Swelling at base of Cat's nostril - polyp or something else?

by Sarah
(North Yorkshire, England)

swelling in nostril


swelling in nostril

Dear Dr. Neely,

There is a small, hard, shiny, spherical swelling in the bottom of my cat's right nostril. It is black, (like his nose leather) and between 1 and 1.5mm, having grown slightly since i first noticed it, approximately 4 weeeks ago.
There is no discharge, no sneezing, no inhibition of breathing, and he does not appear to be in any discomfort. Probing the swelling gently with a finger produces an avoidance reaction; but it is not evident that it is particularly uncomfortable or painful and may well be simply objection at having his nose felt.
The swelling is smooth, and shiny, there is no obvious head (like a boil or spot), or scar.

Astro is a 4year old, neutered, ragdoll cross; he does not have the squashed ultra persian features. He has had no previous medical problems, and appears to be in good health and good spirits, with a good appetite. There has been no apparent change in his behaviour or health in recent weeks or months.

I would be very grateful if you could offer an opinion as to what this growth might be.

I have read around some of the available literature on nasal and nasopharyngeal polyps in an attempt to identify the possibilities.

I have attached a picture with a couple of (additional) insets of the nose area, at slightly different angles, which show the swelling.

Hi, Sarah,

Thank you for the detailed history. A good history is one of the very most important parts of diagnosis.

It is difficult to get much detail from the pictures. Polyps are generally pink and fleshy in color. They also would be coming from far up inside the nostril and not attached at the base. I'm not sure but from the picture, this appears to be at the base.

Polyps would most often also be causing noisy breathing.

With that in mind, I would say it is a "growth" and it is impossible to be more specific without removing it or sending a bit of it to the pathologist. My strong opinion about any growth on a cat is always to take it off while it's small and find out for sure if it's harmless.

I would suggest you make a vet appointment right away.

Good luck, Thank you for writing,
Dr. Neely


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