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overwhelmed......thoughts please?

pepe's mom
March 30th, 2008, 07:59 PM
Hi everyone,

I am so happy to find this place. I have been incredibly anxious and overwhelmed for 3 months now, when my cat Pepe developed a lump the day of his vaccination early January. Since then I've been to the vet once a month to palpate (measure) it, but our hope that it would have been gone by the start of April is sadly gone.

ouch. i can't even imagine what is to come.
i read on another post here that people often don't wait 3 months as my vet suggested? I had no idea that if I waited, it could kill my cat if it is cancerous. Naturally I researched right after he got the lump, but my search word was "vaccine site sarcoma" and I didn't think to think outside the box (most of the sites used the 3 month rule so I thought I had to just sit and wait and hope for the best).

i am absolutely terrified, not to mention guilt-ridden. what a horrible tumultuous state to be in! i have a vet visit on Tuesday April 1st (3 days before pepe's birthday) at which point I will have to decide whether to biopsy. i'm hoping people here can help me decide?

i do not want to put my cat through surgery.
i will handle what i have to handle, but his interest is all i care about.

what do you think?
should i wait for a few months like other people do and hope it is just scarring? i forgot to mention it is a hard lump, about the size of a mosquito bite, but it doesn't feel attached to his left side.

any advise, thoughts, support would be greatly appreciated.
thank you,

March 30th, 2008, 08:13 PM
Oh dear, I'm sorry to hear little Pepe is going through this.

I totally understand how you feel. I'm an absolute worry wart. I think if I had to make that decision for my cats, I'd have them do the biopsy.

When cancer is the possibility, I'm of the school, if you get it early there's hope. My mother died of complications of breast cancer. Had she chosen to not listen to her doctor who told her to wait a few months to "see what happens" there would have been a chance of her surviving because of catching it early.

Anyway, what I'm saying is, if it were my decision, I'd have them check it out now. If it's nothing, great, at least you know it's nothing and Pepe will be okay.

Good luck and please keep us posted as to what happens. :pray:

March 30th, 2008, 08:28 PM
I'm with Ancientgirl... better safe than sorry. My Fagan gets these lumps after shots, but they usually go down after a few weeks. The biopsy is probably the best way to go, that way you know for sure whether you need to worry or not.

:goodvibes: that it's just a persistent bruise! Pepe and you have my :pray::grouphug:

pepe's mom
March 30th, 2008, 08:54 PM
thanks ancientgirl, and I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. You make a powerful point. I don't know anything about cancer and have been trusting my vet blindly. I hope I won't have to say I had to learn the hard way. I am feeling some anger now too: why wouldn't the vet fully advise me that some people wait, but others choose not to, in case? I know there's no use blaming anybody, but these are just feelings that come up. strong and powerful too. :wall:

thank you for your good vibes and wishes too krdahmer, we need them in this ugly in-between time.

now i just read that we have to wait a week or more for results? GEEEZ!!! I am never giving him shots again. He doesn't even go outside.....insert major guilt and stupidity feelings for listening to vets blindly. the one good thing is that this knowledge is going be applied to my health too from now on.

March 30th, 2008, 09:08 PM
A week waiting for results will go by fast. Just keep thinking positively. It may just be that Pepe is prone to infection after a shot.

How old is Pepe?

I don't know the do's and don'ts of vaccines. I've read they should be done and I've read there's no need. Mine have all had their vaccinations and luckily never developed any kind of lumps. They are also indoor cats. I've read vaccines aren't AS necessary for indoor cats, but like I said, I don't know how true that is.

Is there another vet you can talk to that you might feel more comfortable with? Perhaps they can advise you better than your current vet and you would be getting a second opinion.

When you can, please post some pictures of Pepe. We'd all love to see him.

pepe's mom
March 30th, 2008, 10:21 PM
Thanks again ancientgirl, I am really trying to concentrate on positive thoughts. As with most cancer news, it's just so unexpected and jarring. One would think 3 months is a long time to prepare, but it's not---it's been like holding my breath waiting, so not a time flies deal at all. This week should fly by though, I hope, and I'm sure the vet will let me know as soon as the results are in.

I am overall happy with my vet, except for this which I will talk to him about. If the conversation doesn't meet my expectations I will just go down the block to the next vet. I have a feeling most allopathic vets would have told me the same thing, given that my research showed the 3 month rule everywhere, so i have been in touch with a holistic vet and have made an appointment with her following the other visit (they are in the same building) so i'll get both perspectives in one shot!

