Our cat Cumulus spends enormous amounts of time outdoors. A prolific hunter, Cumulus enjoys spending his days stalking mice and has been known to take down a rat or two. Nothing phases him, even though his long, white, cotton soft coat make him look more princely than his down and dirty rat killing moments in the barn.
But at night, the royal Prince Cumulus comes into the house and heads straight for the master’s bedroom. And from the above photo, it was a little scary the other night! That lip is certainly icky, if not scary and I had to wonder if it wasn’t contagious. Good thing… it apparently isn’t.
“What’s on his lip is a rodent ulcer. What’s interesting about rodent ulcers is that they may not have anything at all to do with rodents,” said Jim D. Carlson, DVM CVA CVTP, holistic veterinarian and owner or Grove Animal Hospital & Holistic Center of Buffalo Grove, IL and Riverside Animal Clinic of McHenry, IL. “The rodent ulcer can get very large and encompass the lip or part of the mouth,” said Dr. Carlson.
You shouldn’t wait on a veterinary visit for this kind of thing. It’s unsightly, sure, but it needs treatment and a good exam to make sure something else isn’t the cause. The potential for something more serious, like carcinoma or feline leukemia is possible but rodent ulcers can also be caused by flea allergies or other environmental problems. “A lot of people will take a wait and see approach to a lot of issues with cats because they kind of just carry on and don’t show a lot of pain. A rodent ulcer causes sensitivity and can hurt. With the potential for significant issues, quick treatment is the best plan,” said Dr. Carlson.
Often, a quick round of medications prescribed by your veterinarian can help your cat feel better in no time flat… no more icky lip!