He's neatly wedged under my laptop vent, having gleeful dreams while I worry...!
February 2, 2008 5:53 PM   Subscribe

My kitty has a lump on the back of his leg. About the size of my thumbnail and under the skin. By 'back of leg' I mean that ruffle of fur on the edge of his flank/rump/upper thigh... bit. Should I post a pic? -Ask :) Anyway it's about in the middle of that section and slightly to the inside. It was quite firm but not hard and felt evenly textured (like a gummi bear? but more solid). He didn't even register when I stunbled upon it. It's not hot (infection) or 'ouchy' at all. I don't think it's hurting him. And I'm just about to investigate meticulously for more, but so far it's just that one. OMG!! My furry little man has cancer! Quick wise people... do you think it is? Maybe it's not, and before I wave him about in some poor vets face (and get billed accordingly!!) it's probably a good idea to ask. It could be nothing, right?
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har to Pets & Animals (13 answers total)

Could be a fatty deposit. But I would take him to the vet anyway, just to be sure things are ok. Is something is wrong, you want to catch it as soon as possible.
posted by pushing paper and bottoming chairs at 6:05 PM on February 2, 2008

Has your cat been vaccinated for anything recently? My kitten just got some vaccinations and the vet required a signature on a form acknowledging that the vaccinations could cause cancer and that the owners should check for new lumps afterwards and bring her back immediately if any were found. The location of the injection? The lower leg, one in the front and a different one in the back.

In any case, a visit to the vet would probably be prudent, at least for peace of mind.
posted by Tuwa at 6:10 PM on February 2, 2008

Is it anywhere near where your cat's vet gives him his rabies vaccination? Tumors at the injection site are not uncommon. You'd definitely want to take him to the vet to have it checked out, preferably the same one who is familiar with your cat's vaccination history.
posted by jamaro at 6:14 PM on February 2, 2008

my cat had something that sounds similar, near the base of his tail. the vet took a quick needle biopsy, and it turned out to just be a fatty deposit, as described above. also, as i understand it (and i may be wrong, so please, don't put too much stock in this), benign subdermal tumors are not uncommon in aging cats and dogs.

but really, if you can afford the expense, it's worth it to get a quick biopsy; that's the only way you're going to know for sure. that said, i wouldn't be panicking at this point, either.
posted by wreckingball at 6:36 PM on February 2, 2008

Does this worry you enough that you want to go to the vet now instead of next time you're due to take your cat in for his annual checkup? If yes, go ahead and go. No one on the internet can tell you want the lump isn/isn't. It isn't necessarily cancerous though.
posted by Tehanu at 6:56 PM on February 2, 2008

I have had cats get benign lipoid tumors before, and they can be lanced or excised easily. They tend to recur, but as far as I know they aren't really harmful, unless they are interfering with his circulation, and most of these masses appear relatively close to the surface of the skin, where there isn't much chance of serious venous or arterial involvement. Chances are that's what this is. If he isn't in pain, feverish, hydrophobic, or off his feed, I'd wait for his regular check-up. But, hey, it may be worth the price of the vet to assuage your worry now.

Hope your kitty's OK!
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2008

My lab has multiple lipomas (benign fatty tumors, rarely malignant) and the vet says it's nothing to worry about and to just keep an eye on it. Sounds like the plan is to have the vet test it up front and then watch and wait
posted by kookoobirdz at 7:31 PM on February 2, 2008

Could it possibly be a tick?
posted by Lynsey at 12:17 AM on February 3, 2008

The location and feel of the lump you are describing, sounds spot on for a Lymph Node, this is part of the Lymphatic drainage system. Lymph nodes filter bacteria from Lymph Fluid and may become swollen because of disease or more commonly, infection (an enlarged node, does not automatically mean cancer or a serious infection) Sometimes a node is enlarged permanently when there is no sign of disease or infection, this is called a Reactive Node and no one seems to know why they occur.

As a precaution, ask your vet to examine your cat.
posted by Arqa at 1:45 AM on February 3, 2008

can cats get keloids?
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:18 AM on February 3, 2008

Could it be his microchip (if he has one, of course)?
posted by KAS at 7:47 AM on February 3, 2008

IANAV, but this sounds as though it may be an abcess.

When a cat has a minor injury that breaks the skin -- a scratch from another animal, perhaps, or a puncture wound -- an abcess can form beneath the skin as the superficial portion of the wound heals, trapping bacteria under the skin. An abcess is not usually serious by itself, but it can be painful (and lead to a more serious infection) if it ruptures. The abcess usually feels like a small, firm bump under the cat's skin; sometimes it becomes hot to the touch and painful for the cat; in other cases, the cat doesn't react at all when it's touched. A vet will usually lance the abcess and prescribe antibiotics to clear the infection; this is usually not very expensive. (Treatment for an abcess is well under $100 where I come from, in the western US.)

It is very important to get your cat to the vet, in any case, because a ruptured abcess can be life-threatening; and, as others have noted, a vet will be able to determine whether or not there is something more serious going on.

Best of luck!
posted by Spinneret at 11:52 AM on February 3, 2008

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