When Kitty the 16yr old tabby cat showed signs lethargy, weight loss and lameness in her right leg, her concerned owners, the Wulf family brought her into the clinic for a check up. After initial examination Kitty's leg was found to be very painful and swollen around the hock (ankle) area.
We recommended that she be admitted to hospital for an x-ray under sedation so we could find out more about the source of her pain. Before Kitty was given a sedative, she had a blood test to check the function of her kidneys and liver and also to check her red and white blood cells among other things.
When the blood test results came back normal, we went ahead and took the x-rays of her sore leg. The x-rays showed that Kitty had a fracture in her fibula and a support bandage was placed on the injured area. Dr. Mullen was concerned about the fracture and showed the x-rays to a surgical specialist to get a second opinion. The surgeon was very suspicious that the cause of Kitty's fracture was due to a tumour.
Kitty's bandage stayed on for 1 month, however it was still very painful and swollen, so the area was x-rayed again. The new x-rays showed that Kitty now also had a fracture in her tibia which was suspected to be caused by a type of bone cancer. Our next concern was whether the cancer had spread elsewhere. X-rays were taken of the chest to make sure that cancer hadn't spread to the lungs and these were clear.
The vets at the clinic had a discussion with Kitty's family about her prognosis and a decision was made to amputate Kitty's leg. Her leg would never heal and this also gave us an opportunity to take a biopsy of the bone to find out exactly what type of tumour we were dealing with.
Kitty was placed on intravenous fluids during her surgery and her right hind leg was amputated. The bones in her leg were very brittle and shattered easily. A biopsy was taken of the bone at the fracture site of the tibia and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
Kitty only stayed in hospital for one day and then went home to her family to await the results of the biopsy.
When the results of the biopsy were ready we learnt that the fracture was seen to be caused by a benign bone tumour. Whilst it was unlikely that the tumour would spread to the lungs, it would continue to weaken Kitty's leg and cause a lot of pain. So we are very pleased that it has been removed and Kitty is now a very healthy and happy cat who is getting around well on three legs.