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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24454
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My orange tabby has always had pigment patches around s

Customer Question

My orange tabby has always had brown pigment patches around his mouth, but now his lower lip is black. His mouth has a foul smell. He's losing weight and doesn't seem to purr as loudly or meow much.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the tabby's name and age?
Customer: Boots is around 11 years old.
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Boots?
Customer: I don't think so.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 4 months ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Boots. Those brown patches are called lentigines (the skin condition is called lentigo) which technically speaking are flat macules with the highest incidence in young orange cats. These are benign skin changes and a cosmetic problem only and so his current condition shouldn't be considered to be an extension of his lentigo. Instead, the black lower lip, foul smell, weight loss, and change of voice is worrisome for an oral cancer such as the black pigmented melanoma. Boots's vet will want to thoroughly examine Boots paying particular attention to his oral cavity. Oral cancers can be very aggressive and metastatic and so need to be addressed as soon as possible.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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