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Thread: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

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    Default Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    HI,
    I'm new here and have looked at this site a million times over the years, but never joined. I have a 10-1/2 year old eastern grey squirrel with 3 legs named Ben. He needed his right rear leg amputated when I found him as a baby back in 2012 which is why I still have him. He also has malo so I take him to the vet very regularly to have his teeth trimmed. This Wednesday was also his annual and they said he has lost a very significant amount of weight since his last check up and was dehydrated AND they found a mas under his left ribcage that is most likely cancer. They did a blood test and said all of his organs are functioning properly, so he is a good fit for surgery, but that it would still be very dangerous for his age. I'm here because I have no idea what to do. What is there life expectancy and should I put him threw surgery? I don't want to lose him, but I also don't want to put him threw surgery and prolong any kind of suffering especially if he is at the end of his life expectancy. Has anyone else had a squirrel that went threw a surgery like this? Any advice or thoughts would help tremendously. I can't make this decision on my own.
    Thank you,
    JayCro

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Wow! Ten and a half years is a helluva run! Congrats to you and Ben for a long and up to now healthy life! That said, ten is a ripe old age for a squirrel. I would dread being in your position. That is such a weighty decision.

    Pros

    He is otherwise seemingly healthy.
    The vet thinks his organ function makes him a good candidate for surgery.
    If he handles surgery well and that one mass is all of it, successfully removed, it might buy Ben a few more years.

    Cons

    His age.
    He may seem a good candidate but surgery might take more out of him than he can handle.
    He may do well and come through surgery and recovery just fine, and then in some months or within a year just succumb to old age anyway, cancer or no.

    You didn't say, but how has Ben been acting? His condition seems a surprise to you, so I'm wondering if he has given any indication that anything was amiss. Has he slowed down? Is he as active as always? A huge consideration is whether he has indicated any discomfort. Of course we all know how they hide any infirmities as much as possible, which I'd bet kept you from noticing anything different, but if he is in pain or discomfort that would be a huge factor in considering surgery. If surgery would fix it and alleviate any pain he might be in so he can go on for a few more years, well there it is. Maybe it's not cancer, but is causing his symptoms, or adding to them, and getting rid of it will get him back to normal. How experienced is the vet with surgeries on squirrels, especially squirrels of advanced age?

