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OBJECTIVES

Feline injection site sarcomas are therapeutically challenging because of their locally invasive nature. Several protocols recommend that the two perceived high-risk adjuvanted vaccines should be administered into distinct anatomical sites (“left hind leg leukaemia, right hind leg rabies”), which should aid surgical resection. This has resulted in a change in tumour distribution with an increased proportion situated caudal to the diaphragm when such a policy is adopted. The aim of this study was to determine UK cat owners’ attitudes towards surgical treatments of different anatomical regions.

METHODS

A cross-sectional study of an anonymous convenience sample of UK cat owners was conducted from September to December, 2012 using an internet-based survey.

RESULTS

There were a total of 208 respondents: 39% would pursue surgery regardless of tumour site. One percent would not pursue surgery. Of the remainder, respondents would not allow amputation of the forelimb (20%), hindlimb (15%) or tail (15%). Twenty-six, 32 and 27% would not have surgical treatment of the inter-scapular region, chest or abdomen, respectively. The majority of respondents were willing to travel up to 100 miles for radiotherapy or chemotherapy (66 and 69%, respectively).

CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE

The current feline vaccine site recommendations may not be appropriate for UK cat owners.