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My cat Hunter is dying from abdominal tumor (mesenteric); so sad !  

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

 

Hi

I'm new to this site and found it while researching information on abdominal cancer.  My cat Hunter is about 16 years old.  About 6 or so months ago his brother Scout died suddenly from liver failure.  Hunter started to act strangely and we attributed it to being sad.  He would go through phases of looking fine to acting a little off.  Finally about a month ago it suddenly looked like he lost most of his weight and his fur looked dull.  We took him to the vet and there is a huge tumor taking up most of his stomach.  The vet said she was amazed he was not in pain and still eating!  We asked what if any options and she was very nice and honest and stated that even if she could operate, he is an older cat and it probably would only give him a few months and would be followed by chemo/radiation and surgery and just would not be in his best interest to put him through all of it.  We asked if he was in pain and she said no and advised that we could take him home and let him have the rest of his time with us.  She could not say how much time because she didn't know how long he's had the tumor. 

 

She also said she believed it was a mesenteric tumor because it was not affecting any other organs and said those kind tend to grow inside this type of netting in the abdomen allowing cats to keep functioning. 

 

Has anyone had this type of experience?  How long did your cat survive?  Did he hide when it was near?  I'm not sure if it will be suddenly or he will show signs a few days before? 

 

We will have him euthanized when it comes time. The vet said to just keep an eye on him and watch to see if he starts to hide and stops eating.  He's already started going off on his own more and won't stay with me as much for his pets and cuddle time. 

 

I'm sad and just don't want to lose him ! 

 

Thanks everyone!

post #2 of 25

Hunter is a beauty.  My soul mate cat, Max, looked a lot like him.  What a blessed life he has had for such a long time.  How much he must have added to your life.  Love him, spoil him and enjoy every minute.  You will know when it is time. 

 

My cat, Muffin is 12.  He had surgery in May for an abdominal mass that turned out to be a primary liver cancer.  He has had high ALT numbers for years which indicates liver issues.  I tried several years ago to give him Denamarin to improve his liver numbers and it did help.  The bloodwork proved that, but it made him vomit and very sick.  I quit giving it to him because he was happy, healthy, no symptoms.  In January of this year he stopped eating, but with some meds and TLC, we got him going again.  Then in May we found this out and also that he has thyroid issues.  He is doing good since his surgery, but I would never again put him through another surgery.  We are taking one day at a time and spoiling him rotten.  His medicines include thyroid medication and a steroid to keep him eating. 

 

I think you have made the right decision.  Hugs to you and Hunter.

post #3 of 25
I lost my dearest Chancy to stomach cancer. She was 15 or so. We never knew for sure how old she was as she was a stray initially.

Your lucky your little one is basically symptom free. Chancy started throwing up a lot and the vet couldn't figure out why. An Xray revealed the issue.

Give him a big hug for me and spoil him rotten. I'd give anything for a few more days with my baby.
post #4 of 25
Well, I think we have, with our Lazlo. He was nine when diagnosed with a "massive tumor" in his stomach - we received the same comments. Given his state of health (very poor); his appetite was gone, he was hiding, he was anemic, and he had bleeding ulcers - they gave him four weeks to live without treatment. We had a biopsy done to get the definitive diagnosis. He had large cell lymphosarcoma. Well - he still has it, but it has been in remission. That's in question now, and I was just about to start a thread about it, but I saw yours. heartpump.gif

Most stomach tumors are inoperable, because they grow out of the stomach lining. But we opted for chemo, even though surgery wasn't a choice. We figured... we could at least start it, and see how he did with the treatments and the trips. And given he did so well, we just kept going. The oncologist was a bit discouraging along the way, as the shrinkage of his "massive" tumor wasn't what he hoped for after the first month OR the second. So we stopped getting ultrasounds - we figured we're going as far as Lazlo was willing. And that was all the way. He did the entire course of chemo treatments. It's always a six-month protocol. (In cats, the goal is very different than in people - it's a focus on the quality of life, not length of life, and treatments are adjusted based on how they respond). His last treatment was January 30 of this year. Three weeks later we had an ultrasound done, and the cancer was in complete remission. biggrin.gif

