Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard
Snow Leopard cub (7 mos old) - Cape May County Zoo

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This is NOT Feline Asthma

Just for fun, I thought I'd share some x-rays with you. These are from a 12yr old cat, who had worsening signs of what the owner and previous vets had thought was asthma. Now, this cat had "asthma" for years. 

The owner mentioned a few key things that told us we needed some chest films- notably a significant change in the frequency and severity of these signs and some new signs - PLUS the age of this cat. 

There is a mass in the chest above and behind the base of the heart

This mass can be seen on the left side of the chest

This cat's current problem was NOT asthma. There was clearly a mass like lesion in the lung fields. Without a sampling of cells from that area (ie, referral to a specialist), there is no way to say with 100% certainty but this lesion is NOT consistent with asthma or infection and is MOST likely cancer (primary or metastatic but either way NOT good!).

In any case, steroids are the treatment of choice and will provide some relief and possibly some shrinkage of the mass - at least for a time.

Note: VERY unlikely this lesion was there for years. The cat may have had asthma for most of it's life but one can't assume   the same thing is going on even if it "sounds" similar. Sometimes the smallest thing an owner tells you can be a HUGE clue to go further. It's why it's important to find a doctor that TRULY listens!

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