Daffodil has a tumour

It had been there since the end of January 2017. At least that’s when I first felt it when I tried to carry Daffodil.  Instinctively, I immediately called the vet for an appointment but he was fully booked and about to go on leave.

After pondering over it, especially at her age (Daffodil is estimated to be about 17 years old now – we have looked after her for more than 5 years now, her feeders at the playground says they have been feeding her for at least 10 years and she was a kitten when they first started to feed her), we decided to leave it alone since Daffodil was happy, eating and certainly still very active.

At her age, anaesthesia would be a big risk. Anything invasive would be a risk.

We have been monitoring it every few days, though. The lump seemed to have stayed the same size.

Yesterday, it burst.

And we wouldn’t even have known about it if we hadn’t decided to trim her nails. When we carried her up, we saw the lump and pus was seeping out of it.

After this, there were blood stains all over the floor.

But Daffodil remained happy and very active. She didn’t seemed to be the least bothered by it.

I quickly sent the photo to four vets (yesterday was a Sunday) and asked if Daffodil required immediate medical attention. Three of the vets replied to say it didn’t look too serious. One suggested that we press out the pus gently. All four vets said there was no urgency and that I could wait until today (Monday) to bring her in.

It certainly looked like an abscess.

Today, right after work, Jia-Wen drove me to the vet’s. It was a long drive and surprisingly, Daffodil hardly made a sound in the car. She was so, so good.

The vet felt the lump and said it wasn’t an abscess. It is a tumour. It felt hard. She suggested surgery to remove it. But to play it safe, of course Daffodil should do blood work and a echocardiogram to check her heart first. It could be cancer. However, the risks would be the anaesthesia (at Daffodil’s age), her heart, her kidneys and liver might be adversely affected and also, if it is cancer, any invasive procedure could potentially cause the cancer to spread. We also do not know if it had already spread, because as we all know, cancer takes years to develop.

I didn’t want to make a decision too quickly and the vet did say we could wait a month before deciding. Meanwhile, Daffodil is put on Clavomox (an antibiotic) to address the infection (which appears to be mild now) and the vet cleaned up the wound with povidone iodine.

Since Daffodil could take the car ride, we decided to seek a second opinion. So, off we drove all the way to another clinic.

At this clinic, the wait was very long. Daffodil took it all in her stride.

The vet examined her lump and concurred that it is a tumour. But he also listened to her heart and opined that her heart isn’t in a condition favourable for surgery. We weighed the pros and cons and the vet was not in favour of putting Daffodil through surgery. That would be his professional opinion though he did say that either way would not be wrong if our intentions were for Daffodil’s wellbeing. Opting for surgery with the hope that it would be spread was not wrong. But the risks of surgery were too high. What if it already had spread, then surgery wouldn’t help and would cause unnecessary discomfort and even harm. There were too many risks involved in surgery – Daffodil’s age, she might not even wake up after the surgery, toxicity of the anaesthesia to her kidneys and liver, her heart isn’t exactly in an optimum condition for surgery and what if the tumour turned out to be benign and we could have just left it as it is?

There are just too many risks.

The vet felt the lump and said it was connected to the muscle so it would be very difficult to make a clean cut. If a clean cut could not be made, the chances of the disease (if any) spreading would be very high.

I asked if it was breast cancer (the first vet did mention this, because Daffodil was only spayed when we moved here, which would put her age at about 10 years at the time), the vet said it looked more like skin cancer. He mentioned squamous cell carcinoma as a possible diagnosis.

Daffodil also lived for at least 10 years on the streets before we moved here. We do not know her background except for what little her feeders have told us. Daffodil’s entire family was captured when a neighbour called the authorities, only Daffi escaped and she was a little kitten then. Her feeders also did not manage to catch Daffodil (for 10 whole years) to get her spayed. According to them, Daffodil had many, many litters of kittens and none survived except Rosie, Ginger and one more prodigal male child, whom I called Benson. I only saw Benson a few times over some weeks years ago (the feeder said Benson was from an earlier batch) and he was a street fighter. I did blog about Benson during that time.

While we were waiting for our turn, a friend sent me many links on cat cancers.

Here are some of them:

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/3-most-common-cancers-cats

http://m.petmd.com/cat/conditions/cancer/c_ct_mast_cell_tumor

After weighing the pros and cons (definitely more cons), we decided to leave it alone for now. We will give Daffodil the Clavomox for one week to address the infection (as evidenced by the redness and the pus). The vet said we could also put the “golden paste” (turmeric powder mixed with water) onto the lump and leave it for 5 minutes twice-thrice a day, give Daffodil Denzo (papase, which is very safe and is an anti-inflammatory) as well as Maximus Hep (curcumin) and Squalene (omega-3 oil), both of which I still have some, left over from Rosie’s.  Vetri DMG might help too and I’ve already started giving her this.

We will clean the lump twice a day with the Biosilver spray (there is also another product called Microcyn, but we are not opting for this yet).

Daffodil hiding at the vet’s while we discussed options for her.

Daffodil’s weight was 3.75kg today.

The vet said if Daffodil were his pet, he wouldn’t operate. Just let her live out her natural life and be comfortable and happy. After all, she is already at least 16 years old (probably 17).

So we drove home and Daffodil sat obediently in the car.

Everyone had a good meal (it was a little later than usual).

That’s the lump at the armpit.

I had foreseen it being very hard to pill Daffodil since I’ve never pilled her before. Her only trips to the vet was (1) to be spayed and (2) when she had a bit of cough and we brought her and it turned out to be nothing. So, Daffodil has never been pilled before all her life.

The first vet managed to give her the Clavomox without any problem and just now, I managed to give her the Denzo without much struggle. Thank goodness for this.

Our hope is that the lump will not cause Daffodil much discomfort. We also hope it will not spread. And we certainly hope that this decision is the best, in Daffodil’s interest.

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