Mo is approx 5-6 yrs old, we've had him for 4 years. Had a few minor incidents over the years, but nothing too major. Mo lost his cagemate, Bear, this past April from bladder stones, so we attempted pairing him w/ Mortar. That lasted about 2 months when we had to separate them after a scuffle that drew some blood and involved a bit of a tumble. I took Mo to the vet the next day after noticing his left nipple seeming kind of engorged and oozing fluid. Vet palpated it and the swelling went down significantly. Gave us Baytril and directions to palpate daily. Fast forward to now, three months later, and I'm attempting to trim Mo's nails. He's wriggling non-stop and I let him go when I notice a little bit of blood on my thumb. I figure I cut a nail too short, but when I look closer it's not coming from any nails but instead his nipple. I palpated it a bit and was able to release a good bit of blood and fluid. I feel like a total idiot. How I've missed this is beyond me, but it seems obvious to me now that this isn't just "soft tissue trauma," as initially thought. Of course now my first thought is a mammary tumor. It doesn't look like an obvious lump to me, but there is definitely a sort of very small mass that moves when you probe around w/ your fingers. I had thought this was just swelling, or maybe even an organ or ligament before. As far as his general health goes, you'd never know anything was up with him. He still runs his Nascar zoomies around the cage, eats like a champ, and loves to get his brothers wound up by poking his head and butt through the shared cage walls. So now I'm stuck wondering what I should do. He's approaching his elder years and he seems very content. Bear had struggled post-surgery and ended up not making it, so I'm hesitant to even contemplate surgery. I need some opinions from the GL's peeps. I'll feel better if I go the vet prepared, but I don't want to rush into it just yet.
Here are some pics I attempted to get. Mo really didn't appreciate having his manly-bits being photographed, but I promised him I'd crop them out so you guys would only see his tummy. :) In the pictures it's the nipple on our right (Mo's left, he's laying on his back).
Not the greatest picture, but trying to give you an idea of what his nipple looks like at first glance.
Close up of nipple
This one is blurry, but you can kind of see what I mean by a "small mass" when I use my fingers to palpate a bit.
Any thoughts? Thanks guys!
And for good measure, here's a more flattering picture of Mo, decked out for the holidays nonetheless.
Your pics are very good. Let me know if I can add them to this thread.
See what your vet says. It sounds like he has a lot of life left in him!
- You can quote me
She did a fine needle aspirate and there were "questionable" cells there. She removed it cleanly, sent it out for histo and it came back malignant.
I don't blame you one bit for being extremely cautious about any surgery. This one, however, is one of the easier ones, IME, to recover from. They don't have to go very far in to get it.
Fast forward now to this past Sunday. We had Mo out earlier with us and he was doing fine. His gimp leg hasn't really slowed him down at all and hasn't impeded him in any way, so we had opted to just keep an eye on in. Sunday night I go up to feed the boys and I see a red raw mess on the end of Mo's foot. His rear middle toenail was completely gone. After freaking out, I went through the routine of cleaning it up and examining it. The only thing that made sense to me at the time was that it must have gotten caught on something and tore off. There was blood in his hidey house, but no where else, so that kind of threw me off. But really that was all I could think of. I started him on Baytril and a little bit of metacam, and I bandaged up the foot w/ gauze and vet wrap. Mo was not pleased. Not at all.
For the next two days I changed the dressing daily and continued w/ the meds, and the toe, though looking awfully sore, was showing signs of healing. Last night after the first foot soak I took Mo out side into the yard and we hung out for a bit - he was running around, eating grass, and enjoying freedom from the dreaded booty-bandage. Before bedtime, I re-bandaged him but he chewed it off after about 10 minutes. So I opted to try out the evening w/o it. This morning, the hubs pops his head into the bedroom while I'm half asleep and informs me that Mo is now missing another toe.
It seems that he's chewing off his toes. I'm horrified and stumped. I called the vet right away and we saw the doc this morning. The only thing we can figure is that he lost feeling in his foot and for some reason he feels it necessary to remove the toes. They're keeping Mo today to amputate back to healthy tissue, as he had chewed to expose bone.
And of course through it all, Mo is still happy go lucky and insistent on scritches and food. His weight has been steady the past three days and he's still eating and pooping normally. He's in his hidey house more than usual, but otherwise he's acting as if nothing's wrong. Momma, on the other hand, is a hot mess.
Has anybody by chance experienced anything like this before? I'm at a complete loss. It didn't seem to make sense to me that Mo would chew at his toe, which is why I assumed it was a torn nail that first time. But this morning seemed to throw that theory completely out the window. I mean...his toe was hanging by sinew. It was...graphic. Granted, though, there was very little blood. Hardly any, even. None in the cage, but a tiny bit in his hidey house (there's a fleece bad). Any ideas?
So sorry for the two of you. It must seem pretty awful.
My regular doc isn't in today, so the vet who is working w/ me is going to talk to the other docs today (they have a weekly staff meeting every Wed) and get their feedback (hopefully my reg. doc will be there as well). No surgery today, and not until we have a better formed plan of action. I'd prefer my reg doc do the surgery anyhow.
Closer look at the staples/incision point:
And Mo chatting away w/ Jacques about his craaaaaazy day: