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Nose probs

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Pebbles has always had a scabby nose, but she had at least 12 vet visits for other things last year, and it was only mentioned once, and not really taken too seriously, so I didn't bother too much about it. it did start looking worse recently though, so took her to the vet. The vet thinks it looks worse than it did when she last saw her in August, and that her nose is inflamed, but if it is anything serious there is nothing that can be done due to the position it is in. She didn't seem to mention any tests to confirm if it is something serious, just said they would order me some cream to try on if it is irritating her and to monitor it. She is roughly 11. There isn't really another vet at my practice that I could ask for a second opinion, although I could take her to the vet the rescue i foster for use. I do have a list of questions to ask her but she hasn't got back to me yet. Here is a close up of it. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do next? I really woudl like to know one way or the other what it is.
post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, have been using the cream and got chance to speak to the vet today. There is a possibility of her being referred to a specialist, but I am unsure what to do. I do want to do everything possible to get a diagnosis, but not if it will mean painful procedures for her, and i don't know if a biopsy will class as that, as she doesn't have a lump, it is more an open wound. Plus if it is something serious, I am not sure if they could do anything, or even if I would be willing to let them try due to the location. On a positive side, it does seem to be better with the Fuciderm, although I understand it is a short term treatment. might have to leave it a couple of weeks to see how it goes when she is off the Fuciderm. There is another vet I can ask for a second opinion though, but it is a different surgery, so they wont have all the notes.
post #3 of 25
Is Pebbles an outdoor cat?

My cat, Marshmallow, lived outdoors for years before my husband and I were able to take him in. Sadly, he suffered from skin cancer (first on his left ear, then a spot on his nose... eventually moved into his lymph nodes) and had to (after a few months of intensive treatment) be put to sleep. *sigh*

If those spots are unhealing wounds, you very well may be facing cancer. I hope that isn't the case and that the cream works.
post #4 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I only adopted her at the age of 10, and I got the impression that she was a fairly outdoor cat before I took her on, which is odd as she rarely goes out now.
Thanks for that - my vet never came out and said that unhealing wounds could be a sign of cancer. To me, they appear to be wounds that scab over, but the scab comes off before they have healed, and this just continues. i have ordered some pet suncream today, as my male has a white nose (although he lived on the streets for 3 years, so not sure if it is too late for him anyway) and one of my fosters does (although hopefully he will be rehomed by the summer).
post #5 of 25
Originally Posted by booktigger
There is another vet I can ask for a second opinion though, but it is a different surgery, so they wont have all the notes.
You can ask your vet for a copy of your kitty's chart, and they should give it to you.
post #6 of 25
I found something that might help... SCC-Squamous cell carcinoma. A cancer caused by the sun. or Pemphigus foliaceus was something else that sounded as if this could be the case. the website here shows a picture, (graphic) of 2 different cats with the same diagnosis (SCC) and the pic. with the cat on the right reminded me of your cat's pic. Other options could be mange, ringworm, sunburn, or allergies. I kinda ruled out the rest because of the symptoms you mentioned but they are possibilities. I hope your pretty kitty is well again!!! Take care.
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
I was reading about that at work today, and I have to admit it sounded a distinct possibility - just read another article about it, and am not sure if I like the sound of a biopsy, and as she has had these scabs for over a year, I doubt it would be classed as early, and I can't imagine putting her through surgery to remove the part of her nose that has scabs on it. The vet only mentioned things like radiotherapy, but that the price puts it out of most peoples options. The middle scab on the second picture does look a lot like her nose - one scab is looking a lot better since she has been on the steroid cream, but it isn't a long term option, so I think I have to see what will happen when we stop it at weekend - although just looking at the close up pic (attached), the other scabs are looking worse. I can't talk to the specialist about what treatment may be a possibility unless I have seen him, and I don't want to see him until I know, as I am not willing to take her if it is going to be too major. My friends are all saying to not bother, but they are not true cat lovers, and I do want to know I have done everything I can, but at the same point don't want to put her through painful procedures for nothing.

