur in the skin. You don't want a lifelong problem on your hands. By all means go the probiotic route too, but things are unlikely to change unless you treat the current irritation topically at the same time. Hope you can find the root cause, and that he heals quickly.
 
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marlowtheman

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Hi all, just wanted to update, first off: he wore an e-collar during the second round of vet treatments but he's so crafty that he was somehow still able to chew on his paws after a couple days. Too smart for his own good. He's been getting probiotics in with his food once daily and it's completely cleared up the gunk on all paws! One is still slightly tinted brown, but MUCH better than before. And the probiotics seem to have cleared up his chronic dirty ears, which our other vet never seemed to think we're a problem. So thankful for this forum, I never would have thought to do this without all of you! alexis willick alexis willick , Marlow is very happy you had this advice!

 

mandyjane

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Hi there,

I have a 5 year old Devon Rex with black gunk in her paws too! Sometimes it's soft and waxy, sometimes hard and flakey. She chews and kicks her paws like it's itchy. She gets mild skin rashes on her tummy and hind legs, and also acne on her chin and very waxy ears. Took her to the vet a couple times, we tried flea/mite medicine, washing her bedding like crazy, and a medicine the vet sold me ($$$!!!). Nothing helped and getting her to take the liquid medicine was hell anyway. Can either of you let me know where you bought your probiotics? I have been googling and researching for a year! This is the first time I've ever found anyone who describes the problem similarly!!
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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A vet can test the 'black gunk' for yeast. Have you tried that, to rule in or rule out a yeast infection? Yeast infections can begin for a variety of reasons, and can be very itchy ( alexis willick alexis willick mentions yeast, too, in an above post).

Various types of bacteria "fighting it out" in the gut and on the skin of kittens and cats can lead to some yeast bacterias "winning" the battle. This could be from a cat or kitten having been on various antibiotics during their lifetime (or recently), or from certain foods they eat, or from stress... or from a lot of causes.

Some probiotics can really help to rebalance the good kinds of bacteria, can really help to clear up a yeast infection. But sometimes, too, a vet will prescribe certain meds like Tresaderm (plus probiotics), if the problem is more severe. You might ask your vet about testing the black gunk to see if it is yeast-related. I think yeast infections can happen anywhere on the cat, basically, including inside of the ears.
 
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mandyjane

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A vet can test the 'black gunk' for yeast. Have you tried that, to rule in or rule out a yeast infection? Yeast infections can begin for a variety of reasons, and can be very itchy ( alexis willick alexis willick mentions yeast, too, in an above post).

Various types of bacteria "fighting it out" in the gut and on the skin of kittens and cats can lead to some yeast bacterias "winning" the battle. This could be from a cat or kitten having been on various antibiotics during their lifetime (or recently), or from certain foods they eat, or from stress... or from a lot of causes.

Some probiotics can really help to rebalance the good kinds of bacteria, can really help to clear up a yeast infection. But sometimes, too, a vet will prescribe certain meds like Tresaderm (plus probiotics), if the problem is more severe. You might ask your vet about testing the black gunk to see if it is yeast-related. I think yeast infections can happen anywhere on the cat, basically, including inside of the ears.
Thank you for your reply! I did have her skin issues all tested for yeast and bacteria, and they all came up negative. I have noticed that her skin looks worse when she is eating more fish based foods (her kibble - Go! brand, grain free - comes in a chicken flavour and a fish one, and it looks worse with the fish flavour). Sadly she hates chicken based wet foods so I'm stuck with fish for that. She hasn't had any antibiotics since I've had her (5.5 years now).
 

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Hi It sounds like possibly a food allergy either to fish which most allergies are to the main protein in foods.Thus the reason I never go with fish.As it is very hard to transition them.If you are giving dry can you have another flavor say chicken,gradually add some chicken crunchies into  the fish ones?Some are so smart they'll take their tongue and just move those little guys right out of the road and say "Not" others will just munch them & hopefully you may be able to get your baby off fish longterm and try another single protein food.

http://www.cat-health-guide.org/feline-food-allergies.html

Are  you giving any treats to your baby other than her reg diet.Any people food etc.All can be contributors unfortunately.

http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-compulsive-scratching-licking

Somethings can be anxiety related,boredom etc.If she were mine I'd be looking at the food first.And yes I know how hard it is to transform a cat over once they have had fish.But is doable with perseverance.But the key being your cat eats .As food is Life.HTH C.
 
