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Ask the Veterinarian/growth on cat's head


Hello Dr Gotthelf.

My cat has been scheduled to see a veterinarian at the end of this month to have a growth removed from the top of his head.  The growth is similar to a "skin tag" that humans get, as it is not rigid.  It has slowly increased in size, and the veterinarian told me to bring him in if it did (the cat's last visit was earlier this year).

I am a bit concerned about the anesthesia.  My cat is about 10 years old, and I've heard stories of negative side effects on pets that go through this.

Is there a way to have this growth "frozen off" or removed by some method that doesn't require anesthesia?  I know you may not be able to give me an answer without knowing exactly what it is, and if not, any information or insight regarding this will be appreciated.

When the veterinarian looked at it earlier in the year, she told me it could be removed, but that it would be OK if I left it alone, and to return if it increased in size.

Do you think I have reason to worry?

Thank you.

If your at is otherwise healthy, anesthesia is not very risky with today's anesthetics.  I have a CO2 laser and I could sedate the cat, use a local anesthesia to deaden the area and vaporize the tumor off with the laser.  Some vets have cryosurgery (freezing) and you would have to call around to find a vet that does.

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Dr. Louis N. Gotthelf


Dermatology and ear diseases of dogs and cats


I am the author of "Small Animal Ear Diseases; An Illustrated Guide" published by W.B. Saunders. I have over 25 years of clinical experience with a special interest in dermatologic conditions and ear diseases.

American Academy of Veterinary Dermatology

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