post #8 of 25
Maybe you could have a biopsy taken to tell if your are indeed dealing with some type of skin cancer.Then after you find out if it is or isn't cancer decide your options . I just had skin cancer a few months ago from sun exposer. It was right above my lip and it was a scab that would not heal.It waould almost go away then back. For people not sure about cats. the biopsy amounted to nothing no pain really and just a little piece of skin tissue is taken for the test. Of course with your cat having it on her little nose might be more involved then a human. But if it was me I would have the biopsy and take it from there. Good Luck. I do hope its not.
post #9 of 25

If the spots are cancerous, you have a few options. Some are pretty extreme. We had Marshy's left earflap removed, which helped a great deal since the whole thing was one big unhealin wound. We *alomst* had his nose removed, but at the last minute, the vet determined that he would not be able to get a "clean margin" around the cancer cells. We were almost blessed with being able to do a lazer surgery that kills the cancer cells, but again, at the last minute, it was decided that Marshy wasn't a good candidate for the procedure (the cancer cells were present too deep in his nose). We did one round of paliative (sp?) radiation. This type of radiation is only used to treat the symptoms of the cancer, not to cure it. Animals who undergo paliative radiation are not expected to live for longer than a year. After his one round of radiation, we found a holistic vet and treated him in that way until it was apparent that his quality of life was no longer good and that he was indeed suffering.

Those few months were the toughest few months of my life. Feel free to pm or email me at jgracefrank at gmail dot com if you want to talk more about it.
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I had decided to at least see the specialist, but maybe not go through with the biopsy, depending on how much he thought he needed for the test. Then when I gave her her cream this morning, I noticed that her lip appears blacker further up than it used to (if that makes sense), so she is going to see the vet at 9am in the morning - depending on what she thinks depends on if I will go through with teh referral.
post #11 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, we saw the vet this morning, and she was more concerned about Pebbles general condition than her nose, and said we had to do blood tests to check her kidney function before she would refer her. she also thinks she is dehydrated. Fortunately I had an evening app with my other cat, so was able to take her up this eve - she had to be prestarved. However, the evening app didn't go well!! They had a couple of clients in making an awful decision tonight, so they took Pebbles into the back to save me waiting - unfortunately Pebbles didn't like that and after about 20 mins, they had to admit defeat - she was extremely stressed, so although she had a good vein, they decided not to continue. I did pass comment on the fact that it was the only time I have never been with my cat for a blood sample and the only time they failed. Fortunately Harold had taken me up, as they want her back in the morning and I have a dentist app, so couldn't take her up myself. i am hoping that they manage fine tomorrow - if it is done early enough, it will be able to go with the courier and we could get results back tomorrow afternoon. The vet wanted a test that included electrolytes, not sure why, and it was the vet nurse who attempted the sample, so couldn't ask.
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, I keep imagining the worse and getting myself worked up. I don't know if I want the results to be positive or negative - if they are positive, the vet might not want to refer her to the specialist, depending on what the results actually are, if they are negative, I have to again decide if I should go through with the specialist - I want to see him, but might not go through with the tests, so do have to decide if it is worth it. and if I do go through with it,it will be more waiting and emotional stuff to get through.
She is quite clingy (although did nip me a couple of times last night when we were cuddling in bed - she did lick me before and afterwards though, but after the second nip I stopped her licking me), but I suppose that could just be going to the vets 3 times in 2 days, esp as she was taken by my neighbour the 3rd time, and had to stay there for a couple of hours. I am only feeding her wet food to try and help with the dehydration - not that she likes that idea much, she loves biscuits.
post #13 of 25
Oh, boy...what a dilemma! I do hope that the vet determines that Pebbles is in fine shape, and the nose sore is nothing serious! Even if it is cancerous...maybe it would be a slow growing kind that can just be removed. Although a person would be bothered by a scar on their nose, a kitty knows they are still beautiful, right?

