Checkup day for cougar, other critters

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Wednesday was surgery day for an ailing cougar.

Maxie is a 9-year-old cougar from Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Inc. Caregivers noticed swelling on the underside of Maxie's neck.  Doctors decided it should be checked out, so today, Dr. Michael Reems with BluePearl vet hospital in Clearwater performed exploratory surgery.

"We really don't know whether or not if we're dealing with a cancer or whether we have something that's incited some inflammation or infection," he explained.  "So the goal today is going be to try and get an answer."

The vets took biopsies and, depending on what those results are, they'll do the appropriate follow-up treatment.

Some other animals from Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation also got exams today.  Two 7-week-old bobcat kittens and a screech owl got their eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist.