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Old May 30th, 2016, 07:49 AM
epcjay epcjay is offline
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Second Opinion - Osteosarcoma

My cat has not been eating for the last 10 days and he's lost 50% of his weight. He still drinks water. I brought him to the vet yesterday and she concluded that my cat has Osteosarcoma in his upper jaw and that nothing can be done. She concluded the timeline left for my cat is 1-6months depending on the cat. My guess is my cat is about 12 years old, but it's hard to tell because we only adopted him 5 years ago from the humane society. She said to prepare for the worst and decide whether it's time to let him go.

I am still in shock from this, and think I should get a second opinion. The vet based her diagnosis from visually inspecting his jaw and mouth and she showed me pictures from a textbook to validate her claim. I've always trusted this vet as I've been with her for a number of years and she does have 20+ years under her belt.

Of course everyone Google's about the condition as they get home and I found that they're is more that should be done before coming to that conclusion.

should I trust the doc or should I get a second opinion.

Secondly, any reputable vets in Scarborough, Ontario?

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Old May 30th, 2016, 09:28 AM
lindapalm lindapalm is offline
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If it was me I would absolutely get a second opinion. Our cat has to have his leg amputated, and we were so undecided, and felt so guilty. We got a second opinion from a very good vet, and she 100% agreed with the first vet. We still feel guilty, but we now know we have no choice, and that helps a lot.

You can have the first vet send records over to the second vet, so the tests don't have to be repeated. Don't worry about offending the first vet, we were told any good vet doesn't mind when someone wants a second opinion, and besides, its your animals life on the line.
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Old May 30th, 2016, 02:14 PM
Barkingdog Barkingdog is offline
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why did you wait so long ,ten days is a long time to go with no food !
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Old May 30th, 2016, 09:20 PM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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If you have any doubts about the diagnosis, epcjay, I'd definitely get a second opinion, if only for your own peace of mind.
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Old May 31st, 2016, 02:24 PM
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RUSTYcat RUSTYcat is offline
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Hi epcjay and welcome to the forum !

Second opinions can make ALL the difference....in many ways....PROVIDED it is offered by a COMPETENT FELINE DIAGNOSTICIAN.

The very best available second opinion is sure to come from a "board-certified veterinary oncologist".....a veterinary specialist (equivalent to medical specialist). IF you have the financial resources to manage a consultation with a specialist, I'd urge you to go that route. You can certainly ask beforehand about the fees/costs of consultations. From my experience, the exam/consult fees are about double that of an average Veterinarian's exam fee. (e.g. $200 vs $100)

There are (at least) three veterinary oncology services that I found easily. (perhaps your Vet could suggest others...she may need to make a formal referral for you. I would, at the minimum, ask her for a referral letter [which will have the required information included]. In any case, I would obtain (paper) copies of every document in my cat's veterinary file and bring them along.)
  1. Veterinary Emergency Clinic - North Clinic 280 Sheppard Ave. East Toronto, ON M2N 3B1 www.vectoronto.com Tel.: (416)226-3663 Fax: (416)226-3696 ***
  2. Veterinary Emergency Clinic - South Clinic 920 Yonge St. Suite 117 Toronto, ON M4W 3C7 www.vectoronto.com Tel.: (416) 920-2002 Fax: (416) 920-6185 ***
  3. University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College 50 Stone Road Guelph, ON N1G 2W1 Ontario Veterinary College - Animal Cancer Centre Tel: 519.823.8830 Fax: 519.763.1276 ****
*** There is only one oncologist serving both these clinics....she isn't quite board-certified (she's "board-eligible", which, I presume, indicates she hasn't yet, for whatever reason, received full accreditation: http://vectoronto.com/our-hospital/s...mantovani-dvm/

**** There are several advantages inherent in choosing a Veterinary College Oncology service:
  • Specialists there are at the pinnacle of their fields - they teach aspiring specialist students
  • Patients there have easier access to new drug/treatment trials, either on-site or from other veterinary schools
  • Access to other necessary specialties (Pathologists/Radiologists) is immediate, as they are on-site

IF you are going to pursue a second opinion, I'd recommend you opt for a feline-only Veterinarian (with many years experience as well). Perhaps there's a cat-only clinic nearby? The owners of these are usually well-experienced. The American Association of Feline Practitioners offers a search for its members here: AAFP - Find Veterinarians . Use the "More Options" choice...do NOT check the red "Cat-Friendly" bar.

