I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you, Dr. B.
Thank you very much Dr B for the prompt and informative response. The veterinary practice here in Oman is very much geared to saving the large numbers of stray cats and dogs that wander the streets and I think are not so focused on expensive individualised treatments. The vet did take a sample with a syringe and said there was no pus/liquid present (or very little). My wife took the cat and at that point neither of us knew much about VAS and biopsy/FNA procedures so we didn't ask. The vet said that the next stage would be to remove the lump (last week we'd only discoverd the larger one) and then they would probably be able to tell if it was malignant and if they couldn't they would send it away for testing. My fear is that if it is malignant the poor cat will endure a miserable year or two (at best) of operations, chemotherapy (I'm assuming that is available here) and pain and be pretty much confined to the house - he is very much an outdoor cat. Of course if it isn't a sarcoma the poor cat has had an invasive operation for nothing.
You've made us determined to try and get the lumps tested before we agree to any removal.
With sarcoma is there anything we should look out for in the nature of the lumps? These alomst seem like softish broken off muscle/ligament/gristle. They are attached but move around when massaged with fingers and they haven't broken the surface and don't seem anything like abscesses (which he's had from time to time from fighting). Also, the cat is not unwell in any way - should he be?
Once again, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX satisfied with your answer.
Thank you again Dr B. Just one or two more short questions then I promise to pay - I'm not being greedy it's just that you've been so informative I don't want to lose you just yet!
Are you saying that it could be another, less aggressive type of malignant tumour - or should all tumours/lumps be removed? My assumption up until now has been VAS or harmless/can be left alone.
If it is VAS would he have two appearing at the same time in quite different areas? In your experience.
I think there has been some growth in it over the last week, but we're not sure, what should we look out for in terms of growth? The vet here has told us to take him back in another week should we take him before if there's growth and ask for the FNA? Just what
you would do in our situation type advice would be helpful.
Once again, thank you.
DR B, thanks a lot. You have been incredibly helpful. My wife was out when I first asked the first question and when I spoke to her before your first reply I feared the whole thing was going to be some kind of scam: how wrong I was. We've both just read through all of your responses together and really value all the excellent points.
We will contact the vet tomorrow morning (closed now) and ask about the FNA and be quite firm on that being our preferred course of action.
As a matter of interest (to me anyway) Snowy, the cat in question, has a brother, Zorro, who was vaccinated about a week later. Zorro only really comes back to eat so we haven't had a chance to check him until just now. It seems he has a similar lump on his shoulder, though his is flatter and less defined, but it is definitely there. So this, and your advice has made us quite hopeful that it is nothing more than an overeaction to the vaccinations that needs to be checked before anything drastic is done.
Thank you so much and if ever we have any more cat questions - my daughter has 5 cats who are constantly getting into scrapes - can we request you directly?
Dear Dr B,
thanks for taking the time to follow this up, it really is quite touching. We couldn't get Snowy to the vet for a few days and by that point his lump had diminished in size, so we decided to wait for his scheduled appointment, which is tomorrow. The lump has continued to reduce in size - it's now rectangular, flatter, and about 1.5cm by about 1cm. We're not sure what the vet will suggest tomorrow but if they suggest an operation we will ask for the FNA and testing first, though I think they will say leave it because it seems to be reducing. His other lump on his shoulder is also reducing in size and both his lumps seems to be now smaller than the one on his brother's shoulder.
I think the best course of action is probably to wait a bit longer to see if it continues reducing - am I right in thinking that a VAS wouldn't do this?
Once again, thank you for your concern and all the excellent advice,