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A cyst is a closed, fluid-filled growth that develops in otherwise normal tissue. Cysts vary in size and can develop anywhere in the body.

Skin Cysts
Some cats develop benign keratinized skin cysts filled with a skin protein called keratin. Most keratinized skin cysts are malformations of the hair follicles and are the same colour as your pet’s hair. They can appear as one individual cyst or in multiples; surgical removal is an option

Dilated Pores of Winer Cysts are rare, hair follicle growths that occur in older cats and more often in males. This type of growth is dome-shaped and may protrude from the surface of the skin. It looks like a blackhead.

Apocrine Gland Cysts of the Sweat Glands

Apocrine Gland Adenomas are firm to soft cysts containing clear to brownish fluid. They are found in older cats and are generally develop on the head, neck, and legs.

Apocrine Ductular Adenomas are found in older cats and appear close to the skin surface. They are benign and can be removed surgically.

Apocrine Gland Adenocarcinomas are rare malignant tumors of the sweat glands. Their appearance varies from a thick lump to an ulcer that is likely to spread across the skin. The preferred treatment is complete removal.

Kidney Cyst
This type of cyst is usually detected accidentally and generally does not interfere with normal kidney function. It is unclear what causes kidney cysts.

Follicular cysts are fluid-filled structures that develop in the ovary and cause the prolonged secretion of estrogen and continuous signs of estrus (heat) in females. This type of cyst should be suspected in any cat demonstrating signs of heat lasting more than 21 days.

Your vet will use lab tests and ultrasonography to confirm if a cyst exists. If it does, the preferred treatment is removal of the ovaries and uterus, which is curative. If you intend to breed your cat then the administration of drugs that cause ovulation may resolve the problem, however it is important to monitor your cat closely for signs of uterine disease.

Liver Cysts
Cats can be born with liver cysts or develop them over time. Most cysts of the liver go undetected, however they occasionally cause symptoms such as abdominal swelling, lethargy, vomiting, and excessive thirst.

Additional Support
Vets will often detect a cyst during a physical exam, however x-rays may be needed to detect cysts located inside the body. If you notice a cyst, make an appointment with your vet and resist the urge to squeeze the cyst, as this could cause the contents to spread to surrounding tissue and cause severe inflammation. The use of dietary supplements to help cleanse the body and the organs may help reduce cysts.

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