If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
I have a 14 yr old female cat who a vet told me yesterday probably has a cancerous tumor somewhere between her jaw and eye. The problem first presented as an eye problem. On June 1st I took her to the vet for this. We were treating her eye for Keratitis (she has had that a couple of times in her past) with a secondary bacterial infection and a corneal abrasion. The problem wasn't improving with the meds for these things - Trifluridine drops and Triple Antibiotic drops. I took her back for a re-check and the Dr said the eye was somewhat protruding and suggested it might be a tumor and suggested seeing a Vet. Opthalmologist. That was at the end of last week.
On a different note, I had taken her for a routine exam on April 30th and had been told she needed dental work. A few weeks later I had complete bloodwork done in preparation for the dental work and was told it was normal. I scheduled the dental work but before that time came she started having this eye problem.
Last Sat I took her to the Opthalmologist who prescribed an oral antibiotic and said the 3 main causes for the kind of problems she was having were
1. Generalized infection. 2. Abscess. 3. (Cancerous)Tumor.
She told us to come back on Wed for a recheck. On Wed that Dr. did not think the eye was improving and says the protrusion was worse. The following day she put the cat, Serenity under anesthesia to stitch the outer corner of her lids together as she was not able to close her lids completely and this was to help protect the cornea. While under anesthesia the Dr tried to look in her mouth. She had tried to look in there on the first visit but was not able to AT ALL. One thing she had suggested might be going on was an Abscess related to the teeth affecting the eye. But even under anesthesia she could not hardly open her mouth. She said she had a Vet Dentist there in her building try to take a look and I guess they couldn't see much but after all this She really thinks it is a Cancerous Tumor.
At first I was thinking I would just try to make her as comfortable as possible for however much longer she may have. But then I thought I would ask people such as YOU ALL for advice. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE! GIVE ME ANY ADVICE YOU CAN!!!
I am really sorry you are going through this again. A couple thoughts if this is an infection then it should go down with antibiotics (like clavamox). I know Mia also had a lump that was pushing on her eye and it felt hard. When I took her to the vet she suggested scoping. A couple days before the scope was scheduled I noticed blood coming from her nose when I pressed on the lump it was squishy and blood came out so I took her to the vet because I figured it was infection and not a tumor. She did have an infection which cleared with clavamox. On the flip side I adopted a 14 year old cat from the vet hospital over 10 years ago and she was being treated for an abscess on the side of her nose which was not going down with clavamox. She had a dental and I believe they did a biopsy---she had a nasal tumor. I believe they are treated with chemo and radiation. Gemini went through chemo but it did not help and she passed six months later. If the lump is not going down with the antibiotics and without further diagnostics then I would also think tumor. You may wish to consult with an oncologist but I think with nasal tumors, unless you undergo radiation, I don't think the prognosis is good. Diana
Thank you. Serenity has been on Clavamox since last Saturday. I guess it could take a while longer for the Clavamox to fully work - But the Doctor really thinks it is probably a tumor. Unfortunately I don't have the money for an MRI or Chemo therapy. Actually I do not Know how much the treatments would cost. I guess if I could go to an Oncologist They would be the ones to tell me? I have been told the MRI would be around $1000. or so and a CAT scan around $850.00. Maybe I should at least see if I could afford to pay for a consult with an Oncologist? So I would know exactly what it would cost and involve. I think I have been feeling like the way my luck has been going - even if I could come up with the funds she won't make it.
I think the hardest thing is knowing whether to ACCEPT the situation, OR to try to beg, borrow or steal the money to try to fight it!! So, EVERYONE, that might be the most important question YOU ALL could help me think through!!!!!!!!
So far between the regular vet, meds and the Opthalmologist I have spent $1850.00. Sometimes I feel like maybe I am being taken advantage of with these Vets and their charges!? I have NO IDEA if that is a reasonable amount for what I have gotten so far!?
Another question to everyone is "Is this the best forum to be writing this under?" If not, can anyone help me crosspost this thread, so far, to any of the other forums that would be appropriate?
