Tumor of mammary glands in cats: symptoms, treatment, prognosis
Cancer in animals, in particular breast tumors in cats, is, unfortunately, a common phenomenon. This disease takes the lives of four-legged pets, who can not withstand the disease. There are different methods of treatment, but none of them gives 100% results.
Diseases associated with neoplasms are a real disaster in the modern world. Thousands of people and animals die every year from them. Medicine in this area does not stand still, and recently the treatment of cancer is becoming increasingly successful.
However, a medicine has not been received so far that would help absolutely everyone. In veterinary medicine the situation is not better, especially in the treatment of cats. The main way to stop the growth of tumors is chemotherapy, but there is no guarantee of achieving this goal. Tumor of mammary glands in cats will bring a lot of trouble both to the animal and the host.
Mammary glands in animals are designed for feeding newborn 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 a false pregnancy (hormonal processes).
Diseases of the mammary glands are recorded in adult cats, regardless of whether they gave birth or not. The most common ailments are: mastitis, cancer and mastopathy. In some cases, veterinarians remove the affected glands.
It is difficult for a professional to discern them, especially in the early stages. With mastitis, inflammation of the breast 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. From the nipple can be a selection of different colors and composition.
Mastopathy is the swelling of the mammary glands, which is normal and pathological. In the latter case, a gray liquid accumulates inside, and the skin is colored blue.
In order not to confuse these diseases, look at what a mammary gland tumor looks like in a cat (photo is in the article).
Types of neoplasms
More than 85 cases of neoplasms originating from 100 are malignant. In the latter, a tendency to growth and the appearance of metastases in the shortest time is noticeable. And everything begins, usually with a small seal, just like a person.
What kinds of mammary tumor in cats? It can be malignant and benign. In the latter case, there is no cause for concern, because such neoplasms are characterized by slow growth, a clear localization and a lack of striving for necrotic processes.
Cancerous tumors often occur in several places at the same time. It is interesting that removing the ovaries in a kitten up to 6 months reduces the probability of the appearance of tumors almost to zero and completely excludes the malignant type. But the owners of the animals kept for breeding, this way will not suit. In addition, in the future, the cat will need hormonal drugs, in order to avoid problems with metabolism.
Stages of development of tumors of mammary glands
Any cancerous tumor passes through several stages of its growth:
- The neoplasm has a size of less than 10 mm, metastases are not detected.
- The tumor reaches 30 mm, but there is no metastasis.
- A tumor over 50 mm in diameter, with the possible appearance of ulcers, and metastases are diagnosed in the lymph nodes.
- Metastases are found in the lungs, liver and other organs and tissues.
The causes of the appearance of tumors
For what reason does a mammary tumor appear in cats? In this regard, veterinarians and other professionals do not have a common opinion. However, there are a large number of versions.
So, for example, life in large cities with a high level of environmental pollution adversely affects the health of the animal. The same factors can be attributed to the monotony of the diet, poor quality food, and sometimes completely spoiled. You can not ignore the predisposition to pathology at the genetic level. By the way, therefore, new owners are advised to carefully consider the pedigree of the pet before buying it.
Symptoms of cancer
Typically, the tumor of the mammary glands of cats symptoms is fairly simple. They include:
- the appearance of small seals in the area of the nipples;
- developing with time on this site inflammatory processes;
- necrosis of tissues around the nipples.
Home 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 thus exude a nasty smell of decaying tissues. As a result, the animal feels worse every day: the strength and weight are lost, and the existing chronic diseases go to the acute phase.
Diagnosis of the disease
Find out whether a malignant or benign breast tumor in a cat can be done by biopsy. It should be done very carefully to avoid mechanical damage. In addition, during the formation of serious ruptures, metastases may appear - forerunners of a rapid death of an animal.
Timely diagnosis allows you to determine the onset of the disease and immediately proceed to chemotherapy to save a pet. Conduct, as a rule, a biopsy of lymph nodes located close to the lesion, because it is in them that the metastases of tumors settle. Ultrasound and X-ray study can determine their presence in the lungs and other organs of the abdominal cavity.
Tumor of mammary glands in cats requires blood tests: general and biochemical. They are needed to determine the severity of the disease and the most appropriate form of chemotherapy for a particular pet.
If a breast tumor in a cat is found, treatment should be started immediately. In most cases, surgery can save a pet, but its usefulness is questionable. An old animal that has lost a lot of energy may simply not survive it. In this case, it is necessary to limit oneself to conservative treatment. Regularly appear drugs that are better able to cope with neoplasms. This gives us hope for a favorable outcome of the fight against the disease.
However, if possible, it is worth giving preference to surgery, because it allows you to remove the entire affected area with metastases (the latter is not always). This method is indispensable in the case when peripheral lymph nodes are affected. If they are not cut out, the cancer will soon spread all over the body.
Removal of a breast tumor in a cat is performed together with the whole organ, since only occasionally it turns out to localize its location (with the good quality of the tumor).
The situation is complicated in the case when bilateral mastectomy is required, since it is extremely difficult for the cat to tolerate. The chemotherapy sessions are not canceled in order to completely stop the development of the tumor. It is required every day to show the pet to the veterinarian for monitoring the general condition of the body and preventing its rapid deterioration.
If treatment has been decided to conduct a conservative way, then daily visits to the doctor become mandatory. The cat will regularly take tests (almost every day) to monitor the effects of toxic and dangerous substances used in chemotherapy on the four-legged pet.
Under no circumstances should you engage in self-medication. The application of heat (for example, heated salt) only worsens the situation. Neoplasm from this begins to develop more intensively, and malignant will give metastasis. The presence of inflammatory processes and necrosis is also a contraindication for the use of thermal compresses.
In the most difficult situations, the animal is left in a veterinary clinic under the supervision of specialists. Anesthetics and other important substances are injected into the cat.
One of the important factors that directly influences the result of the treatment is the organization of conditions for the sick animal. If a breast tumor in a cat is found, the operation will help to get rid of it. But after a surgical intervention, the pet needs complete rest and feeding only by what the veterinarian will decide.
Ask him how to treat the surgical suture. Strictly adhere to the doctor's recommendations about the time and dosage of the drug. The cat is put on a special blanket, which will pull and protect the seam. In case of opening the wound, immediately contact the treating veterinarian.
The specialist will inspect and take tests every week to monitor the condition of the animal's body. So he can timely diagnose a relapse (if it happens). Even if the tumor of the mammary gland in a cat is removed, how long the animal will live, no one can say.
As already mentioned, sterilization of a cat before reaching the age of 6 months greatly reduces the likelihood of getting cancer. After cutting the neoplasm, you can not refuse to remove the ovaries. This will eliminate relapse and prolong the life of your pet.
Always pay attention to any swelling and seals under the skin that can be seen when caring for an animal. Their ignoring can lead to very serious consequences. Suppurated and burst the tumor can not touch and poking around in it, as these actions contribute to the appearance of metastases. One can not simply observe the new formation, hoping that "everything will heal itself", because during this time it will grow so much that the expediency of surgical intervention will no longer be. Will only watch how the pet will live to rot.
The sooner an ailment is found, and the sooner the veterinarian performs the operation, the higher the chance of a complete cure.
Owning animals that do not cultivate them, it is recommended to remove the ovaries in cats. But decide on this as soon as possible, then the risk of cancer will drop to almost zero.