Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cat-Related Semi-Panicked Question

Zelda the Cat: Trouble on Four Legs

October 15: Zelda the Cat gets rabies and distemper shots. We opt against feline leukemia shot for various reasons.

 October 29: I noticed that Zelda the Cat has a lump on her right leg, about where the rabies shot is given. Dr. Google says that it could be nothing or it could be a deadly cancer (!) and we should amputate the leg immediately. I call the vet. Vet says wait two weeks and call if lump is still there.

Yesterday, November 13: Lump still there. I call vet. We go in and the vet says, huh, your cat has a lump there. She biopsies the lump, tells me this is "not uncommon, although I've never seen it," tells me it's probably just a weird reaction to the rabies vaccine, and sends me home with the cat.

Minutes ago! The lab tech from the vet office here in SmallTown, Wisconsin calls me to tell me that they, the two local technicians, do not feel comfortable saying that it is for sure a reaction to the rabies vaccine and that they want to send it out to another pathologist. The "cells are uniform, but there are unusual granules in the sample" according to the tech who called me. I told them to send it to the pathologist (of course!) and the tech said I would hear back in 4-5 days.

My question for you: Should I be panicking? I must admit I've only been watching this lump because I googled it and it sounded like it could be really bad. The lump is about pea sized. Two weeks ago it was bright red and today its pinkish. She doesn't seem to care if we touch it so I don't think it hurts her. She's grooming, eating, and being a monster normally.

I know, I know. In 4-5 days we will know more, but I want to be prepared in case this turns out to be awful.  Help!!!


  1. Obviously, I'm not a vet, but it seems highly coincidental that the lump is on the same leg Zelda got her rabies vaccination. I'm hoping it's just a reaction and everything is all right.

    A few years ago, Abby had a weird black lump on her gums that the vet said he'd never seen before and when he biopsied it, said it just appeared to be full of fluid but that he didn't get a big enough sample to tell for sure. The lump came back relatively quickly but then inexplicably disappeared.

    Here's hoping Zelda's lump ends up being nothing.

  2. I don't know much about this stuff but I do understand you worrying about Zelda. I'm hoping that it is nothing but a pea sized lump that goes away soon. (And maybe before you have to spend a whole bunch of money on tests!)

  3. I wouldn't worry just yet, cat's have weird immune systems. They're nothing like humans or dogs. If the lump isn't in the muscle, just under the skin, even if it is bad it would be easy to remove. If it's in the muscle, it probably isn't a tumor, it probably just is a vaccine reaction.

    Don't stress yet.

  4. If I were in your position, I would be panicking and crying and whispering, "please be okay" in Zelda's little ear, but then I tend to be an overreacting fool. Feel free to use me as your guide in how not to be.

    But from a rational distance, I agree with Pickles and Dimes. It would be awfully coincidental for Zelda to develop cancer right after and in the same spot where she got her rabies shot. Also it seems a good sign that the lump is looking progressively better and that she doesn't seem sick at all. Anything out of the ordinary should be checked out, but you're doing that, so you should try not to worry.

  5. I agree with the other comments. The fact that it was red and now is only pink and that she doesn't experience discomfort when you touch it are all good signs.

    I hope you get the all clear soon!


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