Pepe will be 7 years old on April 4th :cat::party::cat::clown:

okayyyyyy.......since you asked, i would love to post photos (just as soon as I figure out thanks so much for asking and for the posts ancientgirl, chatting is really helping me feel better : )

March 30th, 2008, 10:31 PM
:goodvibes: for the biopsy results, pepe's mom! Waiting is always the worst! :frustrated: But if it can allay your fears, it will be well worth it! I'm sorry you're going through such a tense time in the meanwhile. :grouphug:

There's been a little discussion on the board lately about vaccinations. Some are evidently thought to be safer than others, especially for cats. The discussion might help when it's time to consider vaccinations again...

There's a little bit about it in this thread:

I think Dr Lee addressed it in another thread, too, but I can't remember which one... :rolleyes: hazel's memory is not in the best shape these days... :sorry:

As for posting pictures, there's a slight delay built into new membership that doesn't allow you to post them right away (it deters some spammers). But if you send a Private Message to marko, he'll be able to activate your attachment capability right away! :thumbs up

March 31st, 2008, 03:46 PM
I really hope that the lump is not a sarcoma. We'll keep all our paws crossed that it comes back negative for cancer.:pawprint:

Is it on the back of the neck or on the back leg? This is awful, but I read that the reason alot of vets give vaccines on the back leg is that if a vaccine related sarcoma develops, they can amputate the leg and the cat can lead a relatively normal life.

After having a conversation with the woman we board our cats with (she recommended at the very least to avoid the Feline Leukemia vaccination), I've been doing some reading about vaccines and have come to the conclusion that in some instances vaccines are quite unneccesary. My cats will be 3 in June and we've kept them up to date with vaccines since they were kittens, but I'm reconsidering that now. There's too much risk involved, especially since my cats are strictly indoors and never come into physical contact with other cats.

Here are some websites that I've looked at in my own quest for answers. There's tonnes of info out there on the problems with vaccinations in cats, these are just a few.

March 31st, 2008, 04:13 PM
Pepes mom,sending you and Pepe tons of :goodvibes:for the biopsi:fingerscr
Honestly,my cats have had all their vaccinations every year and they are 12,11 and 5yrs old,if they were strictly indoor cats(we take them outside)I would not have them vaccinated period!
Only rabies every 3 yrs,since it is the law.

March 31st, 2008, 06:55 PM
Welcome pepe's mom. I hope the biopsy comes back clean. It's a terrible thing having to worry about cancer at any time, be it family or furfamily. Please read all of the sites the other members have pointed you to. They are very informative. This site is great for that. There are lots of people who have gone through the same thing as you. :)
Chin up, things will be fine. I am passing all the :fingerscr:goodvibes: and crossed :cat::pawprint:s I can (and that's a lot in this household!)
Btw - Pepe is a great name. My Pepe :rip: lived to be almost 19.

pepe's mom
March 31st, 2008, 11:02 PM
thanks hazelrunpack. it is very stressful, i am beside myself today but this place is really helping. i just keep getting these horrible images and thoughts in my mind and i skipped my meditation group to be with pepe tonight so they are rolling around my head viciously now. i know all will be okay, no matter what happens, but not knowing is killing me!! :eek::cry:

I will look into vaccinations more thoroughly after this is all over for sure - thanks for the link!

and thanks for letting me know about the delay, i thought i was going bonkers not being able to find what the FAQ section so thoroughly points out about posting pictures! anyway, got an email today and apparently I have to wait for PMs too now....:laughing: so in time i'll post the pics, in time you will all see the beautiful Senor Pepe : )

pepe's mom
March 31st, 2008, 11:10 PM
thanks for the paw crosses Stacer, we really need them right now :highfive:

yes!!! i read that vets put it on the leg but of course mine put it on his BACK. so depressing. it seems like every light of hope i might have as i read keeps getting kiboshed with dark lately. i know i sound so depressing :sorry: but this is really hard. i don't even have an answer yet, i can't imagine. i will be a wreck if it is positive. i can't even speak the C word all happens far too fast and is a very cruel process. :sad:

thank you so much for the link and the tip about feline leukemia vacc--of course that is precisely the one causing the problem here:frustrated::shrug:

honestlly, i'm generally a strong person, and can handle things in my life. but right now i'm only at the biopsy stage and i wouldn't want anyone to ever go through even this, so on this basis alone (not to mention what kitty goes through) i would stay away from any vacc's unless they are ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. this is my emotional stance, of course i have reading to do for the more intellectual one but stay tuned :thumbs up

