Mammary Gland Enlargement Average Cost

From 433 quotes ranging from $200 - 1,400

Average Cost

$600

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What is Mammary Gland Enlargement?

While female cats are far more susceptible to these problems, nipple and breast swelling is sometimes seen in male cats as well. A female who is intact is more at risk than a female that is spayed. If unusual mammary gland swelling is noticed while a cat is nursing kittens, veterinary attention may be needed for the kittens along with the mother as the infection can easily spread between the two. 

Nipple and breast swelling are the outside manifestations of mammary gland enlargement. Cats have eight nipples, and in the case of enlargement or inflammation, one or more nipples may be affected. Normal events in a female cat’s life can lead to the swelling of breast tissue, such as pregnancy and lactation. However, many infections and other conditions which can be life-threatening also create mammary gland enlargement. 

Symptoms of Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats

Generally, when the condition is abnormal and needs treatment, multiple symptoms will arise. 

  • Swelling of the nipples or breast tissue
  • Painful nipples
  • Redness
  • Discharge from nipples
  • Ulceration of the nipples and breast
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Edema of the skin on hind legs
  • Refusal to nurse (if female with kittens)
  • Sick kittens (if nursing)

Causes of Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats

Besides the normal cause of pregnancy, enlarged mammary glands can be the sign of a bigger internal issue in the cat. A veterinarian is best at determining the exact cause of the swelling, which will lead to a faster diagnosis and treatment for the cat. Causes include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Mastitis (mammary gland infection while lactating)
  • Galactostasis (milk collection in mammary gland while weaning)
  • Feline Mammary Hypertrophy (benign masses)
  • Mammary cancer
  • Mammary Hyperplasia (from high levels of progesterone)

Diagnosis of Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats

A veterinarian will need the cat’s full medical history upon arrival at the clinic. A physical exam will be performed in which the nipples and breast tissue will be closely examined for symptoms that match with mammary gland conditions. Certain issues are not serious and will resolve on their own, while other conditions can be life-threatening.

A range of diagnostic testing will be done, generally starting with blood work. This will include a complete blood count and a biochemical profile. If cancer is suspected, these blood tests can provide confirmation. A biopsy of the enlarged tissue may be taken for further microscopic evaluation (a histopathological examination). Chest and abdominal X-rays may be needed to check for tumor location and pinpoint any metastasizing (spreading). Urinalysis can be used to confirm and identify any bacteria present in the cat. 

Treatment of Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats

There are a variety of treatments available depending on the underlying cause of the enlargement and the severity of the condition present. If the cat is dealing with an infection (as in the cases of mastitis and mammary hyperplasia), this can be a medical emergency. Immediate attention is needed to stabilize the cat enough to receive treatment.

Mastitis 

Treatment for mastitis includes an antibiotic prescription to clear up any infection and painkillers to help the cat endure the ulcerations associated with this condition. Your vet may also recommend that you apply a warm compress periodically to help with drainage. 

Mammary Cancer 

This type of cancer is very common in cats, accounting for a third of all cancer cases. It is very aggressive and often spreads. It usually occurs in multiple nipples at once.The surgical removal of affected glands (mastectomy) is recommended, especially if the cancer is in its early stages. If the cat is not a good surgical candidate, chemotherapy may be the only treatment option. 

Feline Mammary Hypertrophy 

Advised treatment for this condition is a full spay (ovariohysterectomy). If only a few glands are affected, removal of the individual glands alone may be enough. While these surgeries are more routine, if the cat is suffering from poor overall health, the procedure can be very taxing. 

Mammary Hyperplasia

To alleviate this issue, removal of the source of progesterone is needed. This generally leads to an ovariohysterectomy. If ulceration of the glands has occurred, glands may be removed if the cat is stable enough. Painkillers will be prescribed to help the cat get through the days after the surgery. 

Pregnancy or Galactostasis 

Both of these causes of mammary gland enlargement will resolve on their own with time. 

Recovery of Mammary Gland Enlargement in Cats

If the underlying condition is mammary cancer, overall prognosis is guarded. This cancer has a high tendency to spread throughout the body, most commonly to the lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, lungs and adrenal glands. If the cancer is caught early and the tumor found is less than 2cm in diameter, surgical removal offers a much higher survival rate than in more advanced cases.

If the cat has received a mastectomy or an ovariohysterectomy, signs of infection need to be watched for. Abide by all recommended at-home care from your vet. A post-surgical clinic visit is often required to allow the veterinarian to check that the healing process is happening successfully. With many of these conditions, spontaneous remissions can occur. 

