Feline nose cancer

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Cats can develop nose cancer as well as humans. Nose cancer in cats is relatively rare; it is much more common in dogs. Nasal tumours in cats can occur in any breed, at any age but are most common in young cats.


Feline nose cancer may present in the form of a tumour in the nasal cavity. This tumour may extend to the frontal and paranasal sinuses and usually does not spread. However, tumours in the nose of cats are usually malignant.


The symptoms associated with feline nose cancer may include nasal discharge, heavy breathing, sneezing, facial deformity and snoring. Nasal cancer in cats may be present for as many as five years before the cat may experience these symptoms. Feline nasal cancer does not mimic symptoms of other conditions that may affect cats.


The most common types of tumours in the nasal cavity of cats are lymphoma and carcinoma. Lymphoma is cancer in the lymphatic tissue of the cat and carcinoma is cancer in the epithelial tissue. The prognosis for cats with these types of tumours largely depends on the stage of disease in which it was diagnosed. Cats that test positive for feline leukaemia virus are at an increased risk of systemic failure during treatment.


The diagnosis for feline nose cancer may be determined by blood tests such as a CBC (complete blood count), aspiration of a lymph node, a chest X-ray to rule out tumours in the lungs, an MRI or CT scan and a biopsy of the tumour.


The treatment recommended by most veterinarians for cats with nose cancer is a combination of radiation and chemotherapy. Some cats may benefit from surgery to remove the tumour, followed by an aggressive treatment of radiation and chemotherapy. However, not all cats will have tumours that are accessible because cats have a very deep nasal cavity.


If your cat has symptoms of nose cancer, consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Other causes of these symptoms may include the presence of foreign matter in the nose, fungal infections and infections in the upper roots of the cat's teeth.

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