Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Lumps and bumps

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lumps under cats' skin can appear overnight or over a long period.
Abscesses from cat fights are soft and the skin is often inflamed. Once lanced and drained of pus most cat abscesses heal rapidly.
More worrisome are lumps that grow over a period of weeks or months or that are firm. Never ignore these types of bumps in a cat's skin. Malignant skin tumours are more prevalent in cats than in dogs or other species. We should address them as quickly as possible to prevent local spread and invasion of the body.
Point out any unusual swelling or lump to your vet. A simple check of cells under the microscope will give us some idea of what it is. We may recommend biopsy or removal and send the lump to the pathology lab as a result.
The pathologist will tell us what the lump is, how benign or malignant it is and whether the surgeon has removed all of it. Often we will also find out if it is in the lymphatic system or nearby blood vessels. 
Squamous cell carcinomas (skin cancer) are the most common skin tumour in the cat. They present more as ulceration of pale ears and noses than as lumps. Excision or freezing of the affected part or skin, and avoidance of the sun treats many of these cancers.
Sarcomas break all the rules however. While they remain encapsulated under the skin and rarely invade other organs, they frequently grow so large that they impede the cat's mobility and make life very uncomfortable. Also removing all of a sarcoma is no guarantee that it won't grow back.

Furballs - or not?

Thursday, December 01, 2016



RIP Spunky

Spunky was a big boy and aptly named. He ruled the house and his carers' day centred on his every need - because he wouldn't let them forget his standards and requirements.

He often brought up a furball, so often that his carers just thought it was normal for him to bring one up every week or so. Six months ago it became more frequent and he started bringing up food as well. He seemed as bright, happy and demanding as ever so at first they thought nothing was wrong. After talking to us they tried out a few different foods, including a hypoallergenic diet, thinking that maybe something was interfering with his delicate digestion.

He vomited all the more and started to lose weight despite appearing normal. We tested him for all the usual causes of vomiting in cats - kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism - but everything came back normal. Something nasty was going on.

Dr John recommended biopsies of his stomach and intestines. His carers were reluctant to go so far and played with his diet a bit more. Eventually they decided that something must be done and he came in to hospital for an anaesthetic and investigation. Samples were sent to the pathologist.

The result was a diagnosis of low grade lymphoma of the intestines. This is the end result of chronic inflammation of the stomach and bowel.

The good news is that it can be controlled with low grade medication if caught early. Spunky lived another healthy 5 months, but the lymphoma spread to his stomach at the end. Many cats live much longer than 5 months. Some, especially if the lymphoma is advanced on diagnosis, have a more limited time to live.

If we diagnose the inflammatory bowel disease in the early stages we can prevent it from developing into lymphoma all together. Spunky's carers urge everyone to take notice of any 'furballs' or vomiting early on. Furballs are simply a sign that the stomach or intestine is inflamed - they are usually not because of the fur. If you see them more than once a fortnight, discuss it with your vet.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


ulcerated nose feline enteritis vomiting cta fight litter pet insurance ulcers cat senior prey hungry bad breath paralysis tick insulin fight health check cat enclosure kidney blood straining indoor cats snake holes in teeth physical activity nose scabs blood test poisoning hard faeces allergy blindness opening hours restless scratch sick feliway chlamydia best vet tooth headache lick euthanasia Canberra Cat Vet adipokines diuretics sore eyes kibble scratching outdoor cat client night snuffles cough wet litter panleukopenia vaccination brown snake renal disease sore feline herpesvirus scale blood pressure roundworm snuffle diarrhoea strange behaviour check-up old lump blue checkup sneeze computer blockage obesity anaemia poisons foreign body sudden blindness rough play head paralysis Canberra unsociable best cat clinic love plaque cryptococcosis urinating tartar pheromone learning plants fits pain sick cat new year introduction cat enclosures touch toxic radioactive iodine salivation heart disease microchip litter box rigid head inflammatory bowel disease rash string cage sun hyperactive train paracetamol overweight sucking wool fabric pain relief bladder stones pain killer comfortis flea prevention bed goodbye hearing scratching post blocked cat prednisolone urination yowling furballs eyes kitten behaviour change examination mass spray body language obese pica aggression thyroid photo competition competition face rub house call lilly fever echocardiography kittens FIV teeth anxiety dental treatment weight loss mycoplasma changed introductions cystitis kidneys cat fight lily aggressive New Year's Eve tapeworm birthday stress hunched over sensitive stomach spey vomit nails unwell depomedrol twitching dry food holes blood in urine food puzzles training hiding fluid pills paralysed flu enteritis groom dental check thirsty breeder open night weight gasping introduce behaviour change seizures painful thirst mouth breathing cognitive dysfunction open day wool corneal ulcer worming antiviral rub furball Hill's Metabolic pet biopsy cranky AIDS bump bladder enemies fear home constipation antibiotics in season off food hairball pred odour ribbon cat friendly feline AIDS virus appetite on heat dental carrier hunting sensitive grooming lilies holidays runny nose thiamine deficiency activity enclosure water cancer diabetes lame FORLS breathing difficult hole home visit drinking more rolls pet meat dymadon signs of pain kitten play permethrin snakes flea treatment liver weight control hospital diet grass polish snakebite asthma desexing snake bite tick eye wobbles socialisation visit joints intestine petting cat mince pancreatitis IBD kidney disease lymphoma vision attack toxins appointment arthritis holiday pill jumping new kitten itchy hyperthyroidism skinny free allergy, not eating African wild cat old cat exercise hunter cat history decision to euthanase skin cancer fat urinating on curtains or carpet slow kitten deaths noisy breathing vaccine introducing discount skin advantage sore ears calicivirus cat behaviour urinating outside litter moving senses tumour poison cat flu cat containment dilated pupils worms panleukopaenia marking ACT stare into space desex urine spraying gifts hypertension best veterinarian cortisone RSPCA abscess cat worms cat vet castration best clinic dehydration christmas drinking a lot heavy breathing tradesmen poisonous plants return home when to go to vet tablet panadeine new cat poisonous whiskers catoberfest aspirin hypertrophic cardiomyopathy vocal stiff revolution sense of smell panadol ulcer eye ulcer high blood pressure spraying wet food fleas vet visit conflict aerokat herpesvirus bite xylitol dementia eye infection annual check award collapse meows a lot blind information night fireworks mental health of cats urine panamax runny eyes abscess,cat fight hunters massage heaing crytococcosus snot


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions