Commonly encountered in cats with white hair, partly white or light color, this type of tumor develops especially on the nose, auricular pavilions and eyelids. Exposure to sunlight (UV) is often incriminated for the occurrence of this disease.
In cats, squamocellular carcinoma is one of the most common skin neoplasia. It is a very invasive malignant tumor, which destroys the soft and bone tissues of the above mentioned areas, but which does not give metastases. The etiology is multifactorial, but a decisive role plays the ultraviolet radiations that deteriorates the cellular DNA. There are two main clinical forms: the ulcerative (most common) and the proliferative one.
The diagnosis of squamocellular carcinoma can be made through a simple cytological exam. The therapeutic approach can be done by various methods, such as: surgery, cryosurgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. With the highest success rate is the excision with ample edges of the entire tumor through surgical technique. This type of intervention is drastically equal to the severity of the lesion and for this reason is avoided by the owners. In reality, however, the post surgical result is often excellent both from a functional and aesthetic point of view and can also be curative. Healing can take even two months, and the protective collar is fundamental. Once cured, the animal can lead a completely normal life, and often the aesthetic aspect improves substantially with hair growth.
Our tips for our hairy friends are the following:
-avoid as much as possible their exposure to the sun during peak hours in the afternoon
-if you notice the occurrence of ulcerative lesions or crusts at the level of “risk” areas, namely: the nasal area, eyelids or the edge of the auricular pavilions, take the cat immediately to a veterinary clinic
The success rate of any type of interventions in the case of squamocellular carcinoma in the cat depends on the extension of the lesions; the smaller are, the higher are the chances of healing. In the event that this tumor is not treated or the diagnosis is put wrong, it is soon possible to reach a situation similar to the one in this picture. At this stage no treatment makes sense and to limit the suffering of the animal, the most humane solution becomes euthanasia.
Squamous cell carcinoma in the cat is still considered a veterinary emergency due to the fact that early intervention by the veterinarian can save lives and in this case. As every time we are at your disposal non-stop, and if you have any questions about this topic do not hesitate to contact us!