However, it wasn't long before I noticed she was still going into heat on a regular schedule, 3 times a year. The vet who spayed her said not to worry about it and that repeating the surgery was unnecessary. She wasn't going to get pregnant, after all. So we put up with her yowling 3 times a year for the next 9 years.
Then it happened: This summer she developed some odd growths on her belly. She already had a somewhat large, fluid-filled cyst on her abdomen for the last few years, but again, the vet said it was just a "water sac" and not to worry about it. So we didn't. But the new growths had me concerned, since older female cats can get mammary cancer if they haven't been spayed. Tammy was still making estrogen, so she was a good candidate for a cancer diagnosis. And the nodules were hard and rough to the touch.
I took her to our new vet right away and scheduled surgery for the following week. We wouldn't know the outcome until she had x-rays to be sure her lungs were clear and the tumors were removed and examined.
Here are some of the masses the
Tammy is very lucky to have survived this scenario that could easily have gone in a different direction. It's always a good idea to be sure your vet knows what he or she is doing. Just like human physicians, get references and check into their history for complaints. That's usually not easy, but asking around among people you know who have used their services is one way to get information.