Large Lump on Leg (might be cancer)

savannabanana

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Nov 4, 2019
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Hey guys. So I am technically a new member but have been following posts on this site for years as I raised my chinchillas and had questions here and there. My first girl that I got, Mochi, just recently developed a large lump on her back leg right around the knee joint. It happened over night. Now, she had hurt herself once before on her front leg, and was so lethargic and refused to come out of the cage for even her favorite treats or dust baths (she is my most active chin and is very good motivated). We were afraid she wouldn’t make it but after about a week she was back to normal (no breaks or cuts, probably a muscle injury). But with this lump she seemed normal aside from having a teeny bit of trouble moving her leg as usual. She still got around just fine but it had just a hint of stiffness to it. I monitored her for a few days hoping it was just swelling and would go away but it didn’t. I took her to my usual vet and he did a poke biopsy (aspiration) and the results showed some “abnormally large cells.” The vet said it was most likely a tumor and said to see a specialist who could do surgery (more likely an amputation than removal).

From there I went to an exotic animal hospital that could do surgery if that was needed, but I wanted a second opinion. They did an x-ray, gave her a pain shot and a little bit of sedation, and then did another poke biopsy. That again showed no signs of bacteria or infection and seemed abnormal. It was sent to a pathologist and they again said it was abnormal (some nuclei showed possible symptoms of malignancy). However, they were still unsure of what it is said they need to do a larger biopsy where they actually take a skin and tissue sample to observe to have a better chance to figure out what this lump is and whether it could be cancerous. This means anesthesia and a small surgery.

So that is where I am at at the moment. I have been a wreck from the moment this lump formed knowing one of my girls has a problem. She is just under three and has two cage-sisters. I know that cancer in chinchillas is extremely rare (due to them having a gene that helps detect and prevent cancer cells in their bodies, which are being studied for cancer research). They ruled out it being an abscess and X-rays showed she had no injury to the leg. Nor were there any marks or injuries in her leg. The first vet said she appeared to have lost some muscle mass in her upper leg and this has caused her left hip bone to be more noticeable and feel-able than her right side. She eats and plays fine, no weight loss yet, but her demeanor is slightly less feisty than usual. I am afraid it may turn out to be cancerous and that amputation might be necessary. At this point I am so worried for her and don’t know what to think.

My exotic vet is stumped, my primary vet is stumped, the pathologist is stumped and I just want my baby to be okay. If anybody has ever heard of anything like this or just has some kind words that would be wonderful. It’s been about 4 weeks now since it formed. I am waiting to hear an estimation cost for a sample biopsy and just have to take it one step at a time till then.
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(The pics are of her. A normal picture, one where you can see the bump, and her x-ray.)
 

tunes

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I'm going to recommend that you drop a line to Angie, at chinvet@yahoo.com. She's a vet at University of Pennsylvania, raises and breeds chins, and has helped me more times than I can count. I haven't talked to her in a while (thank goodness, no need!) but she's always happy to consult and help where she can. See what she has to say and tell her tunes for CnH sent you. Other than that, I'll say a prayer for your little one and hope that all turns out well in the end.
 

savannabanana

New member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
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California
I'm going to recommend that you drop a line to Angie, at chinvet@yahoo.com. She's a vet at University of Pennsylvania, raises and breeds chins, and has helped me more times than I can count. I haven't talked to her in a while (thank goodness, no need!) but she's always happy to consult and help where she can. See what she has to say and tell her tunes for CnH sent you. Other than that, I'll say a prayer for your little one and hope that all turns out well in the end.
Thank you! I just sent her an email.
 

savannabanana

New member
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
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Location
California

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