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Skin Bumps (Granulomatous Dermatoses) in Cats



Most of these skin disorders can be treated on an outpatient basis, unless they have reached a severe stage. A few of these disorders, such as malignant histiocytosis, amyloidosis, and nodular dermatofibrosis, are almost always fatal. Cats with calcinosis cutis may need to be hospitalized for sepsis and intense topical therapy.


Some of the other forms of dermatoses with nodules or granulomas are discussed below:


  • Amyloidosis: no known therapy, unless the lesion is solitary and can be surgically removed
  • Spherulocytosis: the only effective treatment is surgical removal
  • Foreign body reactions are best treated by removal of the offending substance if possible
  • For hair foreign bodies, the cat should be placed on softer bedding and topical therapy with keratolytic agents should be initiated. Many cats with hair foreign bodies also have secondary deep bacterial infections that need to be treated with both topical and systemic antibiotics
  • Malignant histiocytosis: no effective therapy. It is rapidly fatal
  • Calcinosis cutis: underlying disease must be controlled if possible. Most cases require antibiotics to control secondary bacterial infections. Hydrotherapy and frequent bathing in antibacterial shampoos minimize secondary problems. If lesions are extensive, serum calcium levels should be monitored closely
  • Calcinosis circumscripta: surgical excision is the therapy of choice in most cases
  • Sterile panniculitis: single lesions can be removed surgically
  • Nodular dermatofibrosis: no therapy for most cases, because the cystadenocarcinomas are usually bilateral
  • For the rare unilateral case of cystadenocarcinoma or a cystadenoma, removal of the single affected kidney may be helpful
  • Cutaneous xanthoma: correction of the underlying diabetes mellitus or hyperlipoproteinemia is usually curative


Living and Management


Your veterinarian will prescribe medication dependent upon your cat's diagnosis and condition. Bloodwork and a urinalysis will need to be performed every six months if your cat is taking long-term glucocorticoids. If your cat is taking dimethylsulfoxide for calcinosis cutis, bloodwork should be performed every 1-2 weeks to monitor calcium levels until they are regulated.



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