Thank you ALL,
I think if it was an abscess, it would hurt and she would quit eating. I wish we could give every available treatment to every beloved pet, but almost nobody can do that. I live in a location that has not had an oncologist for the past 5 years. I lost a dear cat to cancer recently. After $500 of testing they decided there was nothing they could do. I hoped at least I would be able to work with the "specialist" on pain control in the end, but when the time came he was not available and a vet at my regular vet clinic provided the medication we needed. If it does not go down with medication, I think you may be looking at keeping her as comfortable as possible until she stops eating, but I don't know. My vet says with cats, anything over 12 is a gift. I am sorry you are having more to cope with, it seems like you've had more than your share lately.
Thank you Caro! Actually she is having great difficulty eating - but she alway wants to! I have been adding a lot of water to canned food and beating/ liquefying it. Tonight I bought some baby food and added water to that too. She had a little of that but wasn't as excited about it as I had hoped! I bought a vitamin supplement in a tube which she can lick up. Also I am going to start giving her some food with a syringe - after she has eaten all she wants on her own! - just to "supplement" her food intake. It is hard for her to open her mouth much - mostly she is "lapping" up.
So how long should it take for the Clavamox to work?
I do feel that this is much more than my fair share! But what can I do? I wish someone would have mercy on me!!
I don't know how long it would take for the antibiotic to actually make the swelling go down if it was an abscess. I had an abscessed wisdom tooth but it was so long ago I don't remember. I just keep thinking, there is different kind of infection that will only respond to medication for anaerobic bacteria. I don't know why I keep thinking of that, but I've had to use it twice, both times with cats, and I think one time it was a dental issue. Science Diet a/d is complete and balanced, it comes in a can and you can syringe feed with it. It is highly palatable. Just stir it up and suck it up in a syringe. I do better with the smaller syringes. They often give you bigger ones, but in my experience it is better to use a small one, it fits in the mouth easier and you are less likely to squirt too big of a squirt of food. It is better to have to keep drawing up more in the syringe than to upset your cat by being unable to control the amount dispensed each time. The Nutri-Cal is a good idea!
I asked the Dr. for some syringes and they gave me a bunch, a few different sizes. I have been using the thinnest one. I used to syringe feed Whiskers every day of his too short little life!
I miss him so! Also I have syringe fed guinea pigs - with very small mouths!
I am not sure if i understood about the anaerobic...? versus what? Sorry.
Oh, and what does A/ D stand for? Do you know?
Right now Serenity is doing a great job of eating the baby food right here in front of me on the computer desk. I have an area set up for her here.
You definitely should have seen results from the clavamox by now if it was an infection. Anaerobic bacteria is one that does not need air. There are broad spectrum and narrow spectrum antibiotics to which bacteria are sensitive to. It has been over 10 years since my class on bacteria so I can't tell you anymore in terms of which drugs are which although the vet would know. A/D is a science diet can food that has liver in it and is typically for debilitated animals. It has higher caloric value and is typically used for syringe feeding also. If you are giving baby food, which is another good choice, just make sure there is no onion powder in it---I add chicken baby food to my cats' canned food all the time because they really like it. Seeing an onocologist, I think would be the best course of action. They may be able to give you prednisolone and should be able to tell you what the prognosis is. I have had very good experience with oncologists---when chemo wasn't helping they were very upfront with me about the prognosis and the course of action. Diana
I found this in one of my old posts, this is what I was remembering.
Karen, I feel so silly that I was talking about hand feeding when you did it for so long with Whiskers. Sorry! a/d is great but it runs about $1.50 for a 6 oz. can. Supposedly they don't need to eat as much of it because it is nutrition- and calorie-dense. But it sounds like you're doing fine. I added taurine powder to Gerber baby food turkey when Betsy was eating that for a long time. You can buy the capsules at the health food store and break them open and sprinkle some into the baby food. I don't think you need to worry if this is short term, but if you go more than a couple of weeks on baby food you may need to, you might check with the vet. Usually I hate to stir anything into my cat's food, they don't like it, but taurine is different. Betsy actually seemed to prefer her baby food with the taurine in it, she could taste the difference apparently. To her it made it better, not worse.