    On the other hand, we see squirrels at the end of their lives (not sick, just their bodies wore out as all bodies must) who just pretty suddenly stop eating and lie around for a few days or a week and then cross the Bridge. It is heartbreaking but inevitable. If only there were a way to know whether Ben could go on for a few years yet without the damn cancer (if that's what it is). If he was going to be leaving you soon anyway due to his age, surgery seems an unnecessary stress to put him through. But there is no way to know, and everyone here feels your stress as you weigh this decision.
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by JayCro View Post
    HI,
    I'm new here and have looked at this site a million times over the years, but never joined. I have a 10-1/2 year old eastern grey squirrel with 3 legs named Ben. He needed his right rear leg amputated when I found him as a baby back in 2012 which is why I still have him. He also has malo so I take him to the vet very regularly to have his teeth trimmed. This Wednesday was also his annual and they said he has lost a very significant amount of weight since his last check up and was dehydrated AND they found a mas under his left ribcage that is most likely cancer. They did a blood test and said all of his organs are functioning properly, so he is a good fit for surgery, but that it would still be very dangerous for his age. I'm here because I have no idea what to do. What is there life expectancy and should I put him threw surgery? I don't want to lose him, but I also don't want to put him threw surgery and prolong any kind of suffering especially if he is at the end of his life expectancy. Has anyone else had a squirrel that went threw a surgery like this? Any advice or thoughts would help tremendously. I can't make this decision on my own.
    Thank you,
    JayCro
    Hi JayCro:
    Thanks for joining TSB and hello to you and Ben! I agree with and appreciate Chirp's comments and I have a couple of questions myself!
    1) I know that you take Ben regularly to this Vet to have his teeth trimmed but that is much different form performing what sounds like major surgery. Does this Vet have extensive experience with surgery and anesthesia on Squirrels. This is imperative! Also, for major surgery that is not emergent, a second opinion is often very valuable and can make a significant difference in what would be the final plan for what should be done for Ben, if anything. It apears that you reside in Florida. There is a very experienced Squirrel Vet at the Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic in Port Orange name Alicia Emerson. Many Squirrel Board members have taken their Squirrels to her for evaluations and surgery and some have driven long distances even from other States for her expertise in Squirrel Medicine! I would like to suggest a second opinion and would also like to suggest Dr. Emerson if you would consider this! Her is a link to the Ravenwood Clinic: https://ravenwoodvet.net
    2) Do you regularly weigh Ben. Can you confirm this reported weight loss that the Vet mentions and what specifically is the weight loss and over what perid did this occur?
    3) Why would a Squirrel who has been in your apparently excellent care for 10-1/2 years with, I assume no change in his behavior and eating and drinking habits; "all of a sudden" become dehydrated and how did the Vet determine this? This seems somewhat strange to hear!
    4) How was this mass found. Did the Vet discover it by feeling it (called palpation), is it noticeable by looking at Ben? What is the size of the mass? Is there any apparent connection between the mass and the the outside through the skin? Did you know about the mass before your took Ben to the Vet this time? Can you feel the mass? Is this mass firm, soft, movable, smooth, diffuse (spread out), lumpy, etc? Were any imaging studies performed such as x-rays and/or an ultrasound. An ultrasound is a great "bedside" study that can be performed in the office of trained Vets or Imaging Specialists that is does not require anything but a gel applied to the skin and the proper equipment. This test can reveal much information about a mass such as whether or not it is cystic (surrounded by some sort of tissue capsule) and whether or not the mass is affixed to underlying structure or even penetrated into the chest or into surrounding structures (this is an ominous finding may very well indicate cancer of some sort).
    5) assuming that there is this mass, if it is truly worrisome for decreasing functionality or possibility of cancer, can a biopsy be performed where a relatively tiny portion of the mass is removed before consideration of removing the entire mass so that a specialist can examine it under a microscope and hopefully determine if it is cancer or not.
    6) Not every mass need to be removed. IF there is little risk and potential for the mass enlarge and interfere with Ben's functioning (walking, climbing, eating, drinking, etc) or spread to surrounding regions of the chest or into the chest (these are characteristics of aggressive cancers), it may be fine to just leave it alone and monitor it regularly rather than subject Ben to anesthesia and surgery! Also, even if the mass is cancer; if it is slow growing and poses very little risk for invasion into the chest or affecting other structures such as bone, muscle, nerves and blood vessels; it may then too be something that may be able to be left alone. Ben is 10-1/2 years old and while there are accounts of captive Squirrels living much longer, he is old. Going back to the mass; there is a very significant difference between dying with the mass and dying from the mass. In other words; if there is little likelihood of the mass interfering with Ben's comfort (such as causing pain), functioning or posing a threat of significantly decreasing Ben's lifespan, it may be fine to leave the mass regardless of what it is!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey


    I also live in FL I go to Dr Emerson in Port Orange, I'm not sure what area you live in but I will say she's worth the drive👍
    That said my Conker is 12 1/2 years young he had (has) odatomas in all 4 incisors one upper was removed back in 2016 the others at the time were not bad enough so they remain.
    My point is even if they were to rear their ugly head I would no way have him put under for any kind of surgery. I'd keep him comfortable and pain free and pray like crazy🙏🙏
    My Conker has a small growth on his underbelly he's had it a year but thank goodness it's not bothering him. At his age and he's pretty beefy I'd be very worried he'd not make it through surgery. Kind of like putting a 100 year old man through it. Just my thoughts but I'm sticking with quality of life ❤️

    I'm praying your boy lives many more happy healthy years 🙏
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    I had a friend who had a similar case with their gray squirrel, who was also over 10 years old; I sent you a PM.