If Lazlo were 16 when diagnosed, I'm not sure what we'd do. But Lazlo was only nine..... heartpump.gif

If he's out of remission, I do not think we're going to do the chemo treatments again. Chemo has a 50% chance of sending large cell lymphoma into remission in the first place, so we got very lucky. Typical remission is 9 to 18 months. This would be only 7, so it's an aggressive cancer. But we knew that going into it... he had x-rays done a year ago January, and there was no small mass to see. Yet by July, it was so large on an x-ray that all his organs looked squished, and they couldn't tell if it was his stomach or his spleen - in fact, they thought it was his spleen. It was only on ultrasound that they could really see what was going on, and then he needed the biopsy to determine the type.

Anyway, this was our journey with Lazlo: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/234030/mega-massive-vibes-for-lazlo-urgent

And this is his story: http://www.catnipchronicles.com/july2012/kitty.htm


I'm so, so sorry for your loss, and for the sad news about Hunter. hugs.gif My thoughts are with you. hearthrob.gif Many vibes for his comfort in your care. rub.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks to everyone for your posts, your encouragement and your thoughts.  Hunter is still here but today, he didn't eat much and was hiding more than in the past. He only came out once to sit with me and get his cuddles. I'm afraid the end is nearing and I got hysterical today.

 

How can I stop crying? I'm just so sad that something I love is near the end.  He is my family and I never had children so my pets mean everything to me and I doted on him.  How can I say goodbye to something I cherish? 

 

Well, I will keep everyone posted. 

 

Can anyone tell me if there is anything else to look for when it's near besides lack of appetite and hiding?  I don't want him to suffer so I'm trying to euthanize him before he is real turmoil or pain.

 

Thanks again everyone!

post #6 of 25

I'm so sorry you're going through this with your precious Hunter, honey. hugs.gif I know it is so hard right now, but you hang tough and try to enjoy every minute with him. Lack of appetite and sleeping more were not on my radar as a gauge to knowing when to let a kitty go--there are things you can do about appetite (one is below). When I had to let my Tuffy go, it was the hardest decision of my life. Tuffy was diagnosed with CKD/CRF when he was only 2, and around 7-1/2 when the end was coming. How did I know? With CKD Tuffy's appetite was an ongoing battle for about the last 4 of the years of his life. He also slept more, but that was to be expected, so that didn't concern me as much. But, when he became very weak and couldn't jump up on low surfaces, and became totally disinterested in his surroundings (no more sitting in the window enjoying the birdies outside, etc. even with prompting from his mama), I knew it was getting time to let him go. (It is so hard to even type this because it brings back memories of his last day bawling.gif.) For each purrson, it can be different in knowing when, so you'll have to judge by the quality of life vs quantity.

 

I will say that I'd be assist feeding Hunter because not eating is so bad for kitties--they can't go very long or other problems develop. A lot of people call this "force feeding," but I so dislike that term because you are 'assisting' them to eat. Assist feeding can also sometimes jump start their appetite, which helped with my Tuffy. Some helpful assist-feeding info. Basically you puree their food and feed small amounts by mouth via a syringe or dropper as many times a day as you can. With Tuffy, he was a trouper at being assist fed, so I was able to do more in one sitting than some kitties will tolerate. I had better luck with a dropper than syringe because a syringe tends to squirt more than you intended or can be hard to get the pureed food to flow. I also used Hills A/D because it can be pureed more easily than some other canned foods, but I only used this to get Tuffy eating on his own again. Another one to try is Carnivore Care.

 

Many hugs.gif and prayers for Hunter and you! My heart breaks for you both.

post #7 of 25

Oh dear, your post has made me well up.

My dear little Daisy is going through much the same, only we only got told yesterday that cancer is the most likely cause of her problems. She's doing a lot of hiding away, she doesn't look comfy at all and is thin and dehydrated, all this despite the gorgeous food and tuna-briny water she's been tempted with. Yesterday she had a set of injections which aim to stimulate her appetite a bit, and they seem to have worked (steroids and B12) but due to her frailty and age the vet has said that if she is no better by the end of this week we need to put her to sleep as she is slowly starving to death. I can't let that happen.