Mammary Gland Enlargement Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Adolfa
household cat
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

small lump in nipple, no pain

Is mammary gland tumor same to mastitis? Is the tumor cancerous and life threatening? Adolfa had a small lump near her 7th nipple and just surgically removed last week. She had spayed at 8month of her age and now she just turns one year old. No pregnancy before. Showed no sign of pain and no other bad symptom of it. Hoping that another lump could come up at another nipple, is this cancerous, life threatening or could effect her lifespan?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
Mastitis is an inflammatory condition which may be infectious or non-infectious which affects the mammary glands; mastitis is different to cancer, however cancer may cause mastitis as a secondary condition. Any mass removed from Adolfa’s gland or nipple should be sent for histopathology if there is any concern about its origin. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Blue
Female
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

lump around the nipple,
lump around the nipple

Medication Used

none

I wonder if a unspayed female cat is around or in her estrous cycle, Do her mammary glands can get swell or get little mass around that by the effect fo hormone? If you can say any information or your experinces, please answer the question. Thank you so much

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Swelling or a mass around the mammary glands can happen if a cat is pregnant, has an infection, or has mammary cancer, although cancer in 6 month old cats is unusual. It doesn't tend to happen as much when they are in estrus, but is possible. If you are noticing swelling around her mammary glands, it would be a good idea to have her examined by your veterinarian to determine if what is happening is normal, or is a problem, and if she needs any treatment. I hope that all goes well for her.

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Ruby
domestic shorthair calico
2 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Seizures
Swollen nipple

my female at ruby is currently nursing two healthy kittens. however one of her breasts is swollen and hard. not sensitive to touch at all and the only way you can tell something is wrong is by looking at how swollen it is. she’s prone to seizures, if that’ information helps at all. her comfort and playful levels are the same as ever, and her appetite is the same as well. she’s had one other litter before this and i vaguely remember a few of her nipples being a little swollen for some odd days but that soon worked itself out as i was told it would have. however her seizures have gotten more common lately, although there is no clustering i am concerned. seeing as that is don’t have the money for a good vet at the moment. and i don’t want to loose my baby or have her suffer through any pain... and i’m not sure if the seizures are related to the swelling at all. she’s had two since her kittens were birthed

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. If Ruby was having seizures before having the kittens, the mammary enlargement doesn't seem related to the seizures. Her mammary enlargement may be normal for a nursing cat, but she may be developing mastitis and need treatment. Without examining her, I unfortunately can't determine if it is normal for her, or abnormal. Seizures in cats are not common, and should probably be treated. Many clinics offer a 'free first exam' that you might be able to take advantage of to have her seen and make sure that she is okay, as I do think that she should see a veterinarian. I hope that she is okay.

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Fred
Domestic shorthair
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Crusty nipple
Redness

Hi! My 3.5 year old male cat has always had one nipple that was larger and much more protruding than his others. Yesterday and I was rubbing his tummy I noticed that his large nipple was also red and kind of crusty looking. Some of the hair that surrounds it was stuck to it. He wasn’t sensitive to me touching it at all and there was no swelling around it at all. It was just the nipple itself. He is an indoor cat and we only have one pet. Please advise, thanks!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Unfortunately, without examining Fred, I can't tell what might be going on with that nipple. It would probably be best to have it looked at by your veterinarian to see if it is infected, or if there is a growth that needs to be addressed. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend treatment for it, it it does require treatment. I hope that everything goes well for him!

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Callie
Calico
4 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My calico kitten, about four months old, has developed very swollen glands around all of her nipples. They seem to be getting larger every day. She is going to the vet tomorrow for her precheck for spaying. She seems fine; No pain, eats and plays well.. I’ve searched everywhere for info. Should I be worried?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. it is good that Callie is having her pre-spay check up tomorrow. It would be very unusual for her to have mammany cancer at her age, and it may be a hormonal change. She is very young, but it is possible that she is going into heat. Your veterinarian will be able to examine her, determine what the cause of the swollen mammary glands may be, and get her treatment if she needs it, or spay her if that is the appropriate therapy. I hope that she does well.

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Xayah
Calico
1 Year
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen nipples

My cat is spayed and now her nipples are puffed and firm. I know she is not pregnant but the last few days they have swollen up quite largely. Attitude and comfort has not changed. She still acts normal. What might it be? And what could I do to fix this?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining Xayah, I can't diagnose what might be going on with her, but it is very unusual for spayed cats to have nipple enlargement. I'm not sure how long ago she was spayed - if it was recently, she may be going through hormonal changes. It would be a good idea to have her see your veterinarian to make sure that everything is okay with her, as that is not typical. I hope that everything is fine with her!

