Mike the Tiger has one to two months to live, cancer has spread

Mike the Tiger has one to two months to live, cancer has spread

BATON ROUGE, LA (WVUE) - Mike VI, LSU's live tiger mascot is again battling cancer. LSU Veterinarians have given him one to two months to live.

Mike VI was anesthetized and taken to the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine on Monday for a CT scan to check the status of the tumor in his head.

Although the radiation treatment initially shrunk the tumor, the new CT scan revealed that the tumor, which is located on the right side of Mike's head near his nose, is growing and has moved further into his nasal cavity.

His cancer has also spread, and Mike has developed multiple nodules on the lower right rear leg, throughout his lungs and elsewhere.

At this time, LSU's Attending Veterinarian David Baker, DVM, Ph.D., believes that Mike could live another one to two months, but he will be humanely euthanized before he succumbs to his cancer.

"We will not allow Mike to suffer," Baker said. "We will monitor him closely every day and will humanely euthanize him when the time comes. This is about treating Mike with dignity, compassion, and respect."

Baker said Mike will be outside on days when he feels well enough to do so; he will be kept inside if his caretakers feel it is in his best interest.

As his condition deteriorates, Mike will be put in "a form of hospice," Baker said.

Baker said the university will look for a tiger to become Mike VII that has similar characteristics to Mike VI.

"A clean bill of health, a good background of genetics, a personality that's interactive," Baker said.

Copyright 2016 WVUE. All rights reserved.