Vaginal Tumors in Cats
Vaginal tumors in cats are extremely rare and are usually of benign smooth muscle origin. (There are several types of smooth muscle tumors, including leiomyoma; fibroleiomyoma, a fibrous tissue and smooth muscle tissue tumor; and fibroma, a fibrous tissue tumor.) A vaginal tumor may never bother the cat (and thus never be diagnosed), or it may cause complications that are not a direct result of the tumor, but a result of its presence in the body, such as with uterine leiomyomatas, which can cause excessive menstrual bleeding. Other complications can include constipation, and difficulty with birthing.
Symptoms and Types
- Firm mass
- Discharge from the vagina
Female cats that are unspayed are most commonly affeted with vaginal tumors, especially those that have never given birth.
Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your cat, taking into account the background history of symptoms and possible incidents that might have led to this condition. Your veterinarian will order a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel. A vaginoscopy will be performed. This method uses a tiny instrument that is equipped with a camera for inspecting the inside of the vagina, and which is capable of cutting and gathering tissue for biopsy. The biopsy, along with a cytologic examination of an aspirate taken from the vaginal tissue may help to determine the vaginal tumor’s cell type. An examination of vaginal cells and tissue is necessary for a definitive diagnosis to be made.
Chest X-rays should also be taken to check for spread of the cancer. Abdominal X-rays may show the vaginal tumor, while ultrasonography, vaginography, and urethrocystography may help to visualize a mass. Computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will give a clearly outlined image of a tumor, allowing your doctor to assess for surgical feasibility, and to assess for possible degree of cancerous spread.