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Cat has hair loss and bump in mouth? HELP

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My cat, Shadow, is a long haired cat. I recently took Shadow to the vet because of a bump under his chin and a bald spot near his tail, on his back. He also has a lump inside his mouth. The vet looked at him quickly and diagnosed him without problem. She said something about him having a immuno- reaction to himself? She prescribed antibiotics which I have already given him all of and anti-inflammatory/steroid liquid medicine. It's been two weeks and not only have I not seen a change, I fear it's gotten worse. The bald spot on his back seems larger (a little bigger than the size of a quarter) and is pink. Under his chin, I believe the bump is gone but it looks all red and like its not healing. The lump/bump is on the side of the inside of his mouth on his gums and its gotten bigger. My vet said all those things were related and they all were a reaction to himself, but I am not sure what that means or how long it should take for him to heal. She said that it would take time but they would go away on their own.

My question is first, do you think this diagnosis is correct? Have you seen other cats with this problem? If her diagnosis was correct, can you explain it to me in detail? How long should I wait before taking Shadow back to the vet again? Can you think of any important questions to ask my own vet? I really appreciate your guidance as I am worried about my cat, Shadow is the best cat an owner could ask for. Thank you very much and happy holidays.
post #2 of 9
ShadyCat1, I'd be pretty confused about this too. The vet diagnoses Shadow "quickly and without problem" - how did she determine it's an auto-immune response? Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections - what infection does Shadow have? It doesn't sound like any of this was explained to you very well, so it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either.

Since you've given Shadow the drugs and the condition is not only continuing but worsening, I think it's time for a second opinion.

I don't know if all of Shadow's symptoms are related to one cause, but the chin problem could be feline acne. Some cats can develop pretty severe cases of it. One of my cats had this for a couple of years - the vet told me to keep the chin clean by soaking it with a cotton ball full of warm water with some Betadine solution, and then rinsing it well.

The lump in Shadow's mouth would concern me most of all. Try to get him in to see a feline internal medicine specialist. Ask as many questions as necessary in order to understand what's going on with Shadow if it isn't clearly explained. That's what the doctors are there for and you need to know precisely what the diagnosis is so that you can make informed decisions about your cat's care and treatment. A good vet will make sure that you understand what they're talking about and will welcome your questions.

Please let us know how Shadow is doing. He's lucky to have such a concerned mom!
post #3 of 9
I had a cat, Juniper who got lumps on his mouth, inside and outside, which turned out to be cysts. They were removeable. Then after a few years they came back, and when he went for surgery the vet found they had turned cancerous. I think you need a second opinion.
post #4 of 9
I agree that you should definately seek a second opinion for Shadow. Also, a common cause of feline acne is eating out of plastic bowls. If Shadow happens to eat out of plastic bowls, you make want to switch to ceramic. Please keep us updated how Shadow is feeling and what you learn from your new Vet.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of your advice. I agree I need to get a second opinion. I just felt uneasy with the last vet because I felt she should have been a little more careful and maybe even done a test of some kind? She said whatever Shadow has is common in long haired kitties. Feline acne was my first thought (after doing some internet research on his symptoms) but he drinks and eats out of porcelain bowls which are washed. So I'm not sure that's it and that doesn't explain the bald spot on his back. The good thing is, Shadow seems to be himself lately...alert and playful and happy. So that makes me feel a little better. I'm going to call the vet next week and ask exactly WHAT she diagnosed Shadow with (the clinical name) so that I can research it on my own and figure out if it is plausable. I just thought she should have given me some sort of ointment to help him heal and I agree she should have paid more attention to the bump on his lip. Can cats get canker sores? Yes, I would worry about it being cancerous and I just think she took the easy way out by saying that the thing on his back, chin and lip were all related. We have shaved Shadow down again (we usually only do it in the summer but we wanted to make sure other wounds weren't hidden under his dark black and gray fur! I am hopeful, and I am trying to stay positive and see if he heals on his own like the vet says BUT I'm not going to wait too long to find out. He's my fur-baby and I love him and I wouldn't let anything happen to him. You know how people have intuitions about things when they have children? I think the same thing can happen when you have a cat. I had a bad feeling about the vet we saw. She was VERY nice, but nice doesn't always mean competent. So thank again for all of your advice, I will keep you updated on what happens ... I will probably wait a week, but contact the vet for more info and make an appointment with another vet I've taken my other cat to before and see what he has to say. I just want him to get the care and attention he deserves. I want to feel confident in his diagnosis and know that he'll be OK. HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OF YOU AND YOUR CATS!!!!
post #6 of 9
Dearest Shady .. I agree that taking your baby to another vet is exactly what needs to be done. I understand the fear when our babies are nopt feeling well. Please let us know how the next vet appt. goes..
All my love to you and Shadow
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for all of your support. Shadow still seems to be feeling like his happy self, but his wounds have yet to look better. They are not open wounds, but I still fear an infection could set in at some point. I wrote to an online vet and he said to wait a few weeks and see if it starts to heal. It hasn't been very long, so maybe I should be a little patient. I plan on contacting my vet this week to find out the official medical name of her diagnosis. Does anyone know of any free sites where you can ask veternarians questions? Thanks again, have a great week everyone!

Allison & Shady
post #8 of 9
Feline acne can also result from ringworm, and could also account for the bald spot on his tail. Cats can get ringworm in different forms - chin acne, areas of flaky skin, enlarged cuticles, lumps under the skin, the standard "ring" form, etc. I volunteer at a cat shelter where it's running rampant through our 200 cats, and we were given lessons on signs on infection. I've actually seen it in all forms, except the lumps.

The only way your vet could have made a positve diagnosis of an immune disorder is with blood tests, which you said she didn't run. It could be something a lot more common, or something a lot more serious, and Shadow needs to see a vet who is going to help him.
post #9 of 9
Was the diaganosis perhaps eosinophilic granuloma complex? Our cat had a bout with it (bump in his mouth), and was treated with cortisone. He now gets 500 mg. of fish oil with Omega 3 fatty acids a week. Here's a link with pictures:
There are some old threads on this forum, too - try under "rodent ulcer" and "eosinophilic granuloma".
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