How well do you know your cat? Sometimes a personality change in a once vibrant and energetic cat can be a warning sign of a serious illness like cancer. Oral tumors can be particularly difficult to notice in cats, because cats typically don’t allow people to inspect the insides of their mouths.
If your cat has oral tumors, you need a compassionate doctor that specializes in veterinary dentistry. As a board-certified veterinary dentist, Dr. Tony Woodward of Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery can provide the top-notch care your kitty requires. Read on to learn more about how to recognize the warning signs of feline oral tumors and how they can be treated.
What Causes Oral Tumors in Cats?
Tumors in cats usually arise from a complex mix of different factors. Oral tumors could be related to hereditary traits, environmental conditions, or both. Not all oral tumors in cats will be cancerous, and tumor growth in some felines is completely benign.
What Are the Signs of Feline Oral Tumors?
There is no one-size-fits-all list for signs of oral tumors in cats. Tumors come in many different forms, shapes, and sizes and can manifest in any part of your cat’s oral cavity. Each cat is different, and each tumor is unique.
Oral tumors may present as swellings around the teeth, on the gums, around the tongue, or on the soft and hard palate. In cats, oral tumors tend to ulcerate or break open and bleed. Ulcerated oral lesions can lead to infection of the tumor and surrounding oral tissue if unnoticed or untreated.
Even though cats don’t like to show when they’re in pain, the severe pain caused by oral tumors is usually obvious, especially if the cancer has grown into the underlying bone. Other signs include bad breath (halitosis), loss of appetite, drooling, panting, facial swelling, and reluctance to be touched on the head.
How Are Feline Oral Tumors Diagnosed and Treated?
Oral tumors are typically diagnosed by obtaining a small specimen (biopsy) of the tumor and submitting it to the lab for analysis. We send our oral biopsies to a lab that specializes in diagnosing problems in the oral cavity. Because that is all they do, we feel like they provide the most accurate diagnosis. After the diagnosis of the tumor, your veterinary dentist will develop a treatment plan.
The most common treatment for oral tumors is surgical removal. Surgery can provide your cat with relief from the pain, and in most cases, only a single surgery will be needed to remove the tumor. If it has invaded bone, a portion of the jaw may need to be removed along with the tumor.
Feline Oral Tumor Treatment in Bozeman
If you suspect your feline friend may have an oral tumor, don’t wait! Visit Dr. Tony Woodward to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Oral tumors are extremely painful, and waiting to treat the tumor will only make things worse. Give Montana Pet Dentistry and Oral Surgery a call today to schedule an appointment at our Bozeman office.