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Cat Lump/Convenia/Sarcoma?

Hi All,

Just over two weeks ago I took my little girl to the vets for an ear infection. We had a new kitten arriving the next day, so when the Vet asked us if we wanted to give our cat antibiotic tablets or a 12 day antibiotic injection (Convenia), the answer seemed simple!

Within two days of having the injection, she had developed a lump at the site of the injection, which was about the size of half an egg. We rushed her to the Vets and they suggested waiting for it to go down, as it could have been inflammation/reaction to the antibiotic injection. I didn't want to wait, as I had researched and found that VAS was common not only from vaccine injections, but from any kind of injection! *cries*... so we opted to have a biopsy done (just the cells).

The biopsy came back inconclusive, with a whole lot of detail that I didn't quite understand. All I can work out is that it states 'they can't rule out the possibility of sarcoma'...

It has now been just over two weeks since she received the injection and the lump has drastically reduced in size, and is now more like a hard pea. It has remained this size for approx 6 days now and is not decreasing or increasing in size.

As a precaution, the Vet has suggested having a biopsy done (where some flesh is taken), but from what I have read, they may as well just take the whole lump while they have her under anesthetic.

She is booked in to have this done tomorrow morning, but I am wondering if it is necessary?

Is it common for a sarcoma to reduce in size by itself?

I do not want to prolong the operation and find that in two weeks time it hasn't gone and I have possibly decreased her chance of survival because I waited!!!

Has anyone else had something similar to this? Should I just get it done anyway? Or is it uncommon for sarcomas to reduce in size by itself?

Karen

Here is what the test results said:

2 FNA smears from a subcutaneous mass on the dorsal neck

CYTOLOGY:
Low cellularity smears showing rare small clumps of spindle cells mixed with small amounts of dense bright eosinophilic matrix. Preservation of the spindle cells is suboptimal but those which are better preserved are
plump elongated cells with an ovoid nucleus, usually a single nucleolus and moderate amounts of deeply basophilic cytoplasm. Throughout the background is fresh blood with mixed leucocytes, in which eosinophils
are slightly overrepresented, with a modest amount of cell debris, and platelet clumps.

INTERPRETATION:
Mesenchymal cell proliferation, see comments

COMMENTS:
Cell harvest from the lesion was very low. Spindle cells are the predominant finding, the morphology of which resembles reactive fibroblasts, thus findings might reflect fibroplasia or granulation tissue. While spindle the cells exhibit little atypia, the possibility of a sarcoma cannot be excluded and should be borne in mind.

Eosinophils appear overrepresented although it is unclear whether these originate in the lesion or the contaminating peripheral blood. More definitive conclusions are not possible based on the few cells present,
and your clinical suspicions and the characteristics and behaviour of the lesion will be relevant in determining if excisional biopsy for histopathology is appropriate.

Dr Susan Boyd BVSc, CertSAM, MACVSc, Dip ACVP (Clin Path)
Veterinary Clinical Pathologist, Registered Specialist.
IDEXX Laboratories is a NATA accredited facility (Accreditation No.
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hi...I was searching for my info on convenia and sorry I couldn't find it...but this one is just a terrible vac b/c it assaults the animal with such a high dose all at once and I've read it takes 6 weeks for it to clear from their systems so if there should be a reaction the poor animal is ill for 6 weeks or more...if pills are used at least if a reaction is noted than one can discontinue use.

first of all I'm NOT a Vet so what I tell you is just my opinion only....
I believe what your kitty has suffered is a reaction and inflammation can be a common reaction when the immune system becomes over loaded.

VAS is always a possibility of course but usually NOT immediately afterwards....any cancer takes awhile to develop.
Since the lump appeared immediately following the vac. IMO its a reaction, I can't believe a Vet would preform a biopsy based on what I've said...
AND since its already reducing in size where a sarcoma WOULDN'T than why the rush to preform yet another biopsy or lumpectomy?

If I were you Bitzy since its smaller and she is showing no other adverse effects than let it alone....give it some time, the lump IMO will probably disappear all together but if it doesn't with in a month or two THAN I'd be more concerned....but not yet.

keep us update, and best to you both....
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874521_tn?1375890587
hi...I was searching for my info on convenia and sorry I couldn't find it...but this one is just a terrible vac b/c it assaults the animal with such a high dose all at once and I've read it takes 6 weeks for it to clear from their systems so if there should be a reaction the poor animal is ill for 6 weeks or more...if pills are used at least if a reaction is noted than one can discontinue use.

first of all I'm NOT a Vet so what I tell you is just my opinion only....
I believe what your kitty has suffered is a reaction and inflammation can be a common reaction when the immune system becomes over loaded.

