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A mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats can also be referred to as a vaginal hyperplasia to characterize the vaginal mucosa proliferation. Vaginal hyperplasia is a common result of estrogenic stimulation, as the feline’s body releases proestrus and estrus to encourage the mating process. However, a vaginal protrusion can also be the result of weakened vaginal tissues after giving birth or through a feline’s pregnancy. A mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats is considered an emergency as the protrusion can lead to shock and toxemia, requiring immediate veterinary attention.
A mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats occurs when the vaginal tissues push through the external female genitalia. This protrusion in the vaginal area resembles the appearance of a pink, fleshy donut that is often mistaken for a vaginal tumor. Your veterinarian may refer to a mass protrusion in the vaginal area as a vaginal prolapse. A vaginal prolapse commonly affects pregnant felines, cats that have given birth, and young, reproductive felines, as vaginal protrusion occurs during a feline’s heat cycle.
The initial sign of a mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats is the smooth, glistening, fleshy tissue mass that has pushed through the cat’s vulva. If the protrusion has occurred in less than 24 hours, the donut-shaped mass will appear swollen and pink in coloration. However, as the internal reproductive tissues are exposed, the tissues will become dull in color, dry out, and may even develop ulcerations. The feline may continuously lick the affected area, strain upon difficult urination and appear depressed. Additionally, a feline with a mass protrusion in the vaginal area may also develop the following symptoms:
Mass protrusion in the vaginal area is commonly seen in young female cats that still have their reproductive organs. Felines usually experience a mass protrusion in the vaginal area during their heat cycles, known as estrogen stimulation, but the prolapse can also be a result of:
The diagnosis of mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats is a straightforward diagnosis as the prolapse is visible. However, your veterinarian will want to complete the baseline diagnostic tools including a urinalysis, biochemistry profile, a complete blood count and a review of your cat’s medical history. Some additional diagnostic tests your veterinarian may also perform include:
the act of feeling the tissue to identify structures other than vaginal tissues within the mass protrusion, such as the uterus or bladder.
a specialized scope used to visualize the inside of the vagina.
imaging used for visualization of the internal organs. An ultrasound is helpful in a protrusion case because the vet can see which organs have been affected, other than the vagina. The veterinarian can also rule out the possibility of a kitten that has not been born yet, but is stuck inside the cat because of the prolapse.
an act of swabbing the vagina and looking at the cells under the microscope to identify the stage of estrus the cat is currently in.
The main goal in the treatment of mass protrusion in the vaginal area in cats is to return the vaginal tissues back to their original anatomical position and prevent a bacterial infection. A vaginal mass protrusion can be treated medically or surgically, which is to be decided by the veterinarian and the cat owner. In some cases, a mass protrusion in the vaginal area in a cat requires immediate intervention and hospitalizing the feline may be necessary.
In the case of a mass protrusion caused by estrogenic stimulation, the veterinarian may treat the cat with hormone therapy to decrease the level of estrogen. Once the cat’s estrogen levels have declined, the vaginal protrusion will spontaneously resolve itself. During hormone therapy, the protrusion may be cleaned daily and treated with anti-hemorrhoid cream to reduce swelling, as well as pain. If the feline is unable to urinate, the veterinarian may find a need to place a urinary catheter until the tissues have been restored back to normal.
If the prolapse is more severe, the veterinarian may need to manually position the tissues back into the feline, placing sutures outside the vagina until she completes her heat cycle. Any necrotic (dead) tissues will need to be removed, which may decrease a feline’s fertility.
The treatment option most veterinarians recommend for a cat with a mass vaginal protrusion is an ovariohysterectomy, or the removal of female reproductive organs.
If your cat has received surgical treatment for her mass protrusion in the vaginal area, the prognosis is very good. The feline may receive intravenous fluid therapy including an antibiotic, pain medication on the day of the operation and, if the female is supporting a litter of kittens, a lactation stimulant. The female is expected to go home the day after the surgery with the use of an Elizabethan collar to prevent trauma to the incision site. The feline will be expected to complete a follow-up appointment, roughly two months after the procedure.
About two-thirds of cats that have not had an ovariohysterectomy will experience a recurrence of mass vaginal protrusion as early as her next heat cycle.
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2 found helpful
Hi, my cat just gave birth two days ago and seems to have a mass protrusion. It isn't as severe as images I have seen but I was hoping to get your medical opinion on what to do. I don't want to stress her by a vet visit but I want her to get whatever help she needs. The protusion is about half an inch outward and has dryed due to me thinking it was a natural thing for her first litter. She had five good size kittens and is a rather petite cat.
June 18, 2018
Dr. Michele K. DVM
Protrusions from the vagina aren't normal with any birthing process once the kittens have all been born, and two days later, Magic should not have any protrusions. Without seeing her, I can't comment on what that might be, whether it is a hyperplasia or prolapse, but if the tissue has dried, that may be trouble for her. Even though it will be stressful for her, I do think that she needs to see a veterinarian to see what the mass is, and how to go about treating her. I hope that all goes well for her.
June 18, 2018
Thank you. I scheduled her an appointment and hope it'll all work out.
June 18, 2018
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