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My cat has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) / Please help - advise!!

Poll Results: What do you do when you discover that your vet gave you wrong diagnosis ?

 
  • 75% (3)
    Change him/ her immediately and explain to him/ her why you are doing this.
  • 25% (1)
    Take a second opinion always but keep the first vet as your main doctor.
4 Total Votes  
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody

 

this is Eleni from Athens Greece (very far far away for the majority of you) and I just joined this forum because two days ago my precious cat, 13yrs old was diagnosed with neoplasm carcinoma in other words with cancer in his right back leg.

I am totally shocked, sad, desperate... I really dont know how to feel and react..

 

We have been together since I was a student, we have "grown up" in my adult life together and he is my "child" and my "friend" all these years.

 

My vet suggested (to be honest he didn't leave me any other choice..) to amputate the leg and after do the biopsy because he is totally sure that is cancer (that has already destroyed one part of the bone, it is very obvious from the xray) and we shouldn't lose any more time.

For the record my ex-vet told me 2 months ago when the first symptoms started (the cat could walk properly) that there was nothing to worry about, a small cracking in his leg that will pass after few weeks. Since the cat was getting worst and worst I had to change vet.. so I have lost some time waiting for the "cracking" to heal!!! (so angry about that...)

 

the only good think till now is that it seems there are no metastasis but I am still waiting for the blood analysis. The x-ray is clear.

 

I am totally terrified and i know that i have to be strong for him now!

 

Please, please, please if anyone could advise me..

 

I really don't know how he will react after the amputation, will his quality of life will be better?

how many years a cat can live after such a surgery?

during the healing period what should I do in order to help him not having much pain?

medicines?

practical info?

in what should I be very careful?

should we have a biopsy first and then the amputation?

...

 

And guys... even though I found you because of a very very sad fact, It feels good to know that there are other people who had/ have the same problem as me and the most important the same love for cats and maybe they can help me...

 

Thanks!

Eleni

post #2 of 11
Hi and Welcome!

Kitty may be put on cage rest for a while after the surgery and they will probably give him some pain meds. I am sure others will come along soon that can give you some advice and info. I just wanted to tell you not to worry about him just having 3 legs. Animals generally do VERY well with only having 3. Much better than a human who lost a leg. All the 3 legged kitties I met in the rescue did very well. They ran and jumped and played just like any other cat once they healed. He may have some trouble with certain activities for a while but I honestly wouldn't worry about his quality of life. He should do very well smile.gif
post #3 of 11
I lost my dear Bob Marley (cat) to bone cancer early last year. I also lost 2 greyhounds to bone cancer, and both my mother and father in law had bone cancer. I feel your pain. I hate bone cancer more than any other cancer because of the pain it causes.

Bob's cancer spread from another malignant tumor, so amputation was not going to cure his cancer. I never had the discussion with my vet on recovery from an amputation. We kept him comfortable and he hung on for another 9 months.

One of my greyhound's bone cancer appeared to have started in his wrist. We caught it early, but research at the time suggested that bone cancer tends to metastasize quickly. I honestly can't tell you if that is unique to greyhounds (they are long boned dogs and are highly prone to bone cancer), or animals in general. The questions I posed to my vet at that time was this: if he amputated his leg, and it had already metastasized, what is his life expectancy? And if we didn't amputate, what is his life expectancy? When the answer came back with 6 months of each other, I opted against the the surgery. I wasn't going to put him thru the trauma of a major surgery just to have him die from another cancer 6 months later. No amount of blood work and xrays uncovered other tumors, but that didn't mean that he didn't have them. Those tests don't always identify tumors. Some cancers are only identified through biopsies.

You have a very difficult call to make, as with bone cancers, time works against you. If you have a cat specialist in your area, perhaps get a better opinion on what your options are and what is the long term prognosis of those options. If amputation will cure him, he will adjust to being 3 legged. If there is a high chance for another tumor hidden, is it fair to put him thru that surgery?

If you don't have a cat specialist in your area, it's time to do a lot of research on bone cancer in cats so you can ask very specific questions of your vet. Because most vets are generalists, I'm of the opinion that sometimes you need to challenge them with questions. A good vet will do research on your behalf, even if that research is to bring them up to date on current information.

