Cat Oral Melanoma
From Pet Health Learning Center
Cat Oral Melanoma
It would be stating the obvious that cats are different from humans in many ways. However, there are things that they have in common with humans, such as being a mammal as well. However, something else that cats have in common with humans is that they too have the ability to develop cancer. As humans are aware, cancer is a disease that slowly eats away at the healthy cells in the body. Very briefly, if not treated, cancer will certainly end in death. Even if the cancer is treated, the prognosis of the patient will vary. This is all the same with cats. Their life spans are relatively brief compared to humans as it is. To add to this, cats don't have the gift of advanced speech that humans do. Therefore, it's up to cat owners to be very aware that their cat can be suffering with Cat Cancer, and know what to do about it.
One cancer that a cat can develop in particular is called Oral Melanoma. Oral Melanoma is a type of cancer that affects the mouth, the throat, and the connecting tissues of the mouth of a cat.
Signs and Symptoms
A cat owner needs to be aware of various physical, and behavioral signs that their cat might have developed with this type of cancer. Physical signs might be a lump in the mouth. There might be changes in the gums, and on the tooth line. Along with this, your cat will display changes in his or her usual behavior. Because they have a mass in their mouth, they might want to lick at it. They might have Cat Drooling more than what is normal for them. Increased drooling is usually the first sign of sickness in cats. Furthermore, they might display their version of moaning in pain by meowing more often. The noises that come out of them might sound unusual. The cat may also experience Cat Loss of Appetite and might stop eating, and develop strange patterns of elimination. A cat owner might want to notice whether or not their cat has Cat Loss of Weight in spite of being offered food. They also need to check if their cat is eliminating themselves in a way that seems out of control, despite having have been trained in this area. In short, any changes in what the owner has come to know as healthy behavior needs to be noted and a veterinarian needs to be consulted right away.
A vet can diagnose oral melanoma like they would any other type of cancer. They would take a biopsy of the lump and do some blood work. However, keep in mind that, just like in the case of humans, not all lumps are malignant. But one should never take a chance that a lump isn't serious. Let the vet determine that for you. If your vet determines that your cat indeed has oral melanoma cancer, the course of treatment would be the same as with humans. Your cat will receive treatment in the form of chemotherapy and radiation. How much treatment your cat would receive will depend on the size of the lump, and how far advanced the cancer is. The more advanced the cancer is, the more aggressive the treatment is going to be.
Humans have a hard time with cancer treatment, and certainly your cat will as well. However, it is very important that keep your cat as comfortable as possible during these treatments. Since they most probably will not want to eat, you should discuss a nourishment plan with your vet. With oral melanoma, the cat will experience pain, so the vet will prescribe the typical pain medications. This will all be hard on the cat, as well as the cat owner. However, if the cat doesn't receive treatment, they can only be expected to live at the most for a couple of months. Those last couple of months will be filled with intense suffering for them. A cat owner has to decide if it's worth it to put their cat through cancer treatment. Although it's harsh, it could very well save their catâ€™s life.
Oral Melanoma is a sad diagnosis for any cat, and their human family too. However, if caught in time, the prognosis is fair. It's very important to be on the lookout as a pet owner for symptoms, and to remember that your cat relies on you to be both a loving, and aware pet parent.