Cyst removal surgery - low white blood cell count trend

terestrife

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Hello,the

1. This is about my cat Elsa ever since she was a kitten her WBC numbers keep going down. Is there anything I can give her to bring up her immune system? She will be having surgery soon and I am nervous about it. The vet is not sure what is causing this. He says some pets that seem completely normal can have this happen to them. I'm not sure what to think about this.

2. Regarding her surgery: Elsa had a weird reaction to a collar. Her pores were clogged and she scratched one area until a bump formed. The vet touched the bump today and so much came out of the bump. He is nervous to do the surgery because there are always risks with anesthesia. But said he thought it was worth it to give her relief. She did go under 5 years ago to get some teeth removed. So he was more positive when I told him that. He is worried about infection due to her low WBC.

I feel so torn. I have spent two months trying as hard as I could to heal the bump. It has improved but it's not gone. I've tried everything. Even slathered her with so much coconut oil that her fur had to be shaved off to get rid of it. lol Warm towels, creams given by my vet, steroid shot, antibiotic shot, and other things i can't even remember. The area near the bump is rough and irritated because she scratches at it. He would have to take a big area off the top of her neck to get rid of all the area that has been irritated by her scratching.

Should I keep trying, or is it better just to do the surgery? I am just scared of putting her under again. :sigh:
 

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FeebysOwner

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Hi. Is there another thread you have that would better explain Elsa's history? Something you could add as a link to this thread?

Has Elsa been seen by an internal medicine specialist? That might help with better understanding the low WBC.

Has the vet done a fine needle aspiration of the cyst to have the cells analyzed? Generally speaking, this does not require anesthesia or even sedation.

The vet touched the bump today and so much came out of the bump
Pus? As in an infection?
 
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terestrife

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Hi. Is there another thread you have that would better explain Elsa's history? Something you could add as a link to this thread?

Has Elsa been seen by an internal medicine specialist? That might help with better understanding the low WBC.

Has the vet done a fine needle aspiration of the cyst to have the cells analyzed? Generally speaking, this does not require anesthesia or even sedation.


Pus? As in an infection?
Cat blackheads

I did post that a while back. I took her to the derm and she poked the bump and tested it. Thats why she's on antibiotics.

Ive never taken her to a specialist for the WBC. My vet was never concerned about it, and I don't really have a lot of money. The surgery to remove the bump will all go into a credit card. Just the one visit to the derm was so expensive. The derm called the bump a tumor, my vet thinks its just a cyst. Not sure what to think and all this running around costs more and more money. I know people don't like discussing money but its a reality for me.

Edit: Once I get over dealing with her bump, then maybe I can plan to get her looked at for her low WBC.
 

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terestrife

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I have Elsa scheduled for surgery on the 19th. I am still hesitant about it, and I am afraid of the risks. But I am hoping I am doing what is right. Elsa has been uncomfortable with an itchy neck for a year and a bump from scratching (for a few months.) I have tried so hard to heal her myself. And running her from the vet to the derm and back again. But I can't deny I am anxious, I am not sleeping well anymore because I wake up worrying that something might happen to her during the surgery. They want me to bring her in early and she will be there until 3 pm - 4 pm. I am tempted to wait in the front waiting area as I did during her dental surgery. i am praying this is the right decision. I just want her to heal already and be happy and healthy.
 
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terestrife

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Just checking in. Would love to find someone in the forum that has experience with a cat whose WBC progressively gets lower each blood test. Elsa is 8 years old and doing well. The vet says he has seen this in some animals that live happy normal lives. But it concerns me because it increases her risk of infection. Especially with her upcoming surgery.
 

fionasmom

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In humans, leukopenia or low white blood cell count often is accompanied by a decrease in neutrophils, eosinophils, and lymphocytes just as appear on Elsa's blood work. It can be mild or serious. It is also quite complicated, depending on where each value is. Can you ask the vet to discuss it with you rather than just leaving it at the point of not worrying about it? I would ask ranges and numbers, using Elsa as an example, bring up your concerns about infection, ask what steps they are taking to accomodate her particular case. You are proceeding with the surgery which, if nothing else will be expensive, and certainly have the right to some questions.
 

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As I recall when I asked if anyone had done a fine needle aspiration on that lump, you said "I took her to the derm and she poked the bump and tested it. Thats why she's on antibiotics." So, that means an infection - was any other testing done to the tissue that was aspirated?

