Llama Cancer

So today was the day for our llama Fancy’s eye surgery for her squamous cell carcinoma of her inner eye lid.  My vet had spoken with two camelid veterinary professors who said this is quite rare in llamas (of course!).  They recommended against injecting an irritant into the tumor as they have seen bad reactions to this in llamas.  One optionis to try to remove the eye and the cancer with it, but the chance of recurrence is high, and the llama may not adapt well to monocular vision.  Another option is to injection a chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin into the tumor weekly for 8-10 week.  This works but is expensive and obviously repetitively uncomfortable for the llama.  The other option is to remove the tumor itself and treat the base of it with liquid nitrogen to kill any residual tumor.  This is the option we chose.  So this was done today with sedation and local anesthesia.  Apart from getting haltered and put in the stanchion there was no discomfort evident to her.  She did not like the look of the instruments next to her eye, but she handled it all quite well.  While she was still sedated I opted to trim her toes too.  Then I was able to let her go back out into the field.  Now we will see if the tumor returns or not.  Her eye will be swollen for a couple of days then she should be fine.  WARNING: The next photo may be gruesome for some folk.

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8 Responses to Llama Cancer

  1. Jackie Craw says:

    Poor Fancy! I hope the cancer doesn’t come back. How old is she?
    Jackie

  2. The poor thing…I wish her well!!

  3. Hope everything works out for Fancy, poor thing.

  4. Karen Anne says:

    Poor Fancy. I am wishing her the best.

    I had a kitty with repeated instances of a surface cancer, who lived a long time and passed away from something else.

    • Thanks Karen Anne. Fancy is still uncomfortable, more than I thought she would be. But if it works, it’ll be worth it and maybe she’ll do well like your kitty!

  5. Pingback: Llamas | Schoonover Farm Blog

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