VAS is always a possibility of course but usually NOT immediately afterwards....any cancer takes awhile to develop.
Since the lump appeared immediately following the vac. IMO its a reaction, I can't believe a Vet would preform a biopsy based on what I've said...
AND since its already reducing in size where a sarcoma WOULDN'T than why the rush to preform yet another biopsy or lumpectomy?

If I were you Bitzy since its smaller and she is showing no other adverse effects than let it alone....give it some time, the lump IMO will probably disappear all together but if it doesn't with in a month or two THAN I'd be more concerned....but not yet.

keep us update, and best to you both....
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I've been looking for the article I read but still haven't located it...did find this a facebook page that was started on the dangers of convenia...didn't read it all but perhaps you can find some info there.
I did find out it stays in the system a total of 65 days...so its even longer than the 6 wks I quoted...I will post more info if I find it.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Convenia-adverse-reactions-in-catsfelines-and-dogscanines/118697391502152
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. You have very similar thoughts and feelings as I do. I have been told in some cases that a sarcoma can develop in as little as 11 hours after injection, so that is my only concern. However, I can't ignore the fact that the lump has drastically reduced in size, which is the opposite of what any sarcoma does! Plus,l given what you have said about Convenia staying in the system for 65 days, it is possible that the lump/reaction may not decrease or disappear until it is out of her system completely.

I actually joined the Facebook page yesterday and posted my story there too. I was not aware of the dangers involved with Convenia and I feel obligated to spread the word on how dangerous it is. It is causing so many deaths and serious injuries to animals. I would never have opted for the injection had I been informed of the possible side effects.

I might take my cat to another vet tonight and get a second opinion. I would like to avoid such a big operation if I can, as she has been through enough already.

Again, thank you for your time. I really, really appreciate it. I will post updates as I go. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas xxx
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I have never read that a sarcoma can develop that quickly....can I asked where you've read that info? interesting....its always possible with anything that weakens the immune system and IF an animal has a predisposition to cancer than perhaps that is always a possibility.

yes I would think it is possible that until the system has cleared anything that was toxic it wouldn't disappear totally. But again this is all just my opinion as a pet owner as yourself and not of a Vet...I am glad you are considering seeking a second opinion.

we follow what we think are good proven recommendations by our Vets...unfortunately they sometimes only believe what they are told by the drug manufacturers and alot of damage is suffered by our animals before they are willing to listen to reports.....not unlike our own doctors.

forgot to welcome you to our site, sorry its not under better circumstances, yes please keep us updated...and lets keep everyone aware of the dangers associated with this horrible drug.♥
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I have just tried to find the website/forum where it was stated, but I can't. It was a Vet who had responded to a lady going through a similar situation and she had basically said that she wasn't too worried about her cat, as the reaction was immediate after the injection. However, this Vet responded and said that to explain it in simple terms, that for a tumor to develop in the breast of a lady, where it is at a size that is detectable on a scan, would take approximately 4 years! However, he stated that it would only take 11 hours in a cat! This was very frightening to read!

To be honest, I am so glad you are not a Vet :) as it's some of the best advice I have read/received so far!

I will talk with my partner about getting a second opinion tonight.

If I thought 15 operations would fix it, I wouldn't hesitate. There is no limit for what I will do to help my baby. However, I also don't want to put her through a massive operation for no reason.

If I find the link to that site, I will post it. I've just been on 100's of different sites over the last week, I wouldn't even know where to start and try and find it.

Thanks for the welcome :) and I will be sure to post and update! <3
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thank you and believe me I understand completely how you feel about your baby...we all do here. ♥
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Hello Opus88,

Last night I took Izzy to another vet for a second opinion. The Vet told me that no operation was necessary and that I just needed to monitor the lump over the next few weeks. She suspects that the injection was not given in the subcutaneous area, but much deeper in the muscle. That's where she could feel the base of the lump. The lump appears to have reduced in size again overnight, so fingers crossed this is looking very positive! However, if it hasn't gone in 2-4 weeks' time, she did suggest having a biopsy done.

