Update, 1:50 p.m. Thursday
Mike the Tiger returned to his habitat Thursday afternoon, according to Ginger Guttner, a spokeswoman for the school.
"Recovered from yesterday's anesthesia and enjoying my yard," Mike's Facebook page said, along with a picture.
Updated 11:35 a.m.
A day after Mike the Tiger’s cancer treatment at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, a spokeswoman for the LSU Veterinary School said the tiger is on the mend.
“Mike is doing well,” said Ginger Guttner, a spokeswoman for the school. She said Mike, who was given anesthesia for his Wednesday night procedure, was still a bit sleepy at 7 a.m. when his veterinary team checked in on him.
The tiger was still being kept in the night house for his safety. But Guttner said at 11 a.m. he was “looking out his door.”
“So we’ll probably let him out at noon,” she said.
The treatment was for a rare, terminal cancer found in Mike’s face. The treatment is expected to prolong his life by a year or two. But it will not cure the cancer, doctors have said.
LSU’s 420-pound live mascot, Mike the Tiger, made another trip to Baton Rouge’s Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center for radiation treatment Wednesday for a rare and terminal form of cancer.
The 11-year-old big cat returned to his night house on LSU’s campus Wednesday afternoon after what’s expected to be the only round of radiation needed, the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine said in a news release.
The diagnosis and innovative therapy for the beloved mascot was announced last week. A biopsy of a tumor found on Mike in early May revealed the tiger has a spindle cell sarcoma, an incurable form of cancer, after caretakers noticed a swelling on Mike’s face.
The radiation treatment and anesthesia are expected to leave Mike with mild and temporary side effects, the university said, and the tiger was awake Wednesday evening. Mike is expected to remain indoors as he recovers from the general anesthesia.
Mike made the trip to Mary Bird Perkins over the weekend as part of a live run-through of the radiation treatment and to allow doctors to take images to map the tumor on the mascot’s face.
Radiation-resistant cells in the tumor are expected to eventually resume growth, the university said, and won’t be able to cure the tiger of cancer. But veterinarians caring for Mike hope the treatment will comfortably extend the mascot’s life one or two years. Without treatment, it’s expected he would die within a couple months.
The university’s news release said the targeted dose of radiation was delivered with one of the most advanced radiation therapy systems available and was designed to reduce the risk of side effects and damage to healthy tissue around the tumor.
As Mike recovers from the treatment, he’ll be closely monitored by veterinarian David Baker and student caretakers.