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Noxy
Tuxedo
1 Year
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Small mass underneath nipple
Small mass underneath nipple,

My cat was spayed before she turned 1. She's very happy, playful, has a great appetite, etc.. I was petting her recently and noticed a small mass underneath the one nipple. She shows no signs of pain, or discomfort. I'm just unsure if it's something new or if it's around the area where she had the surgery. It's the bottom nipple, towards her rear, on the right side of her body. Any ideas? I dont feel anything abnormal anywhere else.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Mammary masses are less common in cats that have been spayed as kittens, but they can still occur. Without examining Noxy, I can't say what that lump might be, but that doesn't seem like the place where a scar from her surgery would be located. It would be best to have her examined to find out what that lump is and what treatment should be given. I hope that everything goes well for her.

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Xusha
Sphynx
1 Year
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Mammary Glands

My Canadian Sphynx female cat's nipples developed flat circles below all her eight nipples. I noticed it when she was 10 months old (when cats usually become sexually mature and go into heat). Those circles have been getting larger with every day. At the same time she started menstruating and for the next 3 weeks or so. It's now been approximately 6 weeks and the nipples are still the same. She has no pain, nor redness, nor discharge and good appetite and normal behavior. Because I was traveling a lot, I wasn't able to take her to the vet but I called several pet clinics and was told to monitor her in hopes it will resolve on its own. Looks like it's most likely caused by overload of progesterone. I hope spaying her is not my only choice of treatment as I was hoping to breed her in the future.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
Generally spaying is recommended in these types of cases as it resolves the majority of issues, if you are looking to breed with Xusha you should visit a Veterinarian for a closer look and general examination as well as a breeding soundness examination (ultrasound of the reproductive tract etc…). I cannot think of a specific cause, but hormonal imbalances can cause a variety of symptoms. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you very much for your input, Dr Turner, it's really appreciated! I took my cat to a very good vet this week and she had a thorough blood test done which was nearly perfect - all markings were within the normal range (except for one, something about liver/bone density which was elevated which I was told is normal for growing pets/kittens). So next I am supposed to catch her urine while she's using the toilet and bring that for analysis. I will post the results here once it's completed. And will obtain more detailed information of the findings.

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Roberta
Calico
11 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Back in 2014 I had noticed my one of my cat's nipple had become enlarged. I took her to the vet and the Dr told me she had to do an ovariohysterectomy. She had that done and said that she would be fine after that and not to worry about her enlarged nipple. Today I noticed that her nipple looks a little bigger. Since I noticed it the first time it looks like she had a blister. I am not sure if she has had any discharge. After the surgery she gained a couple of lbs but she has continued to be active and eat and drink water as usual. I touch her nipple and she seems like it does hurt her but she hasn't been acting weird or anything. Should I be worried?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Because she was spayed later in life, she has the risk of developing mammary cancers as she ages - if you are noticing a strange nipple, it would be a good idea to have your veterinarian look at it and make sure that it isn't anything to worry about at this point. It may be nothing serious, but without seeing it, I can't say for sure. I hope that everything goes well for her!

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Roberta
Calico
11 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Back in 2014 I had noticed my one of my cat's nipple had become enlarged. I took her to the vet and the Dr told me she had to do an ovariohysterectomy. She had that done and said that she would be fine after that and not to worry about her enlarged nipple. Today I noticed that her nipple looks a little bigger. Since I noticed it the first time it looks like she had a blister. I am not sure if she has had any discharge. After the surgery she gained a couple of lbs but she has continued to be active and eat and drink water as usual. I touch her nipple and she seems like it does hurt her but she hasn't been acting weird or anything. Should I be worried?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Because she was spayed later in life, she has the risk of developing mammary cancers as she ages - if you are noticing a strange nipple, it would be a good idea to have your veterinarian look at it and make sure that it isn't anything to worry about at this point. It may be nothing serious, but without seeing it, I can't say for sure. I hope that everything goes well for her!

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Dusty
Calico
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My sons cat has enlarged nipples. She is spayed and has been since she was very young. She is still active drinks water regularly and shows no signs of distress. She’s overweight for sure but also extremely poofy. She plays and talks all the time. We were just a bit concerned about her nipples. They are not warm and there is no fluid. Should we take her to her Vet?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. Without examining her, I'm not sure why her nipples are enlarged. Possible reasons may be infection, a systemic disease, or cancer. If the nipples are all evenly enlarged and not red, and don't bother her, I think sometimes we don't notice something until we really look at it, then we're not sure if it is normal or not! If you are sure that there has been a change in her nipples, it would be a good idea to have her examined by her veterinarian, just to make sure that she is okay.

