Aimee's Vet Visit: Mammary Mass Found

Discussion in 'Caring for Strays and Ferals' started by houseofnine, Jan 12, 2018 at 11:11 AM.

  1. houseofnine

    houseofnine Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    Hi friends,
    As some of you know, we brought in our semi-feral girl (now named Aimee) last week before the big storm hit NE. We let her settle in for a few days before getting her to the vet today for snap test, deflea, deworm, shots. She had been previously TNR'd by someone else at unknown age--maybe 1 or so. We know she had been pregnant at least once. We've been feeding her for about 18 mo. We already have 11 cats indoors--a lot--but we couldn't leave her out there in such bitter conditions.

    Well, I heard back from the vet and while Aimee is healthy otherwise, they found a mammary mass. Vet said needle biopsies are too inaccurate, and the mass should be removed. Currently the fluid is clear, which she said is good sign at least for now, but I am just heartsick. Scared about upsetting her more with another unwanted vet visit, not sure how we are going to pay for this, and feeling so bad that she might be sick, and how far along an illness may be.
    So she is coming home this afternoon (vet doesn't do surgery on Saturdays). What to do next.

    Does anyone else have experience with this? Thank you.
     
  2. kittychick

    kittychick TCS Member Super Cat

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    Congrats to both her AND you for bringing her in! Hopefully someone will speak up who has been through this experience.

    We brought in a little TNR sweetheart a few years ago - needless to say, she's terrified of a carrier (although ferals and strays aren't the only ones like that!). Her tiny 6 pound frame turns into a whirling dervish of teeth and nails. We have to use welder's gloves! So she's not vetted as often as I'd like - - but she developed a pea-sized mass at the base of her tail (on her tail). We don't have alot of money either - and were terrified she'd need surgery (for all of the reasons you are). It turned out to be a benign cyst - and we could have had it removed, but we just couldn't afford it (the vet said it wasn't hurting her to leave it). So...we left it. Your Aimee will basically get over the vet part (as much as any cat does) ---but obviously the money's a big issue. You might do some digging - - we now have a low-cost vet (not a low-cost spay/neuter clinic - we have one of those too - but they don't do anything but spay/neuter) who does surgeries and exams at a much lower cost. I've heard they'll even let you make payments as opposed to a single lump sum. So you might ask around, google, etc.

    Worst comes to worst - you can try a "go fund me" page. I've certainly known people who've reluctantly had to do it - and have gotten enough to help quite a bit with a surgery. And she certainly has a touching story. So again - something to think about.

    Keep us posted - - - hope this all works out.
     
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  3. trudy1

    trudy1 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Nov 19, 2011
    I would think that if you had a vet where over time you’ve vetted 11 cats they would surely give you a break on surgery. Explain your money situation then ask, all they can say is no.

    Another thought might be to contact your local shelter or rescue group (hope you have one) and find out who they use for surgery. Sometimes a rescue group will let you piggyback on their discount.

    Sorry you have to go through this but I think she knew you were the ones to help. Remember nothing happens by accident!
     
  4. Sarthur2

    Sarthur2 Cat lady extraordinaire Staff Member Advisor

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    Sunny Florida
    Can the vet do a needle aspiration to test the cells to see whether it's benign? That would be best. This is done with human women also.

    If it's benign there's no need for surgery.
     
  5. houseofnine

    houseofnine Thread Starter TCS Member Kitten

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    Oct 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    Thank you TCS friends!
    @Sarthur2 , the vet said needle biopsies are largely inaccurate. However the fluid she drew out was clear, which she said is a good sign. She didn't seem alarmed, but only my husband spoke with her personally yesterday since I was at work. I have confidence in our vet--long history with her, but I'm going to talk to her on Tuesday when she gets back. Aimee is maybe 3 years old, and typical mammary cancer onset age is 10, so maybe that's why vet is taking wait and see approach. As I said, we think she was spayed at maybe 1 or 1.5 yrs of age. Thank you!
     
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  6. shadowsrescue

    shadowsrescue Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    Apr 27, 2011
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    I brought a feral boy into the house last year in December due to an injury. He recovered fine and was adjusting to inside living. In May I noticed one day he was acting odd. I found him in the litter box over and over and crying. He had a urinary blockage. I had to rush him to an emergency vet. He ended up spending 5 days there and had to have surgery. It then required many more trips back and forth for complications and then check ups. I was so worried about him since he had never ever been around so many people before. They kept him semi sedated to ease his anxiety.

    After a few weeks of rest and healing, he is as good as new. I was so worried what this would do to him. It did take a bit of extra time, but looking back he did so much better than expected.

    I know it's a worry to wonder if she would do ok. I think cats are pretty resilient. If she needs the surgery, I bet she would do just fine.

    I have had experience with my dog getting needle biopsies for tumors. She has had 3. One of them came back inconclusive. Hers were more on the skin so they were able to a punch biopsy.
     
  7. trudy1

    trudy1 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Nov 19, 2011
    I would just keep an eye on the mass to watch for rapid increases in mass size, changes in shape, color, etc much as you would watch an abnormality on your own skin. Many times if the fluid is clear and free of mast cells these things go away on their own. Just be vigilant.
    Even though Aimee can’t really vocalize a “thank you” I will.
    I have 7 in-house rescues and have always said they are like potato chips, you can’t have just one!
     
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