It's all happened so fast, she started failing about a month ago, we've been back & forth to the vet, had tests for this, drugs for that, yet still she gets thinner and more unhappy. I can't bear it, really, and I too don't know what I will do when she goes (well, lots of crying, that's for sure).

I have been hoping, and hoping, but I can't see her getting better now. When the time comes I will get a home visit to have her pts, the vet said yesterday they are happy to come out and do it here. And she wouldn't have to go in the Horrid Cat Basket!

post #8 of 25

Don't stop crying.  It's normal, natural when something like this is going on as is lots of crying afterwards and maybe going to sleep for a long, long time.

 

I agree with the vet's advice on how to tell when his time has come.  If a cat goes downhill very suddenly it's easier than if they are gradually slipping away.

 

If someone can drive you to the vets that will help, and it will probably be safer... You might want to see if the vet will do a home call, though it will cost a bit more. Depends maybe how your cat travels.

 

I had this last year with a cat that had liver tumours, and I planned beforehand what would happen to him after he was pts, which saved me having to think about it at the time.  I also found that taking his body to the pet crematorium and choosing and buying something beautiful which is nothing like an urn or casket for his ashes was calming and theraputic.

 

One thing I didn't realise until afterwards was that several months of him being terminally ill had been very stressful.

 

And finally, not allowing our pets to suffer when they are terminally ill is one of the last loving things we can do for them.  We do it because we cherish them, not despite cherishing them.

post #9 of 25

I am deeply sorry you're going through this. Hunter is such a gorgeous fellow! May his passing be without much pain. :(

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!

 

Thanks so much to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and insight into this horrible time.  I know it pains us to revisit how our pets succumbed to cancer or their final days and I HATE to even ask but I was desperate and in such despair. 

 

I would like to let you all know that Hunter is still with us and has had a good week or so.  He went all the way upstairs to my bedroom on Tuesday night and I let him sleep in there and provided him with his own litterbox, food and water so he had everything.  He is still able to get around and I also set up a few places throughout the house for him to sit by the windows and he falls asleep and looks pretty happy actually.  I watch & listen to him when he jumps up and down in these spots to see if he is in pain or cries out but so for no.  I do notice that he is having more difficulty laying down, he braces his bottom feet under his stomach when he is sitting and when he lays on his side he seems to favor his right side and the Dr said the tumor is most of his stomach but more prevelant on his left side.

 

As far as eating, he is still eating and started to get very good about it last couple of weeks.  However, yesterday and today he's sleeping more and not interested in his cat food.  I gave him checken breast that I boiled last night and he ATE RAVENOUSLY!!! I have notices that he seems to like people food more, chicken, pork chops, canned chicken breast meat and tuna juice.  CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND SOME OTHER FOOD TO TRY???? My sister mentioned baby food???

 

I also spoke to the vets office with the technician who was in the examining room with the dr.  I asked her about prednisone and she said the dr advised they use that more for lymphomas and when a animal is not eating.  I asked about time frame, she said difficult bc they don't know how long it's been there but she said they have NEVER seen a tumor that big and the cat still alive and doing this well.  I asked about more signs to watch for and she said more hiding, less eating and possibly anxiousness like he can't get comfortable and of course signs of pain.  I told her all his symptoms and asked if I should pur him to sleep now and she said it seems he is still doing ok and his quality of life is still pretty good.  I asked about the type of cancer and she said again without doing surgery , biopsies or anything more than xray can't say whether splenic, messenteric or what kind. 

 

I FEEL SO GUILTY THAT I AM NOT RICH.... if i were , perhaps I could get him some chemo and try to buy more time for him!!! The vet said that may not work either and try not to feel badly but I can't help it. 

