Cat Lipoma - What Is It?
The term "fatty tumor" has long been used to describe animal lipomas, and it's a fitting one. These tumors originate from fat cells and are noncancerous. Cats are much less likely to suffer from lipomas compared to dogs. Patients in their mid-to-late-thirties and beyond are more likely to be diagnosed with these diseases in cats.
Cat Lipoma Signs and Symptoms
Cats who develop lipomas generally have more than once, even if there is only one.
The most likely locations for the tumor are on the cat's chest, abdomen, neck, back, and upper legs, but no one can rule out other possibilities. Although they can grow on internal organs, they are most commonly found in the subcutaneous tissues beneath the skin.
They can be flexible and movable or harder and more adherent to the surrounding tissues when found in cats with lipomas.
A healthy person's skin should have a normal appearance and have the same temperature as the skin around them.
A necrotic death can occur if they develop too large, which is more often in cats than dogs (tissue death).
Why do cats have lipomas?
Our understanding of why cats develop lipomas is still in its infancy and why dogs are more likely to develop them.
Lipomas are more common in overweight and obese cats than in cats of normal weight.
Cat Lipomas: Diagnosis by Veterinarians
If you notice a change in the size or shape of a lump on your cat, don't hesitate to take it to your veterinarian.
A test termed a fine-needle aspirate (FNA) and cytology is likely to be recommended by your veterinarian. However, this test may be sent out to a reference laboratory by most veterinarians.
A sample of cells is taken by the veterinarian by inserting a needle into a portion of the mass. After being "smeared" onto a microscope slide, the cells are dyed and then prepared for inspection under the microscope.
The classic look of a lipoma under the microscope is typically sufficient to provide a correct diagnosis. A larger tissue sample, also known as a biopsy, is required to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis. Although this technique is more invasive than others and requires a minor surgical incision, it is still considered to be very safe.
The Treatment of Lipomas in Cats
The majority of lipomas merely need to be monitored. In most cases, cat lipomas do not warrant treatment because they do not present a health risk; the only exception is when they cause discomfort due to their huge size or awkward position.
If you are on the fence about having a lipoma surgically removed, you should wait until you have more time because the growth of most lipomas is relatively slow. This will allow you to make an informed choice before acting hastily.
Lipomas that are enormous, expanding at a rapid rate, or invasive into the tissue that surrounds them can be good candidates for surgical excision. Invasive lipomas make surgical removal more challenging, and they are likely to recur.
It is essential to have a correct diagnosis to be certain that the mass in question is a lipoma and not a malignant liposarcoma, as the therapies for these two conditions couldn't be more unlike.
Lipomas in Cats: Recovering and Managing the Disease
After receiving a diagnosis of cat lipoma, the prognosis is typically favorable and there is no reason to be alarmed about the situation.
Maintain a close eye on the size of your cat's lipoma, as well as its rate of expansion, consistently if you decide to take a more cautious approach. This is something you should discuss with your veterinarian beforehand.
Make sure that you keep track of this information every three months. It is also vital to keep a record of any changes that occur in terms of shape, hardness, or skin lesions. When changes occur, it may be necessary to review the mass by the use of a biopsy.
Cat Lipomas FAQs
Do cat lipomas go away?
Lipomas in cats do not resolve or disappear on their own, however, they can become smaller if the cat loses a significant amount of weight.
Are cats at risk for health problems from lipomas?
Lipomas, on their own, are harmless growths that, unlike more severe malignancies, do not spread to other parts of the body through a process known as metastasis. Because of this, lipomas rarely cause problems for cats, though it is important to keep in mind that cats have a significantly lower incidence of lipomas than dogs do. Lipomas are more common in cats than dogs.
It is unwise to presume that a mass, especially a soft one that looks and feels like a typical cat lipoma, is a lipoma because the growth could be a cancerous tumor instead.
What does it appear like when a cat has lipoma?
Lipomas are benign growths that can frequently be discovered just beneath the skin. A cat can have more than one mass. Lipomas tend to be roughly spherical, and the skin over them is typically normal and healthy.