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Companion Animal Practice
Skin neoplasia in small animals 2. Common feline tumours
  1. Sue Murphy

    Sue Murphy graduated from Edinburgh in 1986 and spent 10 years in general practice before undertaking a residency in oncology at the Animal Health Trust (AHT). Since 2001, she has worked as a clinician at the AHT, where she currently runs the oncology unit. She holds an MSc in clinical oncology.


SKIN cancer is very common in cats, the skin being the second most reported site of malignancy after lymphoid tissue. Unlike dogs, skin tumours in the cat are more likely to be malignant than benign; most benign tumours seen in dogs, such as lipomas, pilomatricomas and papillomas, are rare in cats. Cutaneous malignant melanoma and apocrine gland adenocarcinoma are similarly rare. The most common feline tumours reported in several studies in the UK and USA are fibrosarcomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and basal cell and mast cell tumours, the diagnosis and management of which are discussed in this article. It should be noted that many proliferative or ulcerative skin conditions can mimic neoplasia in the cat, such as eosinophilic granuloma complex, flea allergic dermatitis, mycoses, poxvirus, dermatophytoses and autoimmune disease.

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