Lizard Injections - A word of caution
Recently my mother's cat developed a hard lump at the top of one leg, close to the shoulder joint. Read on....this isn't a cat story....
She took it to the vet two days ago (in Florida) and the vet has informed her it is a type of bone cancer. The leg cannot be amputated because of how high up the problem is on the leg and because this type of cancer is like an "octupus" with tentacles speading to other parts. The vet informed her that this type of fibrous bone cancer is thought to be caused by repeated injections, which is why when that vet needs to give injections it is always done lower on the leg, so if it happens at least amputation is still an option. Apparently cats are pre-disposed to having this type of cancer occur. The vet did not know the cat's history of repeated injections of prednisone for a skin problem before she said this...a bone biopsy will be done next week just to make sure that nothing else can be done.
Now for the lizard story:
For any of you that don't know us, we breed colour-morph Bearded Dragons. Three weeks ago I went in the Breeder room to do the morning feeding. Right away I noticed that one of my female snow's was holding her leg up and would not put any weight on it, I had her out the night before for some tlc and had not noticed any problems with her. I picked her up and it felt like her leg was dislocated. I couldn't understand how that would happen and called the Vet immediately. Thirty-Five min. later, I was at the vet with Monkey. An X-ray was done and I was informed that there were only two things that it could be...either a bone infection (which was doubtful because the vet saw no evidence of the surrounding bone "eaten" away, which you usually see with an infection), or bone cancer. I was told that amputation was not an option, once again because it was too high up on the leg. I was given a couple of options:
1)Leave it and see if it gets worse
2)Give her antibiotics for 4 weeks and pain meds...that way if it is a bone infection, the lump would be expected to go down.
3)Put her down immediately
4)Do a bone biopsy to confirm what the vet already thought (which I would not do to her, because once confirmed...still nothing could be done)
I decided to try the course of Baytril with pain meds. Now it's 3 weeks later and I still have seen no change in the size of the lump. I will have to make a decision at the end of this week, will go back to the vet and have another x-ray taken to compare the size.
Once I heard about my mother's cat yesterday, I realized that it's probably a similar case. Monkey had repeated injections of calcium and oxytocin over a year ago when she became egg-bound. The injections were given in high-up in that leg. She had at least 10 injections that I can remember, but am going to verify this with the vet tomorrow. Seems like lizards are pre-disposed to this type of cancer as well.
So....word of warning. When getting injections for lizards, cats and maybe other types of animals, ask if the injection can be given anywhere else. Either lower on the leg or elsewhere on the body. I may not be right about this, but I think it's more than a coincidence. The cancer could still develop, but by giving the injections lower on the leg...you keep your options open and may be able to save your animal.
Bringing color to your collection.....