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Old 01-30-2010, 11:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
Tom Cat
 
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Default How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

Hi all,

I currently am fostering a cat that is 1-2 years old. I've had her 2 weeks, and the shelter had her 3 weeks prior to that.

They told me that it was clear she had kittens, but no kittens were found with her. The shelter thinks that it is quite possible that the people who called animal control on her kept her kittens.

So, she has been away from kittens for at least 5 weeks.

She still has one HUGE mammary gland. All the others seem to have shrunk back up to her body, but this one is still dangling. Of course my first thought is mammary cancer. I took her to the kennel vet (she is not my animal, so she has limited options to where she goes for vet care) and they weren't concerned and said it can take a while, and does not always happen evenly.

The gland is fully movable, and does not seem tethered to the body wall. It feels lumpy, like I can feel the different lobes.

Also, I have never seen any discharge, milk or otherwise from the nipple.

I although she is unspayed (will be on Monday!), my rational head tells me that being only 1-2 the likelihood that she has mammary cancer is low.

Does anyone have experiences/stories to share regarding a momma cats milk drying (or not drying) up?

TIA!

-BP
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
Tom Cat
 
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Default Re: How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

No thoughts?

Well, she's at the vet today being spayed. I asked them to check on her gland again, it still huge. This facility has excellent vets on staff and I trust their opinion a bit more than the drop-in clinic staff. I'm hoping that while she is under anesthesia they will be able to get a good look at what's going on.

I'm worried about my little foster girlie. They have my number and will call if anything is out of the ordinary. Assuming all is well, I pick her up early this evening.

Fingers and paws crossed.

-BP
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

She's in heat -- that's probably why.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
Tom Cat
 
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Default Re: How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

I just picked up Miss Lacey. Before I left, the vet called. I told them that they didn't need to call me unless something was wrong, so I was pretty worried.

The vet said that her spay was very routine. However, she has severe mastitis. One gland was still full of milk but another with yellow pus. The vet was pretty concerned, advised that I closely monitor her behavior for sepsis. The first vet didn't seem to concerned about mastitis, as Lacey hadn't been showing any indication of pain or irritation. But I guess when this vet was able to really look at her while she was under anesthesia, she was able to see that there clearly was an infection. I mean, this particular gland was easily the size of a large egg, and she is a tiny cat!

So, she sent us home with 14 days worth of Clavamox, and strict instructions to bring her back ASAP if her behavior changes at all. Right now she is battling the cone, but did scarf down a small amount of wet food (all I gave her) and had a good drink of water.

She is a very, very lucky girl to have been given a second chance and I feel so fortunate to be able to help her.

-BP
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
Tom Cat
 
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Default Re: How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

You may want to contact the user whose foster cat recently had kittens as I know mama cat also had mastitis, so maybe she can help?

I know in humans, women put cabbage leaves in the bra cup of whichever breast is infected... For whatever reason, the cabbage draws out the infection. I'm not sure how this could be applied to cats, but hey! Worth a try!
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How long for post-weaning mammary glands to dry up?

Poor girl!! I'm honestly amazed that the vet spayed her w/ an infection. IMO he should have checked her over, and when he found the mastitis, sent her home to recover before spaying. Hopefully she'll be fine, but I'm always astounded when vets do things NO human dr would ever go (do surgery on an organism w/ an infection unless it's life/death). <sigh>
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