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Older indoor shy cat, amputation likely, overwhelmed and need advice...
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London, UK
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9 January 2017 - 5:43 am
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I am going to stop wasting my energy on guilt and feeling sorry for my kitty.  I shall focus on fattening him up a bit in time for surgery

Now this I think is an excellent plan. I would just add to focus on yourself a bit too. You both deserve lots of treats and spoiling. Put on some music, have a hot bath, eat chocolate, drink wine, whatever you fancy. You need to sort your own 'oxygen mask' before helping Dusty with his.

Thinking of you,

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 8, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR
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11 January 2017 - 8:22 pm
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So the cytology results are back.  It's showing inflammation only; no infection, no cancer cells.

Vet says it's still likely cancerous and suggested tissue bx at least.  I said I'd think about it but I'm not sure if it is going to have a purpose.  Is tissue biopsy a very invasive procedure?  My vet made it seem like it was just going to be a poke but my kitty may need anesthesia for that.  I guess I should have asked whether if tissue bx says no cancer, if it really means no cancer.  Does anyone know?

His lab work was otherwise good, showing good kidney and liver function.

My kitty is going to go on anti inflammatories and antibiotics, just in case there's a funky infection stuff going on. 

Now I'm lost as to how to proceed.  My kitty doesn't seem to be in pain, not limping, still clingy as ever, mellowed out and chillaxin as usual.  Anyone had a experience like this?  I will likely go bring my kitty to the vet next week sometime as I'm not really sure whether the mass has changed since I brought him to the ER so I'll have the vet look at it (I didn't poke at it much when I found it as I brought Dusty straight to the vet).  What would you do from here? 

Virginia
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11 January 2017 - 8:46 pm
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Hmmmm...sounds like you've got some pretty good news today. All his lab work was normal too, so that's good! And it certainly could be that the antibiotics and anti inflammatory coukd clear things up!

If Dusty is acting fine and doesn't seem to be in pain, maybe you could see if the pills he was given will start to clear things up.

Others can chime in about the tissue biopsy. I just know with dogs, a biopsy for osteosarcoma is a generally a painful procedure a d very often inconclusive. So ask your Vet the specific regarding Dusty's biopsy. Write them down and write down his answers. Also you might ask the Vet why he thinks Dusty does have a tumor.

Hang in there. Dusty is feeling good and that's great news!

Lots of hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS...Eating good??

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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11 January 2017 - 9:04 pm
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Could it be a wedge biopsy where the vet takes one or more samples of the tissue? You could phone the vet for more details. In the meantime watch the area and let the vet know if there are any changes.

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

Michigan
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12 January 2017 - 4:12 am
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A lot of times fine needle biopsies comes back inconclusive . They are not always accurate .

Ditto Kerren! I would phone the vet and ask for more details. 

A tissue biopsy (wedge biopsy) will give you a definitive answer on what you are dealing with. 

Another question I would be asking, few porous spots seen on the tibia? I do not know anything regarding the bone involvement. (biopsy) 

We had the soft tissue sarcoma , If I could go back and redo, I would of skipped the needle biopsy, I would skip the wait and see approach and immediately have done the tissue biopsy . 

Of course you can do the wait and see approach, If it is cancer, the wait and see is taking away time when you could be getting answers. It can often times just be a delay in diagnosis . 

The sooner you know what your dealing then you can decide the best course of action.  

Glad to hear Dusty's other lab's came back good !!!

Keep us posted please 

Hugs,

Holly & Purrkinsheart

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12 January 2017 - 7:17 am
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What is recovery period like after the biopsy? Does it leave a visible wound?  Would I need a time off of work to monitor him?  How much was the cost of the tissue bx?  

