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cat has puffy lip

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
I just noticed yesterday that my cat's left side of her top lip is lumpy. Is it something I should be worried about? Should I have the vet check it out?

I tried to get a good picture but she wouldn't hold still.

She's a blue-point himalayan, if that makes any difference.

post #2 of 25
Could be an insect bite, could be an allergic reaction, could be that she bumped into on a table corner while playing, it could be a lot of things, I would keep an eye on it and if it does not change within the next 24 hrs. I would have her checked by the VET.

Huggs to your baby
post #3 of 25
I would tend to agree with that sentament... if it dosen't go down in about 24 hours, definatly go to the vet.

~ Salem
post #4 of 25
Is it red and inflamed? Is it painful? Is she still easting and drinking? Playing, using the litterbox?

She could have bitten his lip while eating or playing. I agree that if it isnt down in 24 hours bring her to your vet. If it's painful to teh point where she will not eat bring her in ASAP. Your vet will give her a shot of a painkiller to numb it and she'll be a lot happier.

post #5 of 25
I would take her in pronto. This is one sign of rodent ulcer which is treatable but it needs to be treated right away or it gets really bad.
post #6 of 25
I agree with Hissy , something like that can be very serios . I would go and let it be ck out right away . Hopefully nothing bad .
post #7 of 25
Hissy is on target. My cat has rodent ulcer and the lesion looks just like your kitty. Of course, only the vet should make that decision, but this guy:


..takes a daily dose of prednisone to keep it in check. If I stop for a few days, the lesions start again. There is also an injectable treatment that only needs to be done every cpl months or so. I am always around, so I don;t have a problem with pilling him, and he actually is very tolerant. (I also brush his teeth regularly too! :-)

Same cat, as a young boy:

Couldnt resist!

Anyway, get the kitty a checkup to be sure
post #8 of 25
Any updates on the kitty yet?

~ Salem
post #9 of 25
2 weeks ago my cat had a puffy swollen bottom lip and had to have a corisone shot, it was e. Granular Complex. In other words a allergy to fleas, she is fine now.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, everyone.

I took her to the vet yesterday, and he said it probably was a rodent ulcer. He gave her a shot, and it's starting to look better. I changed her over to glass bowls, too, just in case that was the problem. She doesn't like the new bowls, though. She'll stand a few feet away from them and whine a little bit before she eventually eats or drinks.
post #11 of 25
Also check the content of the cat food, alot of cats are allergic to corn and lots of cat foods has corn in it. Linda
post #12 of 25
i have no idea what a rodent ulcer is, but my first guess was an ulcer. i think you should go to the vet asap.
post #13 of 25
For those who don't know what it is, this is probably the best page I have found that describes rodent ulcer, or more specifically Eosinophilic Granuloma:


Note that the images are rather gruesome, they represent cases that probably did not get early treatment.

Without treatment, my kitty would regularly gets the lip ailment, the irritation around the throat and once he even started sprouting the deformed paw. When we aggressivly treated him with prednisone, the symptoms dissipated. He has also had a couple of shots of Depo-medrol, probably what the vet gave to Cyn. The Depro shots can be given once in a couple months I think, but I give my kitty prednisone each day. Note: I was informed of a potential risk of him going diabetic from the steroid treatment, but so far, so good (knock on wood). It's been 1 to 1 1/2 years that he has been on this treatment. I give him a relatively low dose- 5-10mg and adjust it up to the higher end when he starts getting a lesion.

You can also do loads of net research on this condition via Google:
post #14 of 25
I am so glad you took her in. She is not whining because of the new bowls, she is whining because rodent ulcers hurt and anything entering her mouth is irritating her big time. Make sure she stay hydrated. I would buy some Pedialyte and give it to her just to be safe.

I had a feeling it was a rodent ulcer, I am glad you had it checked.
post #15 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the link, Kevin.

She is an indoor cat, and we have been treating her with Advantage for fleas for over a year now, but she still gets them every now and then.

So there's nothing I could have really done to prevent this? Somebody clear my conscience.

The vet said the lesion should be gone in about a week, if not, call him. He also said it'd probably come back in a month. Would you guys recommend getting the shot every month (which cost $54) or treating her at home with pills?

