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Linda Simon
Linda Simon, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 861
Experience:  MVB MRCVS
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Assistant: How can I help? My cats cheek just swelled up

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Assistant: Hello. How can I help?
Customer: My cats cheek just swelled up really randomly
Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is your cat's name and age?
Customer: Luigi and hes around 8 years old
Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Luigi?
Customer: He hasn't had vaccinations when a kitten and I have 3 other cats. Hes indoor and outdoor
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
I have just moved houses so my usual vets is quite far away and I have nobody to take him. Can I wait another 2 days to register him elsewhere and see if it goes down on his own
Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Just a few minutes as I type my response
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
A sudden swelling could indicate a number of things including a cat bite abscess, tooth root abscess (dental disease), insect bite, foreign body reaction (e.g. grass seed) etc.
Do we have any other clues- any smell, discharge, fur loss etc?
Is the lump bothering him I.e. does he rub or scratch the area?
Is he otherwise well; eating, playing and acting as normal?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
He also has some cat acne :(
Cat acne is relatively common and shouldn't cause any issues. Potentially if he has been itching and created a local infection it is possible that this has spread.
Cat acne can be treated with dilute hibiscrub washes twice daily.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
the cat acne could've caused the swelling of his mouth and cheeks?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Is it okay if i wait a day or two to see a vet
Is the swelling on one cheek? That was what I initially understand. Swelling of two cheeks and mouth is something else entirely.
Cat acne should not be a contributing factor unless there is a local infection/dermatitis.
Would you be able to send a clear photo of what's going on?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
It seems like its the left side and he doesnt let me touch it
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Shows the mouth more here
Oh bless him, hes so handsome!
Is he neutered? Tom cats (un-neutered males) have chunkier cheeks than others so I'm curious to know.
I can certainly see that one side is bigger than the other.
Does he seem otherwise well? Is he eating and playful/social?
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Thank you so much, my baby. Hes been neutered about 4 years ago!
He seems a bit off, hes just laying next to me but seems more agitated by other cats
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Not sure about eating as my mother feeds them at 5am before she goes work, he was fine late last night
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Hes just ate some ham
Ah yes that makes sense- when they are neutered later in life they have those lovely chubby cheeks. However, even for him the left side is bigger than we would expect (as you already know).
With the sudden swelling and a personality change I would expect he is in some discomfort. I would certainly want the inside of his mouth checked for any dental disease, ulcers, gingivitis etc. and his cheek examined for any signs of a bite (small scab, puncture wound etc).
Ideally, this would be done today if possible. This is because if he needs antibiotics we would want to start them asap so he will be on the mend quicker. The same is true of giving him anti-inflammatories/pain relief to reduce the swelling and get him feeling more normal.
We run the risk of him becoming dehydrated and weak if he is not eating/drinking as much as he should but it is reassuring that he is happy to eat the ham.
If it is not possible to have him seen by the vet today I would keep him indoors and monitor closely for any further symptoms. He should eat/drink as normal and his breathing should not be affected.
If he tolerates it, you could gently clean the swollen cheek with warm salty water and see if you can find any scabs/punctures when the fur is parted. If he doesnt let you do this, dont worry as he may be too uncomfortable.
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Okay thank you for your help!
Absolutely. Please feel free to keep me updated on little Luigi
Linda Simon and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 12 days ago.
Will do! Thanks yet again :)