What were some treatment options you were given if bx came back benign?  I think this is where I'm struggling, asking myself whether there is a point to all this.  I'm a nurse and although I don't work oncology, I just can't get hopeful having seen that xray.  Also, Dusty was shaved where my vet did the fluid aspiration.  The mass was real angry looking with a lot of vasculature.  I agree with my vet that it is probably cancer.  If it is cancer, I probably won't be putting my kitty through radiation/chemo but go through the amputation.  But...what if it comes back benign?  In my heart of hearts I know that I won't have the courage to go through with the amputation if it comes back "inconclusive".

When Purrkins went through with the tissue bx, did they have a way to reduce the size of the mass while they were doing it?

If I could wave the magic wand, I won't even be greedy.  If the size of mass can be reduced, and controlled there for a good 2-3 yrs or so, with my kitty relatively pain free, I can live with that.

My kitty...gosh, I adopted him at 12 weeks and he must've spent like 6 months sleeping under the couch.  First and only time I put a collar on him, he just plopped over and acted like he didn't want to live anymore.  He refuses to eat anything for a good 3 days after any sort of vet trips unless I feed him by hand.  With that kind of temperament and with his age, there's a nagging doubt in my mind whether he would be able to cope after the amputation, have trouble using the litterbox, etc.  

I'm sorry if this post is just all over the place.  There's so much going on in my mind that I can't even articulate the words out of my mouth.  Please slap some sense into me.

Michigan
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12 January 2017 - 8:00 am
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First NO apology needed! We totally understand all over the place ok !!!!

This is what Purrkins lump looked like before biopsy and picture of after the biopsy

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 thumb_IMG_8849_1024.jpg

thumb_IMG_9880_1024.jpg

 

I think you are seeing more since it is shaved too! The angry ! It always is more shocking to see without the hair, what is really there ,the hair can cover things up really well! 

Purrkins biopsy surgical biopsy was $481.

Purrkins biopsy surgery was a easy recovery ! He stayed half a day at the vet. We did it on a Friday picked him up late afternoon and had the weekend to watch him.

He needed no cone , pain meds were not sent home. He was dopey when he came home, he came home and slept. It was not a big ordeal like I would of imagined it to be.

As far as debulking (reducing the lump) that was the goal ,get the lump & hopefully take it off , once she got in there , that changed, his tumor had tentacles and it wrapped around . She got the samples and got out. It was not what she expected to see! 

If your bump came back benign that would be the best nothing more would be done .

You are the only one who knows your kitty ok? All cats and recovery are different some fly thru, some have some issues.

It's just the way it goes. 

You need to listen to your gut instinct in this. No matter what , I guarantee you if you follow that you will be making the right decision, not that it will be a easy decisoin .

I think all of the not knowing is whats getting to you most? Is that correct?

Were here ,bouce whatever you need to off and we will do our best to help !

Hugs heart

The Rainbow Bridge

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12 January 2017 - 11:23 am
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No need to apologize at all, that's why we're here.

First, everyone's experience is different and these are great questions for your vet so take this list with you:

  • What is recovery period like after the biopsy?
  • Does it leave a visible wound?  
  • Would I need a time off of work to monitor him?  
  • How much was the cost of the tissue bx?  
  • what if it comes back benign?

Also, only you know your kitty best, and what he can handle. Amputation recovery isn't usually as awful as we imagine it to be. Where the real challenge comes in is when someone is considering chemotherapy, and their animal hates going to the vet. That's when one has to ask: is it worth the emotional strain on my animal to go through all those visits? Sometimes it's just not. 

For now, take things one step at a time. Don't get too far ahead of yourself until you know what you're dealing with, and remember: Quality of life always prevails in these situations. Keep that in the front of your mind as you make these tricky choices and you'll both do fine. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Michigan
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19 January 2017 - 1:27 pm
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Shycat - My God I could have written your post. Very similar situtation with my cat Sleek who is 10 1/2. He is a scardy cat and after his trips to the vet runs and hides a day or so everytime I approach him after- lol! He is a big boned cat weight just over 17 lbs and most times an affectionate goomer. He has develped a tumor about the size of large matble on his front right paw. I noticed early December and had to my vet then specialist. We've gone around and around with pathologist as to type cancer. Thus far down to lymphoma or soft tissue sarcoma. It's taken a weekbetween visits being this developed over the holiday time for reports to come back. He just had body scan and one chest xray (two more tomorrow). So far he's clean. Both specialist and surgeon suggest for amputation even not knowing WHAT type of cancer. It's growing slow-moderate and he holds his paw up frequently. I have amputation scheduledfor Tue, Jan 24, 2017.

