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Post-amputation biopsy revealed that tumor was lymphoma, not osteosarcoma
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6 November 2017 - 9:21 am
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(reposting this because it was in the wrong section)

Hi everyone,

My cat Tom underwent an amputation for what the vets thought was an osteosarcoma in his front left leg. The diagnosis was very tricky to make, because the only abnormalities we saw in the xrays were bone growth and tissue swelling. were Both doctors we sought an opinion from were reluctant to do a biopsy for fear of aggravating the cancer. Since both oncologists reached the same diagnosis independently, we assumed it was osteosarcoma and amputated accordingly.

We sent samples of bone and tissue for a biopsy post-surgery, and the results came back today. The vet said the report confirms a lymphoma, and there's no sign of osteosarcoma at all.

I'm horrified at the thought that we might have made the wrong decision by amputating.. I can only speak to the vet properly tomorrow. I've only just started to research feline lymphomas and all I'm seeing anywhere is 'incurable'. I'm so overwhelmed at the moment, I'm struggling to distill any useful information from these articles online.. does anyone have any experience with lymphoma? What if the amputation makes his life worse in the long run? He's been recovering really well, except lately he's reluctant to go outside for his bathroom business and it seems to be a lot more frequent. I have no idea what we're up against, and I'm really scared..

The Rainbow Bridge

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6 November 2017 - 10:51 am
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Wow, I wish we were in the same time zone so I could chat with you right now. I can understand why you feel so upset and have so many questions, I would too. First, take a deep breath and remember that many questions will be answered when you speak with the vet.

I don't know anything more about Feline Lymphoma other than what I read here on this Cornell University website. It says that the condition can present itself in the bone marrow, which may be the reason why Paka Tom's leg was affected. I'm not a vet, but it seems like if the condition isn't curable and it was affecting his leg that way, amputation may have been the best option. Your vet can tell you more tomorrow.

Look at it like this; you all did the best you could with the information you had available. No, there is no 'cure' for lymphoma however, there are many cancers without cures that pets (and people too) learn to manage so that they can have a good quality of life. Many animals here have been told they have x-number of months to live and they outlived those prognosis. We need to look at cancer not as a death sentence but as any other condition that's managed, like diabetes or back pain. 

In the end, it's all a big guess and nobody knows how much time our pets (or we) have. So right now, if Tom is feeling better than he was and he's getting around well, then celebrate that accomplishment. You've already bought him more quality time with you and he's enjoying every second of not being in the pain he was feeling.

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for others to chime in and keep us posted on what the vet says OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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6 November 2017 - 11:57 am
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I'm so sorry to hear about Tom's diagnosis - it is shocking to get such unexpected news.  I do not have experience with lymphoma in cats, but my 11 year old male boxer had lymphoma.  After we got the results of his biopsy, we had an oncology consult and were going to try chemo but it turned out that he wasn't a candidate because he also suffered from boxer cardiomyopathy.  I took him to a holistic veterinarian and she put him on supplements and a special diet.  He was like a new dog!  He had pretty severe hip dysplasia and had slowed down a lot in the months before his diagnosis.  The diet and supplements made him feel so much better and soon he was doing the boxer burn around my back yard and leaping on beds like he had as a puppy.  I'm sure that there are options for Tom - including chemo.  And I think, even if they knew it was lymphoma and not osteosarcoma, they would have needed to remove the tumor.  At least they did for my doggie.  So you did what anyone would have done - get rid of the tumor.        

Bobbi & Maddie a/k/a ManiacMads

Front leg amputation 10/17/17 due to Osteosarcoma

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

Schofield, WI
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6 November 2017 - 12:58 pm
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You made the best decision you could with the facts you had.  We can't know what we don't know.  Many times a biopsy will come back inconclusive so even had you had one you still may not have known.  As others have said that leg may have needed to come off in any event.  Hopefully you can get some answers and a plan in place after conferring with your vet that's right for both you and Tom.  Keep us posted.  Hugs to both you and Tom!

Michigan
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6 November 2017 - 3:35 pm
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I’m sorry to hear about Paka Tom!!

