Cats can get skin cancer too ... Fionn's story

Fionn is an 11 year old ginger and white domestic short hair pussy cat owned by the Dall family. His owner brought him to the Essendon Vet Clinic to check a wound that they were worried about on his nose.

His nose had a small scab which appeared to extend inside his nostril and the skin at the top of his nose was a little bit ulcerated and looked thinner than normal.

Dr Seina Capp was looking after Fionn and advised that he have a biopsy done on the affected area. His owners decided to go ahead and this was performed under a general anaesthetic the same day.

The biopsy was sent to the laboratory for testing and the results came back a few days later as a Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). This is a locally invasive malignant tumour common in older cats. The main predisposing factors are a lack of protective pigment and ultra violet radiation.

Treatment options for Fionn's cancer were discussed with his owner and included cryotherapy (freezing the cancer cells) or surgery to remove the cancerous cells. As we were unable to visualize the margins of the tumour inside Fionns' nostrils, surgery was chosen to achieve best results.

Fionn had a nasal resection 1 week after his first visit and his sutures were removed 12 days after the surgery. He has now healed completely from his surgery.

We are hopeful that Fionn is free from this aggressive tumour and will continue to monitor him at his annual vaccinations and check ups.