Skin Lumps in Cats: What to Look For
May 5th, 2020
With May being Pet Cancer Awareness Month, it's the perfect time to discuss the warning signs of cat cancer. Broadening your knowledge of this serious condition could very well save your furry family member's life.
What Are the Causes of Skin Lumps?
Not all lumps indicate cancer. A lump or bump may appear due to mild trauma, which should heal on its own, but it could get infected, so keep an eye on it. If an infection causes an abscess, a pus-filled swollen spot on the skin, we may need to drain and treat the abscess, and may need to prescribe antibiotics to help your kitty heal. Receiving vaccinations may also cause lumps for a few days. If, however, these bumps persist, make sure to contact our clinic.
What Are the Types of Feline Tumors?
Not all tumors are cancerous. For example, fatty tumors, called lipomas, may show up anywhere on your cat's body. These benign tumors do not need removal unless they are interfering with your cat's quality of life. Lipomas are more common in older or obese cats. Another example, mast cell tumors, can also appear on your fur-ever friend's skin, usually on the head or neck, and may be itchy or red. The good news is that only about ten percent of these tumors are cancerous.
Unfortunately, some lumps or bumps on your cat's skin may indicate cancer. Fibrosarcomas are cancerous tumors that may appear anywhere on a cat's body. They occur in the fibrous tissue just beneath a cat's skin and can appear as solid, irregular masses. Squamous cell carcinomas, on the other hand, affect areas of your cat's body that lack natural pigmentation, including the oral cavity, lips, nose, eyelids, external ear, limbs, toes, and nails.
Breast cancer (also known as a mammary tumor) is one of the most common types of cancer to affect cats. These tumors typically appear by the nipples and often go unnoticed until they grow in size. More than 85% of these tumors are cancerous, so make sure you bring your cat to All About Cats Veterinary Hospital right away if you notice anything unusual. Spaying your kitty before she goes into heat for the first time can lower her risk of developing breast cancer risk by about 90%.
It's always a good idea to pay attention to your feline friend and regularly check for lumps or bumps. Diagnosing and treating cancer early on can potentially save your cat's life.
Diagnosing and Treating Feline Skin Lumps
The first step in treating your cat is diagnosing the condition. After conducting a thorough physical exam and looking at blood work, we may use diagnostic imaging such as radiography or ultrasound. We may also perform a biopsy to determine the tumor type.
A diagnosis of cancer is never the news a pet parent wants to hear. However, just as in human medicine, many treatment options are available. Treating feline cancers varies greatly depending on the location and stage of the condition. Traditional treatments may involve oral medication, intravenous chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and pain management. Your cat may require lump removal, or a lumpectomy, in conjunction with other treatment methods.
Trusted Veterinary Care Near Me
Contact All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Kirkland, WA, to learn more about cat skin lumps. When deciding on the course of treatment, it's important to take into account the possible side effects of any given treatment. Our goal is to improve your kitty's quality of life, and not to cause any added suffering. We will discuss treatment options with you to allow you to decide what's best for your beloved furry friend. We are here for you every step of the way!
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