Our pets are sick too. Most often, the reason is more or less obvious, and therefore the diagnosis can be made on the basis of one external examination. But there are much more complicated cases when it is not so easy to get to the truth. A very dangerous disease is a cyst in a cat.
What is it, what types of cysts exist?
This is the name of a capsule with a dense or soft wall, which is most often filled with liquid contents. It can be located anywhere, even on the head. Contrary to popular belief, not all cysts pose an immediate danger to the life and health of the animal, and in some cases they generally dissolve spontaneously. Cysts can develop as a result of infection, problems with the lymphatic ducts, or due to the presence of a foreign body in the body (a piece of glass that has fallen into a wound, for example). In some cases, these formations are a “cemetery” of old cells, but more often it is a kind of bubble.
Cats are often found in cats, caused by echinococcosis or alveococcus. If so, then the bubble in the tissues is extremely dangerous for humans, as it is filled with parasite larvae. So, in particular, a kidney cyst can develop (including in humans).
Scientists have long developed a general classification of cysts, according to which they distinguish the following types:
- Atheromas (epidermal variety including). This is the most common type of cyst in cats. These formations can occur anywhere. Cysts are usually small, up to a maximum of 2.5 cm in diameter, most often dense to the touch, filled with saline-like contents. They (most often) are benign, not showing a tendency to grow and increase.
- Keratinized cysts - contain grayish caseous (curdled) contents.
- Follicular cyst. Also a common variety is a classic bubble filled with fluid.
- Hairy cystsresulting from clogging of the sebaceous glands and inflammation in the hair follicles. Sometimes they appear with demodicosis.
- Dermoid cyst. It develops from the skin tissue, in its thickness there are numerous sebaceous glands. The cavity of the dermoid is filled with sebaceous contents. Quite often found in the ear.
- Apocrine cysts. A very dangerous variety, since they are found exclusively in the form of clusters. If they appear in the internal organs, then the functionality of the latter is seriously affected.
Clinical signs and diagnosis
In cats, a breast cyst is quite common (in the photo below). To the touch, it resembles a ball or pea on the surface or in the tissues. Such formations have a smooth surface and grow slowly. As a rule, such cysts do not cause pain, and the cat does not show anxiety when they are palpated. But in the case when the neoplasm is old and very large, the animal will still experience great inconvenience. The cat’s ovarian cyst is much more dangerous, or a similar lesion of any internal organ (this is what we talked about at the beginning of the article).
For a long time, such a pathology does not appear in any way, even an experienced breeder cannot notice the symptoms ... But the cyst grows, continuing to compress organs, resulting in a strong pain reaction. Given that the ovaries are also important sources of hormones, signs of lack of them may appear: cycle disturbances, the cat becomes nervous, refuses to feed. In general, the possibility of having a cyst in the body of your pet can only be guessed by indirect signs, but an accurate diagnosis can only be made after an ultrasound or radiographic examination. However, it all depends on the specific location: you are unlikely to miss a salivary gland cyst in a cat, because with this pathology, drool constantly starts to run in the animal, and it is not so difficult to notice the tumor in your mouth.
How to determine the moment when it is desirable to take your pet to the vet? First, try to pay more attention to the behavior of the animal, noticing all the oddities. While stroking your cat, always check if there are any strange tumors on the side or in other places.
Important! Any cyst in the aspect of its clinical signs is extremely similar to a tumor (benign or malignant). In some cases, degeneration of cysts into neoplasms is also possible, and therefore the veterinarian must necessarily use a biopsy!
This is the name of the procedure when a special needle is inserted into the thickness of the cyst, with the help of which a specialist takes a small portion of tissue. She will be examined by a cytologist. This is a very important procedure, as it not only eliminates cancer, but also determines the specific type of cyst and its potential danger to the cat’s health. Note that the main treatment in this case is the surgical removal of the neoplasm, since it is not very much worth counting on its spontaneous disappearance.
Control and Prevention Measures
But! If the cyst is small, soft, does not interfere with the body and is filled with fluid, the veterinarian may well decide to leave her alone. And this is entirely justified: an old or very young animal may not survive the operation. In addition, such a cyst (in many cases) can really dissolve on its own. Even if it breaks, there’s nothing wrong: the fluid will flow out, and the resulting wound will quickly heal. It is much worse when the doctor suspects the infectious or parasitic nature of this formation.
If a cyst was formed as a result of a foreign body or infection, its cavity is drained, and all other tissues are excised. Similarly, in the case of its parasitic origin (echinococcosis). If your cat experiences any inconvenience from the cyst, it is also worth removing (a cyst, not a cat). This is especially important if it is in the mouth. Once again, we recall that in the case of the slightest doubt, a biopsy should be used, since without it you can easily “blink” oncology.
Among the promising methods that are used in the treatment of cysts, electrocauterization and the procedure for freezing the neoplasm with liquid nitrogen, followed by removal of the affected tissue, have proven themselves well. These methods minimize injuries that are unavoidable during surgery. Of course, when removing the cyst on the gum, you can do without anesthesia, but when treating an internal organ it is necessary.
If your pet is constantly suffering from cysts, it will not hurt to conduct a full study, including blood biochemistry. It is possible that these measures will help to identify a specific reason, due to which neoplasms constantly appear in the cat's body. Be sure to consult with a veterinarian or an experienced breeder and make a complete diet for your pet, including all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Practice shows that with normal feeding, cysts in cats form much less frequently.
Finally, let’s remind you once again: if your pet has any strange swelling on the stomach or in another place, be sure to show your cat to the veterinarian, since cancer is not excluded, and a simple cyst can very well bring a lot of problems.