    (See my Cancers in rodents thread in the Specific Ailments Forum)

    Dr. Emerson of Port Orange Fl. is a squirrel specialist and surgeon.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by Charley Chuckles View Post

    I also live in FL I go to Dr Emerson in Port Orange, I'm not sure what area you live in but I will say she's worth the drive👍
    That said my Conker is 12 1/2 years young he had (has) odatomas in all 4 incisors one upper was removed back in 2016 the others at the time were not bad enough so they remain.
    My point is even if they were to rear their ugly head I would no way have him put under for any kind of surgery. I'd keep him comfortable and pain free and pray like crazy🙏🙏
    My Conker has a small growth on his underbelly he's had it a year but thank goodness it's not bothering him. At his age and he's pretty beefy I'd be very worried he'd not make it through surgery. Kind of like putting a 100 year old man through it. Just my thoughts but I'm sticking with quality of life ❤️

    I'm praying your boy lives many more happy healthy years 🙏
    AMEN!!!

    I was hoping someone with a senior squirrel would weigh in.
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Veterinary journals of treatment of pet gray squirrels with lymphoma. (these references are not lab experimental study journals)
    "alopecia" noted, is a term for hair loss. The below link is another veterinary journal documents a lymphoma case in a pet gray squirrel. Both squirrels were elderly.

    Epitheliotropic lymphoma in a squirrel (Sciurus sp.)
    Shelley P Honnold 1, Iyampillai Arun, Greg Saturday, Charles McLeod
    Affiliations expand
    PMID: 17939360 DOI: 10.1638/06-055.1

    Abstract
    A 12-yr-old, intact male squirrel (Sciurus sp.) presented with a 15 mm-by-20 mm area of alopecia and plaque-like dermal thickening over the left caudolateral thorax. Routine diagnostic tests ruled out more common conditions that result in alopecia, such as dermatophytosis and acariasis. A punch biopsy was obtained under anesthesia and submitted for histopathologic evaluation. The diagnosis of epitheliotropic lymphoma was made, and follow-up surgical excision was performed. Histopathologic features were consistent with epitheliotropic lymphoma, and immunohistochemistry confirmed a T-cell origin. There was no local recurrence, new lesions, or evidence of metastasis 10 mo. after surgical excision. To our knowledge, to date, epitheliotropic lymphoma has not been described in a squirrel.
    [/I]https://www.jstor.org/stable/20460390

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the replies. He has been sleeping more, but he's never been super active probably because of that missing back limb. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but
    I'm not sure if he would show it if he was. I noticed he had lost some weight, again his weight has always fluctuated. His paper work says he's currently 257 Grams. Back in November his weight was 279. I was shocked that he was dehydrated. He ALWAYS has access to water, but the vet showed me by pulling up on his skin and it didn't go back down. She told me he might not like water very much? and told me to add a little peanut butter to the water, so i did and I've ben marking the bottle daily to make sure its going down. I've also been giving him extra nuts to try to help with the weight. Is there anything else I can do to get him to gain some weight back?

    1.She has been his vet his whole life and did the original amputation back when he was a baby. Her name is Dr. Zellner and she's and avian and exotics vet and avian and animal hospital.
    4. She found the mass by palpation. There was no imaging done. She said they would schedule xrays for the same day as the surgery.
    5. She said nothing about a biopsy probably because it would be better to just take it all out if they're gonna cut him open anyways.
    6. The mass seems large. I can feel it on the left side of his abdomen and it goes up under his rib cage.

