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.

Sun sense

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Like pale-skinned humans, white cats or cats with white ears and/or noses are very susceptible to sun damage and skin cancers. Sunburn of the ears looks much the same as it does on us – red and flaky skin. After several years of sun exposure the ears curl and bleeding sores develop.

Pale pink noses ulcerate and scab in the sun. If the ulcer penetrates the cartilage under the skin layers the skin cancer is very hard to eradicate.

Prevention is far better than cure. Keep your white cat indoors out of the sun, especially in summer between 9am and 4pm when the most intense UV rays beat down.

If sun exposure is unavoidable apply a waterproof, high SPF sunscreen labelled as safe for babies to the ears and hairless areas. It should be applied at least 10-15 minutes before your cat goes outside. The nose is difficult to protect but don’t be tempted to apply a zinc based sunblock product as the zinc could poison your cat.

Tattooing does not work because the ink is deposited in the dermis, the layer below the one affected by the sun.

If you notice any ulceration or scabbing of your cats’ nose or ears bring them in early to see us to prevent the cancer spreading to the cartilage under the skin.

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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

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