Mast Cell Tumors And How They Are Treated

Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital Offer Care for Mast Cell Tumors in Cats

Felines are subject to a number of illnesses that are specific to their species. Mast cell tumors occur in about 2 percent of cats. Some of these growths are benign, but others can have serious consequences for your cat. At Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital in Charlotte, NC, we offer treatment for feline mast cell tumors to help pets live longer, healthier lives.

Mast Cell Tumor (Mastocytoma) in Cats

What Are Mast Cell Tumors?

Mast cell tumors are abnormal growths of cells that may occur on the skin externally, or on internal organs, such as the intestines or pancreas. Depending on their type or location, they can cause a variety of symptoms. Some breeds of cat are more susceptible to mast cell tumors, such as Siamese cats. They generally appear in animals over the age of 10 years, but sometimes occur in younger animals.

Symptoms of Mast Cell Tumors

External mast cells cause a bump or lump on the skin or just below the skin. The area may show redness or a buildup of fluid. It may look like a wart or insect bite. The animal may bite or lick at the area, due to itching from histamine production. The animal’s lymph nodes may be swollen near the site. Internal mast cell tumors may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.

How Are Mast Cell Tumors Diagnosed?

A vet will carefully examine an animal suspected to have mast cell tumors and may administer blood tests to rule out other conditions. Generally, cells are aspirated from the growth using a needle, and the sample is examined under a microscope. Ultrasound or x-ray may be used to determine the extent of the problem. Your Charlotte vet will “stage” the growths, from 1 to 4, depending on whether it is a single growth or has metastasized within the tissues.

Treatments for Mast Cell Tumors in Cats

Surgery to remove the growths is the standard procedure for treating mast cell tumors in cats. In some cases, chemotherapy may also be needed to stop mast cell proliferation. External tumors generally respond well to surgical treatment. Internal tumors can be more serious. Your vet will determine the appropriate care to ensure your pet’s health and comfort.

Make Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital Your Veterinarian in Charlotte

Dr. Berman, Dr. Whitlark, and Dr. Ritter combine their extensive training in veterinary medicine to provide quality care for their patients in Charlotte, NC, and the nearby communities. Our animal hospital offers many services for pets, including examinations, preventative care, dental care, dermatology, diagnostics, surgery, emergency care, and grooming. Call Quail Hollow Veterinary Hospital today at 704-278-8000 for an appointment to learn about our current treatments for feline mast cell tumors.


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