    They don't know if it's growing or attached to anything or spread which is why they would do the xrays.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hi JayCro:
    Thanks for joining TSB and hello to you and Ben! I agree with and appreciate Chirp's comments and I have a couple of questions myself!
    1) I know that you take Ben regularly to this Vet to have his teeth trimmed but that is much different form performing what sounds like major surgery. Does this Vet have extensive experience with surgery and anesthesia on Squirrels. This is imperative! Also, for major surgery that is not emergent, a second opinion is often very valuable and can make a significant difference in what would be the final plan for what should be done for Ben, if anything. It apears that you reside in Florida. There is a very experienced Squirrel Vet at the Ravenwood Veterinary Clinic in Port Orange name Alicia Emerson. Many Squirrel Board members have taken their Squirrels to her for evaluations and surgery and some have driven long distances even from other States for her expertise in Squirrel Medicine! I would like to suggest a second opinion and would also like to suggest Dr. Emerson if you would consider this! Her is a link to the Ravenwood Clinic: https://ravenwoodvet.net
    2) Do you regularly weigh Ben. Can you confirm this reported weight loss that the Vet mentions and what specifically is the weight loss and over what perid did this occur?
    3) Why would a Squirrel who has been in your apparently excellent care for 10-1/2 years with, I assume no change in his behavior and eating and drinking habits; "all of a sudden" become dehydrated and how did the Vet determine this? This seems somewhat strange to hear!
    4) How was this mass found. Did the Vet discover it by feeling it (called palpation), is it noticeable by looking at Ben? What is the size of the mass? Is there any apparent connection between the mass and the the outside through the skin? Did you know about the mass before your took Ben to the Vet this time? Can you feel the mass? Is this mass firm, soft, movable, smooth, diffuse (spread out), lumpy, etc? Were any imaging studies performed such as x-rays and/or an ultrasound. An ultrasound is a great "bedside" study that can be performed in the office of trained Vets or Imaging Specialists that is does not require anything but a gel applied to the skin and the proper equipment. This test can reveal much information about a mass such as whether or not it is cystic (surrounded by some sort of tissue capsule) and whether or not the mass is affixed to underlying structure or even penetrated into the chest or into surrounding structures (this is an ominous finding may very well indicate cancer of some sort).
    5) assuming that there is this mass, if it is truly worrisome for decreasing functionality or possibility of cancer, can a biopsy be performed where a relatively tiny portion of the mass is removed before consideration of removing the entire mass so that a specialist can examine it under a microscope and hopefully determine if it is cancer or not.
    6) Not every mass need to be removed. IF there is little risk and potential for the mass enlarge and interfere with Ben's functioning (walking, climbing, eating, drinking, etc) or spread to surrounding regions of the chest or into the chest (these are characteristics of aggressive cancers), it may be fine to just leave it alone and monitor it regularly rather than subject Ben to anesthesia and surgery! Also, even if the mass is cancer; if it is slow growing and poses very little risk for invasion into the chest or affecting other structures such as bone, muscle, nerves and blood vessels; it may then too be something that may be able to be left alone. Ben is 10-1/2 years old and while there are accounts of captive Squirrels living much longer, he is old. Going back to the mass; there is a very significant difference between dying with the mass and dying from the mass. In other words; if there is little likelihood of the mass interfering with Ben's comfort (such as causing pain), functioning or posing a threat of significantly decreasing Ben's lifespan, it may be fine to leave the mass regardless of what it is!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the replies. He has been sleeping more, but he's never been super active probably because of that missing back limb. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but
    I'm not sure if he would show it if he was. I noticed he had lost some weight, again his weight has always fluctuated. His paper work says he's currently 257 Grams. Back in November his weight was 279. I was shocked that he was dehydrated. He ALWAYS has access to water, but the vet showed me by pulling up on his skin and it didn't go back down. She told me he might not like water very much? and told me to add a little peanut butter to the water, so i did and I've ben marking the bottle daily to make sure its going down. I've also been giving him extra nuts to try to help with the weight. Is there anything else I can do to get him to gain some weight back?

    1.She has been his vet his whole life and did the original amputation back when he was a baby. Her name is Dr. Zellner and she's and avian and exotics vet and avian and animal hospital.
    4. She found the mass by palpation. There was no imaging done. She said they would schedule xrays for the same day as the surgery.
    5. She said nothing about a biopsy probably because it would be better to just take it all out if they're gonna cut him open anyways.
    6. The mass seems large. I can feel it on the left side of his abdomen and it goes up under his rib cage.

    They don't know if it's growing or attached to anything or spread which is why they would do the xrays.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Just skimmed through some of these replies and as others have said , sometimes itís not necessary to remove every ďmassĒ. Some are benign and totally harmless.

    But just in my own experience, I would never, ever consider cutting that animal at its age, and with the risks that could come (regardless of perfect bloodwork) unless I knew it was an absolute necessity. Even with the best equipment and training, we can lose a life in the best of vet hospitals.

