Cats with white noses, in addition to being very pretty, can develop a type of cancer called squamous cell carcinoma , especially if they have access to the outdoors and / or a patio where they can sunbathe during the warmer months of the year. It is very important that, at the slightest symptom of illness or even if we think it is a simple scratch, we go to the vet as it progresses quickly.
Today we tell you all about this disease and ways to prevent it.
What is squamous cell carcinoma and how does it affect cats?
I know that the video can hurt sensitivities, but it is important to watch it to know how important it is to take it to the vet.
This is one of the types of cancer that most affects white cats and those with white noses. As white is a color that really protects little or nothing from the sun’s rays, due to continued exposure to them , wounds appear , first small ones that even go unnoticed or that can be confused with other minor ones (scratches from another cat, for example ) and in advanced cases serious injuries in the affected area.
This disease is the most fearsome face of actinic dermatitis, which presents these symptoms:
- Injuries to the nose and ears.
- Change of pigmentation in the skin and loss of hair in the affected area.
- Presence of scabs.
Actinic dermatitis can be prevented by preventing our cat from sunbathing outside. If you have no way to avoid it, put some type of sunscreen specific for them or one for humans but that does not contain zinc oxide, as it could be dangerous. Treatment consists of anti-inflammatory drugs or cortisone, depending on the case. Our veterinarian will tell us which one our cat should follow.
But if the disease is allowed to advance, we come to the aforementioned: carcinoma. In the worst case, the animal stops eating and, its health is so bad, it has such a bad time, that unfortunately the most advisable thing is euthanasia.
To avoid getting to that, I insist, it is extremely important that in the event of any possible sign of illness we take him to the vet .
Which parts are the most affected?
Squamous cell carcinoma occurs especially in the nose, but it can affect the ears and face , causing tumors. And it can appear at any age, but it is more common in older cats (from 7-8 years) that have spent and spend a good part of their time outdoors or in areas of the house where the sun reaches more or less direct.
What are the symptoms of carcinoma that affects the nose of cats?
In initial stages there are almost no symptoms. A small wound appears on the nose , apparently harmless, but with the passage of time we see that it does not heal and that, on the contrary, it is getting bigger. If it continues to advance, the cancer will “eat” (almost literally) the nose from within, to the point where the animal will feel a lot of pain and the desire to eat will diminish.
My cat has pimples on his ears, is it cancer?
Probably not . Carcinoma presents as wounds, not pimples. If the cat we see that it has the latter, it is most likely that what happens is that it has mites that can be eliminated and / or simply prevented with an antiparasitic pipette. Anyway, in case of doubt, we should consult a professional.
Are brown spots on the cat’s fur serious?
They can be, but they can be freckles too. Freckles are common in light-skinned and light-haired cats, and they usually appear at a young age. But beware, if those areas are losing hair and / or getting bigger and bigger, it will be necessary to take it to be examined, just in case, especially if there are other symptoms such as loss of appetite, intense itching, discomfort, among others.
When to take him to the vet?
As soon as a wound appears, no matter how small, it seems that it does not want to heal . It may seem rash to wear it only when you have that, but trust me, it’s for the best. Squamous cell carcinoma is fast acting. It would not be the first cat to lose its life in just three years since the appearance of that “little” wound.
Which is the treatment?
Once the veterinarian has diagnosed this cancer in the cat, he usually recommends the surgical removal of the affected part if it is in the ears, or the extraction of everything that can be done if it has appeared on the nose or face, although in the latter case the risk of part of the tumor remaining is high. Also, you will need medicine to ease your pain.
How to prevent skin cancer in cats?
Cats love to sunbathe, but it is not good for them to do so during the central hours of the day. For this reason, it is highly advisable to avoid getting sunburned at that time, and to apply sunscreen in moderate amounts.
These creams are important that they do NOT contain zinc oxide or salicylates, since otherwise they would be toxic. Ideally, use a specific one for cats, like the one they sell here .
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