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My 17 yr old cat diagnosed with abnormal growth on lungs on 28 May 09.

CuddlesM
June 5th, 2009, 04:57 PM
Hello, i am wondering if anyone can give me advice/comments on the following: here is my situation. Sorry for the long thread but I want to give all the details.
I have a 17 yr old beloved cat who last week was diagnosed with abnormal growths on her lungs. At the end of april we noticed at times that she was reguratating a white muscus and food just eaten . Since this stated we have switched to a mashed food diet. On 6 may 09 we brought her to vet as this reguration continued, initial indication from the vet was that her condition appeared respiratory -sounds he observed when listening to lungs ,all the blood tests were done - there was slightly elevated white blood cells, but an initial xray showed up an spots on lung, a cause for concern, but he wanted to wait for results of hyperthroid blood test which as since come back negative.
The vet gave her an injection of the Convenia antibiotic - a 2 week antibiotic. during the 2 weeks she was on this 1st injection the reguation really stopped (which was great) but she started having some coughing bouts. at end of two weeks (when the injection was up - convenia is a 2 week injection) the reguration started again, brought her back to vet and vet decided to give her second injection of convenia to see if would help and it appeared to ease coughing bouts but not the reguratuion, as she still continues to reguatate since second injection.
We brought her back for further examination on 28 may - . an ultasound , more blood tests and 3 different angle x rays were carried out. xrays seemed conclusive to vets that this was growths on lung indicating lung tummors/cancer diagnosis. This was very upsetting. The vet said as long as her quality of life is good to monitor situation/he did not recommend option of chemo/radiation , he did mention putting her to sleep when things come to a point. very upsetting. vet recommended we continue with convenia antibiotic for her comfort - but to expect some reguaration - as he believes the growths are pressing on oesphagus casuing food to come back up.
As vet did not want to go down road of invasive bioopsy - dont know if growths there for years and now causing issue or rapid caner growths.

I asked the vet is she in pain - he said at this stage she would have ' a mild discomfort' with the reguation.
She is still eating and purring (but a raspy pur - which i now believe is to do with her lung growths)

She is in quite good form considering and loves lying down and sunnying her self in the sun. She has not being miaowing or giving other indications of being sick.

I wonder if ithe antibiotic is the way to go at moment (it did seem to keep coughing at bay - and for the first two week the reguratuion) - I must say I have noticed since the injections, (i do not know if this is related to injection or cancer) her appettie has decreased,(she is still eating though) she is more legtharic, - dont know if this is down to injection or the cancer.
I Wonder if the antibiotic helping her really, she was better in herself before convenia and only noticable complaint reguration. Next injection due shortly, thinking of giving her a rest for a few days from the injection to see if she appears better without it for the time being.

Has anyone gone through a similar situation with cat lung cancer/any type of cat cancer.??

When do you know that you have to consider putting your pet to sleep ?? I have read when the animal is not eating at all and lost interest in everything, it is time. She is still perky in herself at the moment, but more lethargic.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

sugarcatmom
June 5th, 2009, 07:48 PM
Gosh, I'm so sorry that you're going through this, it must be devastating. I don't have any personal experience with lung cancer in cats so I'm probably not much help. I am wondering if you live in an area where heartworm is a concern, and whether the vets have ruled that out as a possibility. The symptoms can be very similar to what you're describing (heartworm affects the lungs of infected cats and may causing intermittent vomiting, coughing, breathing difficulties, increased white blood cells, etc). Here is more info on that:
http://www.heartwormsociety.org/article_1142.html
http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/distance/cardio/all.html

As for knowing when it's time to say goodbye, there is a very helpful quality of life scale at this link:
http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-practice-news-columns/oncology-outlook/quality-of-life-for-pets.aspx

No matter what the prognosis, try to live in the moment with your kitty instead of dwelling on the end of her life. Cross each hurdle as you come to it and just love her with all your heart. :grouphug:

the gang
June 5th, 2009, 08:25 PM
yes i did she was 19 and stop eating so i knew it was time to let her go!!! my thoughts are with you!!! brenda and the pins.:cry:

