Thank you for your question regarding your cat who's abdomen seems to be somewhat swollen and firm! This is definitely a little concerning, and as you can imagine there are many different possibilities as to the cause of this. Firstly I would be worried about a mass or cancer in the cranial abdomen (the top end of the abdomen, adjacent to the chest). This area of the abdomen houses the liver, gall bladder, stomach, spleen and intestines and any one of these coudl be affected. If the entire area seems 'bloated' I would be most concerned that the stomach is the cause of the problem and it would be more likely that something like a large hairball could be stuck in here rather than anything cancerous. In saying this, usually a large hairball stuck in the stomach would cause ongoing chronic vomiting and there would usually be some discomfort when the area is touched. There is usually discomfort also if cancer were to be present in her liver or spleen!
In saying all of this hopefully your girl is just a little larger than the average cat and you ar just feeling her abdominal fat pad. If you are not convinced this is a fat pad, then I really would encourage a full Veterinary physical sooner rather than later. Your Vet will palpate your girl's abdomen feeling for strange lumps and bumps. He or she may then want to take several xrays of her abdomen and/or take an ultrasound of it. Using these diagnostics, a decision could then be made as to whether there is actually anything wrong with your girl or not!
I hope this has been helpful and please reply if you need more info. Best of luck with your girl!!
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Dr M D Edwards
Espresso is a very slender girl of twelve - long and lean about ten pounds. This mass appeared during the last two/three days. To be cancerous and that large seems to be too quick. Assuming a large obstructive hairball, what should we try over the next 24 hours? More mineral oil hairball remedy? Is there something more effecitve for hairballs than a petromalt? Thrusday and Friday , her stool was dry and half the lenght of ones littel finger. Could she be consitpated?
Thanks for the extra info regarding your girl. If it has appeared over 2 - 3 days then yes - that would be a VERY fast growing tumor making that much less likely - however only a full physical exam could rule that out for good. It sounds like you have been using hairball products ongoing which is great and these should have helped prevent a large trichobezoar (hairball). Usually the best products for hairballs are petromalt and mineral oil, both of which you are using! Mineral oil is also used for constipation so you have already been treating for that as well! Because the poop seems drying and smaller, I would be a little more concerned this girl could potentially have an obstruction. This would have to be a partial obstruction as opposed to a complete one, otherwise we would have noticed your girl vomiting by now.
If this is a large obstructive hairball, all the mineral oil and petromalt in the world will not help. Your Vet would first have to confirm the presence of the hairball via contrast xrays or ultrasound and then most likely exploratory surgery would be used to remove it. As I say however - hopefully this isn't the case and she has something much less major going on. Do get her to the Vet today if you can for a full physical to try and ascertain exactly what this mass is.
Thanks Dr E. We'll watch her closely and she what happends. We have an 24/7 veteriany clinic nearby if necesary since everyone will be closed by now.
Sorry, I'm slow, but I'm not the worlds best typest. Bob
Bob and Sara.
No problem Bob and Sara - do keep a close eye on this girl. If you notice her abdomen swelling up and further or she develops any further symptoms, then just play it safe and get her down to the local 24/7 Vet!