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Cat Ceruminous Gland Tumors

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Cat Ceruminous Gland Tumors


This is a big word for a small part of the body. It is in the ear. The glands that produce wax in the ear are called ceruminous glands. These types of Cat Tumors are usually less than 1cm in size and are on a stalk. If the tumor grows, the stalk will allow the tumor to extend to the outer ear where it will then be easily visible. It the tumor is adenocarcinoma, it can be invasive and can metastasize to the salivary glands. Although it is rare that they metastasize to the lungs.

Adenomas are not as common as adenocarcinomas. This applies to both dogs and cats. Cats have been known to have a higher incidence. Cats who have a history of hyperplastic otitis are subject to ceruminous gland tumors. No specific cat breed is more susceptible to ceruminous gland tumors.

Signs and Symptoms

If the tumor becomes large, you can see it. It can also become irritated or infected and begin to bleed. As your cat scratches the ear, the tumor is easily irritated. Excessive scratching of the ear should put you on alert that something is wrong with your cat’s ear.

Chronic Cat Ear Infections of the middle ear with purulent (odorous) discharge may indicate a tumor. Unfortunately, these types of cat tumors have the ability to completely block the cat’s ear canal.


After a complete history and physical exam, your vet will perform the standard laboratory tests. There will be CBC, urinalysis, and if questions are still there, an MRI or CT scan may be performed to determine the amount of metastasis that may be present. The vet will look deeply into your cat’s ear with an otoscope. This will be done under anesthesia. It will also include some flushing of the ear canal and removing any discharge that may be present. Once the mass is removed, it will be examined by a pathologist to determine the diagnosis.

Treatment Options

If the tumor has not affected the cat’s eardrum, it can be removed surgically through the ear canal. If the cat’s ear drum is affected, it may need to be removed. This is only recommended when the tumor is malignant. The lateral type of resection has a high recurrence rate. Malignant tumors in the ear can have a survival time of less than one year in cats. Cats with an invasive tumor or those who exhibit neurological signs have a poorer diagnosis.

There are times when Cat Radiation Therapy may be used. This is done if the tumor cannot be completely removed. In this instance, there is a 56 per cent chance of a one year survival.

As with most tumors, Cat Cancer and illnesses in cats, the cat owner needs to pay special attention to any changes in their cats' behavior or physical status. If your cat has chronic middle ear infections or if they start scratching their ears more frequently, it is time to take notice and consult with your vet. By being observant you can save your cat from suffering extreme discomfort and also save yourself from making the difficult decision as to treatment. It will also save you a lot of money to get small issues treated quickly, rather than to let them develop into huge issues that may require surgery in the future.

Suggested Products

Nu-Pet Vitamin & Antioxidant Wafers Cancer Support Kit - Cats ES Clear - Cat Cancer Support Echo Gold for Cat Ear Infections

Additional Cat Cancer Pages

Cat Cancer | Cat Skin Cancer | Cat Lung Cancer | Cat Pancreatic Cancer | Cat Cancer Prevention | Cat Cancer Diagnosis | Cat Gastric Cancer | Cat Lymphoma Cancer | Cat Squamous Cell Carcinoma | Cat Mouth Cancer | Cat Brain Tumor | Cat Palliative Cancer Care

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