I am at a loss as to why surgery is your only recourse. The money spent to perform a surgery, that I apparently don't understand what it will accomplish, could be better spent elsewise. IMO, I would not go through with any surgery at this time.
Surgery costs can be put on a credit card, yes - so can other testing as well.

Please explain to me why you think surgery is your only option based on what you know. I am totally missing something, I guess.
 
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terestrife

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In humans, leukopenia or low white blood cell count often is accompanied by a decrease in neutrophils, eosinophils, and lymphocytes just as appear on Elsa's blood work. It can be mild or serious. It is also quite complicated, depending on where each value is. Can you ask the vet to discuss it with you rather than just leaving it at the point of not worrying about it? I would ask ranges and numbers, using Elsa as an example, bring up your concerns about infection, ask what steps they are taking to accomodate her particular case. You are proceeding with the surgery which, if nothing else will be expensive, and certainly have the right to some questions.
I did talk to my vet in person. He said that sometimes this happens for no reason. He claims he has a pet that has the same issue and lived for many years. He has no idea what is causing it. he said the precautions that will be taken is that she will be given an antibiotic to avoid infection after the surgery.

That's why I posted this question. to see if any other pet moms out there going through this to give me an idea of who I can go see. Clearly, my vet doesn't know what is wrong. All he said was that he wasnt concerned and didnt think further testing was necessary.

As I recall when I asked if anyone had done a fine needle aspiration on that lump, you said "I took her to the derm and she poked the bump and tested it. Thats why she's on antibiotics." So, that means an infection - was any other testing done to the tissue that was aspirated?

I am at a loss as to why surgery is your only recourse. The money spent to perform a surgery, that I apparently don't understand what it will accomplish, could be better spent elsewise. IMO, I would not go through with any surgery at this time.
Surgery costs can be put on a credit card, yes - so can other testing as well.

Please explain to me why you think surgery is your only option based on what you know. I am totally missing something, I guess.
I posted the results from the derm. All they said was that she has Bacterial dermatitis. You can see the document attached to this post. That is all the testing that was done.

The derm said she wanted to put Elsa under anesthesia to get a biopsy, once we have those results, then put her under again to remove everything. She said that had to happen regardless. I went to my vet for a second opinion and he didnt give me any other options for me to try. Two people recommended i remove all the damaged skin.

I've been running around for the past few months ever since i noticed she scratched a bump on herself. This all started a year ago when she had on a collar. She always hated wearing collars and would scratch at the collar. I finally got her chipped (i needed her to react to her feeder to keep out my bigger cat.) When i removed her collar we noticed she had what appeared to be blackheads. Vet has no idea how this happened. They gave me a shampoo that cleared up half the black heads. The Ones under her neck are gone. The ones above her neck i struggled with getting rid of because she kept scratching. She scratched until a bump appeared.



VideoCapture_20220718-175656.jpg
This is what the bump looked like last month. It was a lot bigger in the beginning. All the treatments I have done have helped. I've been trying to fix this for the past few months (been to my regular vet a few times and to a pet derm). Last week I took her to my regular vet and he touched the bump and a bunch of pus came out, and the bump has gone down (i think) considerably. I have started putting a sock on her to avoid her touching the skin. I feel torn because I just want the area to heal so she can feel better and have her fur grow in again. I do a warm compress twice a day and use the antibiotic cream I was given. My vet suggested I keep using the shampoo that worked to clear up the rest of the blackheads.
VideoCapture_20220813-110843.jpg VideoCapture_20220813-110846.jpg


She actually keeps the sock on. And yes I can fit three fingers under the sock so it is not tight at all. I tried a recovery suit and she hated it and would just lie on the ground in shock. I am taking daily pictures so I can check in with the vet's office. I am hoping the skin will improve without her touching it as much. If I can make enough progress then I will delay/cancel the surgery. it's not about the money for me, I just want her to feel better. But I don't know who else to go to.

VideoCapture_20220811-174903.jpg VideoCapture_20220811-174915.jpg VideoCapture_20220811-174901.jpg
 

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terestrife

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Adding a picture of what Elsas bump looks like today. It seems to be doing better and healing better now that she's wearing a sock at all times. It stops her from scratching at her neck.