    I would strongly encourage you to ask the vet to do a Fine Needle Aspirate, at least? Not always 100% diagnostic, but many times is. The procedure is very simple, and minimally painful with a topical anesthetic and fast hands. I always recommend this before surgery.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by JayCro View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Thank you so much for all the replies. He has been sleeping more, but he's never been super active probably because of that missing back limb. He doesn't seem to be in any pain, but
    I'm not sure if he would show it if he was. I noticed he had lost some weight, again his weight has always fluctuated. His paper work says he's currently 257 Grams. Back in November his weight was 279. I was shocked that he was dehydrated. He ALWAYS has access to water, but the vet showed me by pulling up on his skin and it didn't go back down. She told me he might not like water very much? and told me to add a little peanut butter to the water, so i did and I've ben marking the bottle daily to make sure its going down. I've also been giving him extra nuts to try to help with the weight. Is there anything else I can do to get him to gain some weight back?

    1.She has been his vet his whole life and did the original amputation back when he was a baby. Her name is Dr. Zellner and she's and avian and exotics vet and avian and animal hospital.
    4. She found the mass by palpation. There was no imaging done. She said they would schedule xrays for the same day as the surgery.
    5. She said nothing about a biopsy probably because it would be better to just take it all out if they're gonna cut him open anyways.
    6. The mass seems large. I can feel it on the left side of his abdomen and it goes up under his rib cage.

    They don't know if it's growing or attached to anything or spread which is why they would do the xrays.
    Hi JayCro:
    I have been away for over a day because of work and just noticed your response the responses of other Squirrel Board Members.

    I truly have never heard of such a thing where surgery is scheduled first without any idea what the mass may be and certainly without any attempts at trying to find out before a relatively elderly Squirrel is subject to the very real risks of both anesthesia and the surgery itself. It would just appear that with the procedure scheduled and x-rays also scheduled before surgery, the Vet is has already plasnned on performing the surgery regardless of what the x-rays show. Unless this is an emergent, life or death situation, there is no reason why imaging studies and a biopsy should not have been done BEFORE surgery is scheduled. Only if you know what this is should any consideration be made for removing it or for any surgical intervention ! Also, from my prior post; a vastly more useful and very simple imaging study that should have been done is an ultrasound. X-ra studies may have some minimal benefits but x-rays studies are not usually beneficial for looking at soft tissues, they are good for seeing bones. They can be used for some soft tissue exams such as a chest x-ray but this is a special situation and its advantage lies in the fact that the there are interfaces between bone, relatively dense tissue such as the heart and the normally air filled lungs. With your Squirrel, there is no significant interface between the mass and the surrounding tissues and while it may (on a good day!) possibly be able to see the size of the mass, your really don't need that as you can feel it. Also, an x-ray may reveal calcifications in the mass but the significance is not necessarily going to be obvious and certainly no decision for or against surgery is likely to result from this. One thing that might be evident in an x-ray is whether or not the mass has spread to underlying bone and x-ray films could likely show this.

    For what it's worth, I have major reservations about the current plan to op-day x-ray study followed by what sounds like major surgery (with its associated major risks) on a mass that may not even need to be removed or may have involved other tissues or organs where removing the mass may in itself be unwise! Again, for what my opinion might be worth, especially in light of the fact that you have time to explore options, I would strongly recommend putting the surgery on "hold" and get an ultrasound and some sort of biopsy. As Snicker Bar has mentioned, one means for obtaining a biopsy is by passing a hollow needle into the mass in order to remove some of the tissue from the mass and sending it to a specialist called a pathologist who can make a diagnosis of what the mass might be and whether or not it is cancer. Often, especially with relatively larger masses, more than one Needle Biopsy is done because it is not unusual for some malignant (cancerous) masses to contain some cells that may not be diagnostic and it can be very helpful and important at times to obtain specimens from several areas. Multiple specimens are in no way always necessary or appropriate and even obtaining one Fine Needle Biopsy specimen in this case is far better than none which is the current plan!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel
    Last edited by stepnstone; 02-05-2023 at 01:13 AM. Reason: corr spl

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    between the ass and the surrounding tissues
    I meant mass, not ass! LOL!
    StS

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    From the description and location on the body, it is likely skin lymphoma that is the same noted in the veterinary journals, a raised area, like a coin. By not agreeing to the surgery to be done on the same day as testing the lesion to determine if it is benign or not, would address the concern as to whether to go through with the surgery or cancel it.

