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Mammary tumor in cats: symptoms, treatment, prognosis

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Mammary tumor in cats: symptoms, treatment, prognosis
Mammary tumor in cats: symptoms, treatment, prognosis

Cancer in animals, particularly mammary tumors in cats, is unfortunately a common occurrence. The named disease claims the lives of four-legged pets who are unable to resist the disease. There are different methods of treatment, but none of them gives a 100% result.

breast cancer in cats


Diseases associated with neoplasms are a real scourge of the modern world. They kill thousands of people and animals every year. Medicine in this area does not stand still, and recently the treatment of oncological diseases has become increasingly successful.

However, no medicine has yet been obtained that would help absolutely everyone. In veterinary medicine, the situation is no better, especially in the treatment of cats. The main means of stopping the growth of tumors is chemotherapy, but there is no guarantee that this goal will be achieved. A tumor of the mammary glands in cats will cause a lot of trouble for both the animal itself and the owner.

cat mammary tumor surgery

Mammary glands

Mammary glands in animals are designed for feedingnewborn kittens. They are located in pairs on the chest and abdomen of the cat, their total number is normally eight. Their work begins before childbirth (swelling) and during false pregnancy (hormonal processes).

Mammary disease has been reported in adult cats, whether they have given birth or not. The most common diseases are mastitis, cancer and mastopathy. In some cases, veterinarians remove the affected glands.

It is difficult for a non-professional to distinguish between them, especially in the early stages. With mastitis, inflammation of the mammary gland is observed. Occurs in cats with excess milk (early weaning of kittens) or false pregnancy. The gland increases in size, redness and fever are observed. There may be discharge from the nipple of different colors and compositions.

Mastopathy - swelling of the mammary glands, which is normal and pathological. In the latter case, a gray liquid accumulates inside, and the skin turns blue.

In order not to confuse these diseases, look at what a breast tumor looks like in a cat (the photo is in the article).

removal of a breast tumor in a cat

Types of neoplasms

More than 85 out of 100 neoplasms are malignant. In the latter, there is a noticeable tendency to growth and the appearance of metastases in the shortest possible time. And it all starts, as a rule, with a small induration, just like in humans.

What are the types of mammary tumors in cats? It can be malignant and benign. In the latter case, the reason forthere is no concern, because such neoplasms are characterized by slow growth, clear localization and lack of desire for necrotic processes.

Cancerous tumors often occur in several places at the same time. Interestingly, the removal of the ovaries in a kitten under 6 months of age reduces the likelihood of neoplasms to almost zero and completely eliminates the malignant type. But the owners of animals kept for breeding will not be satisfied with this path. In addition, in the future, the cat will need hormonal drugs to avoid metabolic problems.

Stages of development of breast tumors

Any cancerous tumor goes through several stages of its growth:

  1. The neoplasm is less than 10 mm in size, no metastases are detected.
  2. Tumor reaches 30mm but no metastasis.
  3. Tumor larger than 50 mm in diameter, with the possible appearance of ulcers, and metastases are diagnosed in the lymph nodes.
  4. Metastases are found in the lungs, liver and other organs and tissues.
cat mammary tumor treatment

Causes of neoplasms

What causes mammary tumors in cats? There is no consensus among veterinarians and other specialists on this matter. However, there are many versions.

So, for example, life in big cities with a high level of environmental pollution adversely affects the he alth of the animal. The same factors include the monotony of the diet, food of poor quality, andsometimes completely corrupted. It is impossible to ignore the predisposition to pathology at the genetic level. By the way, therefore, new owners are advised to take a closer look at the pet's pedigree before buying it.

Cancer Symptoms

As a rule, the symptoms of a tumor of the mammary glands of cats are quite simple. These include:

  • appearance of small seals around the nipples;
  • inflammatory processes developing over time at this place;
  • necrosis of tissues around the nipples.

