Mast Cell Tumors in Cats
Also called mastocytoma, mast cell tumors make up approximately 20 percent of all tumors found in cats. They can be either malignant or benign, but either type requires a trip to the veterinary clinic. For more information on mast cell tumors in your cat or kitten, contact All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Las Vegas.
What Are Mast Cell Tumors?
Mast cells are a type of cell found in many tissues throughout the body. They play a role in the allergic response. A mast cell tumor can form nodules or masses in the skin and organs. They can also cause an enlargement of the spleen and intestines in your pet.
Signs of Mast Cell Tumors in Your Cat or Kitten
Most mast cell tumors are hard flattened areas in the skin. They cause intense itching because the substances cause inflammation. Other symptoms may include weight loss, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Intestinal tumors may cause fresh blood in the stool, vomiting, diarrhea or black-colored stool. In some cases, your veterinarian may be able to feel a mass in the abdomen during a normal exam.
How Are Mast Cell Tumors Diagnosed?
Your vet will go over your pet’s medical history and inquire about his condition and ask for a list of symptoms. This may give your veterinarian a good indication of the affected organs. A fine needle aspiration may be taken of the tumor to determine the number of abnormal cells in the tumor. A surgical biopsy may be needed for a definite answer on whether the mass is cancerous.
Treatment for Mast Cell Tumors
Surgery is a treatment of choice for all mast cell tumors. Pretreatment with antihistamines is typically given before surgery. For Grade 2 or Grade 3 tumors, surgical removal of regional lymph nodes may also be necessary to prevent the tumor from spreading.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If you live in Las Vegas and suspect your pet has a mast cell tumor, contact All About Cats Veterinarian Hospital at (702) 257-3222 to schedule an appointment.