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My kitty lost 5lbs and may have cancer(help)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone I'm new here and hope I'm welcomed.
Well my "kitty" is 18 yrs old and vets always say how great her health is for her age, and being an indoor cat for well over a decade has helped with that.
The past couple weeks she has been throwing up a lot more than usual and shes lost so much weight, 5lbs the vet said, i think she averages 9lbs (shes always been a tiny cat). So the vet took an x-ray and showed me a growth that might be cancer in her lungs! The growth was a near perfect sphere and looked enclosed (no cancer filaments spreading outward) he said it could be a cancer tumor or it could have been a growth caused by her thyroid, I cant afford a biopsy and he said the surgery alone can cause many problems so he gave us Metoclopramide to give to her which bugs me cause its a Very very powerful drug which can cause all kinds of other problems so I'm concerned about giving her that.

Also I've tried other dry foods in the past to try and help her vomiting problem and shed always got either diarrhea (sometimes bloody diarrhea) or vomited more, and lost weight with some dry foods i tried so I always went back to what shes been on for years Purina One senior protection. But after explaining this to the vet he still gave us caned wet food to start giving to her to make her gain weight, but if she had that much trouble with dry foods I cant imagine the problems she have with wet food.

So in the end I'm wondering should I hold of on the meds/wetfood until i go somewhere else and get a second opinion/testing from a different place and vet? (We always suggest to do that when "people" get diagnosed with cancer)

Shes always been healthy acting and looking cat and is still the same but I could use some friendly advice. If she could give me the tumor to make her all better I would do it in a heart beat! I luvs my kitty!

Keep Purr'n
post #2 of 19
Oh Im sorry to hear about this!! Welcome to TCS!!

Ya know, I must say that I did use metroclopramide on one of mine without any problems! I was never told it was a really powerful drug and it never had any side affects, but that kitty is only 14, so I dont know if the four years would make a big difference or not!!

Have you ever given your Kitty this particular brand of wet food??
post #3 of 19
Sorry to hear your kitty is not well. Wet food is sometimes better for a cat than the dry. I'd give the food a try. If after one meal, kitty throws up, talk to your vet again.
post #4 of 19
I hope your Cat will be ok. Coco had Metacam in a Short last Nov for Arthitis because her pain was terrible and no probems. I was scared though after reading what the Oral form can do. Get a 2nd Opinion. Coco is almost 16.
post #5 of 19
Okay, I'm confused. Did your vet do any bloodwork? If so, are you saying all was normal (re thyroid function, kidney function?)

5 lbs. lost and they gave you Reglan (an anti-nausea medication aka metaclopramide)?

If bloodwork wasn't done, I'd go get that second opinion asap. A cat can not tolerate weight loss and not eating, the way a human can, and it can cause Hepatic Lipidosis as a separate issue from whatever is causing the weight loss(see the archive of health articles on TCS - there is an excellent article on this by Maryann Miller aka Hissy).
post #6 of 19
Welcome. I just wish it was a happier time for you.

I think the Reglan was given to help with the vomiting. My vet gave it to our dog for vomiting of unknown cause - just a short course of 3 days. It may help if the cause of vomiting is due to the intestines not working in their normal smooth contractions.

Wet food is often tolerated easier than dry, says th woman who just cleaned up puke from a kitten who stole the older cat's dry food. Dry food will usually swell slightly when in contact with liguids such as gastric juices. You can even add small amounts of water to the food to make it easier to swallow. The advantage is that a small amount of wet food has many more calories than dry, so even keeping down a small of amount of wet can give significant calories.

A biopsy is the only way to be sure what type of mass you are dealing with. A benign tumor is capable of growing large enough to cause a blockage - for example, it could be around the esophagus or the trachea. A malignant tumor of greater than 1 cm is considered to be a high risk of spreading, even though it may be not be seen on Xray.

I agree about the importance of blood work to rule out some other issues.
post #7 of 19
Originally Posted by mews2much View Post
I hope your Cat will be ok. Coco had Metacam in a Short last Nov for Arthitis because her pain was terrible and no probems. I was scared though after reading what the Oral form can do. Get a 2nd Opinion. Coco is almost 16.
Metacam is not the same thing as metaclopramide!

If its going to help with the vomiting I would sure give it a try!
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feed back guys.
Well she had a full CBC done and chest x-ray, the growth is in her lung. The only thing bad other then that was that her thyroid was very high (every cat in america seems to be being diagnosed with thyroid disease lately what gives?) so he also gave us Methimazole to give her along with the Metoclopramide.

Now were going perscription crazy with pets in this country too, I guess I'm very nervous about drugs for my kitty because one there so much more sensitive to these things and two I've had so many bad side affects from meds my self that I dont want her to develop more problems cause of meds since many of them are the same chemicals that people take for conditions.

Well I started wetting her dry food and am slowly adding kitten food of the same brand so she'll gain weight and so for she hasn't thrown up. She has never been able to handle wet food, too much diahrrea.

If you have any other advice about these meds for her or just want to comment please feel free to do so.
Knowledge is power.

Thanks again to you all
Keep Purr'n
post #9 of 19
I got confused with the Meds.
post #10 of 19
Hopefully she'll tolerate the methimazole--it will help bring the thyroid values back into range and may stop the vomiting altogether. Vomiting and IBD can sometimes be a side effect of hyperthyroidism, so controlling the thyroid values may help eliminate the IBD symptoms. Then you might be able to stop using the metaclopramide. Be prepared to test the thyroid levels a few times in the next couple of months to see if the medication is working at that dose--often adjustments to the dose need to be made, and blood tests go along with that.

I don't have any advice about the growth. All I can do is wish for you that it is slow-growing.
post #11 of 19
Her weight loss and vomiting could be COMPLETELY due to the high thyroid, and the methimazole may very well be the solution.