Here is the biggest mystery; Colin ( aka Sleek) has been holding his paw up after running around and wrestling with other cats FOR YEARS! I can remember at least 5 years but never noticed any tumor. The tumor is located in the elbow region and just noticed late fall when feeling around his leg and comparing it to the other one. The tumor was right at the end of his lower bone where meets the elbow joint. It feels like the elbow but bigger, so unless you compared, would have missed it! You see, he had his front claws removed when a kitten and figured his paw nerve bothered him occassionally after a lot of exercise. Since this has been going on for several years and checked leg occasionally never caught it- isnt that strange it was this long before any visual sign? 

Anyway, I'm still torn about doing the amputation since 1- Type of cancer hasnt been found & 2-He's had this paw sensitivity for years! They figure it's cancer but of a undertermined type - can that stil be benign? He's been basically fine all this time except for the sore paw. Im afraid of putting him thru all this if its not cancer or its a treatable cancer with raduation or chemo.

How is you kitty doing?

Bill

The Rainbow Bridge

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19 January 2017 - 2:51 pm
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Bill and Sleek, welcome. Thank you for chiming in! I hope you'll start a topic about Sleek in our Size and Age Matters forum so we can learn from your experience. 

I can't blame you for wondering about whether or not to proceed, I'd feel the same way. But what I can tell you is that tumors can be undetected and linger around for a long, long time before they become painful. Maybe that was Sleek's way of telling you it hurt when he got extra spunky while playing? It's just a guess. 

Unfortunately many people deal with an undermined type of cancer and wrestle with the amputation decision. If you are still uncomfortable despite the specialist and vet's opinions, that's understandable. How about having the path report sent to a veterinary teaching hospital like the cancer center at Colorado State? Their Argus Institute provides consulting help in situations like this. It can help put your mind at ease when trying to decide.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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19 January 2017 - 6:37 pm
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I'm afraid that I don't have good news to share since my last post.

I went back to the vet and asked whether the tissue biopsy would be a definitive diagnostic test to address what is going on with the bone.  Yes, I was scared of the tumor but I was more afraid of the bone and possible fractures, especially with his age.  Vet was not confident that the tissue bx would give me the answer I was looking for.  So I asked for a full body xray, wanting to see if there were other areas of bone damage, because I wasn't going to amputate one leg if others were facing the same kind of fate on a 12 yr old cat (11yr 10 mo to be exact).  You see, I was ready schedule the amputation.  I would skip the tissue biopsy because it is useless to me if it doesn't say anything about the bone.

Vet comes back with the chest x-ray saying that there seems to be mild asthma and I'm going.. hmm, I never noticed any ANY kind of symptoms.  And I'm thinking, only thing that ever came breathing issues is that my cat snores every time he sleeps.  So off we send the xrays for radiologists consultation and..

Apparently the report says lung metastasis.  I just got the phone call today (19th) so I haven't read the actual report myself.. but I am beyond heartbroken.  I found this tumor on the 8th, so in span of 11 days, I was told that my kitty has only 3 months to live.  

What I'm shocked about is how fast this entire thing developed.  Maybe this tumor had been there for a long time before I finally found it seeing that there's bone involvement.  But I was checking his bladder & bowels every day with my hands going between his hind legs and I really feel like there's no way I could have missed it for a real long time.  His loss of appetite was real sudden too, like he got up one day and decided that he wasn't going to eat kibble anymore (kibble was his main meal, he only licks off a teaspoon of wetfood, if he feels like it).  While my vet said it was probably cancer, she didn't appear to be in a real hurry to do anything about it, the tumor was not noticeably growing after I found it, my kitty as eating well so long as I fed him by hand, no change in his demeanor otherwise.. but there it was, metastasis.  