I also asked about sarcomas and the chances of having one develop and then shrink in size... to which she responded 'would never happen'...

Part of me wonders why I have gone through all of this in the first place and why the other Vet just didn't tell me that. I understand that they are reluctant to commit to anything, but surely they have to be professionals at some point and guide us in a direction they think is best.

I have learned so much through this process and hopefully this will be the end of it and she won't have to have a biopsy done.

*fingers crossed* :)

If it wasn't for you and your guidance yesterday, I would never have thought to seek a second opinion. For that, I am forever grateful.

Thank you so much,
♥ Karen & Izzy
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Hi Karen, I've been following your posts and this is good news!  You must be very relieved.  Absolutely, fingers AND toes crossed for Izzy although I've been doing that all along :)  That second opinion makes perfect sense.  All I know about VAS is from a very long thread we have on this forum and from what I've read; right, the tumor NEVER shrinks.  I'm glad you found a vet who knew what she was talking about!  

Please continue to post updates on Izzy's condition.  I am so sorry for all you and Izzy have gone through, but glad you found MedHelp to add info on Convenia to our cat forum..something I'd never heard of and now, a word I will never forget!

(((Hugs)))
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GREAT NEWS....I am so glad you did get that second opinion too...can't imagine putting poor Izzy through yet another biopsy unless its absolutely warranted....what the second Vet said makes sense..
so lets hope and pray this lump will continue to shrink and this will be the last of this!!!!
You both have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, I'm so happy for this news...-)
I hope we'll hear more from both you and Izzy but under happier circumstances...you know we love to just chat or compare notes whenever...-)
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The Facebook page seems to have mysteriously disappeared.  I posted there, too.  Interesting that it has suddenly vanished...don't you think?  The number of people reporting reactions and illness related to the drug was growing in numbers.  I'm trying to contact the originator and see what happened.
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Well, here I am back again.... and where do I start?

Izzy's lump disappeared over the Christmas break and all signs of a sarcoma were gone. However, on Friday morning while petting her, I found another lump on her neck, but this time in the centre of her shoulder blades. So the location has changed, approx an inch over from the last one. It appears to have reduced in size this morning, but not to a degree where I'm comfortable with thinking it's 'nothing'.

I saw my vet Friday morning and they have given me a referral to see an oncologist. I went and saw the oncologist Friday afternoon and now Izzy is booked in for a CT scan tomorrow. They will also run a barrage of blood tests. Depending on what the results are (apparently I won't have them till Tuesday) - I won't know how/what they intend to do in surgery. I have booked an appointment to see the surgeon on Wednesday and discuss options. Due to the location and if it is a sarcoma, they might not be able to get it all. From what I can tell, they won't be able to tell if it's a sarcoma from the CT scan. So we'll have to wait for it to be sent off for testing after surgery.

What I do want to ask is, just before Christmas we purchased a new kitten who ended up having a bad dose of ringworm over the Christmas break. We isolated her from Izzy and Izzy appears to have escapes contracting it. However, Izzy is constantly shaking her head, but there are no signs of mites or ear infection etc. I'm not sure what this could mean, but maybe she is just shaking her head because of the lump, or maybe she has the lump due to something going on in her ears??

If you have any thoughts, I'd like to know.

Thanks again for your time. Please say a prayer for Izzy xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so angry that they have taken the page down. I wonder what did happen. That drug is so unbelievably dangerous...

The fact that inflammation is one of the main side effects of the drug, most people would be horrified to know that any inflammation in a cat, can often switch on the cancer cell gene! It's what I'm going through now. I fell into this false sense of security when the inflammation died down, but now I have a lump again which is more than likely a sarcoma... and all because my perfectly healthy cat had an ear infection!!! *sobs*

I have pet insurance, but the CT scan and surgery will cost over $10,000, which I have to pay upfront. I wonder if the manufacturers of Convenia will mind feeding me and my family this month when I have no money left. It's appalling that they can still have this drug on the market!
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, here I am back again.... and where do I start?

Izzy's lump disappeared over the Christmas break and all signs of a sarcoma were gone. However, on Friday morning while petting her, I found another lump on her neck, but this time in the centre of her shoulder blades. So the location has changed, approx an inch over from the last one. It appears to have reduced in size this morning, but not to a degree where I'm comfortable with thinking it's 'nothing'.

