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Pet of the Month: Piper!

January 16, 2013

Piper, a 13 year old Scottish Fold, is not accustomed to being “ordinary” with her unique folded ears.

Piper’s family very recently came home one night to find that Piper had a very swollen paw. Since Piper is strictly an indoor cat and usually stays out of trouble, it was immediately evident that this could be more than an injury. Radiographs of the paw revealed a small hole in the bone of her radius (wrist). A sample of the swelling was taken (using a small needle) and sent to a pathologist for analysis to determine the cause. The sample that was collected looked very much like joint fluid and this was confirmed by the pathologist. Since it is very unusual to find joint fluid out in the soft tissue area, it was determined that the swelling and the hole in her bone were related.

The two options for Piper were a bone biopsy of her radius or amputation of her affected leg. After a lot of consideration, amputation was chosen by her family, in an attempt to spare her the recovery from a bone biopsy that could ultimately be followed by amputation anyway. This decision was based on the high likelihood that the hole in the bone was caused by cancer, and the inevitable possibility of a fracture occurring due to bone loss. The histopathology results revealed a synovial cell sarcoma, a very very rare cancer of the cells of the joint cartilage – reaffirming that amputation was the correct choice for her. This type of cancer has only been known to be reported in three cats, based on current Veterinary literature. Piper recovered quickly from her surgery and was back to exploring her house within days. Though she sometimes needs a little assistance getting up onto the bed, she is back to living a happy stress-free life that is also free of pain.

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