In this article we will deal with a fairly frequent tumor in cats, Bowen’s disease in cats. Let’s look at the cause, symptoms and treatment.
The main risk factor of Bowen’s disease in cats is represented by the light coat and the lack of hair in areas most exposed to the sun, especially the cat’s head. In fact, in few cases this tumor is seen in black cats and Siamese.
LAge most subject to Bowen’s disease or also called squamous carcinoma is usually quite high, ie about 12 years. This does not mean that pre-neoplastic lesions also appear in younger cats. It begins as crusty, painless lesions, with a slow maturation: most owners mistake them for simple scratches of the cat that do not heal.
Cause of Bowen’s disease in cats
Bowen’s disease in cats or squamous cell carcinoma is a very common malignant tumor in felines and originates in epidermal keratinocytes. It usually occurs in skin that is excessively exposed to the sun and is preceded by actinic keratosis or solar keratosis.
The areas that are most affected are: the ears, the nose or the eyelids. Consequently, those animals that spend many hours of the day in direct contact with the sun’s rays are more predisposed, especially in the summer season. But it is possible, although it is relatively difficult, that a cat not exposed to the sun suffers from this disease.
Symptoms of Bowen’s disease in cats
Let’s start by saying that not all wounds are synonymous with Bowen’s disease or squamous carcinoma, but if the wounds seem to get worse day by day it is very likely that they are.
Wounds that we will most notice in areas such as: ears, nose or eyelids. Especially in the ears, these wounds come to bleed. The main symptoms that will be noticed in particular are:
- skin ulcers;
- wounds that bleed;
- pink and hairless areas of the body;
- crusts on the body;
- red skin of the cat.
Faced with these symptoms, just listed, present on the cat’s body It is important to act promptly, bringing the feline to a vet as soon as possible.
Although unfortunately this does not happen because the progression of the disease is often slow and this confuses the owner, thus allowing the pathology to progress, albeit slowly.
Diagnosis and treatment
Usually the vet visits the cat when the lesions are at an advanced stage, when practically all the cat’s ear or nose are covered with crusty and bleeding lesions.
The diagnosis must rule out the possibility that diseases may be very different, such as: lupus, pyoderma, fungal or granulomatous diseases.
One time Once the pathology has been ascertained, in this case Bowen’s disease in the cat, the veterinarian will be able to proceed first with surgery and subsequently with chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
- Surgery on the cat’s ears consists of a conchectomy, while on the eyelids surgery is more invasive as it is difficult to remove with margins and it is necessary to evaluate whether to apply plastic surgery techniques later.
- Alternatively, photodynamics, treatment possible only in the initial and pre-cancerous forms and still requires general anesthesia. Otherwise you can opt for the local infiltration of chemotherapics such as bleomycin and platinum compounds, always however under total anesthesia of the animal.
- Also radiotherapy seems to work in minor injuries.
When the tumor is noticed early and this affects the ears, the prognosis is favorable, since it can be successfully removed, achieving full recovery. In cases where removal cannot be performed entirely, the prognosis is considered case by case.
Expert advice is to keep the white cat in particular, indoors from the sun and whenever it is about to go out and be exposed to sunlight, it is the case of protect it with special creams on sale in specialized veterinary pharmacies, with the utmost attention that the cat does not lick the product.