I saw my vet Friday morning and they have given me a referral to see an oncologist. I went and saw the oncologist Friday afternoon and now Izzy is booked in for a CT scan tomorrow. They will also run a barrage of blood tests. Depending on what the results are (apparently I won't have them till Tuesday) - I won't know how/what they intend to do in surgery. I have booked an appointment to see the surgeon on Wednesday and discuss options. Due to the location and if it is a sarcoma, they might not be able to get it all. From what I can tell, they won't be able to tell if it's a sarcoma from the CT scan. So we'll have to wait for it to be sent off for testing after surgery.

What I do want to ask is, just before Christmas we purchased a new kitten who ended up having a bad dose of ringworm over the Christmas break. We isolated her from Izzy and Izzy appears to have escaped contracting it. However, Izzy is constantly shaking her head, but there are no signs of mites or ear infection etc. I'm not sure what this could mean, but maybe she is just shaking her head because of the lump, or maybe she has the lump due to something going on in her ears??

If you have any thoughts, I'd like to know.

Thanks again for your time. Please say a prayer for Izzy xxx
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm so angry that they have taken the page down. I wonder what did happen. That drug is so unbelievably dangerous...

The fact that inflammation is one of the main side effects of the drug, most people would be horrified to know that any inflammation in a cat, can often switch on the cancer cell gene! It's what I'm going through now. I fell into this false sense of security when the inflammation died down, but now I have a lump again which is more than likely a sarcoma... and all because my perfectly healthy cat had an ear infection!!! *sobs*

I have pet insurance, but the CT scan and surgery will cost over $10,000, which I have to pay upfront. I wonder if the manufacturers of Convenia will mind feeding me and my family this month when I have no money left. It's appalling that they can still have this drug on the market!
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242912_tn?1402547092
Hi Bitzy!... My first thought, is Izzy's shaking her head due to dental pain but that is only a guess.  I am So sorry another tumor appeared.  This just doesn't sound like Sarcoma with the coming and going of these tumors.  Most odd.  

Congrats on your new kitten, too!  Poor little thing with the ringworm.  You have been through so much with your kitties.  So glad Izzy didn't catch it.    

I never got to see that FB page.  I wonder if the drug co threatened to sue if it wasn't removed?  Yes, the word needs to get out about this destructive drug.  So thankful you found us, so at least this forum has your post to draw from.  

Good luck tomorrow with the CT scan.  My thoughts and prayers will be with you and Izzy on Wed.  I hope that will start you on the road to some solid answers.  

You must be so stressed.  Big Hug, Bizty...♥
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Avatar_m_tn
I spoke to my vet. surgeon today as my 14 year old cat has been having convenia injections over the past 8 months due to trouble with his gums.  he has had 14 teeth removed in the last 6 months so his teeth are ok.  My vet says convenia does not stay in the cat's system for 60 days or more and that every second cat that she sees with an infection has this injection and that she has never seen a bad reaction ever in any cat that she has treated.  Maybe there was something underlying in some of the cats that sadly had a supposed reaction.
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874521_tn?1375890587
carol....I will send you a link that shows indeed convenia does stay in the system for a min of 14 days...thus it is a very large dose administered all in ONE shot, you are fortunately your kitty didn't have any side effects from this medication, for cats that DO...and the long half life of the medication it therefore has disastrous results, as you can imagine having a reaction to this and it staying in the system for a min of 14 days..thats a longggg time for a little body to clear IF there does happen to be an adverse reaction.

May I ask why has your kitty needed 8 MONTHS of treatment? WHY is this infection not clearing up?????

good luck to you both.

http://www.pfizeranimalhealth.co.nz/sites/pfizeranimalhealth/PAH%20Document%20Library/Convenia%20FAQ%20brochure.pdf

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I thought you might all be interested in a vet's perspective on the risk of Convenia:

http://www.catinfo.org/?link=convenia
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thank you very much for this link...I will post it on a new thread so everyone will see and read..:-)
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I hope Izzy is ok now... I can't believe doing a biopsy and removing the lump would cost $10,000??? That is insane. I hope you sought a second vet to compare costs because that is crazy. I have also read that cancers can develop very rapidly in cats, particularly if it is a lymphoma caused by FeLV which I have read that a large percentage of lymphoma in cats are FeLV and FIV related.

