EGC or Rodent Ulcers in Cats
|Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex (EGC) or rodent ulcers in cats are fairly common presentations in clinical practice. Symptoms may include swelling/ulceration of the lips, which can be sometimes accompanied by drooling and can sometimes affect ability to eat. Some cats will have ulcers present on the gums or tongue as well.
Other presentations of EGC include raised hairless plaques or discrete skin swellings in the abdominal/groin area, as well as areas on the legs.
Licking or itching of the affected areas is often present in the history.Causes of this syndrome in cats include flea bite allergies, inhalant/contact allergies and/or food allergies.
I will often try many cats with this syndrome on a restricted novel protein rabbit or venison protein based diet for 2-3 months to see if food allergies are involved. Topical flea control with Advantage or Frontline Plus is always recommended in cats with these lesions. Diagnosis of this syndrome is based on clinical appearance during an office visit, and/or aspiration of the plaques, and microscopic exam of the cells on the microscope.
Treatment may include diet changes, flea control, as well as injectable or oral anti-inflammatory therapy with cortisone to decrease swelling and improve comfort until underlying causes are identified. Since these lesions sometimes become secondarily infected, antibiotics are often prescribed as well.