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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22610
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Please could you help My little kitten who is 14 weeks

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Hi please could you help
My little kitten who is 14 weeks old has just developed a lump on his back just below his shoulder blades and I'm really worried

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How big is the lump?

Is it soft, firm, fluidy, warm, or sore to the touch?

Has Dave recently have any vaccinations or injections from his vet?

Any access to bees, wasps, spiders, or stinging insects?

Can you take a photo of this? If you can do so and post them online, it will let me see what you are seeing. To post them, you can either use the paper clip on the tool bar. Or if you cannot see that on your phone/computer, then you can post them on any site (ie Flickr, Photobucket, Imgr etc) and paste the web address here for me to have a peek.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It's soft under his skin, he doesn't seem bothered by it. It's pea size and doesn't seem fluidly.
He had his vaccination 2 weeks last Saturday.
He hasn't been out on his own.
When he starts to go to sleep he has rapid breathing is that normal
Thank you Vikki,

And when did this first appear exactly?

Since you noted potential breathing signs as well, can you take a breathing rate for me (just count his breaths for 10 seconds + multiply that by 6)?

Are his gums pink or pale/white?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
His gums are pale/white
His breathing has slowed down to 60 1 breath per second
And we noticed it tonight and we have had loads of cuddles today and I'm sure it wasn't there till tonight
Thank you again,

If this paler then usual for him?

Is that the rate of his breathing with activity or rest?

Does he seem sedate or more dull then usual?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Maybe a little paler than normal . He is sleeping now and his breathing is normal. He does normally sleep around this time though he has seemed his self this afternoon.
That was his rate at rest though when he first settled down his breathing was rapid but settled now, this again is normal for him
Thank you,

Now the reason I was asking more about the breathing is because his rate should be closer to ~30bpm at rest. So, if he is down at that rate now, I'd just keep an eye on that. As well, do monitor the gum color, since paling can be a sign of anemia (low red blood cell volume). So, if that rate stays elevated or gets any more pale, we'd want that checked. But he is allowed to be breathe quicker is he is playing or being active.

Otherwise, we need to consider this lump. Now as I am sure you can appreciate when we see any lump on our pets, we do have to consider a range of issues. Still if this is a mass that has suddenly appeared and since he is so young, we'd be less worried about issues like nasty cancers, cysts, and benign growths. Instead, we’d need to consider trauma induced hematomas (blood blister like lesions), soft tissue swelling, abscesses, vaccine reactions, and insect sting induced allergic reactions.

Now with these in mind, we can start some supportive care to try and rule out some of these. To start, to rule out allergic reactions and vaccine reactions, I would note that we can try him with a low dose of an antihistamine. Commonly we will use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine). A low dose (ie. 0.25mg per pound of body weight twice daily) is often enough to reduce these signs over a few days. We do usually like to keep the dose low, as they can have drowsiness with this medication (just like people). As well, of course, this medication shouldn't be used if your little one has any pre-existing conditions or is on any other medication without speaking to your vet first.

Furthermore, to reduce swelling with any of these sudden appearing concerns, you can also start warm compressing this lump. This can reduce inflammation as well as encourage hematomas and allergic reactions to settle. Just to note, you can make a safe warmer for use as a warm compress by filling a clean sock 2/3rds full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Before use, do make sure to shake to allow the heat to distribute before using as a compress. (If it cools, you can re-warm as required).

Now if you use the above, but the mass doesn't settle with antihistamine treatment then it does rule allergic reactions to insects or a vaccine sensitivity. And in that case leaves us with infection, traumatic damage, and more sinister issues. In that case, the best way to approach an abnormal mass like this is to have your vet evaluate the mass via fine needle aspiration (FNA). This is where the vet uses a needle to harvest cells from the mass. If the remove pus, then this tells us that there is infection present and antibiotics can be dispensed. If blood or blood stained fluid is removed, then trauma was most likely and pain relief/cat-safe anti-inflammatories can be used to settle the swelling. Otherwise, if the above are not found, then the cells they harvest can be stained and the identity of the nature of the mass can be determined and whether it is something that is concerning or needs more serious treatment.

Overall, if this mass is sudden in appearance, we would consider those initial sudden onset concerns. Therefore, as long as it’s not painful or obviously draining pus, then you can try the above to rule out those aforementioned concerns. Otherwise, if this doesn’t settle or those breathing issues remain; then we’d want to have your vet examine him and sample this mass to diagnose each and initiate appropriate treatment to address it for Dave.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is how I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

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