Tumors of the oral cavity in cats

Tumors of the oral cavity in cats are less common than in dogs, but they are usually squamous cell carcinomas, which are diagnosed and treated as described for dogs. However, eosinophilic granulomas (which have a much better prognosis) are relatively common in cats and can closely mimic carcinoma. Dysphagia, halitosis, anorexia, and/or bleeding are common features of these tumors.

A large, deep biopsy is needed because it is crucial to differentiate malignant tumors from eosinophilic granulomas. The superficial aspect of many masses of the oral cavity in cats is ulcerated and necrotic as a result of the proliferation of normal oral bacterial flora, making it difficult to interpret this part of the mass.

Surgical excision is desirable as treatment. Radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy may benefit cats with incompletely excised squamous cell carcinomas not involving the tongue or tonsil. In general, the prognosis for cats with tumors of the tongue or tonsil is guarded to poor.

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