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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 65470
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 48 years of experience.
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My one year old cat has a swollen lip, This afternoon about

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My one year old cat has a swollen lip
JA: I'll do all I can to help. When did you first notice this swelling? Does the cat lick the skin as well?
Customer: This afternoon about 5pm it was fine before then. She has been liking her lip
JA: And what's the cat's name and age?
Customer: Millie and she's 1
JA: Is there anything else the Vet should know about Millie?
Customer: She healthy normally
Dr. Michael Salkin is typing. Please be patient. I have 50 years of experience in canine, feline, avian, rodent, and rabbit medicine and surgery.

I'm sorry to hear about this with Millie.

Can you upload photos of her lip to our conversation?   You can upload photos by texting them, or by using the paperclip or add file icons above your message box...if you can see those icons on your device.  You can also use an external app such as dropbox or navigate to and scroll down to "other".

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
File attached (Q173ZGM)

Thank you.  Give me a moment to take a look, please.

The photo is a bit out of focus but I believe that I see "fat lip disease".

Here's what you need to know:

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
It wasn't there before she went out to play and came back with it

The photo appears to reveal the feline eosinophilic dermatitis/granuloma complex which is thought to represent a hypersensitivity reaction to fleas, environmental allergens, or food.

We have many treatments for feline eosinophilic granuloma which can take the form of a "rodent ulcer" and or "fat lip/chin". Here's a primer for you:

1) Any secondary pyoderma (bacterial skin infection) is treated with antibiotics for 2-4 weeks.

2) Any underlying allergies should be identified and managed especially flea allergy dermatitis treatments. A month-long nitenpyram (Capstar) trial (every other day) may be the only study to prove a link to flea allergy in some patients.

3) Systemic antihistamines may reduce clinical symptoms in 40-70% of atopic (allergies to environmental allergens such as pollens, molds, dust, and dust mites, etc.) cats. A beneficial effect should occur within 2 weeks of initiation of therapy.

4) Cyclosporine - an immunosuppressant drug - can be administered every 24 hours until beneficial effects are seen (approximately 4-6 weeks) and then the dose is tapered down.

5) Systemic glucocorticoids (steroids such as prednisolone, dexamethasone, triamcinolone, e.g.) may produce a rapid reduction in lesion severity and pruritis (itchiness).

6) Alternative medical therapies that may be effective include the antibiotics doxycycline or trimethoprim-sulfa, oral essential fatty acid supplements, surgical excision, laser and radiation therapy. The prognosis is variable. Cats with underlying allergies that are managed successfully have an excellent prognosis. Cats with recurring lesions for which no underlying cause can be found usually require long-term therapy to keep lesions in remission. These cats have a poorer prognosis as they may become refractory to or may develop unacceptable adverse effects as the result of medical therapy.

Please note that this can come and go and doesn't necessarily need to be treated. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

(Plastic bowls - although often incriminated - have not been shown to be a common offending allergen in cats.)

I don't believe that this is trauma-induced but I can't rule that out from here.  Please respond with additional questions and concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Thank you for your help I'll make an appointment with my vet tomorrow and get her seen to

You're quite welcome.  I hope I was able to answer your question satisfactorily.  If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favorite expert.  You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction or you can request me by name if you wish: Dr. Michael Salkin.

Dr. Michael Salkin and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Ok thank you

It's my pleasure.  Please keep me posted.

Thank you for your kind accept.  I appreciate it.