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Joann Canafax
Joann Canafax, Veterinary Assistant
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Experience:  Lots of hands on and much studying
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cat: lumps or swollen spots on his head between his eyes..old neutered

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my cat has lumps or swollen spots on his head between his eyes and on right side cheek and no other dominant symptoms. He is an outisde cat and a 5 yr. old neutered black male any help?
are they open wounds or under the skin? Is thier itching present? I found this information for you at http://www.marvistavet.com/html/eosinophilic_granuloma.html based on the information given this may be helpful for you. Also have you checked for fleas? Hope this helps!


JoAnn

A granuloma is a solid grouping of inflammatory cells coming together in a lump or solid structure.

What is an “eosinophil?”

An eosinophil is a type of white blood cell that is commonly associated with allergic responses or with parasitism. The eosinophil has a characteristic appearance under the microscope due to the presence of pink staining granules. Finding eosinophils in tissue suggests allergic disease usually whereas finding increased eosinophil numbers in a blood sample more commonly suggest parasitism.




So what is “Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex?”

Given the above information it would seem logical that an eosinophilic granuloma would be a granuloma made up of eosinophils; however, the situation is more complicated. Initially, it appeared that eosinophilic granuloma was just what it sounds like but as it was studied more thoroughly, it was found that there were three different types of this condition and not all were granulomas and not all involved eosinophils.

There are three separate skin conditions making up the Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex and a cat may have any or all of them. These three conditions are called:

the indolent ulcer

the eosinophilic plaque

the eosinophilic granuloma
These conditions are felt to have an underlying allergic basis though it is not always possible to determine what that allergic basis might be. The presence of any of the three above conditions does not imply any specific type of allergy.

THE INDOLENT ULCER (also called “the rodent ulcer”)

Cats with indolent ulcers have an erosion on the margin of their upper lip. Sometimes, a proliferative eroded structure also develops on the tongue so if your cat has a classical lip ulcer, it is a good idea to open the cat’s mouth and check the tongue yourself. Tongue lesions are usually somewhat deep inside the mouth as shown. In general, the appearance of the indolent ulcer is classical and a biopsy is not needed; though occasionally these are precancerous conditions and biopsy may be needed to rule out a malignant skin tumor.





YumYum gives us an example of a “Rodent Ulcer”




THE EOSINOPHILIC PLAQUE

This lesion typically looks like a raised thickened raw area of skin usually on the belly, inner thigh, or throat area. Cats with these lesions are commonly extremely itchy. A microscope slide pressed onto the affected area often picks up numerous eosinophils which can be detected under the microscope thus confirming this condition. Cats with this condition generally have increased circulating eosinophils in their bloodstreams as well.




Throat area eosinophilic plaque




THE EOSINOPHILIC GRANULOMA (also called “the linear granuloma”)

The eosinophilic granuloma produces a classical swollen lower lip or chin or a classical long, narrow lesion running down the back of the thigh. Sometimes proliferations grow from the actual footpads where they ulcerate as the cat is forced to walk on them. There is some tendency for this condition to occur in adolescent kittens though it can occur at any age.




Pink lower lip swelling represents the eosinophilic granuloma





Foot pad proliferation is a less common form of eosinophilic granuloma




WHAT EXACTLY IS HAPPENING TO THESE CATS?

The eosinophilic granuloma complex represents a disorder of eosinophil function. The eosinophil’s real job is to attack parasites. It is designed to be attracted to areas where parasitism is occurring and once there it releases special biochemicals to destroy the invading creature.   In cats with eosinophilic granuloma complex, eosinophils are called to the site of an allergic response and the biochemicals released cause damage to local collagen.

TREATMENT

In most cases the eosinophilic granuloma responds to cortisone derivatives though often an aggressive regimen must be used. Typically an injection of long acting corticosteroid (such as Depomedrol) is given every 2 weeks until the lesion is gone or for three injections whichever comes first.

Most eosinophilic granulomas resolve with one injection but some are refractory and will not resolve until antibiotics are used. Some are more refractory still and require more exotic treatments. Hormones (such as Ovaban tablets and depoprovera injections) were once widely used for this condition but are now considered last resorts due to side effect potential (they can cause diabetes mellitus and can raise the risk of mammary cancer).

It is important to realize that this is a recurring condition that frequently has an allergic basis. This means that it is a good idea to look for an obvious allergen in the pet’s environment and attempt to eliminate it. The most common allergy in the cat is flea bite allergy so flea control should be immaculate for an eosinophilic granuloma complex kitty. If the cortisone derivative response is poor, it may be prudent to look into food allergy, as food allergy is often not cortisone responsive.

The eosinophilic granuloma is an incompletely understood condition. For now it is best to view it as a symptom that can occur with allergic skin disease.

For more information on flea control products, click here.
For more information on food allergy, click here.
For more information on inhalant allergy, click here.

