Appointments: (02) 6251 1444
16-18 Purdue St, Belconnen, ACT
(Parking via Gillott Street)
Mon - Fri: 8:30am - 5:30pm
Saturday: 8:30am - 1:00pm

Canberra Cat Vet Blog

Lumps and bumps

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Lumps under cats' skin can appear overnight or over a long period.
Abscesses from cat fights are soft and the skin is often inflamed. Once lanced and drained of pus most cat abscesses heal rapidly.
More worrisome are lumps that grow over a period of weeks or months or that are firm. Never ignore these types of bumps in a cat's skin. Malignant skin tumours are more prevalent in cats than in dogs or other species. We should address them as quickly as possible to prevent local spread and invasion of the body.
Point out any unusual swelling or lump to your vet. A simple check of cells under the microscope will give us some idea of what it is. We may recommend biopsy or removal and send the lump to the pathology lab as a result.
The pathologist will tell us what the lump is, how benign or malignant it is and whether the surgeon has removed all of it. Often we will also find out if it is in the lymphatic system or nearby blood vessels. 
Squamous cell carcinomas (skin cancer) are the most common skin tumour in the cat. They present more as ulceration of pale ears and noses than as lumps. Excision or freezing of the affected part or skin, and avoidance of the sun treats many of these cancers.
Sarcomas break all the rules however. While they remain encapsulated under the skin and rarely invade other organs, they frequently grow so large that they impede the cat's mobility and make life very uncomfortable. Also removing all of a sarcoma is no guarantee that it won't grow back.

Furballs - or not?

Thursday, December 01, 2016



RIP Spunky

Spunky was a big boy and aptly named. He ruled the house and his carers' day centred on his every need - because he wouldn't let them forget his standards and requirements.

He often brought up a furball, so often that his carers just thought it was normal for him to bring one up every week or so. Six months ago it became more frequent and he started bringing up food as well. He seemed as bright, happy and demanding as ever so at first they thought nothing was wrong. After talking to us they tried out a few different foods, including a hypoallergenic diet, thinking that maybe something was interfering with his delicate digestion.

He vomited all the more and started to lose weight despite appearing normal. We tested him for all the usual causes of vomiting in cats - kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis, hyperthyroidism - but everything came back normal. Something nasty was going on.

Dr John recommended biopsies of his stomach and intestines. His carers were reluctant to go so far and played with his diet a bit more. Eventually they decided that something must be done and he came in to hospital for an anaesthetic and investigation. Samples were sent to the pathologist.

The result was a diagnosis of low grade lymphoma of the intestines. This is the end result of chronic inflammation of the stomach and bowel.

The good news is that it can be controlled with low grade medication if caught early. Spunky lived another healthy 5 months, but the lymphoma spread to his stomach at the end. Many cats live much longer than 5 months. Some, especially if the lymphoma is advanced on diagnosis, have a more limited time to live.

If we diagnose the inflammatory bowel disease in the early stages we can prevent it from developing into lymphoma all together. Spunky's carers urge everyone to take notice of any 'furballs' or vomiting early on. Furballs are simply a sign that the stomach or intestine is inflamed - they are usually not because of the fur. If you see them more than once a fortnight, discuss it with your vet.

Search Blog

Recent Posts


best clinic kidneys new cat cryptococcosis lilies pain hunting physical activity sun kitten mouth breathing cranky string train bed permethrin annual check new kitten mycoplasma urine spraying moving appointment mental health of cats sore eyes opening hours prey feline herpesvirus intestine cta fight in season panamax liver blind dry food constipation yowling wobbles tartar noisy breathing groom insulin flea treatment eye ulcer holes plaque scratching cage breeder cat behaviour seizures fear litter box joints fleas kidney pred blood urinating outside litter slow socialisation blood test dental gifts home visit off food FORLS vomiting scratch cortisone rigid head high blood pressure rash paralysed inflammatory bowel disease radioactive iodine enteritis jumping antibiotics hyperactive New Year's Eve ulcer vomit hiding hard faeces behaviour runny nose vet visit bump hyperthyroidism paracetamol drinking more biopsy bladder stones checkup desexing snakes plants birthday comfortis blood pressure changed holidays hearing pain killer goodbye AIDS touch lily crytococcosus abscess pet meat itchy pancreatitis worming aggression computer house call runny eyes rub gasping introduce hunter drinking a lot feline AIDS holes in teeth litter euthanasia introduction carrier tick diabetes allergy, restless snot microchip depomedrol salivation dymadon castration unwell IBD sudden blindness hospital vocal desex cat worms cat enclosure advantage virus worms learning urination old cat sore dental check open night tablet snuffles fight eye corneal ulcer FIV enemies pet insurance rolls head introducing kitten play toxins bad breath spray chlamydia strange behaviour whiskers hypertrophic cardiomyopathy aspirin free pet cat history Canberra Cat Vet poisonous collapse tumour toxic pain relief stiff visit when to go to vet mass nails petting cat dementia senses vaccination spraying abscess,cat fight weight loss hairball attack calicivirus feline enteritis aggressive return home vision fever health check snake bite lump cat containment appetite senior face rub renal disease blockage prednisolone christmas lick paralysis tick cough anxiety new year stare into space eye infection blindness dental treatment obesity bladder sick cat sore ears lame fat signs of pain blue diuretics feliway polish heaing xylitol snakebite diarrhoea panadol skin African wild cat heart disease mince bite diet foreign body indoor cats revolution hunched over best vet poisoning allergy grooming kidney disease marking sick weight control tradesmen hunters Canberra blood in urine brown snake hole weight examination cognitive dysfunction panleukopenia herpesvirus hypertension skin cancer fits pill dilated pupils Hill's Metabolic poisonous plants twitching flu ACT cystitis cat enclosures unsociable painful furball information night cat flu cancer food puzzles teeth old sucking wool fabric kibble breathing difficult wet litter cat vet obese meows a lot scratching post lilly outdoor cat sensitive activity hungry asthma urinating on curtains or carpet fluid pills headache best veterinarian enclosure scale cat friendly echocardiography panleukopaenia client night ulcers snake poison antiviral flea prevention catoberfest urinating heavy breathing nose scabs eyes arthritis award thiamine deficiency open day poisons grass thyroid urine holiday adipokines best cat clinic furballs behaviour change sneeze straining snuffle home kittens exercise love pica vaccine kitten deaths training ulcerated nose check-up blocked cat not eating roundworm lymphoma tooth photo competition wool paralysis cat fight pheromone stress aerokat thirsty sense of smell tapeworm overweight fireworks rough play on heat conflict spey introductions competition odour ribbon skinny body language massage cat change panadeine anaemia decision to euthanase sensitive stomach


A calm, quiet haven for cats and their carers staffed by experienced, cat loving vets and nurses.

Canberra Cat Vet 16-18 Purdue St Belconnen ACT 2617 (parking off Gillott Street) Phone: (02) 6251-1444

Get Directions