Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mack the Knife (Part 2)

( Warning: graphic medical images included in this post, please be advised. )

In my last blog post, I started telling the tale of Mack, the cat with malignant, metastatic mast cell tumor. Amazingly, Mack’s badly affected foot had healed after surgery,

however, a new tumor had popped up beneath his right eye.

This was worrisome because the tumor had the potential to grow beyond the lid and irritate the cornea. This tumor had to be removed while it was still small enough. The location – right below the eye – was difficult, because once the mass was removed, the defect left in the skin, when closed, could cause the lower lid to become distorted and roll outward.

As usual, Mack was a handful, the recent increase in handling having no effect on his feral nature. We gently anesthetized him, and I very meticulously removed the mass on his eyelid, making sure not to go too far to the edge. When I was finished, it looked pretty good!.

The lower lid was rolled out a little, but when he woke up and started blinking his eye, the lid became more and more natural looking, and you could barely tell anything had been done.

Unfortunately, Mack developed several more tumors on his skin. Chemotherapy options are limited for this type of tumor, and in a cat with such a feral temperament, medicating him regularly would be nearly impossible. Once he’s out and about in the apartment, you never see him. Forget about giving him pills or liquid. In discussing this with a veterinary oncologist, the only practical option would be to give him a long-acting steroid injection every 3 weeks, to see if it would have any effect on the tumors. We’re just about to begin this course of treatment. In a future blog post, I will give you an update on his condition.
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