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kitten has cluster of lumps on back and side of her tongue

October 18th, 2010, 11:35 AM
Help - I rescued this kitten 2 months ago and she is in very good health - been the to vet, had her 2 rounds of shots, 3rd is next week. I also did a series of blood tests to rule out diseases.

I was messing around with my new camera and taking pictures of my girls. Tia, the kitten, happened to yawn while I snapped the shot. I saw something on her tongue and zoomed in and was sickened to see a cluster of lumps on her tongue. Not sure how long they have been there but when I had her examined they looked in her mouth and did not see but then I figure they are really far back so probably were not visable. I attached a picture - you might have to zoom in (left side of her tongue)

She does have a bit of bad breath too.

Has anyone seen these before? I am so afraid it is cancer :(

I am hoping (since she is teething and you can actually see her back teeth coming in that they are just cankers from rubbing on the teeth. I thought I would start here first and see if a vet might answer this for free because I have spent hundreds of dollars on her in the past 2 months getting her healthy and on my 11 year old to make sure she is protected as is so tight right now.

Can anyone help me??

October 18th, 2010, 12:57 PM
Hi Kitcat and welcome to the board.

I have never seen anything like your little one has on her tongue. BTW, very good picture. I hope someone else comes on soon that might be able to give you some advice. The only thing that I could recommend is for Tia to see a vet and maybe ask if you could pay in installments.

I also want to say that I pray it isn't anything serious and could be easily treated. Also, thank you for rescuing this sweet kitty.

Prayers and positive thoughts on the way for a good outcome.

October 18th, 2010, 04:47 PM
Hi rg_girlca

I have not found anything like it on the internet either. Had it not been for me trying out the new camera I would never know she had it. I tried writing to a vet to ask and of course they said I had to bring her in. I did not expect a diagnosis without them seeing but hoped they would ease my mind to say it is probably cankers. I have her signed up for insurance but I have to wait for the 2 week waiting period to get converage so I am going to keep taking pictures (she yawns a lot LOL) and hopefully nothing changes until then. If it does I will set up payment plan with the vet. If anyone out there has any idea what this is please post!!! Thank you kitty lovers! I hope my rescue is okay and will have a long happy life with me!

October 18th, 2010, 07:29 PM
I think you should call your vet and have this checked...I am wondering if this could be a symptom of Upper Rhespiratory or even Calcivirus? regardless the puss concerns me..

October 18th, 2010, 08:47 PM
I want to scream "CALICI!!!" but I am very doubtful of that :confused: They are possibly papillomas which you can't do anything about anyways. So the kitty was recently tested for FIV and feline leukemia, correct? This is probably just a viral thing. She likely was exposed to Feline Herpes Virus or some other viral URI and the result was basically little warts in her mouth.

Here is info on what I think they are-

Hope that helps.

October 18th, 2010, 09:02 PM
I hope it is what you think Kathryn...I will look at the links you sent. If it were from Upper Respitory or Calci..... are they contagious to my other cat? I had all her shots and I had blood tests to do the FeLv & FIV as well she got her 1st and second FVRCp vaccinations right from the get go. All tests came back negative. Is that puss dangerous - what are other symptoms of Upper Respitory and the other one Calci...whatever...never heard of that one. Are they terminal illnesses or treatable? If I take her to the vet before her 2 week waiting period kicks in for her insurance, they will not cover this if I get her treated before that time...and if it is serious it could be $$$$$. Do you think I am safe to leave it and keep an eye for the next 14 days? I would not risk her life, just now trying to buy time to get coverage. Anyone know any vets in the Toronto area that would look at her just to give a guess at what it is without huge cost? So is there no way they could just be cankers from teething? You mentioned she could have been exposed to Feline Herpes Virus or URI...are they deadly and are they contagious to my 11 year old cat? This has me freaked never had a sick kitten

October 18th, 2010, 10:19 PM
Are you sure that isn't just food particles? I'd be inclined to have a vet take another look to see if they're still there.

It's extremely unlikely that it's cancer, given her young age.

Does she have any other symptoms like runny eyes? Sneezing? While a URI can certainly be contagious, it's not deadly to mature, healthy cats. No need to panic.

October 19th, 2010, 09:24 AM
It's impossible to know from the pictures. Can you look and see if they are still there? They can be sort of the equivalent of "cold sores" in people and come an go.

Calici, FHV, etc are all contagious to some degree, sometimes not really at all sometimes at the shelter we will have an entire room filled with kitties infected with one type of viral infection. At the same time I have an FIV+ cat and a FHV+ cat living amongst my other cats and the others are fine :shrug: Virus's are tricky. They can be really weak outside the body.

