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Hemangiosarcoma of the Bone in Cats

By: Dr. Jeffrey Philibert

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Optimal treatment of your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your cat does not improve rapidly.

You should limit your pet's activity to minimize pain and to prevent a pathologic fracture prior to definitive therapy. Your cat should not run, jump or play during this time and you should watch him carefully and provide assistance when climbing stairs or getting in and out of the car.

Administer all prescribed medications as directed. Alert your veterinarian if you are experiencing problems treating your cat. Your veterinarian should prescribe pain medications to ensure your pet's comfort either prior to definitive diagnosis and/or in the aftercare period from surgery. This can be through the use of pills or narcotic pain patches that are placed on the skin and release a constant level of pain medication across the skin.

After surgery, you will need to limit your pet's activity for at least 10 to 14 days or until the surgical site heals and the sutures or staples are removed. During this time, your cat should not climb stairs unattended, jump or play. You will also need to keep the surgical site clean and dry. Most cats go home on some form of pain control. Any questions you have about your cat during the postoperative period should be addressed with your veterinarian immediately.

Once healing has occurred, your cat can get back to exercising gradually. It may surprise you how quickly your pet begins to move about after surgery, but many feel so much better once the cancer is removed that they are up and acting normal within two to three days after surgery.

Whenever your pet has been diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, you should be aware of the potential of the cancer recurring somewhere else in the body. Your pet may also suffer bleeding episodes if one of these tumors ruptures. If this happens you should be prepared for the possibility of weakness and an acute collapse.

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