I believe in your case you didn’t have a choice amputation was the only way to go to get rid of that painful tumor/leg! Remember how much pain Paka Tom was in I do! He recovered so quickly and well. Are you speaking with the Vet or Oncologist tomorrow?

I don’t have any personal experience with this I found a good link packed with info for you, there is a lot of information in here. I think this will help you move forward and know what to ask or etc. I hope you will take a look around and see. It is written by DVM

Lymphoma In your Cat

I think you will see some relations to some of what was going on with Tom in here. Like his bloodwork being anemic before his amp, all mentioned in here. Tom might need to go on some oral meds and that might be all?  All needs to be discussed with the Vet.

Know you did what anyone of us would of done in the same circumstance! 

Please let us know what happens from here.

Sending much Upendo to you & Paka Tom

Holly & Purrkinsheart

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6 November 2017 - 3:40 pm
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Please don't beat yourself up as, like others said, you did the best you could and that is all any of us can do for our beloved pets ... 

The vet will provide the info you so need very soon. 

The important thing is your sweetie is ok and he will bounce back like there's no tomorrow! 

I'm sure you'll have specific fees back from cat's pawrents soon so stay tuned.

Sending you a big hug and tons of cuddles to your kitty 🐱 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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6 November 2017 - 3:42 pm
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Ahaa ! 

Purrkins is already by Paka Tom's side 🐱💕🐱😉

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Vacaville, California
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6 November 2017 - 5:08 pm
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Sorry this brought you here. Cancer just sucks!!!!! My current dog lost her leg to asteosarcoma, but my first greyhound had lymphoma. Like your case they didn't know it was cancer until after surgery was done and they removed what they thought was an infected salivary gland. My Babboo went through chemo for her lymphoma and went into remission for several months before it came back. We did another round of chemo and she went into remission again. Babboo lived almost 2 1/2 years after her lymphoma diagnosis and felt good until the very end. The day I lost my Babboo I found out my cat Klondike also had lymphoma. Klondike took only oral (pills) and lived about 1 1/2 years and passed at 12. Lymphoma is hard to find,......with Klondike I knew something was wrong and basically forced my vet to do exploratory surgery, and that was how the cancer was found.

This was over 10 years ago so I'm sure there have been additional findings and treatments since then.

hope this helps some and sending hugs and support for both of you.
l

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

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7 November 2017 - 8:18 am
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Jambo Mama and Mashujaa Paka Tom!!!

My darling I am sending massive cuddles across the miles to you both!!! This wasn’t what you expected!!!

Holly (bless her heart!) has provided you with an excellent link. I read through it and like others have mentioned, oral meds may be able to hold off the disease for some time yet!

Please don’t beat yourself up for the decisions you have made for you Mrembo boy! I agree with everyone else in the regard that Paka Toms leg was causing him severe distress and removing it has definitely improved his quality of life! That’s all we can do, with the information we are given... Lymphoma is a very difficult disease to detect. You are doing all that you can my darling! In the same shoes, I would have done the same! 

Maybe you can set up multiple litter boxes around the house, like the link suggests and see what works for Tom... for my old boy Spikey, I even have pee pads set up under his sleeping areas, in case he doesn’t make it to the bathroom. 

Mama, you’re an Angel for taking care of your boy as you are! We are very sorry for this major stumbling block, but we are very happy to have heard from you! I’m sorry for not being able to add much that is going to help you, but I hope that my comforting thoughts reach you across the many miles!!!

Much Upendo from Petra and her Clan 

❌⭕️❌⭕️❌⭕️

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & massive cuddles from Mum, Dad & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester & Miss Lily. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

Virginia
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8 November 2017 - 2:59 pm
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I can only add DITTO to every single post!   Every has been said so well.

Jist want to my love and hugs to Tom.   We're cheering fpr him!

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

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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26 November 2017 - 10:36 am
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Hi wonderful humans, sorry for the late reply.. The past few weeks have been bumpy...