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joann Canafax's Post: no visible wounds and there is redness of the skin, minor itching and tufts of fur are now coming off. Yes I have checked for fleas and he does use a flea spot on him regularly. he has been eating lightly and is in otherwise ok health just a bit lack of motivation. Is there anything to give to help him releive this? Thanks you sound like you are knowledgable and have relieved some anxioties, I have been crying and very worried about him. He has been inside for the last three days and I had to let him out because he urinated on the floor. The reason he is out is because he refuses to use the litter box. Is this contagious I have another female indoor himalayan that I also rescued from the trailer park as is the other (black) one who was orginally thrown in the empty dumpster as a young kitten to get rid of by one of my neigbors. Thanks for your great help thus far!!!
Hi because I can't see you cat its hard to tell because there are so many things it could be its always best to go to the vet and check it out It sounds like an allergy by the information given and the location of the lumps or fleas Im not sure if its a cluster of lumps or the size of the lumps but if they are increasing in size or become bigger please take him in to find out. Being an outside cat im assuming he could be exposed to many parasites and allergens. Hope this helps you!

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs in cats as a hypersensitivity reaction to certain molecules in the pet's environment. Irritant contact dermatitis results when the skin is exposed to noxious substances in the environment. The symptoms and biologic mechanisms involved in these two diseases are similar so they are often discussed together.

What is allergic contact dermatitis?

Allergic contact dermatitis is a rare disease which occurs when an animal's skin overreacts to certain small molecules in the environment. Substances which can cause allergic contact dermatitis include certain antibiotics applied to the skin; metals such as nickel; materials such as rubber, wool, and plastic; and chemicals such as dyes and carpet deodorizers.

What is irritant contact dermatitis?

Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when the skin is exposed to severely irritating chemicals, such as the sap in poison ivy and salt on the road.

How do these two diseases differ?

Allergic contact dermatitis only affects those animals with a hypersensitivity to the molecule. Irritant contact dermatitis would affect every cat that is exposed to the irritant.

Allergic dermatitis requires multiple exposures to the molecule before it develops. It rarely occurs in animals less than two years old. Irritant contact dermatitis often occurs in inquisitive young animals who get into things they should not.

What are the symptoms of allergic and irritant contact dermatitis?

Lesions generally occur on the areas of skin that are sparsely haired and directly exposed to the offending molecules. This often means the back of the paws, abdomen, face, and lips. The affected areas are very red, have small bumps or vesicles (blister-like lesions), and itch. In irritant contact dermatitis ulcers may appear.

How are allergic and irritant contact dermatitis diagnosed?

The history and physical exam can often indicate what is going on. To isolate the allergen (molecule that caused the dermatitis), exclusion trials are often performed. In these trials, the animal is restricted to an uncarpeted room and kept off of the grass, for instance. If the animal's condition improves, potential allergens are slowly introduced one by one.

A 'patch' test can also be performed. In this test, a small amount of the allergen is rubbed on the skin, or a gauze pad containing the suspected allergen is bandaged on the pet's skin. The skin is monitored for 2-5 days for a reaction.

How are cats with allergic or irritant contact dermatitis managed?

The key to managing this condition is removing or restricting exposure to the allergen or contact irritant in the cat's environment. If this cannot be done, the cat often needs to receive steroid therapy. Unfortunately, this is not always effective.

As a rule, for any pet suspected of having an allergy problem that could include an allergic contact component, we recommend:


Glass or stainless steel food and water bowls (to decrease the possibility of contact dermatitis occurring from exposure to plastic or dyes)


Hypoallergenic detergents for the pet's bedding


Routine hypoallergenic shampoos for the pet to remove any allergens


Restricting walking to sidewalks or paved surfaces - avoid grass
    


http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=1&cat=1332&articleid=140
Joann Canafax, Veterinary Assistant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 85
Experience: Lots of hands on and much studying
Joann Canafax and 2 other Pet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joann Canafax's Post: It is a bit of a help, but the spots are bigger, they are each huge one singular lumps of skin or swellings so I am just more confused,and he has scratched it open. I will probably have to take him to the vet and I can't afford it but, he is not in a very comfortable mood and I need tohelp him nonetheless. thanks for the info.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Joann Canafax's Post: Just to update you all I took my cat to the vet because of an overnight change. He got a hole that oozed green guck out like a leaking faucet. Turns out he was bite by some animal maybe a dog since he has lived with one who we just had to put down due to a accident of a cross with a neighbors pit, long story very sad and hard outcome. But he had resulted a infection so bad that he had to go in surgery today and have it irrigated and cleaned out. Thanks for all your great help I don't know what I would have lost it if I woldn't have had some type of help over the weekend. Although it is gonna cost me short of 500. dollars, I love my cat and he is now renewed indoor cat who will have short yard priviledges daily to do his business in the yard and back in to live. He is truely a surrogete child for me now and I am happy he will be back to good soon. He will have a hole in his check due to severe and sudden worsening of his condition but I know he is such a good big ol cat and a well enjoyed pet that we will do much better on now. Hope this helps anyone whom has helped cuz it is a scary and fast onset for this much to injury a well loved and cared for cat. Thanks to all and hope to use this again for other happier purposes. PEACE and out!!!

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