 

Every night I've been watching him sit at the window looking out and I can't help but wonder if he's longing for days past, when he was a young cat eager to try to chase that bird or succumb to the calls of the wild outdoors.  Young, healthy and full of spirit, yet gentle and loving and always there for a hug and some cuddles.  It makes me so sad and I can't help but reflect back and think of our time together and wish i could turn back the clock or caught it earlier!  He was always a good boy, healthy and gave me no problems ever!!! He never even went to the vet regularly because he was so healthy, with his shiny coat and little paws with white tips!  I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.... THIS IS BREAKING MY HEART.

 

I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE!!! My husband keeps saying he's old but WHAT DIFFERENCE IS THAT WHEN YOU LOVE YOUR PET???

 

Thanks for listening everyone. 

 

Sadly

Dawn

post #11 of 25

Bless your heart, Dawn.  Take one day at a time.  Hold him, love him, give him whatever he wants to eat.  Spoil him rotten.  I am so sorry.  I know it hurts. 

post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 

Thanks blueeyedgirl!  I'm doing my best! 

post #13 of 25
This has brought me to tears. I am so very touched by this story. There is nothing harder than knowing you have to have your beloved cat put to sleep. I had my girl put to sleep 9 years ago and i still cry from time to time. All I can say is you've done the best you can for him and you should never ever feel guilty about anything.
post #14 of 25

Hugs to you.  I lost many pets while growing up and it didn't seem to matter if we'd had them a short while or for years.  It hurt just the same.  grouphug2.gif

 

You've given Hunter a good life and it sounds like you're trying to give him the best ending. 


Edited by Pippen - 10/5/12 at 2:53pm
post #15 of 25
That's something helpful you can do for him: feed him whatever he wants to eat. agree.gif My Boots goes absolutely nuts for any kind of sliced deli meat, but especially chicken.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleflower70 View Post

Hi everyone!

Thanks so much to everyone for your thoughts, prayers and insight into this horrible time.  I know it pains us to revisit how our pets succumbed to cancer or their final days and I HATE to even ask but I was desperate and in such despair. 

I would like to let you all know that Hunter is still with us and has had a good week or so.  He went all the way upstairs to my bedroom on Tuesday night and I let him sleep in there and provided him with his own litterbox, food and water so he had everything.  He is still able to get around and I also set up a few places throughout the house for him to sit by the windows and he falls asleep and looks pretty happy actually.  I watch & listen to him when he jumps up and down in these spots to see if he is in pain or cries out but so for no.  I do notice that he is having more difficulty laying down, he braces his bottom feet under his stomach when he is sitting and when he lays on his side he seems to favor his right side and the Dr said the tumor is most of his stomach but more prevelant on his left side.

As far as eating, he is still eating and started to get very good about it last couple of weeks.  However, yesterday and today he's sleeping more and not interested in his cat food.  I gave him checken breast that I boiled last night and he ATE RAVENOUSLY!!! I have notices that he seems to like people food more, chicken, pork chops, canned chicken breast meat and tuna juice.  CAN ANYONE RECOMMEND SOME OTHER FOOD TO TRY???? My sister mentioned baby food???

I also spoke to the vets office with the technician who was in the examining room with the dr.  I asked her about prednisone and she said the dr advised they use that more for lymphomas and when a animal is not eating.  I asked about time frame, she said difficult bc they don't know how long it's been there but she said they have NEVER seen a tumor that big and the cat still alive and doing this well.  I asked about more signs to watch for and she said more hiding, less eating and possibly anxiousness like he can't get comfortable and of course signs of pain.  I told her all his symptoms and asked if I should pur him to sleep now and she said it seems he is still doing ok and his quality of life is still pretty good.  I asked about the type of cancer and she said again without doing surgery , biopsies or anything more than xray can't say whether splenic, messenteric or what kind. 

I FEEL SO GUILTY THAT I AM NOT RICH.... if i were , perhaps I could get him some chemo and try to buy more time for him!!! The vet said that may not work either and try not to feel badly but I can't help it. 

