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Seeking advice - Cat with osteosarcoma, treatment option (my first post)
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Forum Posts: 4
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6 February 2020
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9 February 2020 - 8:49 pm
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Hi all. The past few weeks have been a blur of finding out my sweet ten-year-old cat’s limp was actually from a tumor that would require a front leg amputation (surgery was January 30, she came home January 31), to having it confirmed that it was Osteosarcoma.

I am admittedly over my head, I have zero medical background and am having to google things to try to make sense of it all. She has her follow up this Wednesday with the oncologist where I can go over the options she discussed on the phone in more depth – but briefly what she said was:

It originated in the humerus bone, and some lymph nodes were impacted, so there is possible lymph node spread, so the goal is to delay any regrowth and spread.

She is offering electrochemotherapy as a option for preventing regrowth, but said this would not help with the spread. For that she said chemo would best delay the spread. For chemo she mentioned two options: carboplatin (6 total every 3 weeks, taking place at their office) or pills that could be administered at home reducing the need for as many visits but is less effective (office is about a 30-minute drive away so office visits are doable)

I am already out a ton of money for her tests and surgery but am scraping together funds for her continuing treatment. However, it is all so confusing to me. Has anyone been through something similar, or have advice on what questions to ask at the appointment on Wednesday?

Overall, Cat’rina has been doing well post-surgery. We’ve cut back a lot on her meds and she is comfortable and alert, and eating very well.

I want to make the best decisions for her, but not put her through unwarranted pain/discomfort.

I’ve read the Twipawds Cat book from this site, and it has been so helpful. And I’ve been looking up osteosarcoma but it seems like most of the info out there is for dogs not cats so not certain how much carries over.

My cat & dog are, literally, the only family I have. I want to do what is best for her, and am willing to take on some debt, but want to make sure my decisions are in her best interests.

Any help, any advice, and any thoughts will be gratefully accepted.

thank you.

PS – I live in the Bay Area (East Bay) in CA, and we are using an oncologist in Dublin, CA

Livermore, CA




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9 February 2020 - 10:53 pm
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Hello and welcome, your future posts will not have to wait for approval.

I’m sorry you are dealing with OSA in your cat but so glad you found us and decided to post.

I hope you don’t mind that I moved your post her to the Cat Forum- hopefully our other cat parent members will chime in soon.

In the mean time you might look through These Blogs of Front Leg Kitty Amps and see if there is some info there that can help.

I think it is great that the oncologist is talking about electrochemotherapy – that’s relativly new and not yet widly available.  I don’t know if it the right thing for your kitty but the fact that they offer it is encouraging that the practice is on the cutting edge!  In Dublin… is it Sage?

Here is more information on Electrochemotherapy.

I’m in Livermore BTW but my two Tripawds have been rear amp small dogs.

Karen and the Spirit Pug girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo



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9 February 2020 - 11:48 pm
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Sorry to hear about your cat’s diagnosis. Most of us here started out not knowing anything about feline cancer, pain medication, radiation, chemotherapy, metastasis, etc but we sure learn a lot from others.

Compared to dogs we don’t see as much osteosarcoma in cats. But there are other types of cancers that cats may have that may required additional treatment after amputation.

Here is a blog of Jill who survived osteosarcoma for six years after amputation and treatment: https://jillsjo…..pawds.com/

Jill lived until 17 years old and died from kidney disease. She did pretty darn good!

Here are other posts with osteosarcoma: https://tripawd…..a-in-cats/

Finally, is there a chance your cat got cancer from a vaccine injection? You can ask your vet. https://tripawd…..rosarcoma/ If so, the vet could help you get a reimbursement from the pharmaceutical company for diagnosis, amputation costs, chemo, etc. There is no guarantee of course.

All the best,

Kerren

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10 February 2020 - 12:08 am
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Thank you both. Yes, she is seeing Dr. Ashley Bennet at SAGE-Dublin (though her surgeon was Dr. Celia Valverde at same office.) If we do the electrochemotherapy it would be at SAGE-Concord I think – something on my list of questions for this week’s visit.

Virginia




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10 February 2020 - 9:29 am
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As you can see, this is the best place to be for support and information.  You’ve already gotten grest jnput snd links yo check out.

I just wasn to add that you now have a family  of cat and dog lovso welcome to the family!!

YOU ARE NOT ALONE and we will be cheering for you and your sweet kitty the whole way!  Sounds. like your kitty is doing very well this early on.  And it is still early in recovery!  You’re  both doing greaat!!

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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10 February 2020 - 10:05 am
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Hi and welcome. I’m sorry to hear that your kitty is one of those rare cases of osteosarcoma. The good news is that it behaves so much better in cats than dogs. Still, it’s not easy to deal with any diagnosis, and not having a ton of clinical information out there about cats with osteosarcoma makes it even tougher I know.

What I can tell you is this: based on what we learned with Jill the Trikitty and other cats with osteosarcoma is that any follow up treatment can’t hurt, but it’s not clinically shown to prevent it either. Since most cats do pretty well and go on to live out their normal life expectancy after amputation for osteo, there just aren’t any studies on it (but of course we wish there were so we could give you some hard numbers).  In short, I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you can’t afford chemo, don’t beat yourself up. Odds are very, very good your cat will do fine without it. 

I haven’t heard of electrochemotherapy being used in this way for osteosarcoma on a patient who has already had the primary tumor removed, so I’m curious to know more about what the oncologist says. The vet you are meeting with is one of only a handful in the country who use ECT and one of our Bay Area members, Spirit Codie Rae’s mom, has had some experience working with her. I can connect you if you’d like or you can just private message Codie Rae and she will see it.

Meanwhile, here is a blog post we did about Questions to Ask Your Veterinary Oncologist. Let us know how the meeting goes.

By the way I’m sooo glad your cat is doing great! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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13 February 2020 - 10:15 am
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We are moving forward with a combo of electrochemotherapy + standard chemo (injection) smiley5

First two will be electrochemotherapy , last four will be standard chemo – every three weeks, starting this coming Wednesday.

Otherwise, she is doing well – stitches came out yesterday and cone is off and she is enjoying more freedom.

Virginia




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13 February 2020 - 11:20 am
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There is a certain amount of relief in deciding  on a treatment plan and move forward.  Good job!

So glad she is doing well and enjoying  her stitch free fredom!😎

Keep us posted.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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13 February 2020 - 12:07 pm
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Wow cool. I’m so interested in learning more about this protocol. Would you mind if I reached out to the oncologist? Which one at SAGE is doing the treatment?

And yep, now that you have a plan it must make you feel better right?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Read my story here.

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13 February 2020 - 12:54 pm
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Of course, it is Dr. Ashley Bennett at SAGE-Dublin, she has been amazing

https://www.sag…../our-team/

https://www.sag…../oncology/

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