All of Woody's bloodwork and cyst-fluid analysis was done at our state's Veterinary University lab. It showed he's in good health (not diabetic, no kidney disease, no cancer, no immune deficiency), and all that my vet and his staff could conclude from the slightly-elevated white blood cell count was that this cyst may be an allergic reaction to something (but we don't know what). Both my vet and I agree that the only way to really get rid of the cyst may be to do it surgically, but it's risky surgery because of it's location near his carotid artery and esophagus. He said that even though it isn't cancerous, he'd recommend that I contact an oncologist to evaluate Woody for surgery because only an oncologist would have the necessary skills to perform the surgery. I did call the oncologist, but am reluctant to proceed until absolutely necessary because of the risk.
As a side note, I mentioned that the vet thought this might be an allergic reaction to something, but I'm wondering if it's stress-related. My husband and I recently retired, and have more time to spend at our cottage. We never took our cats with us before because we were never gone long enough to justify disrupting their 'routine'. But this past year, we started taking both of our cats with us when we go, mostly because of Woody. In recent years, he would get so stressed out when we'd be gone on vacayion that he would vomit and/or refuse to use the little box, even though we had family coming over once or twice a day to take care of them. Not good for him, and not good for his caregivers!
Woody loves to travel in our van, but he's mostly a homebody and I know he'd just as soon not go to the cottage. Our other cat, Madjka, doesn't like to travel so much, but she loves being at the cottage as much as she likes being at home. I love having them both with me wherever we're at, but it's been a real dilemma to know what's best for both of them.
When we travel, we keep them things as regular for them as possible -- I bring their food, food dishes, toys, even water from home -- so that everything is as familar as possible. We travel through the night if we have to so that Woody doesn't gets stressed out staying in a motel (which happened the one time we tried it). And while it takes Woody a week or so to finally get comfortable at the cottage, he does seem to be okay with it.
Meanwhile, Madjka is having so much fun that the contrast is like night and day.
With his history of being easily stressed, I'm wondering if that's what caused this mysterious cyst...and that's why I'm hoping that it'll eventually go away on it's own...