I'll be checking this thread to see how Pebbles is doing. It just doesn't seem fair to only have her for a year and to be facing all this worry. Surely she is meant to stay with you for many many more years of loving care. I'll keep her in my prayers.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks. She has been such a sickly cat, with constant weight worries and has been to the vets so many times that I can't convince myself that it is nothing, and if it is something, it does explain the sickliness (although kidney probs were pretty much ruled out on her last blood tests). I personally wouldnt' go through with the scabs being removed, I think they are too far up for that - if they were lumps then yes, but these are more scabs/wounds. I think if she does have kidney probs, I will give up on the specialist, as I think it would be pointless, she may have a shortened lifespan due to the kidney probs, so I dont think I need to know if she has a second condition anyway.
It does seem unfair, but I always end up with sickly females, I just thought with taking on a 10 year old I would have more luck, and she has been to the vets more times than Ginger has, and not only have I had him for nearly 4 years, he is nearly 4 years older than she is. I think she will be Gingers last friend, excluding fosters, I have lost 5 cats in less than 4 years, I think I need a slight break both financially and emotionally.
post #15 of 25
Sounds like you have had a rough time of it lately with your furry friends.

I hope Pebbles pulls through, for her and for you
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, it looks like both her third eyelids are showing. I am hoping it is just cos she is dehydrated (although I still cant tell she is, I can only check the bit under her shoulder blades, there isn't enough flesh further down to check and she has been on wet food only since Fri). I am going to try and syringe some fluids into her, but don't anticipate it will go well as she hates her mouth being messed with. I dont think there is much point ringing the emergency vet as we are waiting for test results back. If she seems worse in the morning though, I will ring in sick and wizz her up, and hope that maybe the vet can push for the results, although she said they don't normally do them in the morning, so we would be looking at lunchtime anyway.
post #17 of 25
Sending vibes for Pebbles! Both of you have been through the wringer lately.
post #18 of 25
Maybe she would like the taste of kitten formula. You can buy it in powder form and mix it up. It is high in calories and of course would get fluids into her. Certainly worth a try, if you can find it.

We have it here at the local Farm & Fleet, in the animal section. I think it is available at pet stores, too.

I lost Festie's sister Mattie to FIP, Gar's brother Odie to distemper, 3 out of the 5 kittens from Sugartoes does get you down, doesn't it? Personally, I'm taking a break from fostering.

On the plus side, each of your 5 cats were loved, even if just for a short time, and that means a lot. Luckily, my foster agency covers the vet fees for fosters, so it hasn't cost much $, just a lot of tears!

I hope Pebbles feels better. If she won't drink, ask the vet how to give fluids sub-q. It sounds complicated, but is really pretty simple. And if she is dehydrated, it would make her feel better real quick.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Heard back from the vets today. Yet again, there is nothing to indicate anything. Nothing to explain the dehydration, only her urea is slightly high, but not enough to indicate kidney probs, and could be a number of other things, but too early for anything specific. The only thing she can say is that maybe she is starting with something but it is too early to tell. It could all be linked to her nose but tumours wont show on the blood tests, there is another vet (the only one I haven’t seen) that may be able to do more than my vet, so we are going to see her tomorrow at 6 - she isnt going to like me, it will be her 5th visit in 2 weeks and a day!! So, I feel marginally better, we have got over one hurdle, I just hope the next one isn't a bigger one. This is the second time that she has been bloodtested for more than she went in for due to looking worse (and was FIV/FeLV tested due to the vet thinking there was something underlying), so I still can’t help wondering if it is connected with her nose. The vet did say that with tumours they can look really bad but can have 'clear' blood tests (As Blackie did).

