Bump on cats head

Theodore123

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Hi there,
First time poster! My 3 year old male cat has been developing a bump on his head over the past several months. It seems to be hard and on his skull. Its centrally located behind his ears, more on the back part of his head. Doesn’t seem to hurt him if we push it but it seems to have gotten a little bigger.

We’ve taken him to two vets: first one barely looked at him and said it was a skin tag which it definitely is not because it is not on the skin, it’s on the skull. Second vet isn’t sure and is just “monitoring it”. We’ve taken two xrays over the past 3 months to see how it’s progressing and it seems to be getting bigger!

I wanted to see if anyone knew what this could be or had any similar experiences! Posted pics so you can see where it is, you can’t tell how big it is because it’s under the fur.

Please help, we are so worried about him.
 

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Jcatbird

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It sounds like your vet is taking the first steps to try and figure this out. It could be many things. It might even be a cyst. I would guess the next step if it keeps growing would be to draw out some of the cells with a needle. That is not as bad as it might sound. It is fairly inexpensive and can give some insight to the cause. Is kitty an inside kitty? Any chance that another cat or animal. Plant could have left a thorn, claw etc. under the skin? I would guess the vet would have determined this but it’s a thought. I think you really need to ask questions of the vet. Take some notes about your concerns. What are the possibilities, what is our next course of action, when do we do something else, what do you see in the X-rays, should we get a needle aspirate done etc.? Asking questions can really ease our minds sometimes. If it is a cyst then ask what the vet suggests you do. I wouldn’t push on it just in case it is a cyst. Try not to worry. Get the information you need from the vet and if you get worried that the second vet isn’t taking the action you want, there is nothing wrong with getting another opinion. A phone call may be enough to explain what the vet has in mind.
I’m very glad you came to post on TCS. I find this is a great place for information and support. I’m sure others will be along with more suggestions. :alright:
Please do keep us updated.
 

verna davies

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It could be a fatty lump and as Jcatbird Jcatbird said above, its an easy and painless process to extract some fluid by needle. Keep taking photos to see if or how quickly it is growing, they will be useful for your vet to see.
 
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Theodore123

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Thank you both for your reply! I can lift the skin up and still feel it underneath so it seems to be arising from his skull, not the skin. Since it’s on or under the bone, the vet said we should do a CT scan first to see how big it is. And then we could do a biopsy. But since it’s in a bad spot, he would need to go to a neurosurgeon for the biopsy so $$$$$. I don’t mind spending the money if it can cure him or give him more time. But I don’t want to put him through a lot if the results will be inconclusive and if it is going to affect his quality of life. He also hates car rides so it’s a big deal to go to these appts. He starts hyperventilating and getting panicky if we drive for over 10 mins.

And he is an indoor kitty only with no other animals in the home. So we don’t think he got injured from in the home
 

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Hi. I would get the CT scan done and see what comes from that before you worry about the next step. It might be enough for the vet to better understand the composition of the bump. You can also ask your vet about giving you some gabapentin (or something similar) before he has to go for the scan, to help calm him down for the trip. A lot of members have used a very small dose before a vet visit for that very purpose.
 
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Theodore123

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Thanks, I think that’s what we’re leaning towards. We won’t know more til we get the CT scan. And then hopefully they can give us more answer so we can have a plan for what to do next.

I didn’t realize that about gabapentin! That’s super helpful to know going forward, especially if we will have to drive him far. Are there any side effects with gabapentin?
 

FeebysOwner

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Are there any side effects with gabapentin?
Probably the most common would be lethargy, but I would guess that might be for a larger dosage than what a vet might prescribe for a vet visit. I think to start with the vet would probably advise going with the lowest dose available. There are OTC calming products on the market that can offer similar benefits, but not all work on all cats, so it kind of becomes an experiment to find ones that do work. Bach Rescue Remedy, which are drops that can be rubbed into a cat's ear to help calm them, is one of them.
 

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I didn’t realize that about gabapentin! That’s super helpful to know going forward, especially if we will have to drive him far. Are there any side effects with gabapentin?
My vet prescribed it for one of my cats prior to a vet visit. It worked great to calm her down but she had an extreme lethargy/unstable gait reaction to it, like she was really, really drunk. But no lasting effects and I believe cats tolerate gabapentin very well. My vet gave me two doses, one of the night before and one for the morning of.
 
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Theodore123

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My vet prescribed it for one of my cats prior to a vet visit. It worked great to calm her down but she had an extreme lethargy/unstable gait reaction to it, like she was really, really drunk. But no lasting effects and I believe cats tolerate gabapentin very well. My vet gave me two doses, one of the night before and one for the morning of.
Thanks for letting me know. If we have to drive him farther for an appt we will keep this in mind. Trying to schedule a CT scan to see what this bump is!
 
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Theodore123

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So we decided to do the CT scan. He did great and recovered nicely. The vet got the results from the radiologist today who said that it looks like normal bone growth. But the vet also consulted with a surgeon who said that it could possibly be a bone developmental lesion.

Who do I believe?!?!
 

zoes

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That's such a tough call. A surgeon might have the experience and education to identify something uncommon that appears normal, but they might also see surgical issues where there are none.

I would probably ask for more information overall.

What if it's a bone lesion? What is the treatment? What happens if I don't treat and it is that? Is there any further testing, or symptoms which might appear that would help identify the problem? What makes the surgeon think it's one vs the other, and what makes the radiologist think that? Can the surgeon qualify their opinion (if he very sure? somewhat sure? not very sure?) Are there options for a third opinion - can your vet recommend someone else to take a look at the CT scan results?

Also - ask for a copy of the CT scan results and anything else related to this. You could also call around yourself to other vets, including those who specialize in this stuff, and ask for guidance. You might get charged a consultation fee at some point but it might be worth the time and effort just to see how far you can get.
 
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Theodore123

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Thank you zoes zoes i talked to the vet and he is going to follow up with the radiologist and then get a second opinion from another radiologist. I’m not sure what type of surgeon it was since the vet consulted with the surgeon. But the surgeon said “possibly” a bone developmental lesion. Sounds like the surgeon looked at it before the radiologist.

The vet is going to follow up and then get me more answers regarding treatments, prognosis, etc if it is the bone lesion.

That’s a good idea to get a copy of the actual ct scan results. thank you for your help!!
 

zoes

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Sounds like things are being done right - that is good! They shouldn't leave you in a position where you feel uninformed and like you're taking a shot in the dark. Ask as many questions as you need to, to feel like you have every scrap of available info.

I ask for copies of all my cats' test results, they've come in handy more than once.

Good luck!
 
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Theodore123

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So I discussed with the vet again.
The radiologist consulted with her colleague and they both believe it it within normal bone growth limits for a cat's head at this time. They said that the borders of the bone are intact and do not seem like it is cancer. They believe it could be due to temporalis muscle atrophy (immune system causes) OR acromegaly (overproduction of growth hormone). Both are treatable, would not cause neurological symptoms, and are not cause for much concern at this time apparently..

The surgeon thought it was the bone developmental lesion due to the fact that the bone is growing.

The vet is going to discuss with a third radiologist who was actually the one who looked at his two x-rays. Hopefully this radiologist agrees, otherwise i don't know what to do
 
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