CuddlesM
June 6th, 2009, 05:17 PM
Thank you all for your replies.
I have checked out the links sugarcatmom. I live in Ireland so with regard to the heartworms - so mosquitos are not an issue. The quality of life scale was very helpful thank you.
My beloved cat cuddles has never been sick in her life until now . 17 is a hugh age and i am grateful i had this long with her - I has her since I was 9 years old - we grew up together. I lost cuddles mother to heart problems 7 years ago - she was 11 years old. I am devastated to know that my little cuddles end is coming too and I would do anything to make her better. Now it is about making her as comfortable as possible. She had a good day today - She ate more today than she has in the past few weeks and kept it down. the reguration is on and off really. The vet said this reguation is not causing her pain - a mild discomfort.
I have raised up her feeding bowls so she does not have to bend down as much - this seems to be helping with keeping the food down when it goes down her foodpipe - ( I was given this advise). Her diet is now a mashed wet food and liquid diet. She has not gone off her food yet thank god.

It is really heartbreaking to see your pet go downhill when they were once so full of life. I know her age is going against her, she really has had I hope a lovely life and she has made me so happy. She is and will always be one of the family.

luvsmallfurries
June 7th, 2009, 08:57 AM
Cuddles - my heart :cry: for you. This is such a difficult things to deal with. I lost my oldest girl, Corkie, almost exactly a year ago to lung cancer. She was 13 years old. Corkie was remarkably healthy despite a diagnosis of renal failure about 5 years before she passed. I did a LOT of research and preparation for the issues that can come with renal failure as it progresses - what foods are best, how to give subQ fluids, etc. So it was a bit of a surprise to lose her to the cancer before I ever saw any of the serious issues with the renal failure.

All I can say is that yes, Corkie knew, and told us when she was ready to go and though I didn't want to listen - I knew I had to.

In Corkie's case I notice a period of about a week where her activity level dropped dramatically, she severely reduced her food intake, wanted nothing but to lay on my chest and have me hold her. On her last day and night, she didn't eat, wouldn't lay with me and didn't come up on to the bed to sleep with me - she just stayed in a corner of the hallway. That's when I knew she was really not well and needed to see the vet. I was assuming he'd tell me she was in full renal failure - to my very great surprise he told me she had major spots all over her lungs, had started coughing up blood while he was x-raying her chest and was going into congestive heart failure.

I sat and held her for about a half an hour and she spent the whole time purring and sucking on my finger. I felt absolutely grateful that this fabulous little creature allowed me to spend her last few minutes with her. She went to sleep in my arms.

None of us can give you any advice - you know your baby the best and you will know when she is ready to go. Cherish the time you have now - and do what you can to keep her comfortable. She will tell you when she is ready.

(OK - now I have to go dry my eyes and blow my nose!!)

:2huggers: for you.

TacoGrl
June 7th, 2009, 11:25 AM
:grouphug:

I am so sorry you are going through this. :cry:

My Mooki had a spot on her heart and on her lung...then she grew a growth on her face...she was coughing and slowly not eating anymore...I didn't want to let her go, but I had to...it was/is horrible.

My Jaeger had cancer in her mouth...I bottle fed her when she was a baby...I hate cancer.

I do love that I had the opportunity to have these two wonderful kitties in my life though and I wouldn't have had it any other way...they brought joy and laughter and love to me during many difficult times...that is what you have to focus on...that is what will make you smile when you remember your kitty, but for right now, another vote for enjoy the here and now-lots of hugs-lots of treats.

Your little one is still eating and playing which is always a good sign and maybe the spot on the lung isn't the issue...sometimes these things can go undetected since birth and really do not affect quality of life...perhaps it is heartworm or something.

CuddlesM
June 7th, 2009, 01:07 PM
I appreciate your words of support and advice; luvsmallfurries ; and TacoGrl. So sorry for your loss of your precious kitty(s) - Corkie ; and Mooki & Jaeger. May they rest in peace. Reading your words brought tears to my eyes. It is heartbreaking to say goodbye to your beloved pet.

I am grateful for every extra day I have with Cuddles. She is such a darling kitty as was her mama kitty Snuggles. I am so glad they chose to live out their lives with me.

thank you