pepe's mom
March 31st, 2008, 11:18 PM
thank you for your support chico2 :pawprint:

you too 14+kitties.......your post made me smile thinking of all those paws crossed in your household. i'm also a little green with envy with all those cats, it sounds like my dream house!!! i live in an apartment that only allows one for now, but have had 9 at one time when i was breeding :crazy: my pepe was stepfather then and it was sooo adorable. good times, good times! I will definetely read the links after the biopsy results are in, but right now i feel learning about the dangers of vaccines will be the end of me because I already feel horrible enough and if it is cancerous then the feeling of I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER AND SOUGHT OUT ALL THIS INFO BEFORE will strengthen a thousand fold. hopeful stories about benign lumps would be most helpful right this minute, but i can't find any so far

paying homage to your pepe :pray::rip::pray::angel2:

thanks everyone, your being here means a lot. this week is hell already and i've still got over 16 hours to go before the appointment, 8 of those sleeping hopefully :sleepy: ahhh to shut off my noisy monkey mind :sleepy:

kashtin's kin
April 1st, 2008, 12:44 AM
It looks like the 'BB team' has already stepped in with some good support and advice etc., so I won't add anything, except to send positive vibes/thoughts to you and Pepe :fingerscr.

(I first posted on this board as a slightly frantic person looking for info on dealing with feral cats; almost 2 years later, I'm a LOT large part due to the wonderful support and encouragement BB people have been so generous with :thumbs up.)

Hang in there, and relax a bit if possible; you've come to the right place! You're not alone when you're in this community...

Former Ms. High Anxiety :cat:

pepe's mom
April 8th, 2008, 10:44 AM
thanks for popping in Kashtin's Kin!


we went to the vet and he changed his tune from "if it's not gone in 3 months we'll biopsy" to..............."I am 99% sure this is panniculitus, secondary to rabies vaccine"

I am still coming down off the high of the bigC scare, but feel much better. I know I have more research to do, as the vet says some people just remove the irritation (aka lump) anyway, in case it does become cancerous, and I know this is only one vet's opinion, but what a relief.

Thank you so much everyone for providing support and crossed paws and wishes......this seems like a fantastic community :cat:

April 8th, 2008, 11:01 AM
I have not dealt with this before so I am not in a position to talk about it. However, I think there have been others on this forum who have. I am sure they will pop in soon. I am not even sure how vets deal with this. From what I understand there are different types? What or how has the vet said to treat him?
Again - keep yours and Pepe's chins up!!!!
Btw - we like pics here. ;)

April 8th, 2008, 11:10 AM
That's some positive news. I'd keep an eye on it though and make sure it doesn't get any bigger or watch it to make sure it goes away. I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures of your guy.

April 8th, 2008, 03:40 PM
pepe's mom,I did not quiet understand(must be old age:laughing:)did the biopsy show it's not cancerous:confused:which is great if that's the case..
I never even knew this could happen from vaccinations,until I found out here.
My Vinnie had a huge lump,about 2 inches long,like a sack of liquid,but it did go away with time.
Yes,like someone said,we would love to see pics of Pepe:cat:

pepe's mom
April 11th, 2008, 12:58 PM
it's Panniculitus Secondary to Rabies Vaccine......I would love to hear from anybody who's dealt with this, because I really don't know what I'm doing from here. No, a biopsy was deemed "not needed." The vet did say that there is very little research about whether these CAN become cancerous if not removed, but said most owners do not remove them. He was quite vague about future treatment: "read up on it and let me know what you think." He said I can have it removed just "to be 100% safe" and "to make YOU feel better" but that felt too cosmetic and unnecessary to me. Having said that, I can't find anything online about this --- not anything in layman's terms anyway!! So........I emailed asking for some suggested links from vet, and am of course watching it and making sure it doesn't grow in the meantime. So far, feels the same size.

Ok........I'm going to figure out how to display pics here now : ) thanks for the continued dialogue everyone and I'm sending much love back to you all and the furry ones :cat:

pepe's mom
April 11th, 2008, 01:02 PM
here's my boy!!!

pepe's mom
April 11th, 2008, 01:04 PM
oops that didn't's too big so i'll have to post when i have more time to figure out how to shrink them......bye for now

April 11th, 2008, 10:19 PM
Just a suggestion (yes...from experience :o sigh): don't mess with the lump too much. Force yourself to only check it only once a week. We managed to really irritate one by over-checking it--got it inflamed and made it feel bigger... :rolleyes:

If you can get an approximate measurement on the size of it now, that'll help you judge how the size is changing from week to week. :thumbs up