Advice For Cat Owners And Carers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: Image by Murilo Moredo Mu from Pixabay

Pictures of my own cat.

I wish I had read about this sooner.

Advice For Cat Owners And Carers.

 

I have a question for you all. Do you know what this picture shows?

I'm sure there are many of you that do, but I’m also sure I’m not the only one that didn’t. It looks like some sort of skin irritation, easily explained away in a cat that lives in a rural environment and spends most of its time in fields.

To make this seem even more the case, application of Sudocrem appeared to clear the condition up for a while. But never for long.

Take a look at this second picture.

No doubt even more of you are calling me out as being a fool, if not negligent. But you have to understand that this cat, although white, loves to seek out the muddiest spots to roll in. When some of the marks proved to be persistent I thought perhaps it was some kind of chemical or spots of tar. I upped the cleansing but the black refused to go and in fact started to spread.

It was time for a visit to the vets.

How many of you still would have been surprised at the diagnosis of ear cancer?

If this cat had been an indoor one I’m sure alarm bells would have rung much earlier. Not soon enough to prevent it but soon enough to reduce the extent of surgery required.

Now, a bit about the cancer. These pictures show a cat with squamous cell carcinoma and it is caused by UV-light. This is the most common form of skin cancer that cats are likely to suffer from. The most common site for it to be found is on the ears, but it also can occur on the nose and eyelids.

Obviously, the ears are easiest to treat as they can be cut off – a procedure called a pinnectomy. If caught early enough it is possible that only the tips of the ears would need to be removed, but that is not the case with my cat. However, I have been told that following the removal of his ears he should be fine and that his hearing will not be damaged by the procedure. Once the skin is healed he will need daily applications of a waterproof factor 50 sun block.

Although skin cancer is most likely to effect white cats, it is also common in gingers or any other cats that have white or light colored ears. Look out for crusty skin – red or black – and if you find any, get it looked at professionally.

Prevention is far, far better than cure, so if you do have a cat with light colored ears, especially one that spends time outside, get it used to a daily application of sun block on both ears and nose.

I wish... oh, I wish someone had told me all this. Writing this, I know I have left myself open to condemnation, but if just one cat is saved from getting skin cancer it will be worth it.


Submitted: January 22, 2022

© Copyright 2022 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

B Douglas Slack

Poor kitty. Given the circumstances you tell us, I doubt I would have caught on much sooner than you did. We have had exclusively indoor cats for nearly 50 years. They were all indoor cats and hardly ever went outside. When we went camping, we'd bring along shelters for them to lie under during the day.

So take good care of your kitty (I know you will) and don't beat yourself up over this. It does indeed look just like a little dirt buildup. Could have fooled anyone.

Bill

Sat, January 22nd, 2022 4:02pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Bill. It's hard not to blame myself when he's going to be facing surgery.

This is the third cancer diagnosis I've been faced with in four months.

Sat, January 22nd, 2022 9:27am

Mike S.

A great instructional lesson, one you learned the hard way, Hull. It's a good thing you're doing showing people the warning signs to watch out for

Sat, January 22nd, 2022 8:10pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Mike. If just one cat loses just the tips of its ears because of it, it will be worth it.

Sat, January 22nd, 2022 12:29pm

B Douglas Slack

I had my one big one about 15 years ago. Lost my left kidney to cancer from Agent Orange.

Bill

Sun, January 23rd, 2022 5:09am

Author
Reply

Sorry to hear that, Bill. Glad you pulled through it.

Fri, February 11th, 2022 9:26am

dewey green

Good onya for being so obsevant and caring. I hope your moggy pulls through Hulls.

Sun, January 23rd, 2022 10:49am

Author
Reply

Thank you, dewey. He's had the operation and after ten days I've been able to remove the cone collar. It's going to take a while for the fur to grow back.
Twice I thought he wasn't going to make it - I think it was a combination of shock and his difficulty in eating and drinking but he's doing much better now.

Fri, February 11th, 2022 9:25am

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