I know I haven't answered your questions, as this is so personal to you and I'm not qualified to answer them. I will send calming vibes vibes.gif to you to get you through this.
post #4 of 11

I pm'd you.  You will know if you make the right decision.  Sending you positive thoughts!

post #5 of 11

I agree that cats do very well with three legs, especially if it's a back leg they lose.  Bone cancer is rare in cats so I'm not surprised it wasn't your vet's original diagnosis.  If the tumour hasn't spread then amutating will be a complete cure, and if he was my cat I'd have the vet do it in a heart beat.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very very very much for your feedback!

 

You cannot imagine how helpful it is...

 

Tomorrow I will go to the vet to discuss about the operation and have the results of the blood test (cross fingers that everything will be perfect!!).

And after I will go to a 3rd vet to ask his opinion, just to be sure.

If amputation is the only way then I will try this Friday to get rid of that leg !

 

I will keep you updated.

 

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 

I just took blood results and everything seems fine.

 

My problem now is that I went today to another vet who was totally NEGATIVE to the amputation. He examined the cat and he told me that the cancer has expanded in a vast area of the leg and there is high possibility to have a metastasis. For that reason he explained to me that there is no need to amputate the leg and make the cat suffer from a surgery because it is very probable that this wont help him to live more.. He suggested just to let him being and when the time arrives to be ready to put him in sleep...

 

The worst is that he saw something in the lungs xray and he asked me if the cat is coughing. When I told him no, he said that what he sees is probably from the stress..

 

Tomorrow I will go to a 3rd vet to get his opinion and Saturday to a 4rth...

 

Really guys it's getting worst and worst...

 

Any advice???

post #8 of 11
Not all cancers will show up in blood work. Some cancers will change the numbers on the blood work, but still remain within or be close to normal range. That has always surprised (and frustrated) me. When you talk to the vet, ask what they would expect to see in their blood work if they had the type of cancers they suspect.

You might also want to talk about recovery from leg amputation in a 13 year old cat, and as much as I don't want to say this, but what is the chance that he might not survive the surgery?

My first cat developed cancer when he was 12 years old. We started down the path of aggressive treatment and he wasn't responding to it very well. My wonderful vet at the time asked me 1 simple question that I ask myself with every terminally ill cat that I've had since: "Are you keeping him alive for him, or are you keeping him alive for yourself?" That made me realize that my actions weren't about keeping him happy, it was all about my fear of losing him. What is fair to your cat? As horrible as this question is, to honor the love for him, you must face it.
post #9 of 11

I am so sorry to hear this and hope that you have found the treatment.  HOw are things?

post #10 of 11

Dear Eleni:

I saw your post and am wondering how you and your cat are.  I just came back from the vets office with my own cat Lexi.  I took her in for a limp and they took an x-ray.  She has bone cancer in her right hind leg but it also involves the hip and is close to the spine.  He showed us the xrays and it is pretty obvious.  It hasn't spread into any organs.  You would never know anything was wrong with her except for her limp.  She is still playful (for a 10 year old cat), still purrs and receives a nightly ear lick from our dog Murphy.

I hope all is well with you and your cat. It's so hard to take, isn't it?

 

Donna

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by twocats58 View Post

Dear Eleni:
I saw your post and am wondering how you and your cat are.  I just came back from the vets office with my own cat Lexi.  I took her in for a limp and they took an x-ray.  She has bone cancer in her right hind leg but it also involves the hip and is close to the spine.  He showed us the xrays and it is pretty obvious.  It hasn't spread into any organs.  You would never know anything was wrong with her except for her limp.  She is still playful (for a 10 year old cat), still purrs and receives a nightly ear lick from our dog Murphy.
I hope all is well with you and your cat. It's so hard to take, isn't it?

Donna

Hi and welcome to The Cat site! wavey.gif

This post is 8 months old, so I'm not sure if the original poster will come back to update. Perhaps you can start a new thread of your own for advice and support. smile.gif
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