Primary Lung Tumors in Cats (Lung Cancer, Pulmonary Neoplasia)


Therapy In-depth

  • Surgery is the treatment of choice for animals with primary lung tumors. Depending on the size and location of the mass, complete removal may or may not be possible. If there is evidence of widespread involvement, surgical removal is generally not an option. In most cases of single lung tumors, the lung lobe that is involved is totally removed with the mass.
  • Depending on the type of tumor, chemotherapy may be recommended in addition to surgery. If surgery is not feasible due to extent of disease, chemotherapy may slow the progression of disease. However, there is little evidence to show that chemotherapy is very effective in most primary lung cancers.
  • Follow-up Care for Cats with Lung Tumors

    Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not improve over the expected time frame.

  • If your pet undergoes a thoracotomy, hospitalization will be required for at least several days post-operatively. This is a complicated surgery done only at referral hospitals. Careful post-operative monitoring is required. Most animals will have tubes placed in the chest during surgery to drain fluid that may form following the procedure. Tubes also help evacuate air from around the lungs. Your pet will only be sent home when the lung function appears stable.
  • Once at home, your pet will need to be carefully monitored for labored breathing or abnormal posture, which may indicate an increased effort to breathe. Animals having difficulty breathing will often extend the head and neck, and hold their front limbs away from the body. They may be reluctant to lie down, as this may increase their respiratory effort.
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