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Bone marrow aspirate, squamous cell carcinoma, propofol...?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,

Has anyone out there had a cat get a bone marrow aspirate before? They're searching for cancer in Bailey, and a bone marrow aspirate is the next diagnostic that they're planning on doing (they've already done several blood tests, physicals to specifically look for tumors, x-rays, ultrasounds, and a rectal exam). It requires anesthesia, so they plan on doing a thorough oral exam while she's anesthetized to see if she has any visible squamous cell carcinomas. I know there are some TCS members who have dealt with squamous cell carcinoma, so if any of you are reading this, how was it diagnosed? Did your kitty have any symptoms?

Also, does anyone have any experience with propofol? I believe that's what they plan on using for induction, then isoflurane for maintenance. Bailey is almost 12, and her labs have shown good kidney and liver function. She does have digestive issues, and now the possibility of cancer. Is propofol known to be safe? I'm really paranoid about anesthesia and I hate to put her through all of this, but if she does have cancer, I'd like to catch it early enough so that it can be treated.

Thanks everyone!
post #2 of 5
I'm so sorry that you are going thru this with Bailey!

I'm probably no help, but I did have a greyhound go thru a bone cancer diagnosis. I'm not sure if the procedure was an aspiration, but they removed a piece of his bone (in his wrist) to get at the marrow. He did not use that leg for a few weeks after the test (it was pretty invasive).

Sending positive vibes that you are able to diagnose and treat Bailey's problem.
post #3 of 5
Propofol is an excellent choice for anesthesia induction, especially in seniors. It leaves the body quickly, so it doesn't build up in their tissues (like the kidneys). The recovery time (the time until they wake up from anesthesia) is shorter as well. When Odo had his dental, he had propofol and isoflurane. If a senior cat has to have anesthesia, that's one of the best combinations.
post #4 of 5
Our kitty had a bone marrow aspirate when they suspected he had cancer. They took it from his hip, and he had to be anaesthetized. He was only 2 at the time, so there's no real basis for comparison. But a 12 year old isn't so old, and with good kidney and liver functions, everything should be just fine.

Do you know what it is in her blood work that is causing them to look for cancer? In our kitty, it was that he was anemic with a low white blood cell count and I don't remember what else. Something about reticulocytes (sp?). Anyway, it turned out he had an autoimmune disease that is now called feline hemolytic anemia. Basically his body thinks his blood is a virus and attacks and kills it. It resulted in an enlarged heart and enlarged spleen. But with Epogen, Nupogen and steroids, he's still with us and doing well. And now that his body isn't working overtime, his heart and spleen are back to normal.

Oh - it took the hair a very long time to grow back in where they had to shave him to do the aspirate, but that was because of the steriods.

Sending positive vibes to Bailey - and I hope it isn't cancer.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
They started looking at cancer as a possibility after I brought her to the emergency vet a few weeks ago. Her appetite had decreased significantly, and I brought her in after she'd barely eaten anything for about a day. When they ran blood work, her calcium level was elevated. Everything else was within normal limits (except for slightly elevated creatinine, which has since decreased to a normal level). Then they did an ionized calcium test, which was also elevated. Then they ordered a "hypercalcemia of malignancy profile," which measures PTH (parathyroid hormone), PTHrP (parathyroid hormone-related protein), and ionized calcium. Her PTH was normal, her ionized calcium was high, and her PTHrP was high. PTHrP is produced in excess by tumors and other forms of cancer, so that along with the hypercalcemia (in addition to other symptoms, like vomiting, lethargy, and loss of appetite) is why they suspect cancer.

It's so stressful. She's been doing really well since she's been getting pepcid every day. She's been eating well and has only puked ONCE in the past 3 weeks (which is amazing). She's been acting more like herself and has been very social and playful. Sometimes I wish I could pretend that everything's fine and that there's nothing wrong with her, but there's still the reality that those test results weren't normal. At this point, I think they've tested her ionized calcium 4-5 times, and it's been high every time. Plus, there aren't many explanations for elevated PTHrP. So now, it seems like there's a high probability of her having cancer, but it's proving to be difficult to find out where exactly it is. All I want is for her to be happy, so I feel horrible every time I have to take her to the vet for MORE diagnostics. It obviously doesn't make her happy to keep going back to the vet, but I don't want her to end up suffering from advanced cancer either if there are things that can be done to help.
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