    Another issues is who should do the surgery. For this I would go with Dr. E as she is a squirrel expert. For even so your vet is an exotic vet, from what you hared they major in birds, not wild squirrels, which requires knowledge specific in handling and anesthesia of a wild rodent, which is not the same as for captive bred birds.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Advise also to get an x-ray of the neck, chest, abdomen, and testicles.

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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    I meant mass, not ass! LOL!
    StS
    ... fixed it.
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by SamtheSquirrel2018 View Post
    Hi JayCro:
    I have been away for over a day because of work and just noticed your response the responses of other Squirrel Board Members.

    I truly have never heard of such a thing where surgery is scheduled first without any idea what the mass may be and certainly without any attempts at trying to find out before a relatively elderly Squirrel is subject to the very real risks of both anesthesia and the surgery itself. It would just appear that with the procedure scheduled and x-rays also scheduled before surgery, the Vet is has already plasnned on performing the surgery regardless of what the x-rays show. Unless this is an emergent, life or death situation, there is no reason why imaging studies and a biopsy should not have been done BEFORE surgery is scheduled. Only if you know what this is should any consideration be made for removing it or for any surgical intervention ! Also, from my prior post; a vastly more useful and very simple imaging study that should have been done is an ultrasound. X-ra studies may have some minimal benefits but x-rays studies are not usually beneficial for looking at soft tissues, they are good for seeing bones. They can be used for some soft tissue exams such as a chest x-ray but this is a special situation and its advantage lies in the fact that the there are interfaces between bone, relatively dense tissue such as the heart and the normally air filled lungs. With your Squirrel, there is no significant interface between the mass and the surrounding tissues and while it may (on a good day!) possibly be able to see the size of the mass, your really don't need that as you can feel it. Also, an x-ray may reveal calcifications in the mass but the significance is not necessarily going to be obvious and certainly no decision for or against surgery is likely to result from this. One thing that might be evident in an x-ray is whether or not the mass has spread to underlying bone and x-ray films could likely show this.

    For what it's worth, I have major reservations about the current plan to op-day x-ray study followed by what sounds like major surgery (with its associated major risks) on a mass that may not even need to be removed or may have involved other tissues or organs where removing the mass may in itself be unwise! Again, for what my opinion might be worth, especially in light of the fact that you have time to explore options, I would strongly recommend putting the surgery on "hold" and get an ultrasound and some sort of biopsy. As Snicker Bar has mentioned, one means for obtaining a biopsy is by passing a hollow needle into the mass in order to remove some of the tissue from the mass and sending it to a specialist called a pathologist who can make a diagnosis of what the mass might be and whether or not it is cancer. Often, especially with relatively larger masses, more than one Needle Biopsy is done because it is not unusual for some malignant (cancerous) masses to contain some cells that may not be diagnostic and it can be very helpful and important at times to obtain specimens from several areas. Multiple specimens are in no way always necessary or appropriate and even obtaining one Fine Needle Biopsy specimen in this case is far better than none which is the current plan!

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

    Everyone has brought up some very valuable points and reasons to further evaluate this mass prior to surgery. I know Dr. Zellner is very familiar with squirrels and refers many squirrel teeth issues to Dr. E. I have no idea about her diagnostic or surgery expertise with other squirrel issues. I am also unfamiliar with what diagnostic tools she has at her clinic. I know some vets have traveling ultrasound technicians come to their office to perform sonograms because they don’t have the equipment nor the expertise to interpret them.

    Before I did any surgery on a squirrel of that age, or any age, I would definitely get a second opinion. I will say that Dr. E is conservative in her approach of performing surgeries of any kind. She has the tools at her disposal to evaluate your squirrel….and they are state-of-the-art tools. Please call her office and line up an appointment with her for a second opinion. Tell the office staff what the concern is and ask Dr. Zellners office for a copy of the bloodwork that she did so you can share it with Dr. E. This will avoid an unnecessary cost for a repeat procedure. Even under what is thought to be the best of conditions a squirrel can be lost during surgery, especially at that age.

    Also Dr. E’s office is a relatively easy drive from the Tampa area. You would head east on I-4 to I95. Her office is off exit 256 off I95 on S. Clyde Morris Blvd.