Pets actively lick the affected area with their rough tongue, which only worsens the situation, because it provokes the appearance of ulcers. The mammary glands at the same time exude a nasty smell of rotting tissues. As a result, the animal feels worse every day: strength and weight are lost, and existing chronic diseases pass into an acute phase.

how long will a cat's mammary tumor live

Diagnosis of disease

Find out whether a cat's mammary gland tumor is malignant or benign using a biopsy method. It should be carried out very carefully to exclude mechanical damage. In addition, during the formation of serious gaps, metastases may appear - harbingers of the imminent death of the animal.

Timely diagnosis allows you to determine the onset of the disease and immediately begin chemotherapy to save your pet. As a rule, a biopsy of lymph nodes located close to the site of the lesion is carried out, because it is in them that metastases settleneoplasms. Ultrasound and x-rays can determine their presence in the lungs and other abdominal organs.

Tumor of the mammary glands in cats requires blood tests: general and biochemical. They are needed to determine the severity of the disease and the most appropriate type of chemotherapy for a particular pet.

cat mammary tumor photo


If a breast tumor is found in a cat, treatment should begin immediately. In most cases, the operation can save the pet, but its expediency is questionable. An old animal that has lost a lot of strength may simply not survive this. In this case, you should limit yourself to conservative treatment. Regularly there are drugs that are getting better at coping with neoplasms. This gives hope for a favorable outcome in the fight against the disease.

However, if possible, surgical intervention should be preferred, because it allows you to remove the entire affected area with metastases (the latter is not always the case). This method is indispensable when the peripheral lymph nodes are affected. If they are not cut out, the cancer will soon spread throughout the body.

Removal of a breast tumor in a cat is carried out together with the entire organ, since only occasionally it is possible to localize its location (with a benign neoplasm).

The situation is complicated when a bilateral mastectomy is needed, as it is extremely difficult for cats to tolerate. At the same time, chemotherapy sessions are not canceled in order to completelystop the development of the neoplasm. It is required to show the pet to the veterinarian every day to monitor the general condition of the body and prevent its rapid deterioration.

If it was decided to conduct the treatment in a conservative way, then daily visits to the doctor become mandatory. The cat will be tested regularly (almost every day) to monitor the four-legged pet's exposure to the toxic and dangerous substances used in chemotherapy.

Under no circumstances should you self-medicate. Applying heat (such as heated s alt) only makes things worse. From this, the neoplasm begins to develop more intensively, and the malignant one will metastasize. The presence of inflammation and necrosis is also a contraindication for the use of heat compresses.

In the most severe situations, the animal is left in a veterinary clinic under the supervision of specialists. The cat is injected with anesthetics and other important substances.

benign breast tumor in a cat

Care after surgery

One of the important factors that has a direct impact on the result of the treatment is the organization of conditions for a sick animal. If a breast tumor is found in a cat, surgery will help get rid of it. But after surgery, the pet needs complete rest and feeding only with what the veterinarian allows.

Ask him what preparation to treat the postoperative suture with. Stick strictlydoctor's recommendations about the time and dosage of medication. A special blanket is put on the cat, which will tighten and protect the seam. In the event of an opening, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The specialist will conduct examinations and take tests every week to monitor the condition of the animal's body. So he will be able to diagnose a relapse in a timely manner (if it happens). Even if a cat's mammary tumor is removed, no one can tell how long the animal will live.


As already mentioned, spaying a cat before it reaches 6 months of age greatly reduces the chance of getting cancer. After cutting out the neoplasm, you can not refuse to remove the ovaries. This will prevent recurrence and extend the days of your pet's life.

Always be on the lookout for any swelling or induration under the skin that may be noticed when caring for the animal. Ignoring them can lead to very serious consequences. A festering and bursting tumor cannot be touched and poked around in it, since these actions contribute to the appearance of metastases. You can’t just watch the neoplasm, hoping that “everything will heal itself”, because during this time it will grow so much that there will no longer be any expediency for surgical intervention. All that remains is to watch the pet rot alive.

The sooner the disease is found, and the sooner the veterinarian performs the operation, the higher the chance of a complete cure.

Non-breeding owners are advised to spay cats. Butyou need to decide on this as early as possible, then the risk of cancer will drop to almost zero.

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