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mememe

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@ MarlowTheMan -  Our [white]  cat has had the same issue as your cat had.  It first started with 'gunk' in his ears.  Did some research and found that it was ear mites???  Our cat is a completely indoor cat, so we don't know how he ended up with ear mites???  We opted for the natural route and put 'mineral oil' in his ears regularly (twice a day), until it got TONS better.  It's been a year now and he still has some of the 'gunk' in his ears?

A few months back we also noticed that his paws (always sparkling clean) are now a little dirty, with gunk in his paws and in between his nails (most of which are in his back right paw.  We initially thought that due to all the 'ear scratching'  (since most of the mists were on his right ear), the mites were traveling from his ear to this paw, and that combined with him trying to clean off his paw, caused 'blood' to dry out there.  SO, we opted to get him socks (which he wears on his left back paw).  

After reading your, and others, posts…I'm thinking maybe it's something else?  I'm not sure what we should do moving forward.  Is your baby all better now?  Did the probiotics have any adverse effects on your baby?  Etc.

Any input , from any and all, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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My boy had something that looked the same or very similar to that, but he also had hot spots on his back legs. At the time we thought he'd maybe sat in something or on something hot like a frying pan but it turned out to be allergy related.

He was also a fish addict (although he's 2 not 5). If something didn't have fish it it, he just refused to eat it. In the end we put ALL fish in a box in the pantry and he got 1 dry food and nothing else left out for 24 hours. It took about 16 hours but at that mark he caved (I was aware of fatty liver and if he didn't eat within the 24 hours he would have got a small handful of his favourite along with a plain chicken based wet food). 24 hours later he was really really happy to see a can of chicken based wet food (which he had previously refused). He got nothing else other than those 2 foods for almost 2 weeks. Now I can give him a fishy food about once a fortnight. Any more often than that and he starts to get ridiculously fussy again so for the most part he no longer gets fish. It's rough but you can out stubborn them (sometimes, obviously I'm not advocating you just starve her out for days or anything).
 

mememe

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@ Tobi - Was your post in response to mine?  I'm confused because you are talking about your cats addiction to tuna/fish!
 

tobilei

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@ Tobi - Was your post in response to mine?  I'm confused because you are talking about your cats addiction to tuna/fish!
No sorry! It was in response to @mandyjane and her cat that refuses to eat anything that's not fishy. Apologies I should have been clearer.

I'm not really much help for your particular situation I'm sorry :(
 

mememe

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No worries.  Thank you for taking time to respond.

Wishing you a wonderful Holiday Season...
 

laura davis

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Did you find out what caused the black on your cats paws and in his ears? My cat has black in his ears which I thought was ear mites, so I applied Revolution but the black is still there. More worrisome is the black around some of his claws where the pink quick should be, and also the little pad of the dewclaw has turned completely black and looks shriveled. I noticed a few days ago he was holding up that paw like it was hurting to put weight on. He is a very difficult cat to examine and if I try to touch his feet, forget it! He is on medication for overactive thyroid. He was quite a mess of fur loss and bumpy, itchy skin before he was started on that, and he was always licking at his paws causing them to bleed. Maybe his thyroid med needs to be tweaked. I'm going to try to get him in to the vet this week and I will get some Forty Flora while I'm there. Just wondering if you ever got an official diagnosis.
 

eman alsadat

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Hi dear I have a same setuation with my lovely cat Jon Snow and I need to know what did you do to help your cat and cure his bacterial infection ? Cause I took him to two vets and they gave him antibiotic and till now he's not recovering and the bacteria is spreading to all his poems [emoji]128576[/emoji][emoji]128576[/emoji] please I need your help
 
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