Lumps found on Smokey

There are some cats that you feel you have known for so long that they have become apart of your family. This is how it is with Smokey, a beautiful big grey and white domestic short-haired boy who is now nearly 14 years old. Quite a few years ago Smokey was diagnosed with feline AIDS. He has not been showing any clinical signs of the disease to date, but having wonderful owners who bring him in regularly to have anything unusual checked, results in many problems being diagnosed early and treatment being more aggressive (ie. a longer course of antibiotics).

Recently Smokey's owner noticed that there was an unusual lump under the left shoulder area. It was a fleshy looking raised area that did not seem overly irritating to Smokey. A fine needle aspirate was performed to get some cells to send off to the pathologist to identify what it was. The results were suggestive of an inflammatory process, but a cancer of inflammatory cells could not be ruled out as there were some cells that were poorly differentiated. A trial on an anti-inflammatory dose of cortisone tablets was recommended for Smokey as a first step to rule out an allergy or inflammation and a recheck booked for two weeks.

At Smokey's recheck it was noted that there were more lumps forming and that the previous lump had not been resolved on the cortisone tablets. It was advised that a biopsy be taken under a general anaesthetic to try and determine their cause and to try to rule out cancer. A blood test was collected from Smokey to ensure that the kidneys and liver were able to cope with the anaesthetic being an older cat.

On the morning of the surgery, Smokey was placed on fluids and given pre-medication to make him more relaxed. He had an injectable anaesthetic and was then intubated and maintained on oxygen and anaesthetic gas. Multiple biopsies were taken of the lumps to ensure that a diagnosis could be made and the results were luckily indicative of an inflammatory process, with no evidence of cancerous cells.

Smokey's case illustrates that while a fine needle aspirate is a very valuable tool when diagnosing whether a lump is cancerous or inflammatory, often a biopsy provides more information due to the larger sample taken.

Smokey's wounds healed well and some cortisone cream was dispensed so that the owners could apply to any further lumps that develop in the future. Smokey is also continuing to be completely pampered at home by his lovely owners.