It was definitely lymphoma - the anemia and other markers in his bloodwork were consistent with your article Holly... Unfortunately it's back.. The site around Tom's amputation has developed a soft tissue swelling. It was a really small lump first, barely noticeable, but over the last two weeks it has been growing rapidly and his neck area was also swollen. There was an extremely slim chance that it was inflammation from surgery, so he was put on Prednisolone for two weeks to see if it would do anything. The site is still swollen, so it rules out inflammation - it turns out it's the lymphoma. The lumps have become more pronounced over the past week - the vet says it looks the same to him but I'm definitely feeling stuff that wasn't there before. He's finishing the Prednisolone dose, and then going back for another X-ray to see if it's stalling the tissue growth at all.

Paka Tom is hopping on well - litter habits aside he's eating wonderfully and reasonably energetic. The growth is not painful, but is really close to his lungs. The vet says it's only a matter of time before he has breathing difficulties. Chemo options are also weak on this side of the world - the vet says he's looking into it, but he thinks it generally decreases quality of life and he wants to keep Paka Tom as comfortable as possible. As of now, the way forward is to keep him happy, spoil and cuddle the hell out of him. And obviously to explore meds that enable the most comfort!

But in hindsight amputation was the best thing to do. They would have done it even if they knew it was lymphoma. Even now he's so much more comfortable without the leg and has adjusted beyond what any of us could have hoped for. It's just a shame that this stupid disease managed to sink its roots into him and is now turning up again.. He's such a sweet gentle cat, and I hope we can keep him at his absolute happiest.

So much love and massive hugs to you all smiley and thank you for your kind messages and words of reassurance. heart

Michigan
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26 November 2017 - 3:04 pm
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No apology needed please we understand!
So glad to hear you feel better in your decision with amp. We all would of done exactly the same thing with the same cards! Amputation helped Paka Tom be pain free and hop on! He has a extended period of time with his favorite humans when he wouldn’t have. Yes it absolutely sucks cancer doesn’t play fair and I am so sorry that it did not leave with the leg and stay gone. It’s all a crap shoot we do the best we can with the information given. We hope and pray for the rest.

No right or wrong decision on chemo. See what he comes up with and decide. If nothing else I would ask about Prednisolone as the sole treatment I am a little surprised it was just for 2 weeks. It can be used for lymphoma as the treatment. Did it seem to help Tom overall in the 2 weeks? That article went into great detail on chemo there are a ton of links in that article that take you further.
What Are The Treatment Options For My Cat

They go into what drugs to use for each type in each link. Prednisolone was used in most of the combinations and you could just go the Prednisolone route as a option. I think it would help Tom even if that is all you use. Make him comfortable as long as possible.

Let us know which route you decide to go and either way we are sending tripawd power your way for a lot more quality time with Paka Tom!

Sending much Upendo to you & Paka Tom
Holly & Purrkins❤️

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26 November 2017 - 3:31 pm
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 Mama & Paka Tom 

you sound so much more at peace today. I’m sure you are still wanting a completely different diagnosis, but life gives us these cards (or cats!) sometimes and we do the very best we can for them. You have done and continue to do an incredible job loving and helping Paka Tom LIVE!!! 

I am hoping that you get some good responses from whatever route you choose to take!

Much Upendo and more to your Mrembo boy and massive hugs to you! ❤️❤️❤️

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & massive cuddles from Mum, Dad & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester & Miss Lily. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

Canada
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Sloppy kisses from Stewie & massive cuddles from Mum, Dad & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester & Miss Lily. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

Virginia
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26 November 2017 - 9:26 pm
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Good job of continuing to check out your options and staying focused on being in the present with Tom.  Tom is blissfully unaware of anynole' diagnosis or lumps or bumps!   He's happy and pain free.

Paka Tom

Paka Tom is hopping on well - litter habits aside he's eating wonderfully and reasonably energetic.

But in hindsight amputation was the best thing to do. They would have done it even if they knew it was lymphoma. Even now he's so much more comfortable without the leg and has adjusted beyond what any of us could have hoped for.

As hard as this is, the attitude you have puts off an empowering energy that Tom will pick up on.  It will benefit both of you! 🙂 

And your e tire Trioawd Familynis sending out healing energy too!  We are all cheering for this spunky fella'!  He's not going anywhere anytime soon!  He's having too much fun being a spoiled rotten tripawd!

Hugs

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

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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