BATON ROUGE -- Mike VI's cancer is growing and spreading.
According to LSU's Attending Veterinarian David baker, Mike VI's cancer has spread throughout his body and he may only have another one-to-two months to live.
"The cancer has obviously spread," Baker said. "We met as a team and we agreed that nothing more could be gained by administering additional radiation."
Although radiation treatment done earlier this year shrunk the tumor, a new CT scan revealed that the tumor, located in the right side of the tiger's head near his nose, has resumed growth. Additional tumors have also been found in Mike VI's lungs and right rear leg. Baker said that LSU vets will not allow Mike will be euthanized before he succumbs to cancer.
“We will not allow Mike to suffer,” Baker said. “We will monitor him closely every day and will humanely euthanized him when the time comes. This is about treating Mike with dignity, compassion and respect.”
LSU will begin searching for LSU's next mascot, Mike VII, by reaching out to rescue shelters that take in exotic animals.
"We are going to look for an animal like Mike that needs a home," Baker said.
Mike VI will continue to be outside on days that he feels well enough to do so, before going into a sort of hospice care in his night house.
"He is behaving normally and his appetite has returned," Baker said. "Our current plan is to give the LSU community time to say their goodbyes. He will be out in his yard each day as usual as his condition allows."
Mike VI was diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma in May 2016 and underwent stereotactic radiotherapy on June 1 at Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center in Baton Rouge.
(© 2016 WWL)