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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 21035
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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Can a cat scratch on a dogs soft tissue on the nose cause a

Customer Question

Can a cat scratch on a dogs soft tissue on the nose cause a malignant melanoma?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 3 years ago.
Scott Nimmo :

My name is ***** ***** I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and I will try my best to answer to your question to your satisfaction.

Scott Nimmo :

The short answer here is no, a cat scratch to the nose of a dog could produce an area of infection but there would be no possible link to malignant cancers. Can you tell me a little more about what happened?

Customer:

About nine months ago our cat scratched a visiting dog in self defence, we are now being told that this has resulted in a malignant melanoma which means part (if not all) of the dogs soft nose tissue is to be removed in an effort to save it.

Customer:

Could the scratch be responsible for what has happened even though Vetrinary help was given at the time???

Scott Nimmo :

I am sorry to hear about this dog's problem but malignant cancers do not start like this. It is highly likely that the malignant melanoma would have occurred in any case, cat scratch or no cat scratch

Customer:

Could the bite have caused this but not be a 'malignant melanoma?

Scott Nimmo :

A cat scratch or cat bite could cause an area of erosion purely because of infection, this would be particularly true with some very aggressive bacteria but this would not be a cancer ...

Scott Nimmo :

But as far as malignant melanoma in dogs go, we just do not know the cause ...

Customer:

OK, I think the vetrinary tratment was not given for some weeks after the incident so maybe the delay has contributed in some way - thanks very much for your guidance

Scott Nimmo :

An area of infection would have occurred just after the bite or scratch incident. If symptoms started nin emonths later I cannot see how this can be connected with your cat in any way ...

Customer:

Thanks again

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