Every night I've been watching him sit at the window looking out and I can't help but wonder if he's longing for days past, when he was a young cat eager to try to chase that bird or succumb to the calls of the wild outdoors.  Young, healthy and full of spirit, yet gentle and loving and always there for a hug and some cuddles.  It makes me so sad and I can't help but reflect back and think of our time together and wish i could turn back the clock or caught it earlier!  He was always a good boy, healthy and gave me no problems ever!!! He never even went to the vet regularly because he was so healthy, with his shiny coat and little paws with white tips!  I LOVE HIM SO MUCH.... THIS IS BREAKING MY HEART.

I DON'T WANT HIM TO DIE!!! My husband keeps saying he's old but WHAT DIFFERENCE IS THAT WHEN YOU LOVE YOUR PET???

Thanks for listening everyone. 

Sadly
Dawn

Awwwwwwww vibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gifvibes.gif and hugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gifhugs.gif to you hon!!!!! I'm so sorry. You seem like such a wonderful meowmy and you are doing all you can. More hugs.gif to you!!!
post #17 of 25

We have just found out the same and are as confused and unhappy as you are. Collar is 11 and they will operate but it wont give him mch time> and chemo would follow .

We do not know how long he has had it and they estimate 2-4 months time left, he is very brave, we only took him in for a cat bite and got all this from a check up>

He is a lovely cat and we are both devastated.

post #18 of 25

I don't have any good advice, but just wanted to say I'm so sorry!

post #19 of 25
Oh little flower. I am so sorry you and your beautiful Hunter are going through this. OMG I don't know you but I sure hear and feel what you are saying. It hits very close to home for a lot of us. Your posts are making me cry. You're right it doesn't matter if they are "old", it never feels long enough. and when they have been with you a long time you just love them more and more.

I lost my beloved and amazing Louis to cancer last year. It was lymphoma. Before that he had made it through 6 years of diabetes that became very complicated to treat due to chronic pancreatitis and then also inflammatory bowel disease. including a time when he got pancreatitis and developed DKA and nearly died, other hospitalizations for pancreatitis and IBD , once he was in shock by the time we got him to the emergency hospital. then he went ketotic and was borderline DKA again.
We knew for a few years cancer was one possibility and I had repeated samples taken by ultrasound guided needle aspirate and they always came up negative. and I did not want to put him through a surgical biopsy.
finally it definitely was cancer. and by the time we found it was mestaticized in multiple organs . and although we had managed to save him over and over, finally we could not. I guess it was really amazing he had lived as long as he did.

Oh he did get prednisilone which was bad for his diabetes, but it gave him a while of feeling a lot better. Then he started to get weak again and finally was starting to be in pain. and the tumor in his liver was huge.
So it was time to let him go free.

( I forgot to say that for some reason antibiotics were helping too. in his last months. ( but he had so many complicated things going on, plus a different kind of cancer, so I'm not suggesting what helped Louis would help Hunter. )
I also was giving him sub-q fluids. but again, that may have been needed because of his out of control diabetes at the end. but it helped him feel better .

Fortunately he mostly kept a decent appetite. probably the pred helped with that. Because of his IBD he was limited on what he could eat, and luckily he kept enjoying his venison ( raw and canned). and I also gave him rabbit.

But many cats do like chicken or turkey baby food. Or you can try mixing that with some Wellness Chicken or Turkey canned food which is high calorie.
Basically whatever he'll eat! Since he liked the chicken you could also try the Weruva Paw Lickin Chicken, which is just shredded chicken but has the additional supplements etc so it is a balanced diet.

Just give him lots of love and care, stay close to him, pet him gently, talk to him, try not to act too upset in front of him.
and pay attention and listen if he seems to be telling you he is ready to leave. Not to leave you forever. just to leave his body that is so ill.
I can tell how much you love him, so much, so much. and nothing I can say can make it not hurt. but that is the flip side of loving so much these animal friends who have shorter lives than ours. And I would not give up the love to avoid the pain.
((((little flower & Hunter))))
post #20 of 25
Please notice that the poster, littleflower, has not posted in this thread since 9-28-12. Does anyone know what happened to her cat.
post #21 of 25
I forgot to say ,
You know Hunter sounds like Louis. he was always amazing the vets that he was such a fighter. He was about 15. possibly 16.
He never hid , but at the end he would just mostly lie in a crate with a blanket in it. He got very weak and was walking very slow and stiffly. I put a litterbox with very low side near where he wanted to lie so he would not have to go far.

