Cancer sucks

Mr. Bell sleepingMr Bell got to spend the day today with the nice folks at Covington Creek, having surgery on his remaining ear and a dental (this is an old picture, as you can see). Warning–the pictures below are not very pleasant.
lesions on earMr Bell, like most white cats, is prone to cancer on his ears thanks to sun exposure. He lost his left ear in 2004, and his right ear was getting progressively worse as you can see in the image above. He was starting to reach a state of active lesions and the tumors on his ear were affecting his metabolic function, so it has high past time for that ear to go. (Note to white animal guardians–try to keep your animal inside whenever possible, and sunscreen areas like the ears and nose if they are likely to be exposed to sunlight. Keep a close eye on your animal’s physical condition and be prepared to take decisive action.)

Though the cancer on his ears was a type that should not metastasize, it did make his life unpleasant. At this precise moment in time he may think a cancerous ear is better than a post-surgical daze, but in a few days he will be feeling much better. His quality of life should improve eventually, without that painful burden.

I strongly urge pet guardians, especially those with older animals, to follow all surgical recommendations. Pre-operative bloodwork should always be performed to make sure your animal is in optimal condition for surgery. You should also request an iv catheter and fluids.

His teeth are in surprisingly good shape for a gentleman of his years, and though they did require extensive cleaning, no extractions were needed. Hooray!
post-pinnectomy day oneThe procedure he had is known as a pinnectomy (pinna for ear and ectomy for removal). Dr Jordan performed it with a laser, which is designed to cut down on pain, post operative healing time, and trauma to the surgical site. Right now he is still very out of it from his anesthesia–pet owners with animals recovering from anesthesia should make time to be with their animals in the first 12 hours after recovery, as well as feeding them approximately 1/3 of their regular food and offering them small amounts of water. If possible, confine the animal to a single room to limit the amount of possible mischief. Vomiting after anesthesia is common. Of course, follow all directives given by your veterinarian and ou staff.

I’ll be hanging out at home for the next few days to keep an eye on him and he should be feeling much better after he has expressed the anesthetics from his system.