About two weeks ago I noticed something strange with my cat Gemini. She had a lump on her leg. It was about the size of a walnut, and very hard. It almost seemed like an extra joint. I assumed that something might have happened to a joint, and that her body caused a swelling around it. So we headed to the vet. Gemini was very scared but very good. She didn't scratch, bite, hiss or growl. She did stress shed though.
The vet told us when she looked her over that Gemini had something called fibrosarcoma. Fibrosarcoma is a cancerous tumor that can develop in felines, under or around skin and other fiborous tissues within the body such as tendons. In some cases, as with Gemini, it can be caused by vaccinations of varying types. You can find more information about Vaccine-Associated feline sarcoma here.
We never noticed the tumor growing, because it took a pattern around her leg wrapping itself flush against the muscle. These types of tumors can slowly grow for years without detection, and then suddenly flare up without warning. We had no idea and I feel so guilty about it.
The solution to the problem is amputaion.
Our vet at NorthSprings Animal Hospital said they'd take care of it, but upon the sugeron coming in and the two looking it over again together, they decided that they just didn't feel comfortable doing it. The problem being that Gemini is a terribly petite cat, and in being so they're worried about removing the leg and not having enough muscle tissue avaliable to cover the then exposed pelvis. The only option from there is to remove a chunk of her pelvis in addition to her leg.
She goes in tomorrow, and to be honest, I'm kind of terrified I won't see her again. The doctor we're taking her to is a board certified endocrinologist, and has done this kind of thing many times. I shouln't be worried, but I am. In the long run I think it's just me feeling scared for Gemini. I'm hoping in pulling off this surgury that she'll power through the discomfort of post surgery and continue to thrive, as the vets have reassured me she will.
So, here's to you Gemini. We'll miss your leg, but to be honest we'd rather loose 1/5th of you than all of you my sweet kitty. I love you.