A 10-year-old female spayed Domestic Shorthair named Penelope presented to Hinsdale Animal Hospital for evaluation after the owners noticed a small bump on her face. The mass had slowly gotten larger over the course of a few weeks.
A fine needle aspirate (FNA) and cytology was performed by Dr. Plomin and sent into the laboratory. Results confirmed feline cutaneous mast cell tumor.
A mast cell tumor (MCT) is caused by the over-proliferation of neoplastic mast cells. Mast cells are normally found in the skin and many other tissues such as lymph nodes as part of the immune system. The most common sites for MCT in the cat are the skin, subcutaneous tissues, and the spleen.
In order to assess severity of disease, bloodwork and an abdominal ultrasound was performed on Penelope. Thankfully, no signs of visceral MCT was present and she was diagnosed with cutaneous localized disease. Surgery was performed to remove the mass and clean surgical margins were achieved giving Penelope a good prognosis and small chance of recurrence.
This case illustrates the importance diagnostics when it comes to cutaneous skin masses. When a patient presents with a skin or subcutaneous mass, it is impossible to eliminate the chance of a patient having a mast cell tumor based on palpation and appearance alone. They can be haired or hairless, ulcerated or smooth, singular or in groups and are frequently known as “the great imitators” because of it. By bringing your cat in for yearly examinations by your veterinarian these masses can be identified and removed early, allowing a successful outcome and a long life for your furry friend.
Help Save Pets was originally founded as the Humane Society of Plainfield in 2000. Since then we have placed over 14,000 animals into loving homes. Each one of these animals was given shelter, food, medical aid and vaccinations and time to find the right home. Our doctors mended mutilated limbs and cured many illnesses so that these animals could get a second chance at good lives. We have grown and now operate out of 6 locations, not all of them in Plainfield. In 2008, we changed our name from the Humane Society of Plainfield to Help Save Pets, still HSP.
Dr. Tony Kremer owns 8 veterinary hospitals in the Chicagoland area and two in Ohio. He is the founder of Help Save Pets, an animal shelter which has saved more than 14,000 pets since 2000. Dr. Tony’s knowledge, insight, and advice are shared regularly with major media outlets across the nation and in the third largest market. Dr. Tony is also a member of the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association Public Education Committee that routinely gets the word out about responsible pet ownership.