Snow Leopard

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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

An Interesting Surgery with A Sad Outcome

Yesterday was a surgery day for me, as are most Fridays. I was extra happy to see that, besides the routine stuff, we had an exploratory on a 13 yr old cat. Though, admittedly, after reviewing the case, the odds were this wasn't going to turn out well for the cat.

This cat came in the day before for vomiting, lethargy and not eating. The doctor that saw her, felt a mass in her abdomen and there was an abnormal area seen on the abdominal radiograph. Blood work, as is usually the case with most masses/tumors, was completely normal. The next step was either ultrasound or exploratory. The odds are that the ultrasound would simply show a mass but not necessarily if it was surgically resectable. The best option was to just cut the cat!

So that's what I did.  First there was quite a bit of abnormal fluid in the abdominal cavity. It was cloudy and yellow in color, strongly indicative of infection.  Then I found the "mass" that we had palpated: 

It was coming off the colon but completely blocking it as well. It was very invasive and there was obvious spread of this cancer to the omentum (which is a cool "organ" that looks like a fine web of tissue - it acts as a band aid often times and will move to cover an injury, mass, etc) and the body wall. The omentum was adhered to this lesion as well.  There were little nodules EVERYWHERE. This mass had already become necrotic and was creating a lot of local inflammation.

The bottom line was that this was not something that could be surgically fixed even temporarily. The best thing was to euthanize the cat while he was sleeping, which the owner kindly gave us permission to do. 

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