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Alena
American Shorthair
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Mammary Gland Enlargement
Mammary Gland Swelling
Pain
Pain When Lifted

my cat Alena has been pain whenever you pick her up nowadays, and we've suspected she has her mammary glands coming in. But, I don't know if she's pregnant because there is a chance since she's intact, and she goes outside, but I also haven't seen a significant change in her size to say she has babies. I also think she has a problem with eating food a lot because she's very picky or something, she's very small. Should I be worried, and send her to a vet for one or both of these reasons?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thank you for contacting us about Alena. I do think that she should see her veterinarian if you think she is in pain when you pick her up, and if you think that she might be pregnant. She may have a uterine infection if she isn't spayed, or she might be pregnant, yes. It would be a good idea to have her examined and make sure that she is healthy, your vet may be able to feel if she is pregnant or is painful, and give you a better idea as to whether she is normal, or is having problems. I hope everything goes well with her.

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Callie
mixed
4 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

I have a female cat that is almost 4 years old and her nipples are sticking out and her breasts feel a little swollen and she's losing hair around her nipples and her but I was wondering why and she has not been around any male cats that I know all she's an indoor cat and we had 3 cats two of them I was babysitting but one we know is a girl and the other one I think it was a girl but at first my sister thought it was a boy she's always crying when we touch her pet her pick her up

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
479 Recommendations
Thanks for contacting us about Callie. If your female cat isn't spayed, and has been around a cat that you aren't sure if it is a boy or a girl, and now her mammary glands are getting swollen, it is very possible that she is pregnant! The gestation time of a cat is about 2 months, so if she was with the unknown cat about 5-6 weeks ago, that's probably what is happening. If she isn't pregnant, cats can get mammary tumors (breast cancer), and she needs to be seen by a veterinarian to make sure that she is okay. Either way, it is probably in her best interest to have an appointment - your vet will be able to let you know if she looks pregnant, or if she has problems with her mammary glands.

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Silk
Unknown
1-2
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Pain When Lifted
Swelling
Bruise

I have a cat I've been taking care of for a few months she's mine, she had a litter of 5 kittens about 5 weeks ago, and we just separated the babies from the momma per vet recommendation and her nipples are swollen with milk it seems, her stomach feels lumpy and seems to be achey one of them even appeared a little bruised, I was just wondering if there's anything I'm supposed to do to help her or if it will solve itself naturally

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
Just like in humans, when nursing stops the breasts may become tender due to being engorged with milk; applying a warm compress to the breasts may help but if any of the affected glands feel warm or are giving a smelly discharge visit your Veterinarian for a check. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Oreo
Shorthaired domestic
14 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

None

Medication Used

Prednisolone

My cat is 14. Asymptomatic. Noticed lumps on her belly when I picked her up off counter. Grape size on one but several small up the entire left side and 1/3 way up the right side. Bloodwork clear. Chest X-ray clear. Suspected possible psedupregnancy due to total clingyness for two months prior so suggested mastitis. Treated with convenia injection and something else. Did aspiration only came back blood on the slide. 2 weeks later follow up and was suspected mammary cancer with no further testing due to her licking im assuming where they did the aspirations and she made it bleed. Sent home with prenisone every other day now for 5 weeks. Gave veraflox for where she was chewing the sore. Now it's spreading more as far as the swelling and some small pea slide bumps under the surface of the skin throughout her hind legs. The initial lumps are not getting bigger but the mammary glands itself are more raised and prominent as she's now licking and making several of the small lumps bleed. Followed up vet says definitely mammary cancer just keep comfortable. She herself is not changing. Total behavior is normal. I am not comfortable with the diagnosis of mammarycancer as I feel this could be acute mastitis. She's on prednisone which is an immunosuppressant so how if this is mastitis she's only going to get wore instead of better. She was spayed at 6 years old. Never a pregnancy had her since 8 weeks. Felv negative.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations

Spaying at six years old is very late and according to some studies will leave cats at the same risk of mammary cancer as an intact cat which is why Veterinarians recommend spaying at an earlier age. It seems that Oreo has received quite a bit of antibiotic therapy (convenia and veraflox). Whilst prednisone is an immunosuppressant, it wouldn’t interfere with the antibiotics function, just the immune system. It is difficult for me to say the exact cause, I would recommend taking another aspiration from a new lump that has appeared or even to ultrasound a lump to see the contents etc… Given Oreo’s age, treatment will be hard and if it is cancer, surgery wouldn’t be an option. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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SWEETY
Calico
2 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

hi, my female has stopped feeding her kittens for a few days and now her mammary glands are swollen.i applied a hot towel for 10 minutes and one nipple started lactating but no more. shes walking around ok and doesn't seem bothered and is eating and drinking water.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
1978 Recommendations
It is normal for there to be some discomfort when a queen stops nursing and there is a similar issue with women when they stop breastfeeding; give it a few days and Sweety should be alright, but if you notice smelly discharge or the glands are unusually warm you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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