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Old 04-06-04, 09:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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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.

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Old 04-07-04, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Great post! I am sorry for your Monkey and your mom's cat. It is always hard to have a sick pet.
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Old 04-07-04, 12:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear about your pets. But now I have more to worry about with my dog. She gets daily injections of insulion anyway she's diabetic, I have to give her a shot every morning.
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Old 04-07-04, 01:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks Dani33....it is hard. The cat's name is Katey. I gave her to my mother eight years ago and am very attached to her. I was sitting on a friend's patio, when she came flying down from the 7th floor balcony of the building beside us. Someone had tried to drown her and then threw her off the balcony. She had a broken jaw, fractured face and multiple other broken bones. I knew I would not be able to afford all the vet's bills she was going to need and decided the best place for her was with my mother. For a cat that's been through so much....what a great personality. I am still hoping for the best, but it's very doubtful that the biopsy will tell us anything new.

As for monkey, obviously it's hard. I don't want to lose her, but also don't want to keep her alive in pain if there is no chance that she will get better. I will be making an appointment with the Vet for the end of next week to discuss her progress (if any), and will then have to come to a decision. I am also going to be asking the Vet about what I have heard and what I suspect. We will see what she says.

Rebecca, as for your dog.....from what I understand some types of animals are pre-disposed to having this type of cancer and some are not. I don't know about dogs, it wasn't mentioned...but I am going to try and get more information from my mother's vet. Where do you give the injections? If you are concerned, run the idea past your Vet and see what he/she says.

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Old 04-07-04, 01:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's always on her sides. Not in the exact same spot, everyday. I'm guessing that it's not a big risk of it because my vet never said anything to me. I was re-reading my post and I just wanted to say I am sorry for your pets. I do know how you feel and it sucks big time.
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Old 04-07-04, 02:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, your having to go through this and i wish you and your animals the best of luck. Thank your for sharing this information as i'm sure alot of people (myself included) has probably never heard of this. Please keep us updated on the info you find out, and my fingers are crossed that it's just an infection and not cancer.

Good luck

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Old 04-07-04, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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.

Reason vets give shots on the lower part of the legs, is like you said. If an animal has a reaction to say a vaccine or having reactions much like here, then it is easier to amputate a leg when it is not in an area that hinders a surgery.

Also, vaccines are given in certain areas of the body in order to keep an eye on reactions. If they see a reaction on a certain part of the body, a vet can say "OK, this was caused by the rabies shot" or whatever the case may be. Many vets do not use this method, but it is generally accepted by most to administer shots in given areas.

Also, if your getting your animals vaccines or shots for others reasons, you just have to understand that there is a risk still involved. Although the chances of seeing problems like this are low. I believe ICULIZARD has had a bit of bad luck in this area as it seems. Yet, out of the thousands of shots given, there are just a fraction of these problems that arise. This is also dependent on what was given, how often and how it was administered.

Quote:
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.
I do not see how the doc did not know? Anytime a person sees a vet, they are generally questioned by a nurse to get a basic overall history and for a general idea of why you are coming in. This is what gives the doc an idea of where to start when they see your pet.

Anyhow...your apparent problems do suck, and hope they work out as best they can for all involved.
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Old 04-07-04, 07:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks everyone for your kind words.....it is appeciated.

C.m.pyrrhus: I noticed you are in the States and think that may have something to do with the difference in techniques. The cat received the injections in Canada....and received them high up on the leg. Same with Monkey, Canadian Vet and the shot was administered high up in the leg. As far as I know, there is no reason that the injections could not have been done lower.

I am definately not saying that anytime your animal is given a shot that they will have this problem... We now know that some animals are more likely to develop this problem with "repeated" injections.

The Vet in the States was the one that mentioned about the benefits of giving shots lower in the leg, until that time we had never been told that was a better method.

The vet in Florida was not given a complete history initially as my mother was very upset and wanted to get her looked at immediately. She also did not think that the injections had anything to do with the problem as we had never been told to expect a reaction like this. (My mother is usually very stong, but when it comes to her animals it's very hard for her...not to mention that she lost a cat to a coyote attack just over two years ago....very traumatic as they only found the head)

Anyway, I will post with any new information. Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-04, 08:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have never seen any injection done in the upper portion of the leg in the clinic I am working at...
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