Possible case of feline oral (malignant) melanoma

Because our 11-year-old cat, Peekaboo, has been very aggressive toward the new kittens…stalking them, pushing them into corners and then hitting them until, screeching like hyenas, thus giving us heart attacks, they manage to escape (mind you, she doesn’t hurt them, no blood is shed, e.g., but she really scares them, and that isn’t nice at all!), I finally took her to the vet clinic yesterday morning for a checkup.

When, back in May, I took Pandora and Pixie to the clinic to be spayed, I spoke about this aggressive behavior with the vets who agreed with me that Peekaboo might have some sort of painful physical condition. Pain can make a cat aggressive. Well, come to think of it, pain can make ANYTHING aggressive!!! Made sense to us, since she has never been like this before…

Soon afterwards, though, I came down with bronchitis, so the appointment got postponed. Until yesterday, when my schedule finally coincided with the good vet’s schedule.

As soon as the vet began the checkup, however, Peekaboo started growling ferociously and acting like a wild animal. I’ve never seen her like that…and she has certainly NEVER behaved like that at the vet’s. She’s usually super friendly with human beings, even vets. Not this time. It was so bad that we decided it would be best to have her sedated to have all her tests done. This turned out to be a good thing, as we will see.

To make a very long story short, her blood and urine tests were fine, her abdominal ultrasound was also fine, and her spinal column is in good shape. All very good news.

BUT, and unfortunately there may be a big BUT (!), the vet found a small black spot on her gum (lower, left side) that worried her so much that she used a fine needle to suck up some cells, which she then examined. If Peekaboo hadn’t been sedated, the vet wouldn’t have seen the spot.

Apparently, there were some malignant cells in the sample. The vet thinks it might be oral (malignant) melanoma, which is quite rare in cats, but this diagnosis needs to be confirmed by the oncologist and by a biopsy, which Peekaboo is having done today (I had to leave her at the clinic last night), together with a CAT (hah!) scan. We won’t know the results of the biopsy until next week…

Stefano and I are incredibly worried, of course. If this turns out to be oral melanoma, the prognosis really sucks…

For now, all we can do is wait and hope…

P.S. Does anyone have any experience with feline oral melanoma (just in case that’s what this “thing” turns out to be)? Thanks!

P.P.S.S. Incidentally, the first three photos show Peekaboo as a kitten in 2007; the first two were taken in July, just before and just after we adopted her; the third, in November 2007. The fourth, not-very-great photo, taken with my cellphone, is more recent: June 25 2018. Our beautiful girl!!!

4 Comments

  1. Hi,

    I am sorry to hear about your cat. How is she doing now? Are you going to treat her with curcumine?

    My best regards,

    Vinciane

    1. Thank you, Susie and Vinciane. Oh yes, I am indeed going to treat her with curcumin. I stopped giving the cats curcumin after Piccolo died, possibly even earlier (I don’t remember exactly, now). And the new kittens get sooooo excited when I give them wet food that it has been virtually impossible to add anything to it, even probiotics, which should be easy…
      But today I figured out a system: I take the wet food and the curcumin (C3 Complex powder) into the bathroom and lock myself inside. That way, I can prepare the mixture without kittens running around, jumping on my shoulders, and getting their paws into everything. It worked. And Peekaboo ate hers with gusto. So, from this morning, all our cats are taking curcumin, and I plan to give it to them once a day from now on.
      Thanks again! Ciao!

  2. Sorry to hear this news. Love the locking yourself away to prepare the food. My cat knows the sound of the cupboard door opening (where his food is kept)and before I even have time to open the food – he is on me. Ha ha. They are so clever. Wishing you all the very best and I hope that all is going to be fine with Peekaboo.
    As always, thanks so much for your blog.

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