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Bone Cancer

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello All,

My precious 12.5/13 year old domestic longhair has just been diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Needless to say, I am beside myself. It's on his inner hip and sprung up in just two months. The vet had talked about amputating his leg, a biopsy, and radiation. Due to his age, his personality, and the fact that he has several other medical problems, I am leaning towards doing nothing but pain management. He is not limping, but he is not himself. The vet said she will do whatever I want, but I feel like I need to know whether or not I am doing the right thing...

None of the veterinary hospitals that offer radiation (we were thinking about a one-time treatment that would help control the pain) will do it without the biopsy, due to the fear of lawsuits. My research indictaes that amputation is the best way to go, but none of the research mentioned the age or condition of the cats at the time of surgery. My understanding is that, no matter what I do, we are not gaining a lot of time. He is very sensitive and I feel like I take weeks off his life simply by putting him in the carrier to the vet. So, to have a biopsy, surgery, or chemo seems just cruel, but I just DON'T KNOW.

This is the most amazing cat I have ever had and I'm trying to do the best I can for him based on who he is and the information I have. Does anyone have any experience with this? I would appreciate any advice.

Many thanks...Be well...

post #2 of 6
Aww, I'm sorry to hear this.
post #3 of 6
My friends Dog lost a leg to Bone Cancer at age 10. The dog was ok after. I do not know how she is now because my friend died last June from Colon Cancer. The last I heard was the dog was doing good.
post #4 of 6
We had a dog with osteosarcoma several years ago. We decided not to try surgery or radiation and to only treat his pain. He had about two months with us before he fell one morning--we were told that if he fell, he would break the leg, and there wouldn't be any way to treat the pain, so we should put him to sleep. At that point, he was already showing signs of difficulty breathing (in dogs--I don't know if it holds true for cats as well--the cancer frequently spreads to the lungs).

It is a very difficult decision to make. You know your cat best, and you know how he will likely react to treatment and the vet visits. While most cats do get around just fine on three legs, other medical conditions can certainly effect recovery, depending on what they are. I'm sure that whatever decision you make will be in your cat's best interest and therefore will be the best one for him. I would suggest talking to him and asking him what he wants--cats' eyes are amazingly expressive.
post #5 of 6
Welcome to TCS Mackie! I don't know anything about osteosarcoma, but I did find a little info by doing a seach. Many prayers and for your decision, whatever it may be. It's so hard to decide when we love our babies like we do!

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much, everyone, for your kind words -- I really appreciate it. I am going to make an appointment to see the vet without Boomer, so I can ask her some more questions, in addition to some that I know I will be incapable of asking when the time comes.

It's just so hard to know if you're doing the right thing. I'm 99% sure that I just want to work on controlling his pain, but every now and then, the other 1% of me gets desperate. I just hope I know when it's the right time -- cats are so good at hiding their pain and I don't want him to suffer. I have some other questions about cremation (all my other animals have been buried). Is there a separate board for those kinds of questions? I'll have to go look. OMG, are we allowed to say this su*ks? Because it really does. Sorry if that's not allowed.

Thank you again, everyone. I look forward to spending some time this weekend going through the site.

Many thanks,
Mackie & BooBoo
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