Fans react to Mike the Tiger's worsening health

LSU's Mike VI's cancer spreads; doctors say could have 1 to 2 months to live

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Many people came out to Mike the Tiger's cage Wednesday afternoon, spending some of what will be their final moments with LSU's beloved live mascot.

Veterinarians said Mike VI's cancer has spread and he has between one and two months left to live.

"He's not just a mascot. He really is like a family," said LSU sophomore Madison Rohm.

Rohm and her boyfriend, Joshua Pender, come to see Mike almost every night. On Wednesday, they left flowers and a thank you note by his cage.

"I know people that come here before every single game - baseball, basketball, football. He's just always here, and it's just sad that he's gonna be gone," Pender said.

Mike VI was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called spindle-cell sarcoma in May after student caretakers noticed swelling on the right side of his face.

Mike's veterinarians said he underwent radiation treatment on June 1, and it shrunk a tumor on the right side of his face. However, new tumors have been discovered in his right leg and chest.

"The treatment did exactly what it was intended to do. Back in June, within about 24 hours of his treatment, we could see that the tumor had shrunk. The problem was not the treatment, it's the tumor itself," said Dr. David Baker, Mike's veterinarian.

Baker has been overseeing Mike's treatment along with the Mary Bird Perkins - Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center.

He said Mike will eventually be moved to a hospice center to live out the rest of his days and, if necessary, be peacefully euthanized.

Baker also said he will start searching for the next Mike the Tiger, Mike VII. The school is looking for a young male tiger that needs a home.

Mike VI is LSU's sixth live Tiger mascot, dating back to Mike I in 1936.


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