NOW, there are 2 glaring issues you did not address - they are both URGENT - perhaps your Vet has dealt with them - if not, you MUST and ASAP !

and IMMEDIATELY, YOU MUST DEAL WITH HIS INAPPETENCE....IF NOT, YOU WILL HAVE A SECOND, MORE IMMANENT LIFE-THREATENING CONDITION on your hands - liver failure. Cats are unique in this....they CANNOT easily metabolize body fat....the result is that the liver itself becomes fatty and fails. (you and I could subsist without food for lengthy periods of time, not so our cats) You will probably have to begin assist-feeding by syringe - or, immediately have your Vet 'install' a feeding tube. As well, I would recommend that you begin using Denamarin (from the Vet): Denamarin for Cats This is the gold standard treatment for cats with liver damage/conditions.

Here's a quick lesson on assist-feeding by syringe: How to Assist-Feed a Cat by Syringe - YouTube . There are some fine points to this, the most critical is to ensure that the cat does not 'breathe in' the food...cats are particularly susceptible to developing "aspiration pneumonia" if they 'breathe in' food or liquids.....so, he MUST NOT CHOKE on what you're feeding. This pneumonia is usually fatal in cats. So, NEVER squirt food down a cat's throat. You do this: put ONLY a few drops of the food into the SIDE of his mouth, withdraw the syringe, let him swallow...wait a few seconds, repeat and continue repeating.

Here are the types of food to use:


These are high-calorie "recovery foods" designed for syringe feeding and ideal for your situation. These are only available from Vets

He is undoubtedly in pain...and, it's most probably the reason for his not eating. Cancer pain in cats is treated by a "multi-modal" approach: different meds are used simultaneously to target different pain pathways. Most commonly, an opiod drug, an anti-inflammarory drug and a 'nerve pathway' drug are used. A typical combination is Buprenorphine, meloxicam and Gabapentin.

Please (if not already covered off) ask your Vet for both the foods and the pain medications. Perhaps you could refer her to this post.

I hope that helps.

Do keep us up-to-date ! (oh, btw, we never refuse pictures here!)
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Old May 31st, 2016, 02:59 PM
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RUSTYcat RUSTYcat is offline
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Once you address those urgent needs, consider this:

Forums like this one are a good starting point for many people.....but, when it comes to dealing with serious health conditions, the very best sources of information and support are sure to be the specialized online communities that deal with each type of disease/chronic condition.

For the last (almost) 20 years there has been an active online community of people whose kitties have cancer.....that's where I'd be posing my questions.

People who run these groups are, by far, the 'specialists' where it involves best practices of care and management and are knowledgeable about the very latest treatment information - including clinical trials etc.

Now, most of these groups were started in earlier Internet days before forums like this came along, and they used email as their 'operating platform'. The majority, including the cancer group, continue like this today. I'd suggest that you get yourself a new separate email account to use exclusively for the group as that will help better manage the info flow.

That specialized online community can be found right here: For People Whose Cats Have Cancer
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Old June 1st, 2016, 01:15 PM
epcjay epcjay is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Toronto
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Thanks for all the information. It's been great help. However, I felt timing was an essence and couldn't follow some of the suggestions as yet as I've been juggling between my cat, work, and my toddler.

I brought my cat to another vet (cat only), and she advised that my cat is almost certain that he does not have bone cancer, instead, just extreme stage of gingivitis and gum disease that requires him to remove all his teeth. The reasoning is the swelling is pretty equal around the mouth with extreme tar build up. It also looks to be infected according to her.

So what needs to be done is all his infected teeth need to be removed. She also did a physical and noted he has no food, and a very empty bladder, and his kidneys are very small. However, before any surgery, she wants to do a blood test first to make sure everything else is in check.

So today, the doctor gave me a call and there is elevated levels in his kidneys that would not allow her to perform the surgery with the drugs she needs to use. It will certainly cause his kidneys to fail. She needs to start the intravenous fluid therapy asap. She needs to help his kidneys first, before we can talk surgery on his mouth.

The costs are starting to balloon, and I'm at that stage whether is all this worth it. The vet has no guarantees and does not know how long this can buy him as every cat is different...
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