If this were my kitty, I'd keep them separated from the older cat just until we can have it checked out. I mean, it's unlikely that it will be some sort of deadly horrible disease, but there is the chance it could be passed to your older cat and your older cat may end up with the "cold sores" as well or a bit of a URI. Then it's just a pain in the butt to have to take both kitties to the vet, spend money on meds for both, etc. Understand what I mean? This probably isn't a matter of life or death, but more of "keep the children separated if one has a cold so that it doesn't spread to the other and now you have two sick kids". sort of like that :o

October 19th, 2010, 09:35 AM
Thank you both for your replies. I will have to take another picture of her yawning - it is the only way I can get at her mouth - she is quite the squirmer LOL
I sincerely hope it is just a cold sore or something that will disappear. She does not have any other symptoms, her eyes are fine, her nose is actually on the dry side, not wet...she does have a little scabby on her nose - I assumed it was from my Lexi probably scratched her while she was trying to push Tia away - Tia loves to jump on Lexi and she is not thrilled with this kitten.

It would be so hard to separate Tia now - she just started getting let out not long ago. I do keep her in her own room when I am at work and when I go to bed so hopefully the few hours a night she is out with Lexi is safe enough. I am really trying to postpone taking her to her vet as I have signed her up for pet insurance. I have 13 more days to go for the waiting period to be up and then she would be covered and I could afford the costs better. If I take her now, they will not cover her for a pre-diagnosed condition. I will try and have another look tonight with the camera - I pray it is gone.:pray::fingerscr

As for the diseases FIV+ and FHV+, I had her blood tested back in August and they all came back negative so she does not have any of those kitty diseases. The only thing I did not test her for was Upper Respitory and aside from her little furball gagging (nothing comes up though) once or twice a week, she has no coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, she has tons of energy excellent appetite and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary

Maybe I could take her to another vet so they do not know at the pet insurance that I had her looked at - at least to see what they you think I can do that?

October 19th, 2010, 03:07 PM
For FHV (feline herpes virus) there isn't a particular test per say. But as long as the FIV and Feline Leukemia tests were negative, that is very good.

The Feline Corona Virus is also another pain in the butt URI as well that can cause sores.

I would say if I was in your situation, I'd probably hold out for the health insurance to kick in as well, barring any sudden emergencies like if she stops eating or drinking or starts getting super sick. If they are what I suspect they are then there's really nothing that can be done anyways. Good luck!

October 19th, 2010, 06:12 PM
Seeing as we are not vets we can not ever give out medical advise. Personally I would open the kitten's mouth and see if they are still there. To me it looks like it is/could be food. If you take a look at the tooth on the same side as whatever is on the tongue and then look straight across to the tooth on the other side it looks like whatever it is is there too. Are you feeding dry food? If that is the case it sometimes sticks around in the mouth causing decay and tooth issues (too early for that) but the old food could account for the slightly off breath. :shrug:

Just an add on - If whatever it is is still there then you need to take the kitten to a vet. Insurance or not.

October 19th, 2010, 06:46 PM
Seeing as we are not vets we can not ever give out medical advise. Personally I would open the kitten's mouth and see if they are still there. To me it looks like it is/could be food. If you take a look at the tooth on the same side as whatever is on the tongue and then look straight across to the tooth on the other side it looks like whatever it is is there too. Are you feeding dry food? If that is the case it sometimes sticks around in the mouth causing decay and tooth issues (too early for that) but the old food could account for the slightly off breath. :shrug:

That's exactly what I was just noticing you can see it on the teeth too! I really looks like food particules.BTW that is a really awesome pic:thumbs up

October 20th, 2010, 12:14 PM
Hi all, haven't been in here in forever! But ill try and be back, will make a post soon about my new life lol. Saw this and had to comment,

Could it be a papilloma? It could explain the gagging as that affects the epithelial lining in a cats mouth, sometimes throat. Perhaps look into that.

My advice however is go to a vet, sooner rather than later, go to a different vet if you have to, and give her a new name, whatever you need to do, but I would get her seen now instead of waiting for insurance. Good luck and keep us posted on kitty ok?

October 20th, 2010, 12:56 PM
I spent hours last night getting her to yawn and taking new pictures. I think it was just food! It looks to me like it is gone. It is a different angle but you can still clearly see the top of tongue where it appeared before and her teeth - what do you think? I had 2 people look and they say they looked back and forth at both pictures and are positive it is gone. I have a friend coming tonight to take pictures while I look and hold her mouth open and fingers crossed it is gone. Will send an update. If it is still there I will be taking her to a vet regardless....was just looking for opinions first so I thank you all for yours because I had no idea what to even "google". Stay tuned.
Sorry the pictures are so big - anyone know how to upload them smaller - they are not that big when I view the in my photo editor.

October 20th, 2010, 01:18 PM
Good to hear. Just make sure when you take her in that the vet looks at her mouth to be in the safe side. :thumbs up
Most camera programs come with an edit function. You can go into it and resize down to a more manageable size.