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Dr Pete
Dr Pete, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3009
Experience:  Bachelor of Veterinary Science (University of Melbourne, Australia)
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MY CAT HAS A LUMP ON HER SIDE THAT MY VET HAS SAID IS A TUMOUR.ASTHE

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MY CAT HAS A LUMP ON HER SIDE THAT MY VET HAS SAID IS A TUMOUR.ASTHE CAT IS 17 YRS OLD WE ARE WARY OF ANY SURGERY.THE VET HAS PRESCRIBED METACALM ,AND HAS NOT DONE A BIOPSY OF TUMOUR FOR FEAR OF EXCESSIVE BLOODLOSS.WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST?
Hi
Yes, this is always a difficult situation. Surgery in elderly cats carries more risk, but on the other hand if the mass is left it may grow or invade and create a bigger poroblem. A sample biopsy involves cutting the tissue of the growth and often growths will have a large blood supply and bleed more than normal tissue. The Metacam is to reduce any inflammation and this drug will even slow the growth of some types of tumours in cats but it is not a cure.
There are two options that can be considered.
1. Excisional biopsy. This means removing the whole growth and sending it to the path lab for analysis. Beacuse the surgery involves cutting around the outside of the growth the risk of bleeding is less. Of course your vet would have considered this and may have opted not to follow this course because of the size or site of the growth.
2. Fine needle aspirate (FNA). This is a very simple, non-invasive and painless procedure that can be done in the consulting room without an anaestheic. A fine needle is inserted deep into the growth and a small sample is aspirated. This can then be examined directly by the vet (under a microscope) or preferably sent to a path lab for analysis. The only "risk" is that the sample may not provide good enough information but usually it works well.
I would certainly consider the second option. There is nothing to lose.I hope I have been of assistance.
Kindest regards, Peter
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you for your swift reply.if the vet uses fna and the result is benign, would you reccomend the surgery, bearing in mind the age of the cat(17 yrs) and also if the tumour is not benign, same question.at the moment the cat appears to be in no pain or distress.size of growth at the moment is a small lump on her side.thank you
That's good.
Now I need a little more information:
1. The size of the lump (inches, cm).
2. How quickly is it growing?
3. Is the surface of the skin over the growth normal, inflammed, discharging, ulcerated?
4. Does the lump give her any discomfort if touched?
5. And do you recall what the vet said it was? ie the type of growth...cyst, tumour, any information like that
Cheers, Peter
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
size of the lump is about 1 and half to two inches in size circular in shape.the skin over lump appears to be red or slightly inflamed.the cat has no discomfort when the lump is touched.it is very hard to the touch.we live in spain, so obviously the vet is spanish but he definately said tumour not cyst.we noticed it two weeks ago, and after 6 days of metacam the vet was of the opinion it was slightly smaller, so apparently not growing or if so very slowly.
Thanks for that info
No discomfort, not growing and not ulcerated or broken along with the benign diagnosis are all good signs.
So the two main issues are cosmetic appearance and the possibility that it may start to grow again.
At 17 years in a situation like this I think I would porobably sit back and watch things if this was my cat. She isn't worried about it. It is likley that the growth will not cause any trouble to her during her life. Surgery may very well be incident free, but teher is a risk and I feel that the risk is maybe not worth it under these circumstances. But continue to monitor the growth. If things start to change...mainly an increased size, ulceration on the surface or pain then you should reassess.
Peter
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you for your advice i will take the cat back to vet and ask forFNA and see if tumour is benign or not.i have accepted this advice and forwarded payment.thanks again