I know about watching for signs of pain because of his pancreatitis. Signs of pain would be hidging ( but louis never hid) . also sitting in a sort of hunched position like a "meatloaf" for a long time. but with Hunter's large tumor I'm not sure if that affects how he is able to sit/ lie.
or seeming like trying to protect the abdomen. or stiffening if touched there. reacting differently than usual if picked up. (be very gentle when you pick him up. but I'm sure I don't need to tell you that.)
post #22 of 25
Wow. did not look at the date! I just saw it in recent threads and was so moved I never noticed it was old.
There I am crying for a cat who is probably gone to the Bridge months ago. Both hers and mine.
I would guess he must have died, from what she wrote, it sounds like he did not have much time. maybe she was too sad to write about it here. I hope the poster is doing OK.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by maewkaew View Post

Wow. did not look at the date! I just saw it in recent threads and was so moved I never noticed it was old.
There I am crying for a cat who is probably gone to the Bridge months ago. Both hers and mine.
I would guess he must have died, from what she wrote, it sounds like he did not have much time. maybe she was too sad to write about it here. I hope the poster is doing OK.

There might be a post in the Crossing the Bridge Forum if this cat passed on.
post #24 of 25

I dont know if this kitty is still with the living in which i prey he or she is....Have you tryed the budwig diet for animals....presently my cat was diagnosed with breast cancer....the vet advised me that if surgery was giving it would not be a guarenty that she (spawnie) would be ok........and the cost for putty my kitty down was expensive......i have had spawnie for 8 years and i wasnt going to give up on her.....the tumour ended up with a hole a few days after seeing the vet......and then it got infected.....the vet said this was normal and this is what happens well i wasnt about to let this hapen.....spawnie weighed 6 lbs 6 ozs and being the smallest of the litter really scared me......she lost i swear 3 lbs in less then 2 weeks and then didnt really want to eat and wasnt really moving.......i knew that i had to do something fast........i changed her diet and started her on the budwig diet which is flaxseed oil and 1% cottage cheese.....at first it was a hard time getting her to eat it but now she eats the whole mix....now remember this is a cat that was giving little time to live and that i should put her down within 2 weeks........well that was in the middle of january....she has now gain back 2lbs and is eatting like a little horse since her new food and diet program.....within 2 days she was up and walking around.....within 3 days she was sitting beside me and purring......within 4 days she was a happy kitty looking out the window with the sunshine on her within 5 days she was able to eat her dinner without getting sick////////within 6 days she was playing with her mouse lazer..............then i was out of town for 2 days when my hubby figured it wouldnt hurt if she missed her budwig diet dinner......when i came home the 3 day she was not feeling good and really not eatting and back to sleeping all the time.....i almost lost it when i found out that he figured it was ok to miss the diet.............well she is back on track and back on her diet.......her tumour isnt as big as it was and a part of a small tumor came out which i talked to the vet all the way through and she is actually suprised with the progress that spawnie has been making and has charted everything i am doing at this moment in spawnies life..........i am not going to give up on my loving spawnie and of course spawnie isnt giving up either..........i talked to spawnie about what i am doing and even used a kitty dome at first so she couldnt give me a hard time about taking the diet............im not saying it will be a life saver but its worth a try and if it works out great.....and if it doesnt at least i know she is not in pain and will pass away a happy kitty...............we are just in the beggining stages of using this diet so i can not tell you if it works completely as we have a long journey ahead but i have faith that she will over come this as long as we do what we must.........God Bless and Good Luck   Oh and it is now march 4th and we started this diet feb the 12th  and spawnie says give a big hug to kitty...................

post #25 of 25
This cat passed on in October. There is a thread in Crossing the Bridge Forum. I am now going to lock this thread.
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