Beckiboo - I can only get things like that from teh vet - she was being a fussy eater last night and today, but have allowed her biscuits and she is happy again. I can't tell if she is dehydrated, the test never works for me. She isn't drinking, but while she was eating purely wet food I wasn't bothered, it does have a 78% moisture content.
Yes, it can get you really down, and more so cos of all the waiting to hear, as you start imagining things - I knew she didn't have most of the classic symptoms of kidney probs, but still didnt' stop me imagining things. This is why I think I need a break, i have always just said that they have had the love and home they need, and because they are oldies it is a lot easier to deal with but in all honesty, it has been an awful lot to deal with, have had 4 blood tests done on 3 cats plus the overweight foster had to have a dental and I was concerned about him pulling through - all in 6 months. Maybe if I have a good few months I will forget about it. I am technically having a break from fostering as I have home imps that need doing, but molly and Tom are fosters, they just dont feel it as they are fully integrated.
post #20 of 25
Thread Starter 
Well, am fairly happy tonight. We saw a lovely vet, who has worked in Australia, so has seen lots of cases of SCC - apparently in Australia one in every 3 cats has had the tip of their nose removed due to it. She feels certain that Pebbles scabs are pre cancerous, I could have a biopsy done but it wouldn't show anything, so not worth it. I have to get her used to wearing suncream (which I have ordered, just not picked up) and watch her at the hottest part of the day. If they start getting bigger or bleeding then she has to go back, and the vet may operate - she has had a lot of experience and has assured me that it wont be that bad for her. She also feels that if it does turn, and she has to have it operated on, it is highly likely not to come back, as it takes years to get to this level of damage, so it might not get chance to return. Her noisy breathing is nothing to do with it fortunately.
post #21 of 25
Oh, that is just wonderful! A diagnosis without any painful tests! YAY! Now to increase the drinking...I think I heard that putting a few stones in the water bowl can help.

I'm so glad that vet recognized what is happening on Pebbles' nose!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
It is, I am so pleased. Her temp and lungs are also fine, so no explanation for the dehydration or third eyelid being up, but I am just assuming now that she is just a sickly looking cat - she tested clear for FIV and FeLV, and has had 2 clear blood test results, so other than doing 6 - 12 monthly blood tests and 6 monthly weigh ins, there is nothing more they can do. She is the heaviest she has ever been, and her fur is nice and shiny, so I am happy. Meant to buy some coloured stones for that, but forgot. When she is eating dry food, she does drink a lot of water.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
She has been to see the vet again this morning, as the one that had cleared up has come back, and the scabs are still pre cancerous, but the fact that one has come back has made the vet mention cryotherapy (either that or it was just to pacify me). Apparently it is just one 10 min session once a week, and seh thinks she will just need 3 or 4 sessions. She claims it isn't painful and they don't need to sedate the cat, I don't envy the vets trying it with her!! They are going to try and freeze the scabs on the tip of her nose, but it doesn't always work there, so we will just have to see with that. I did forget to ask how long the effects would last. She can go to the branch I normally use, so I have to ring them on Mon to make an app. Fortunately I have at least one day off every week for the next three weeks, so will hopefully start it this week. She has also lost a bit of weight, so I think I am going to put her back on monthly weigh ins.
post #24 of 25
I know its not the same, but about 11 years ago I had cryosurgery following an abnormal PAP smear. I have had several abnormals since, but most years my PAP comes back normal. I think cryo is a great therapy!

Feel better soon, Pebbles. You are in good hands...and fortunate to have such an observant hooman.
post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
I have been told from someone else that it could be quite painful for her, and asking me to research it before deciding. so I am a bit confused, and can't find an awful lot about it, and not really anything about what it entails. This is the only bit I have found so far, and not really sur how I feel with the prognosis

Cryotherapy has been recommended as a treatment for SCC of the face in cats. In one study, however, this modality was considerably less effective than either surgery or radiation therapy in achieving local tumor control(a). Eleven of 15 cats had local tumor recurrence within a median of 6 months after cryotherapy. We recently completed a study involving 87 cats with squamous cell carcinomas of the head that were treated with cryotherapy. The median disease free interval was 14 months. Cats that had lesion less than 1 cm in diameter had a much higher probability of having tumors controlled than those with larger tumors. Therefore, we recommend that tumors that are larger than 1 cm in diameter be treated with other procedures other than cryothetherapy.

I don't know about under 1cm, but the vet said it was early stages, so she felt at least one would respond quite well. And I did read that there is stil a chance of it occuring in other places, so I would still have to continue with teh suncream, and it recommended keeping them out of the sun between 12 and 3.

Just found another study that says it is only 70% effective in noses, although nearly 100% in ears.

So, not sure whether to put her through it, as they are only pre cancerous, and maybe with suncream and keeping her out of the sun at certain times, it may never develop further.
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