We are unfortunately sharing some sad news from the zoo this week.
Visitors to the zoo will have noticed 4 year old Jaguar Remi had quite a lump on his head. This started out as a small scab-like appearance, initially suspected to be an allergy and treated with piriton, then with antibiotics as a foreign body was suspected. When neither of these solved the issue for Remi, we knew action had to be taken to find out what was going on with him. Earlier this week Harvey and Karen from International Zoo Veterinary Group (IZVG) attended to remove the lump, supported by onsite vet nurse Kelly and cat keeper & qualified vet nurse Michael.
We were desperately hoping that this would prove to be a cyst or something else non-sinister but on removal it showed to be quite solid, large and growing into his muscle, the lump was taken away for testing and analysis.
Tests on what has been removed have revealed that our Remi sadly has Hemangiosarcoma – a very aggressive form of malignant cancer. Hemangiosarcoma tumours grow from the cells that line blood vessels in body tissues, they can grow anywhere there are blood vessels and easily spread to other organs including the lungs and heart.
This type of cancer is usually seen in dogs, less commonly so in cats – there are clinical trials in progress testing treatment with oral chemotherapy, the results of which and appropriateness for Remi we will find more about in the coming days.
In the meantime, IZVG are back onsite today (Monday) to carry out additional surgery to remove the rest of the tumour to give Remi the best chance at the longest survival. We will also be seeking advice on ongoing treatment for Remi.
His prognosis is not good, but we have acted quickly and now we know he is not a well boy we will continue to work for, and in, Remi’s best interests. At the moment, Remi is happy, eating well, continuing to play and showing the character we all know and love. Remi will let us know when he needs help and we will continue to explore all options and possibilities to enable us to act when he needs us to. Remi couldn’t be in better hands with Animal Managers Kim & David, Cat keepers Michael & Gavin and veterinary nurse Kelly all here onsite for him and ongoing support from the IZVG team.