Lily is a 6 year old domestic shorthaired cat that has a white coat which makes her prone to skin cancer. Her owner Shirley is aware of this and has been instructed to regularly examine Lily for spots that may be pre-cancerous, particularly on her nose, ears or eyes. She has also been restricting Lily's exposure to sunlight and applying pet sunscreen to her nose and ears when she is allowed in the sun.
Even though Shirley was careful to take these precautions, when Lily came for her annual checkup in December last year, a small black spot was found on her nose and the edges of her ears were thickened and scarred from long term sun damage. These were pre-cancerous lesions.
Our vet advised Shirley that the best treatment for Lily was to surgically remove the edges of Lily's ears and freeze the spot on her nose under general anaesthetic. That way the cancerous cells would be removed or killed and it would halt the progression of the skin cancer.
Lily was also in need of a "dental" because there was a build up of tartar on her back teeth and two of her canine teeth were diseased and required extraction. Therefore, it was decided that the three procedures be performed on the same day under the one anaesthetic.
In order to reduce the risks of the anaesthetic, we recommended that Lily have a pre-anaesthetic blood test to check that her kidney, liver and other body systems were functioning well. This was done the day before the scheduled procedure so that the results were ready beforehand. Fortunately the results showed no significant abnormalities.
As a second precautionary measure we also put Lily on intravenous fluids during the procedure so that her blood pressure did not drop much under the anaesthetic.
The anaesthetic and procedures went well. The edges of Lily's ears were resected and stitched. The spot on her nose was frozen with the liquid nitrogen cryotherapy unit.
Her teeth were scaled with an ultrasonic scaler and polished, and the diseased teeth were removed. Lily went home with an Elizabethan collar around her head to prevent her scratching at her ears while the stitches were in.
Lily returned to have her stitches removed 2 weeks later, and she was recovering as expected. Now Lily's ears, nose and mouth have healed well and she has returned to her bright and happy self.