Thank you Diana & Carol. I think if there is any way I can afford it I will consult an Oncologist. How I wish I had gotten insurance - I had been thinking about it but recently went through a long period of reduced hours at work while simultaneously having huge vet bills for 3 of my other cats.
The A/D sounds good if it's for debilitated cats.
Carol don't feel silly!! I was just having fond memories of my angel boy Whiskers - and happy that it is something I can do. I believe we can always improve on anything - and who knows? maybe I will pick up a few new ideas or variations on the way I've been doing some thing So I value ALL of EVERYBODYs advice and tips and really appreciate them!
Royal Canin makes a food called Recovery that I like even better than a/d, and PetSmart carries it, although you need an RX or a card. Jan, a long-time cat rescuer, always suggests KFC chicken, with the skin pulled off, as a miracle for picky eaters.
Yogurt, cottage cheese, and loads of other yummies are out there to try, and it might help to let Serenity eat with you as you eat. My ancient MamaCat has been trying to fail for awhile now, but she usually loves to eat off my plate/bowl. What's yours is mine and what's mine is mine, I guess.
Thank you Critters. I will try that Royal Canin.
Everyone, I appreciate all the info. I got to thinking - I am not sure if I explained that the Dr explained that she thinks the tumor is located such that it is both pushing from behind the eye and the TMJ making it very hard for her to open her mouth completely. She can only open from the opposite side but not enough to chew. She seems only able to lap up liquefied foods.
Can anyone give me just a general idea of what it might cost to see an Oncologist and pursue treatment?
Thank you All!
I don't know how far you are from Fairfax, but here is some discussion about a place called South Paws. Pricing is mentioned. Do you have a Care Credit card? I know there is information on it in the Financial Forum.
Christine... and Bailey, playing at the Bridge
?/1999 - 10/25/08
I would think a specialist consult would run about $100. I can tell that chemo is not inexpensive. My cat Junipurr, who is FeLV +, was diagnosed with a mediastinal tumor, essentially, a tumor wrapped around her heart, in June 2008. She had a six month protocol where she was in the vets getting chemo almost every week. Each visit included a medical progress exam, complete blood count (they cannot give chemo if the white blood cell count is too low), sample collection & handling, chemo prep and chemo administration, which can run from $185 to around $300 each time, depending on which chemo is administered. She was also on prednisolone and antirobe capsules every day and during off weeks I had to orally give her cyclosporine which is another chemo drug. Her prognosis was 6 months but here she is here two years later. She is still on chemo---she goes in once a month for chemo, once a month I give her a chemo drug, and every day she gets pred and antirobe capsule. It depends on the type of cancer on the protocol and the diagnosis. I also think Junipurr is still alive and in remission because she is a very lay back cat who is not easily stressed. My other FeLV + cat who was also diagnosed with the same thing in June 2009 completed the 6 month protocol, however, he was so stressed out by the chemo---they had to anesthetize him each time as time went on; he ended up getting blocked which I really think was due to stress and I had to have him euthanized in 12/09 because it was either have the operation which had a high likelihood of pulling out of remission or euthanize him since he would continue need the chemo. It is a very difficult decision to make but my experience with the onocologists has been very good and they were upfront with me about everything and the prognosis. Diana
Thank you Christine & Diana,
Christine, I will check out the link. I have heard of that place but never been there. I don't have a care credit card and am skeptical that I would qualify, but I have been thinking of looking into it.
Diana, Thank you for sharing your experience. I am wowed by it. I can't help but wonder at the odds of having 2 cats with that same condition - which sounds different and uncommon to me. Unfortunately there is no way I could afford the kind of treatment plan you described with Junipurr. But I think I may try to have at least a consult with an oncologist and I thank you for that information.
That is so awesome that Junipurr is still with you! Please tell her hi for me.
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