house calls

Cancer knows no limit

By JOSEPH A. D’ABBRACCIO, D.V.M.
Posted 12/9/20

A year ago, I met a wonderful couple and their beloved cat, Ozzie. Ozzie and his family spend their time between their home in New Jersey and Jeffersonville, NY; they much prefer their Sullivan …

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house calls

Cancer knows no limit

Posted

A year ago, I met a wonderful couple and their beloved cat, Ozzie. Ozzie and his family spend their time between their home in New Jersey and Jeffersonville, NY; they much prefer their Sullivan County home over their New Jersey residence. They brought Ozzie to Catskill Veterinary Services in Rock Hill, NY to be evaluated for a tumor in his badly infected ear canal that was causing Ozzie some pretty unreasonable discomfort. After his consultation, we decided to perform a surgery called a total ear canal ablation (TECA) to remove the entire tumor and the ear canal structures. Ozzie did phenomenally well after his surgery. He was truly a model patient during the entire recovery process and, thankfully, the biopsy did not come back with cancer.

I continued to care for Ozzie over the year, performing his routine physical examinations and care. Ozzie was in to see me for the first of his biannual examinations in June and everything looked perfect. However, that positive report was very short-lived. In September, Ozzie’s family was very concerned that something odd was going on with his right eye. The eye seemed larger than the left and Ozzie was acting “off.” At that visit, we were able to further evaluate Ozzie and discovered that his one kidney was three times the size of the other kidney, and one of his eyes was indeed much larger than the other. We immediately started with some more advanced diagnostic testing, including sampling Ozzie’s kidney with a needle in order to find out what was going on. Within hours of obtaining the sample, we were able to confirm that Ozzie had lymphoma. Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatics, is often all over the body; in Ozzie’s case, it likely spread to his brain and spinal cord, given that his eyes had some concerning changes.

After an in-depth conversation and weighing all of the options, Ozzie’s family elected to move forward with chemotherapy. We discussed Ozzie seeing a veterinary oncology specialist to manage his condition. However, his family elected the treatment to start and continue at Catskill Veterinary Services.

Since September, Ozzie has visited Catskill Veterinary Services once a week to receive a variety of infusions to help fight his cancer. He is truly one of our best feline patients and has done amazingly well during his treatment. Ozzie has continued to have an excellent quality of life and has maintained his appetite, outgoing personality and his body weight.

We are hopeful that Ozzie continues to do well during his chemotherapy. Chemotherapy in animals is not nearly as scary as it is for humans; animals often handle the treatments well and are able to maintain a good quality of life. Many animals would not be alive today without chemotherapy. If your pet has cancer, I strongly recommend speaking with a veterinarian who is comfortable with chemotherapy to best understand the options.

Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC

www.facebook.com/CatskillVeterinaryServices

www.catskillvetservices.com

drjoe@catskillvetservices.com

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