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Dr. Ann M.
Dr. Ann M., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 5012
Experience:  ER and general medicine Veterinarian since 2005
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Our four year old female cat has a bulge in her side

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Our four year old female cat was spayed about 3 years ago - the site appeared to heal up perfectly fine. We think we recall that the site was on her left side.  When she stretches up e.g. against the furniture and I run my hand down her left side I can feel a bulge in her abdomen which is not present on the right side. This bulge or lump cannot be felt when she is in any other position, including stretched out laid on the floor in what appears to be a similar position, but presumably there are different muscles being used when she stretches up against something (also if I lift her front half to try to simulate the position I cannot locate the lump with my other hand). She is a small, slim cat and I sometimes worry about her weight but she seems to eat and have a fairly good appetite. I haven't noticed any worrying changes in appetite, litter tray use or general health. Her coat is shiny and her eyes are bright, she doesn't sleep excessively. She doesn't especially like it when I try to feel around to locate this lump, but I don't think it's because of pain (she just doesn't like being manipulated generally). A couple of days ago I noticed her go between the two available litter trays as if wanting to use one but then she didn't use either, but I have since seen her use the litter tray without any sign of any problem.  I first noticed this lump some weeks ago, but I kept an eye on it and it appeared at one stage to get smaller but now it appears larger again - I cannot get her to the vet immediately to get her checked out.

Hi there and thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a licensed, internship-trained veterinarian with 9 years of experience in general medicine and emergency and critical care medicine and I would be happy to assist you.

This soundsmost consistent with a hernia. The incision in the body wall under the skin may not have healed well and in certain situations she may have intestines or other things poking through the body wall and causing that lump you are feeling. I would take her to a vet and have them feel for a hernia, because if there is one, she may need another surgery. There is nothing I recommend in the meantime because there is nothing you can do for it at home.

I hope that I have answered your question thoroughly. If you still have questions, please reply. If you feel that I have provided anything less than excellent service, please reply to me first before rating my service and let me know how I can better assist you. Thank you for your question; it has been a pleasure being able to provide assistance. Best of luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your advice. This morning I checked her tummy again, and on this occasion she allowed me to have a fairly good feel around - I could not locate the lump at all! Does this also sound consistent with hernia? I am just baffled as she was spayed such a long time ago. It is going to be another couple of days before I can get her to the vet, or do I need to plead my case with my boss to get time off to take her to the vet sooner than this? Thanks again.

Lumps from hernias come and go as things may move in and out of the "hole". I don't think this is an emergency, so I would just wait until the next time you see your vet. Best of luck.
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