Trust me: The word "suspicious" isn't a word you want used in relation to any kind of lump or bump you find on a cat. But that's the term that's being tossed around about a spot deep inside my Maggie's mouth, and at this point, I'm not quite sure what we'll do about it.
The whole saga started on Saturday morning, when Maggie threw up her breakfast (all over the wall, by the way). Projectile vomiting isn't something I take lightly, so I prized open Maggie's mouth to pop in some hairball medications.
Now, these photos are blurry, but here's a peek at what I found.
There's a great, big, red, angry spot on the back of her mouth, right by her teeth. Off to the vet we went.
To say I was shocked is probably an understatement. Maggie is a very good-natured and cheerful cat. She always tries to put a good spin on things, and she rarely makes a fuss. So I didn't see many signs of illness prior to finding this spot. She's been playful, affectionate and cheerful. She's been eating a little less and sleeping a little more, but that's about it.
She was a peach during her exam, too, letting the doctor hold her mouth wide open while we looked.
But unfortunately, what we saw looked a little like a tumor. It's big, fleshy and open. That's when the word "suspicious" came into play. Speckles and spots like this look a lot like cancer.
But, the spot also looked a little green and infected. That means it wasn't a great time to take a biopsy. Doing so could allow the infection to spread, and it might make healing hard for her.
So I was sent home with antibiotics and strict instructions to watch my girl. A best-case (but unlikely) scenario would be that the spot I saw was some kind of ruptured abscess, and if it was, she'd heal up with the help of the meds. But instead, I'm seeing a worst-case scenario.
That bump is a little less green, but it's still very much in place. And Miss Maggie doesn't want me to look in her mouth anymore. She's not eating very well. And she is struggling with her voice, it seems. I'm wondering if this is cancer, and if so, if it's spreading.
So we're headed back to the office on Friday, Miss Maggie and I, and I'll see what the next steps are for her. Squamous cell carcinomas in cats are staggeringly difficult to treat, from what I understand, and Maggie hid hers (if that's what it is) for so long that the treatment options are limited.
I'm not sure what will happen.
Update: It was not cancer. Yay! See more here.