April 22, 2023

Rodent Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Rodent Ulcer: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options


Rodent ulcer, also known as eosinophilic granuloma complex or feline rodent ulcer, is an inflammatory skin condition that affects cats. It is a benign tumor-like lesion that commonly appears on the upper lip, but can also develop on the chin, cheeks, and gums. The cause of rodent ulcer is not known, but it is thought to be related to abnormal immune system responses or allergies.


The exact cause of rodent ulcer is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to an overactive immune response or an allergic reaction. It may also be caused or worsened by bacteria or parasites, such as fleas or mites. There may also be a genetic predisposition in some cats.


The most common symptom of rodent ulcer is a raised and red lesion on the upper lip, but it can also appear on other areas of the face or gums. The lesion may be crusty, scaly, or ulcerated, and may or may not be painful. In severe cases, the lesion can spread and cause discomfort, difficulty eating or drinking, and bad breath.

Treatment Options

The treatment for rodent ulcer depends on the severity of the condition and the underlying cause. If the lesion is small and not causing any discomfort, it may not require treatment. However, if the lesion is large or spreading, or if there is an infection present, treatment may be necessary. Some common treatment options include:

  • Injectable or oral corticosteroids to reduce inflammation and itching
  • Antibiotics to treat secondary infections
  • Topical creams or ointments to soothe and heal the lesion
  • Eliminating possible allergens, such as certain foods or environmental triggers
  • Oral immunosuppressive medications to reduce immune system responses
  • Surgical removal of the lesion in severe cases


Can rodent ulcer be prevented?

Because the cause of rodent ulcer is not fully understood, there is no guaranteed way to prevent it. However, keeping your cat healthy and avoiding known allergens can help reduce the likelihood of developing the condition.

Can rodent ulcer be cured?

While rodent ulcer cannot be cured, it can be managed with proper treatment and care. Some cats may experience recurring lesions and will require ongoing treatment and monitoring.

Is rodent ulcer contagious to other cats or humans?

No, rodent ulcer is not contagious to other cats or humans. It is a non-infectious condition and cannot be transmitted through contact.

Should I take my cat to the veterinarian if I suspect rodent ulcer?

Yes, if you suspect that your cat has rodent ulcer, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Other conditions, such as tumors or infections, can present similarly and may require different treatment approaches.

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