The vet called yesterday at the end of the work day to say that the 2 tumors removed were cancerous, but that the pathology showed clear margins. She (and us) assumed they probably would be cancerous, since he already had that lump on his chest removed last April that was. But, (and there was a lot she explained to me and my scribbling notes as I tried to listen and write aren't very good) there are some concerns with it all.
She said these 2 removed were metastasized from an original primary skin tumor. The unknown is whether or not the original tumor is the one removed last April and she also said the vets notes on the pathology were just notes, not the pathology report itself, so not 100% if it all was clear margins the first time. I said the vet just told me they thought he got it all...She said it's also typical that these 2 she took out would have come from another primary skin tumor, not a tumor inside him. BUT, usually those would have shown up within a shorter period of time, say 2-3 months. I said well, he so much fur and it's so long, is it likely we could have just not noticed it? (the only way to notice something like that on him is to feel around). She said well, they were pretty small, so they probably haven't been there too long.
She said these were the size of peas. Then I was confused. I said well that one on his side had gotten pretty big? She said well, he did also have some of those fatty cysts (I can't remember the name for those) and I aspirated them. I'm said "oh!! ok! did you do that his first visit a few weeks ago?" yes, she did. I said ok, that explains it! When the vet tech came out to get him she asked me where the tumors were that were being removed and I said well, I'm not exactly sure, I wasn't shown and he had 2 that were to be removed and other(s) that were just the benign cysts. I started to feel around for that big lump (which seemed hard to me everytime I felt it and getting bigger) and could not find it. I couldn't remember which side it was on. Then dh started feeling for it and couldn't find it. We were like what the heck?! how are we missing this big lump?! Well, she had drained it with a needle on his first visit. She may have told me this at that visit, but when you are standing out in the snowing 17 degrees, I could have missed that part.
She also said if it were a tumor elsewhere, like his lung, his lymphnodes would be enlarged and they are not and his blood work they did before the surgery was all good. She said, if we want, we could have more diagnostics done. A chest and abdomen xray that they can do in their office and also an ultrasound, done at a specialist vet and see if they see anything inside that is a tumor. May or may not find anything and if they do, again it's a may or may not be able to do anything about it.
Like she said, these tumors on his skin are TYPICAL of just being metastasized from another skin tumor. Tumors inside don't typically spread to a skin tumor, well they can she said, but it's in very late stages and you'd have known long before they showed up he was sick and had cancer. But, what is the mystery to her is why it took from April to now for them to show up. I know they have been on there at least a couple months. It was a good close to 3 months ago we noticed lumps (but honestly, I think the ones we noticed were the benign ones). End of Nov we had the cat in that other vet and I made the appt to have his lumps checked out and cat neutered for end of Dec.
So, what to do? She said the xray runs about $175 and the ultrasound at one specialist is $275 and at another in the city it's $480. And it's very possible they won't show any problem inside. We could just keep an eye on him and keep checking for any new lumps, but again, if there is, it's because most likely there is some other original SKIN tumor. Well, that's my understanding of everything she explained.
It basically sounds like what's throwing her "off" on it all is that these 2 small tumors she just removed came so many months after the tumor he had removed last April 27th with the other vet. She also said that the pathology on both of these she removed have clean margins, so that is also good.
We don't know what to do. He will be 10 years old in July. If they are able to find a "source" of the skin tumors and it can be removed, are we really going to extend his life span at this point? Ugh.