Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Animal: Cat

Pet Symptoms: My cat Maggie has what is likely to be a squamous cell carcinoma on the bridge of her nose. The skin broke two and a half months ago now and she seems to feel better as the pus has been released. She has had antibiotics most of the time since then, the injection that lasts two weeks x2, Sinulox and Veraflox after a sensitivity test. Didn’t get a biopsy as how can it help? There is hardly any pus now and she is doing well, playing and eating and is her usual self. The wound on her nose scabs over quite quickly and Maggie washes it which then leaves the wound open and getting bigger. I can now see bone. My question is should this be left open or should it be packed or covered? Maggie doesn’t cope well with the 5 min journey to the vets and I don’t want to put her through that if possible. My vet is continuing to prescribe antibiotics and is aware that her nose is worsening. I am willing to have a house call if need be. She is very calm and allows me to wipe her nose with warm salt water most days and I have put aloe vera gel on her nose twice now sparingly when the scab is very dry and hard. I did try a collar but she didn’t like it and she got it off. I would persevere gently if it would help. Please tell me if there is anything more that might help to keep Maggie comfortable and well for longer?

Our Advice: I don’t think there is much more that can be done through advising online. Without biopsy, have they confirmed a carcinoma or is it suspected? I think if there is exposed bone through the wound, it needs some kind of surgical closure or chemotherapy if confirmed cancer – maybe seeing an oncology specialist would be of use at this point. I think any wound where the skin has opened through full thickness and exposed bone shouldn’t be left. Is she on any pain relief as well? Ideally she should be on daily medication for pain as well as antibiotics, and the antibiotics may need to be adjusted based on culture and sensitivity of the pus present to ensure appropriate selection of medications.

At the very least I would advise seeing your vet either at home or in the clinic to discuss the problem further as it sounds like more needs to be done at this stage.