Sleek, I don't know what to tell you, but I would not adopt a wait and see approach for too long especially if it is growing.  Hopefully your imagings didn't show bone involvement like mine did so you're just dealing with the tumor.  Did you do a tissue biopsy?  Were your imagings read by radiologists?

To be fair, I don't think I've wasted time by waiting for the diagnostics and such, it's more likely that I found out about the tumor too late.  And take this for what it's worth but I think my kitty would have had a decent recovery as nothing makes him happier than to cuddle with me, he wasn't a real active cat and never had any interest in crazy kitty zoomies or taking flying leaps.  I do notice that he is starting to put more weight on his unaffected leg but still follows me around wherever I go.. so eventually he would have adapted to being a tripod kitty, although it might have took him a bit longer than a more playful cat.  But sadly, that's not even an option for us anymore.

Sleek, I wish good luck to you and your kitty.

For Mona and Purrkins, if you guys ever check back, thank you so much for sharing your experiences, photos, and detailed responses to my jumbled posts.  I could not have gone through this process informed if it weren't for you guys.  Despite the unfortunate outcome, I'm more at peace knowing I've done the best I could for my kitty.

 

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19 January 2017 - 10:26 pm
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I'm sorry to hear that your shy fella has lung mets. Please enjoy each and every moment you have left with your buddy. Spoil him!!

I had a cat that got lung mets from skin cancer and his discomfort was not from the lungs but from the skin sores. Your vet can tell you what to look for and what to do to control any pain in his leg and ensure he is comfortable.

I know this is hard but rest assured your kitty knows he is well loved. Keep coming back here if you need some words of support.

Hugs and cuddles to both of you.heartheart

Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

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20 January 2017 - 4:37 am
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Im am so sorry to hear about Dusty and his lung mets.

Do you feel confident with your vet and you were able to ask all of your questions?

Bone cancer is very painful. Did they give you options on pain relief? Did they discuss amputation again? Palliative care?

We have a feline member Jimmi he is 14 who has bone cancer and lung mets. I will provide you the link to the forum. 

http://tripawds.....y-mts/g. 

Here is a link on Osteosarcoma and Lung mets

http://tripawds.....ets-signs/

We have a lot of kitties with bone cancer here who have amputated, and have a quality of life.

We support whatever decision you decide is best for you and Dusty! You know Dusty best ! 

If you chose not to amputate ,please call the vet for good pain control and palliative care plan.

Keep us posted your never alone in this! 

P.S We always check back😉 We are happy to help in anyway.

Sending you BIG HUG! 

Holly & Purrkinsheart

Michigan
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20 January 2017 - 5:47 am
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Welcome Colin (aka Sleek) 

I'm sorry you find yourself here!

Thought I would catch you here and if you start a new topic or post will try to catch you there.

What did they do to determine that is was a soft tissue or lymphoma ? needle biopsy or wedge?

Thats great everything else has come back clean!

I see your in Michigan .Not sure where in Michigan but MSU is fantastic if you need a second opinion and thats doable.

I would highly recommend them if you feel you need a second opinion.

Did they explain the radiation treatments and chemo options to you?

Hugs 

Holly & Purrkinsheart

The Rainbow Bridge

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20 January 2017 - 11:13 am
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Shycat, I'm so sorry! I know that news came as a huge shock, it's not easy to hear those words. You most definitely did not waste time, you did exactly what any well-informed pet parent would do, don't beat yourself up OK?

I have the same questions Holly does: when it comes to pain management, did your vet prescribe anything? Or walk you through the steps of palliative care if you choose not to pursue any other surgeries or treatments? 

Spoil your kitty rotten and remember, he doesn't know what the path report said. Every day is a great day to an animal. Love him up, spoil him rotten and treasure every minute. And give him extra love from the Tripawds Community OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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