  29. 5 TSBers pass along the fuzzy thanks to Mel1959:

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  30. #18
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Update,

    I spoke to the vet about performing additional diagnostics and she said "You can absolutely schedule for him to have an ultrasound. This will give you more answers and they may be able to do a needle biopsy. We would need to refer you to Dr. Helmer at Blue Pearl for this procedure.". I looked up Dr. Emerson and she's about 3 and half hours from me and Ben HATES the car, so I don't want to take him on that trip unless she's the only one that is capable. Has anyone heard of Dr. Helmer?

    I checked his weight and water intake for the last week and his weight is still the same (279G) and he drank 126mL of water in the last week which online it says squirrels should drink 30-60mL a day, so for a week would be 210-420mL, so is he still not drinking enough with me adding the little bit of peanut butter? Also the water smelt bad when I changed it today, so how often should I change it if I'm adding stuff to it, should i not do peanut butter again, is there something else I can do to encourage him to drink more? Also I saw a thing for making like a pedialite mixture for squirrels online is that something I should also provide for him or would to much be unhealthy?

    Could I give him watermelon if so how much daily?

    Then today I noticed this consistent whistling noise while he's sniffing. Could he have gotten sick from the water mixture or is this something I'm over reacting about?

    It's been a week since I found out he's got something wrong and I'm still spiraling feeling like everything I've done/do is wrong

  31. Serious fuzzy thank you's to JayCro from:

    Chirps (02-08-2023)

  32. #19
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    Quote Originally Posted by JayCro View Post
    Update,

    I spoke to the vet about performing additional diagnostics and she said "You can absolutely schedule for him to have an ultrasound. This will give you more answers and they may be able to do a needle biopsy. We would need to refer you to Dr. Helmer at Blue Pearl for this procedure.". I looked up Dr. Emerson and she's about 3 and half hours from me and Ben HATES the car, so I don't want to take him on that trip unless she's the only one that is capable. Has anyone heard of Dr. Helmer?

    I checked his weight and water intake for the last week and his weight is still the same (279G) and he drank 126mL of water in the last week which online it says squirrels should drink 30-60mL a day, so for a week would be 210-420mL, so is he still not drinking enough with me adding the little bit of peanut butter? Also the water smelt bad when I changed it today, so how often should I change it if I'm adding stuff to it, should i not do peanut butter again, is there something else I can do to encourage him to drink more? Also I saw a thing for making like a pedialite mixture for squirrels online is that something I should also provide for him or would to much be unhealthy?

    Could I give him watermelon if so how much daily?

    Then today I noticed this consistent whistling noise while he's sniffing. Could he have gotten sick from the water mixture or is this something I'm over reacting about?

    It's been a week since I found out he's got something wrong and I'm still spiraling feeling like everything I've done/do is wrong
    Hi JayCro:
    My suggestion would be to not mix peanut butter or really anything into your Squirrel's water and also change the water every day whether you are using bottles or bowls or both! I truly believe your Squirrel is getting adequate fluids but it is essential that there be clear access to the water sources and that the water sources are functioning properly. If you feel that you must flavor some water, I would like to suggest that you designate a single water source for "flavored water and add some drops of honey or syrup to this water source while keeping another water source available with simple plain water for Ben. Again, water should be changed every day and anytime the container becomes contaminated or dirty for any reason. Another thing, in light of the new nose noise you have been hearing; if Ben is drinking from bowls, put some clean round small (1/2-1 inch stones in the bottom of the bowl to keep Ben from sticking his head too far into the water and maybe aspirating a bit and also to help keep the bowl from tipping over. Here is a thread regarding precautions to take with water bottles:

    https://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/...=water+bottles

    Regards,
    SamtheSquirrel

  33. #20
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    Default Re: Vet found mass on my eastern grey

    I agree with STS. Donít put anything like peanut butter in the water. As he suggested a little honey or agave might encourage Ben to drink or even a little apple juice. If you put anything like this in it change it daily, as he suggested.

    I do not know Dr. Helmer. I know others that have used Blue Pearl, though. There are a couple of other squirrel vets in your area. One is Dr. Zellner at Avian and Animal Hospital 727-877-1400. Another is Florida Wild Veterinary Hospital, 115 East Euclid Ave, Deland, 386-734-9899.

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