My cat was recently diagnosed with a cancerous abdominal tumor. Does anyone know about the progress of such a cancer? We did not find out any specifics about what type since that could not save him. He has mostly just been loosing a lot of weight but was eating still, was more withdrawn, and had sores on his feet. Last night he had really bad diarrhea and vomiting, which was a first. Is this something that is here to stay do to the cancer, or a really awful night that will get better? Thanks for any feedback.
Progress of feline cancer
But our cat was diagnosed with a "massive" 0.8mm tumor in his stomach. It was diagnosed as lymphoma. There are two types: small cell and large cell. Small cell is uncommon, but occurs about 15% of the time. When treated with chemotherapy, it usually goes into remission and forever. The large cell is most common. When treated with chemotherapy, there is a 50/50 chance it goes into remission for typically 8-9 months. Because treatment with chemotherapy is completely different in cats, with the goal being quality of life, not length of life, toxicity and side effects are rare.
Our odyssey in treating Lazlo's cancer is documented here: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/234030/mega-massive-vibes-for-lazlo-urgent
He was diagnosed at the end of July. He started chemo in early August. He was very, very sick. We needed to support him with syringe feeding as he was not eating on his own. He had bleeding ulcers. Chemo treatments were weekly for two months, with one week off after each 4-week cycle. Then he received chemo treatments every-other week for two more 4-week cycles. He has two treatments left to go, and then that's it. We do an ultrasound to get a baseline measurement of where things stand with the tumor - which, at last check after completion of the first two months of weekly treatments, had shrunk in size by 40%.
He has felt great for the last couple of months. We are treating him for (bleeding) ulcers in an ongoing basis now.
But at a minimum, your cat can be made more comfortable with prednisolone, which Lazlo also takes. Your kitty may also be more comfortable if treated for an acid stomach (our vet prescribed pepcid a/c). If his blood work indicates anemia, he may also have bleeding ulcers, which can be treated with sucralfate (though an ultrasound would indicate whether he's got ulcers or not). Some fiber added to his diet may help with the diarrhea: pumpkin (a tablespoon a day) is a good fiber for cats, and is easily mixed with whatever food you syringe feed, if you decide to try to support his weight with force feeding. Alternatively, a feeding tube might be discussed with the vet - it can be inserted into his esophagus for easy force feeding of food and medication.
There are alternative treatments - one includes neoplasene. I don't know if the patch is out yet, but it's worth asking about.
But there are quite a few things you can do to make him more comfortable, whether you treat the cancer or not.
Of course... a proper diagnosis is really the starting point in deciding how to proceed.
Vibes for you and your kitty.
The tumor had progressed too far and was clearly malignant from other symptoms. I decided to focus on comfort since it was clear the likelihood of curing the cancer was super slim and would put my cat through a lot of discomfort. He is on prednisolone which was helping. I was feeling hopefully that he would have many more good days until last night. He was eating a lot on his own, but now he doesn't really want to move. But I will try adding the pumpkin to his food for fiber. I am really hoping last night was a fluke thing and not his cancer progressing.
Thanks for the feedback!
Turns out Roy's bad night was a side effect of the steroids medication. My vet now has him on medications to help and he is doing much better. The vet gave him 3 months, but acknowledged there is no real way to know. Luckily I am still hearing Roy purr and he's able to go outside on occasion to enjoy the sun.
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My cat, Sissy. passed away on July 11, 2010 from lymphoma of the stomach. I started to suspect something was wrong when she began to noticably lose weight in Feb. By March, she looked emaciated - the cancer was eating her food for her. I finally took her to the vet, knowing the outcome was not going to be good. He felt the tumor immediately and scheduled her for surgery. I took her in to have the surgery and he decided to make one attempt to look at the tumor via ultrasound. He found that it was enclosed in her stomach and considered it "inoperable." He led me to believe that Chemo in cats just wasn't something that anyone would want to do. Like a fool I just trusted him and let her die. Who knows if Chemo would have saved her in the end, but I really kick myself sometimes for not at least getting a second opinion!
From the time she was diagnosed until she died was about 2 months. We did the prednislone for awhile and then I just stopped. Me giving her the pill was hard on her and I felt I was just delaying the inevitable at that point. Up until the day she died, she was eating her food and purring when I loved on her (which was constantly in those last months). Then, one morning, I found her laying on a rug, unable to move her back legs, and unable to eat her food. I held her in my arms as we drove to the vet and she never once made to get down - she was just too weak. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do - letting her go...but I knew it was time. Everyone told me I would just "know" when the time came...and I did.
Enjoy your time with your precious baby. When the end comes, you won't wonder if the time is right...you will just "know." HUGS!
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Surely enjoy your time with your kitty. None of us ever know when our hour may be. I am so happy that he was just having a little bout and that he is doing better now.
My own kitty passed from a very fatal cancer, oral cancer. I did not initially know that it was cancer, but I didn't like it. He was having surgery done one day to have this cyst removed from his gums. Then I got a message at work that it was cancer and that the vet was recommending to put him to sleep on the spot. Certainly, I did not pack him up in his carrier that morning and give him a routine "See you later" kiss and send him off with the intention of never bringing him home. My kittys, life and fate were decided that day when I decided on his behalf not to euthanize him and to bring him home for some food. I then poured everything I could into helping make him comfortable in the last stages of our time together because he was worth the effort. He was very happy to come home where he passed away a few weeks later warm in his bed and surrounded by the love of his family.
The bonding that we did during this time was incredible and our friendship grew even stronger. At first I was so upset that I wasn't eating very well trying to manage his comfort for him and then I decided that it was time to start taking better care of myself and eating the right way so that I'd be better to help him. He was a lovely cat and we were both extremely fond of each other indeed. He purred and even played a little bit until he quickly said goodbye early one morning. I regret nothing about my decision to take care of him. It was the very least I could have done for the years of friendship that he gave me. Now I celebrate his life that I was so blessed to have a part of mine.
I hope that your kitty will have much much much much more time together with you. No illness can ever ever stop that love and friendship and that is the beauty of the whole thing. I am so happy that he is doing much better and that you and your vet are aggressively helping to treat his ailment. for your kitty, for his comfort, contentment and happiness for having people who care so much about him.
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I am familiar with feline cancer. Please see my post under "Tubby'sMom". We went to 4 vets and 3 specialists who did 3 ultrasounds, an endoscopy, and 2 biopsies . Our little one spent weeks in hospitals, was on IVs, took multiple medications and was absolutely miserable. Trying to force pills and liquids down a scared sick baby is beyond heart breaking. I pray for anyone else who has to go through this. My little one did not make it and I pray that yours will.