Mast Cell Tumors in Cats: Treatment at Our Gainesville Veterinarian
A mast cell is a type of white blood cell that helps protect a cat's immune system from invading organisms. Some cats also develop mass cell tumors, which can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Learning your pet may have a mast cell tumor is understandingly scary, and it can leave you with many questions. At Millhopper Veterinary Medical Center, we provide you with the highest-level of animal care while also educating you on the health of your pet. For mast cell tumors in cats, treatment at our Gainesville veterinarian is caring and comprehensive.
Diagnosing Mast Cell Tumors at Our Animal Hospital in Gainesville
A hard lump or flattened area in the skin can be the first sign of a mast cell tumor. You may also notice itchiness or inflammation. Anything that feels abnormal to the touch should be investigated by a veterinarian. Diagnosing mast cell tumors at our animal hospital in Gainesville begins with a health history and thorough physical exam. Then, we will use a needle to draw a sample of cells from the tumor for screening. If abnormalities are present, the next step is a surgical biopsy to determine more precise information about the tumor, including how the disease has progressed.
Types of Mast Cell Tumors
Unfortunately, we do not know why some cats develop these tumors and others do not. We do, however, know a lot about the types of mast cell tumors and how they behave. The majority of mast cell tumors found under the skin (subcutaneous) are benign while those found in the internal organs (visceral) are more likely to be cancerous. Although any age and breed can develop such tumors, they are more common in cats older than 4 years of age and in Siamese cats. Senior cats have a higher incidence of mast cell tumors.
Treatment of Mast Cell Tumors
Surgery at our state-of-the-art Gainesville animal hospital is always the preferred treatment of mast cell tumors in cats. While the outcome will depend on a number of factors, surgery alone is often highly successful at treating skin tumors. The outlook for tumors in the internal organs is not as good, and surgery may be combined with chemotherapy to prolong the comfort and life of the pet. If the tumor is in the spleen, removing the spleen may be recommended if you wish to have more time with your beloved cat.
Appointments at Our Veterinarian in Gainesville!
Whether you have noticed a concerning symptom or your pet is simply overdue for an annual exam, Millhopper Veterinary Medical Center is here to help. Call today for an appointment at our veterinarian in Gainesville: 352-373-8055.