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so today my cat percy, 1 yrs old MALE, to the vet because he has been having an excessive licking issue on his stomach near his lower nipple. its too the point that all his fur is gone, about the size of a quarter and its pink. no blood that ive noticed, but there was a little scabbing. he has even started to lick his other nipple and he almost has 2 furless spots now. the vet diagnosed him with a mammary gland tumor after literally touching his stomach area for about 10 seconds. no other tests were given. he has scheduled percy for surgery on monday. ive been reading up on it and to my understanding my cat shows none of the symptoms that go along with it.

but at what point should i start to doubt this vets diagnosis?

1st. he shows none of the symptoms, such as not eating, lethargic, etc
2nd. hes not a senior or a siamese or a female. leaving him a very small, but still possible, chance of having a mammary tumor
3rd. although im not a vet, i believe its because of stress.
4th, he doesnt seem have have any lump-like things that i can feel. i compared him with my other cat it they seemed the same.

i was reading up on fur loss on the stomach near the nipple and there were three common possibilities listed: fleas, allergies, and stress.

hes indoors at ALL times, so it cant be fleas? (my other cat doesnt seem to be scracthing or showing symptoms of having fleas)
i eliminated allergies because he has been staying and eating the same food and staying in the same place all his life. and this excessive licking has only been happening for the past month or so.

i belive its stress because im a college student. i bring him back n forth every weekend from my apartment to home, which to my understanding is stressful since the cats environment is inconsistent. secondly, he is at home alone for 6-8 hours. i do leave him with toys etc and it got a little bit better, but now he is licking again.

can anyone help me? what should i do? i honestly have my doubts about this diagnosis and surgery would be completely unnecessary if it isnt a tumor, however if it is it could be bad if i keep holding out.
 

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Put the surgery on hold and get a second opinion. Waiting a day or two for the surgery won't make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the quick reply

its reassuring to know that a few days wont make a difference.

although i know no one here is really capable of making an actual diagnosis...i kind of would like to know your opinion on the situation? given the circumstances do you think that my cat really has a mammary gland tumor? or is just stressed...?

sorry im jsut really stressed out right now by this. i just recently lost my dog last year and the mere possibility of losing my cat so soon would be horrific.
 

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IMO, w/out definitive diagnostics like a biopsy, bloodtest, SOMETHING that is tested from your cat's body and that area in specific, then I feel this vet's diagnosis can only be a "best guess".
Either demand diagnostics from that vet or take Percy to another vet office for a 2nd opinion. I notice every time I bring a kitty in I have to fill out a general information sheet and one of the questions is "Has this pet been seen by another vet/clinic and if so, for what reason." THAT opens the door for 2nd opinion. You could also not say what the reason is at first, checking to see what these vets think the issue is. Afterwards, you could tell them what the other vet did/said and ask them to re-examine him with that information in mind.
You need to do this in a way that is non-confrontational or judgmental of the 1st vet. Purely factual: you want an unbiased 2nd opinion on such a serious diagnosis that was proclaimed with minimal confirmation of cause before you jump right into a surgery for your cat.
 

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Surgery isn't cheap. I really would look for a second opinion. Did you ask the vet why they came back with the diagnosis so quickly? I am no vet, but I don't really think that sounds like a proper exam. When I go to the vet, they try and rule everything out.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@kobster - wow....that worries me now :( do you happen to know how old that cat was? or the members name? thread/contact etc?
 

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thanks for the quick reply

its reassuring to know that a few days wont make a difference.

although i know no one here is really capable of making an actual diagnosis...i kind of would like to know your opinion on the situation? given the circumstances do you think that my cat really has a mammary gland tumor? or is just stressed...?
I don' t blame you for being skeptical. Such a fast diagnosis doesn't seem accurate, and hopefully it isn't. I'd definitely go to another vet for at least one more opinion. Some of the local vets here seem like opportunists, but I met at least one good one, that I will go to. Make some calls and/or visits to new vet offices to see if you can meet a good new vet. Don't tell any of them the previous diagnosis......just see what they have to say about it.
 

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I don't know if it's possible to detect mammary cancer from a physical exam only, and it might be. Still, I wouldn't want any cat undergoing surgery unless he or she had been given a full work up to determine the extent of the problem, whether or not surgery were the best option and whether the cat's health were good enough to undergo surgery. So, I too would seek another view.
 

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My [extremely limited] understanding of mammary carcinomas in male cats is that they can be aggressive, and it can sometimes be better to get whatever it is out of there first, then send it off for histopathology and make the diagnosis later. That said, as far as I know it is common to at least take some radiographs - it could be an infection or something else. I would not feel uncomfortable about getting a second opinion if it were my cat.

Just fyi though, as far as allergies are concerned, they can pop up at any time, though I think they most commonly begin between 6 months and 3 years and are not always associated with a change in food or environment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
update: so i just got a 2nd opinion from a family friend who is a vet. she said that she believes it is not a tumor and instead a skin allergy. but obviously she cannot know for sure without running tests. she has recommended me a vet that she knows well and ill be getting his opinion as well on tuesday.

but as far as she was concerned, she believed that vet who diagnosed my cat with a tumor had mistaken his fat for a tumor.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thanks for sharing...thats such a sad story :(

god speed to all of lincolns family and friends.
 

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This is an oppertunity to establish yourself with a vet who is savvy about cats. Id say most vets are dog oriented. Ask your vet friend who is the best cat vet. The universe has now told you it isnt the one who did the first diagnosis.
 

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It depends on how much I trusted the vet. I've been lucky enough to have the same Vet for over 30 years. I trust his best guess, and if that doesn't work out, then we go for diagnostic tests. But doing a surgery is a bit extreme with only a vet's best guess.
I hope everything works out well for your cat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
UPDATE: saw a third vet for a third opinion and he said that it was NOT a tumor. so now im am completely relieved. however my poor kitty is overweight haha. hes 16 lbs...so time to diet! thanks for everyones replies, it helped me a lot in this desperate situation. THANKS AGAIN!

heres a picture of my percy o tooles. hes 1 yr old and i saved him from the shelter.

 

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Get a new vet! They need to do a biopsy before confirming that. Even if docs right you can't tell by only feeling.

Unfort most vet offices are like retails stores. Docs need to bring in a certain amount of money to keep their hours. It's unfortunate but true.
 
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