My cat Angelina also had a reaction to Convenia, I did a necropsy at Cornell Hospital Pathology Dept. They found that they think she had liver adenoma/ cholangio carcinoma as well as acute myeloid leukemia. In spite of the fact that she had an end stage liver cancer, it seems, nothing to that effect showed up in her blood work until 4 days after the Convenia shot. At that point her AST was elevated but now tremendously and they thought she had an infection. 4 days after that she had become severely anemic, there was no sign of anemia in any of her blood work before this. She also had a 4 minute claw test, which means she took 4 minutes to stop bleeding.

The findings at Cornell said that they did not believe Convenia caused the anemia, not because it wasn't possible, but because Convenia hasn't been reported to cause anemia. This isn't true, read Dr. Pierson's website, read Pfizer's own foreign market results which state it has caused hemolytic anemia- I have also communicated with someone else whose cat developed hemolytic anemia and who passed away after 4 blood transfusions. So this drug does cause anemia as well as many other severe effects.

When Angie received Convenia she had what seemed to be a cold which wasn't going away, she didn't seem that ill. She had had some weight loss in July, but her blood work was normal. We did a thyroid panel in September which was fine. Then she had some hair loss for which I never got the results of, an expensive test for ring worm.

After Convenia, she developed a high fever, she became extremely doped, she was hiding a lot and she stopped eating. Throughout this she kept seeming to revive as if her body was trying to fight off the reaction. She was given Orbax and her fever lowered and she ate three dishes of food, but then she regressed and started hiding again.. it was at this point I believe the anemia began... I had given her fluids at home and the next day when I brought her for an ultrasound of her abdomen, they thought from an xray that she had possible pancreatitis and had given her more meds for that, she had a large bruise at the site of the fluids.

That day her dvm told me she was severely anemic and she thought Angie was dying... the dvm was very upset- she was crying. I took Angie to a speciality hospital where she was given iv fluids, pain killers and tested. They told me that night they were considering Convenia as a cause of her anemia, I had just read all about it, not having been warned of any of the severe side effects, and I called them to tell them about that. I decided to take her home and try to treat both the cancer and the FeLV( see below) with steroids and other drugs, but I knew the next day she was in too much pain and I had to let her go.

Now that it has been determined that she had cancer, as well as acute myeloid leukemia, which could or could not have been caused by FeLV, she had one inconclusive and one positive eliza test but no IFA test, which I was finally informed of the day she left the speciality hospital, I fear that both Pfizer and dvm societies will not believe that Convenia played a role in her death.

I still plan to file reports with Pfizer and with the FDA as well as warn everyone I can not to use Convenia. I will never use this drug again- I had already refused it once in July when Angie developed a cold after receiving two vaccinations. I had stopped vaccinating my cats due to health issues and I decided to do a rabies which I was still doing as well as a distemper. I think that was the trigger for her FeLV, assuming she really had this, because it stimulated her immune system too much. Angie was one of two kits of a feral queen  who was put to sleep in a shelter, I believe that she may have contracted felv from her mom and then fought it off, but the virus hid in her bone marrow to later resurface.

I had never heard of Convenia before that but I rejected it on the basis that it stays in the system too long. I will always regret giving her Convenia, but had I been warned about the severe side effects reported in foreign market studies I NEVER would have allowed it. I think it is crazy that DVM aren't required to warn us about all of this.   Please see my video Just Say NO to Convenia at youtube.

Please inform yourself because no one else is going to unless this drug is removed from the market, which is my goal. Don't risk the health and lives of your beloved fur babies. There are plenty of safe alternatives to Convenia. I would avoid Baytril also as I have read that it causes blindness and possibly other effects.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yk4MnjGUCGo

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Avatar_n_tn
WTF??? This is the second Post I have read in a day telling of a vet administering Convenia off label, when the FDA clearly states that Convenia is only used for skin infections and abscesses! Also the stuff is an active antibiotic for fourteen days, but remains in the system for up to 65 days
            Add some probiotics to her food, it will help support her system...several pet food companies make them, and they do help with antibiotics. Good luck. My dear little cat had to be put to sleep after a shot of Convenia , she had seizures and ataxia. It is a disgrace that vets are still using it. By the way, the Facebook page is still there: Convenia Adverse Reactions.
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