Solitary lung masses are usually not a problem as long as it is just one, and it grows slowly. I would say your kitty is too old and frail to put her through the surgery to remove the mass so I would really focus on getting the thyroid under control at this point in time. Yes, cancer is scary, but you can make your kitty MUCH better with the thyroid.

Oh, and as for the reason you see so many kitties getting methimazole, thats because Hyperthyroidism is the #1 endocrine disease of cats. Its VERY common.
post #12 of 19
I don't have any advice to offer, but I wanted to let you know that you & your kitty are in my thoughts & prayers, and I hope everything goes well with her treatments.

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank You all
Everyones so nice and supportive and that helps a lot

Well she is doing much better already since i started wetting her food and the thyroid drug so well see what happens from here, and when she gets tested again in a month.

I dont remember my vet saying to only feed her kitten food to help her gain weight or to mix it with her adult food, which is how I'm doing it right now.

Other then that she hasn't thrown up once since the doctors visit last saturday
so here's hoping

Thanks and Keep Purr'n
post #14 of 19
Oh good! I hope things keep going well for you and your kitty!!
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well she was doing better and gaining weight when I started putting her on wet food but then a little more then a week later she threw up twice two days in a row (mostly liquid) and now she's barley willing to eat anything I try giving her.
She's loosing weight again and I don't know what to do?
Apart from that I'm having trouble giving her meds to her since she won't eat the little bits of cheese I put it in for her. She looks so out of it now and tiered.

I'm admit I don't know how to force feed a cat meds (tried that today with the liquid antivomiting med and I'm afraid of hurting her jaw, got more meds on my shirt then down her throat) I REALLY need advice on how to give her both her meds, she suppose to take half a pill every 12 hrs for her thyroid and then the liquid meds 2 to 3 times a day for the vomiting with these little syringe things the vet gave me.

I noticed that when she was eating the wet food (first time she has ever been put on wet food in her life) that she hardly ever pooped and when she did it was only a little bit and kinda hard and dark, not exactly black but dark.
So as of right now I put her back on the dry kitten food that I moisten with water because that's the only thing she'll nibble at right now but I know it will make her puke again eventually.
She's going to see the vet again on the 25th
Thanks for any help
post #16 of 19
I've been blessed with cats that are easy to pill--or I'm just more forceful in making sure they get their medicine. With Spot, I put the pill in an empty gelcap (which can be found at some pharmacies and natural food stores) because the medicine is bitter--the rest is the same strategy I use with all my cats. I place the cat facing away from me and between my knees--that way their body is held in on three sides, and my arms can block the fourth direction. I'm right handed, so I use my left hand to pry open the cat's jaw from the top (so my hand is across their nose) and I use my right hand to poke the pill as far to the back of the throat as I can. Then I quickly close the cat's mouth and gently but firmly hold it closed until they swallow. Immediately after giving the pill, I offer food or treats so that the pill is passed into the stomach and doesn't get stuck in the esophagus. Alternately, you can give a few cc's of water (about 6, I think) to ensure that the pill/capsule doesn't get stuck.

I much prefer pills to liquids. With the liquid meds, I brace the cat the same way. The only difference is that instead of squirting the medicine at the back of the throat, I squirt it in from the side, aiming at the roof of the mouth. This keeps the medicine from being aspirated (breathed into the lungs).

If your cat isn't eating, then she needs assistance. You can call your vet and ask about appetite stimulants, or you can try syringe feeding. I highly recommend visiting http://www.assistfeed.com and joining the Yahoo Group for assist feeding cats (there is a link on that webpage). The people on that group are very experienced, and they have tons of information in their files about different strategies for getting food into your cat.

I know it's hard, especially when your cat isn't feeling well. Her tiredness could be due to the lack of food, dehydration, or the thyroid levels being out of whack. If you continue to have problems, please call your vet before the appointment. There is a transdermal medicine that can be used in place of the pills--it's the same medication, but compounded into a gel that is rubbed on the ears.
post #17 of 19
I am so sorry to hear this. I have never used the med you mentioned. If your unsure of what your vet is saying, then a 2nd opinion wouldn't hurt. Many good wishes to you sweet kitty.l
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips cloud_shade, I actually was already trying to do it the way you described but I just couldn't get her mouth open and when I did she'd jerk her head back so hard that I could never get the meds in fast enough but I'll keep trying.

So are you saying the main length part of your fingers are wrapped around the top part of her mouth and nose? Not sure how to picture what your saying. I was trying to open her mouth by using my thumb on one side of her upper mouth and my fingers on the other side (kinda right behind where her whiskers are).

As far as the liquid meds, if i lift up her cheeks and squirt it in from the side even with her teeth shut/closed will that still work?

I also got some pill pockets treats that I'm gonna try tonight for thyroid pills

post #19 of 19
I put my hand so that my palm covers their eyes, my first finger is on the left side of the upper jaw, and my thumb is on the right side of the jaw. My goal is to pry open the upper jaw rather than the lower jaw--the lower jaw is where the muscles are. I found this description as well, which might make more sense:

"The No-Nonsense Method is harder, but once you've mastered it, you will know for sure where the pill went. Take a firm but gentle grip on your cat's head from above, pry open his jaw with the index finger of your other hand, and press the pill far enough back on the tongue to trigger swallowing. Although veterinarians can make pilling a cat look like an easy, one-person job, you're likely to find the task easier at first if you have someone else hold your cat while you pill him." (http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&A=120)

This site has pictures, showing what I was trying to describe:


With the liquid, I poke it in from the side--if you get it far enough back, toward the jaw hinge, they will often open involuntarily, and you can squirt in the medicine.

Here's a video on giving liquid medicines:

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