I am thinking of delaying the surgery since I do see some improvement. I don't know if that is the right choice since I have been trying to heal her for months. But I just feel compelled to give a try at healing her from home instead of doing surgery. Even if the vet feels confident about doing the surgery, it still makes me nervous. What do you guys think? Has anyone been through something similar?
 

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fionasmom

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I have not been through anything similar but have declined further invasive or surgical treatment for elderly animals, although this is probably not where you are with this. Do the doctors suspect this is cancerous or do they agree that it might heal with time? One said cyst and one said tumor, but not all masses are cancerous. Is improvement leading to resolution? This is a very hard call. It seems that a delay is not life threatening, but you might have to decide on a time frame that seems reasonable for you.
 
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terestrife

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I have not been through anything similar but have declined further invasive or surgical treatment for elderly animals, although this is probably not where you are with this. Do the doctors suspect this is cancerous or do they agree that it might heal with time? One said cyst and one said tumor, but not all masses are cancerous. Is improvement leading to resolution? This is a very hard call. It seems that a delay is not life threatening, but you might have to decide on a time frame that seems reasonable for you.
The derm that only saw her once called it a tumor. My vet doesn't think it's cancer. My vet thinks a cyst happened from elsa scratching at the blackheads she had. The blackheads she originally had most of them responded to the shampoo he gave me.

If she doesn't improve within a few more weeks i will revisit the idea of surgery.

The area has improved but the process is slow.

Just feel torn. I don't know if i should look for a specialist to figure how that is wrong with her white blood cells. My vet keeps saying he isn't concerned but I'm still worried.

Update: elsa isn't elderly but I'm concerned by her low wbc.
 
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terestrife

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Checking in with the progress Elsa has made in the past month. The bump has gone down and you can see her pores. But I dont know if this is enough progress. I will be reaching out to my vets office for advice.

Note: For anyone new to the thread. Elsa got blackheads from an irritation from a collar and she scratched it until it became a bump. Vet suggested surgery, but he seemed hesitant because of the risks with anesthesia. Which made me hesitant. She has issues with declining low white blood cells; the cause unknown. So there is a concern of infection after surgery.

I am starting to think the surgery might be necessary after all. :sigh:

Last month:
august 2.jpg August.jpg

This morning:
September.jpg
 

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My cats have leukemia. When my one was diagnosed, the vet said his WBC count was almost nonexistent and gave him 3 days to live. I did some research and started him on DMG, a supplement to build up the immune system. That was 3 years ago! He is doing fine on DMG and LifeGold, a supplement for cancers, both bought on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. He did get sick two more times, but not near as bad and I tempted him to take a few bites a day and take his medicine with a lickable treat called Delectable Lickables in the stew flavors. Of course, I keep them strictly indoors now and don't let them associate with other cats, I wash my hands when I feed the outdoor ones or pet them. All the luck!
 
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terestrife

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My cats have leukemia. When my one was diagnosed, the vet said his WBC count was almost nonexistent and gave him 3 days to live. I did some research and started him on DMG, a supplement to build up the immune system. That was 3 years ago! He is doing fine on DMG and LifeGold, a supplement for cancers, both bought on Amazon, Walmart, and Target. He did get sick two more times, but not near as bad and I tempted him to take a few bites a day and take his medicine with a lickable treat called Delectable Lickables in the stew flavors. Of course, I keep them strictly indoors now and don't let them associate with other cats, I wash my hands when I feed the outdoor ones or pet them. All the luck!
I think I saw your comment somewhere and already started elsa on this product: VetriScience Vetri-DMG Liquid Immune Supplement. Should I also buy lifegold and give both at the same time?
 
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I give both at the same time, i checked with the manufacturer. LifeGold wouldnt hurt, it says it's for cancers but it reduces oxidative stress and builds up the immune system too. You might check on it on the internet. You might go to the amazon site and see if they have a supplement specifically for low WBC count or for bone marrow, where the cells are made. All i know is they were supposed to be dead but are still here! Lots of love, good immune support, and a lot of praying!
 
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terestrife

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I give both at the same time, i checked with the manufacturer. LifeGold wouldnt hurt, it says it's for cancers but it reduces oxidative stress and builds up the immune system too. You might check on it on the internet. You might go to the amazon site and see if they have a supplement specifically for low WBC count or for bone marrow, where the cells are made. All i know is they were supposed to be dead but are still here! Lots of love, good immune support, and a lot of praying!
May God bless them with many more happy and healthy years.

I will check on what you suggested, thank you!
 
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