is a 14-plus-year-old feline sharing her life with her
caretaker Stefanie. Some time ago Stefanie found a small
dark and soft mass on the top of Angelís head and
about six months ago it grew quite visibly to about the
size of a quarter at its base and three quarters of an
inch high. It is now pink in color, soft and as Stefanie
puts it, squishy. She wants to know whether or not she
should be concerned.
simple answer is yes. At this point, we do not know what
type of mass is growing on Angelís head or if it could
be cancerous. The fact that it has changed character and
appears to be growing is concerning.
needs surgery to have the mass removed. This will
require an anesthesia, but from Stefanieís
description, it does not sound like it will be a major
procedure. Still, Angel is 14 years old and needs to be
treated differently than a 2-year-old when preparing for
an anesthetic procedure and the procedure itself.
older patients I like to check body functions first.
This is tailored to each individual but usually includes
blood work and testing to check for proper heart
function. This more accurately assesses anesthetic risk,
which then allows us to make adjustments as necessary.
All patients need to be assessed for risk. Just because
everything appears to be normal does not mean there is
not some underlying problem.
surgical removal of Angelís tumor, a biopsy will be
performed on the mass. With this information, we can
give a prognosis.
important component of Angelís surgery is pain
management. It is very important to control pain to
further good healing. Proper pain control is based on an
assessment of the likely level of pain that a particular
procedure might induce. In Angelís case, medication
likely will be needed before the procedure, followed
with medication after and an oral preparation to be
given for a few days at home.