Thanks for all your help.
post #16 of 25
Once the sores have healed, make sure to keep the cat flea free. Get some pet wipes and wipe down your cat every day or so to remove pollen from the fur. Maybe get an ionizer for the house and see if this helps at all. Best of luck with your baby.
post #17 of 25

Rodent ulcers have nothing to do with mice or rodents. It could be an hormonal imbalance that caused this, or an allergy. The thinking is it is the saliva in fleas that causes this (who knew fleas even had saliva?) You might try using another spot on treatment- I try to rotate between Advantage, and Frontline as the fleas seem to build up a resistance to one kind after awhile. When the cat grooms and picks off fleas and bites them in her mouth, that is what causes the ulceration of the lip. You are fortunate to have caught it early.
post #18 of 25
Hissy, I do not believe you are correct in mentioning that a flea biting a grooming cat causes the ulcer. My cat hasn't had a flea since I caught him wandering around as a stray when he was about 3-4 weeks old. He has been an indoor cat since then. In any case, fleas are not really a direct cause of this. The ulcers are congenital manifestations which shows it to be allergy related (which you did mention of course!) and affect the autoimmune functions. Anyway, they nearly always re-appear in the exact same spot as they were before.

I think there could possibly be a food allergen causing the problem in my case, but my dilemma is I have 3 cats- one who has to have FUS specific diet, one who is 18 years old (and battling a nasty e-coli at the moment) and the young guy. So my ability to handle 3 different diets and being a single person is difficult at best. So the little guy with rodent ulcer gets to snack on the other's foods while getting his own in a secret place the other 2 don't know about. :-) I am not completely convinced it is allergy related though- and from my research and speaking with my vet, I think the jury is still out.

Cyn: Places to keep an eye on: paws, the groin area, under the neck, and inside the mouth as well- look at the roof and under the tongue. There is also possibility that the kitty can develop them in the lungs, which of course would not be fun to diagnose and treat. FYI- my Simba's lesion appears on the upper left side of his mouth, just like in your photo, 90% of the time. In my case, so far, it's not as bad as it seems, but it just means I have to be vigilant in keeping on top of it.

Another Google search shows lots of discussions on the usenet groups,
rec.pets.cats.health+behav, alt.med.veterinary and others:


But when reading those, as well as this discussion should always be secondary (or tertiary!) to the advice of a good caring vet, which you have already done!

Good luck with your baby! :-)
post #19 of 25
Uh, oh. JC was diagnosed with a "rodent ulcer" on his upper lip yesterday, and got a Depo-Medrol shot. The vet seems to think one shot will do the trick, but I'm going to take him back for a check-up in two weeks, whether the ulcer is still there or not. Now I'm wondering what he's allergic to. He's never had fleas, but I can't rule out the possibility of a flea bite, because he is constantly catching mice and shrews. All his bowls are made of glass, china or stainless steel, but he has a FreshFlow fountain made of plastic. If it's a food allergy, I'm in big trouble, because he insists on constant change. Do these granulomas usually start appearing on other parts of the body?
post #20 of 25
This condition isn't necessarily allergy related. It might be, and it might not be. See, the scientists really do not know for sure. The bit about changing bowls really has no effect on this condition. Read the marvistavet.com link I posted a week or so back which should be on the top of page 2 of this thread. It answers some of your questions.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have another question.

Since she got the shot about a week ago, the ulcer is almost gone, but she has been less and less playful. Is that expected?

I try to get her to run around and play with me or sit and play with a toy, but she just gets irritated with me.
post #22 of 25
I dont think that has anything to do with the injection. Honestly, when Simba had depro shots before it really didnt make any change in his behaviour. Now he's treated with pred tablets but he did get a couple of depro shots early on.

PS- As an aside, I would guess that the lip ulcer really didn't cause any significant pain in your cat; or at least that she showed outwardly. Sound right? One of the strange things about those lesions is that it doesn't seem to bother them, as if it's not causing any discomfort. Strange!
post #23 of 25
This might be a stupid question, but are certain breeds of cat more prone to this than others? I'm assuming Simba is a Maine Coon. The purported father of my cat was a Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat (it's hard to tell the difference).
post #24 of 25
Honestly, I don't know if breed has a role in it. :-( Simba has a fur coat as if he was a Maine Coon (including LONG silky hair between his paw pads) but he is really a small cat- he is only about 4.5 kg. His lineage is a mystery to me as he was found wandering alone as a kitten.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Himalayan, here.
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