Tumor of the Nerves in Cats

Victoria Heuer
Sep 29, 2009
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Nerve Sheath Tumor in Cats

Nerve sheath tumors are tumors that grow from the myelin sheath that covers the peripheral and spinal nerves. This type of tumor affects the nervous system of the body, as it compromises the functioning ability of the peripheral and/or spinal nerves that form the peripheral nervous system and which reside or extend outside the central nervous system (CNS). These tumors are rarely seen in cats.

Symptoms and Types

  • Progressive and chronic lameness in forelimb (common symptom)
  • Muscle wasting
  • Decreased muscle tone
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Limb weakness


The exact cause of this condition is still not known.


You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat’s health, including a background history and onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will conduct a complete physical examination with laboratory tests, including complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. The results of these routine laboratory tests are usually within normal ranges. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the protective and nourishing fluid that circulates around the brain and spinal cord, will also be tested, but the findings are usually non-specific. For confirmation of the diagnosis your veterinarian may need to take biopsy samples from the nerve sheaths using ultrasound guidance. Radiographic studies, including x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT-scan) will provide further information for a solid diagnosis. MRI is the most specific test for diagnosis of this disease.

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