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cindys
March 2nd 14, 03:53 PM
I noticed that my cat, Amanda, who is just shy of 14 years old and has cardiomyopathy and the start of CRF was recently spending an inordinate amount of time scratching around in her litter box. I also had noticed she wasn't grooming quite as well as she used to (but it wasn't significant, and I attributed this to her aging).

Concerned about a UTI, I took her for her 6-month checkup a little early, and it was discovered she had lost 1-1/2 pounds in the last 6 months. The vet did a complete workup, including an ultrasound, and the diagnosis was bladder cancer. It looks fairly advanced to me on the ultrasound; it looks like the tumor is occupying 2/3 or 3/4 of her bladder. Considering her age and other health issues (not a surgical candidate at all), I have agreed with the vet to limit her treatment to meloxicam (similar to piroxicam).

Here is my concern: On the basis of my past experience with feline end-of-life issues, I always feel that I wait too long to euthanize. My worst fear is that my cat will suffer, and I feel that in the past, I have caused unnecessary suffering in my cats by waiting too long. OTOH, I don't want to rush to euthanize Amanda if she has any decent amount of time left. I know that if the cancer obliterates her urethral opening, it will become a medical emergency, and she will suffer greatly. I want to avoid this scenario at all costs. The vet wanted to prescribe enough meloxicam to last for a number of months. I told her that, given the size of Amanda's tumor, I thought she was being extremely optimistic.

My plan at this point is to repeat the ultrasound this week (one week after diagnosis) and see if the tumor has progressed. I'm also thinking about having a weekly ultrasound to track the tumor. OTOH, while Amanda is behaving normally at this point and is still eating and using her litterbox, she seems to have gotten frailer in the past week (or am I imagining this?). I'm debating about having her euthanized sooner rather than later (as in the next week or two), but then I'm thinking, what if she really does have several months left?

Has anyone had any experience with feline bladder cancer who can share with me how rapidly the tumor progresses? If the bladder is 2/3 filled with tumor, e.g., how long until a crisis occurs (weeks versus months)?
Thank you in advance.
Best regards,
---Cindy S.

buglady[_2_]
March 3rd 14, 03:35 AM
On 3/2/2014 9:53 AM, cindys wrote:
[..] including an ultrasound, and the diagnosis was bladder cancer. It
looks fairly advanced to me on the ultrasound; it looks like the tumor
is occupying 2/3 or 3/4 of her bladder. Considering her age and other
health issues (not a surgical candidate at all), I have agreed with the
vet to limit her treatment to meloxicam (similar to piroxicam).

This site mentions that piroxicam seems to work better. Worth checking
out to see if there are any studies. Though with either of them, with a
cat already in CRF, you might give meds for stomach before it becomes an
issue:

http://www.catster.com/lifestyle/cat-health-cats-bladder-cancer
>
> Here is my concern: On the basis of my past experience with feline end-of-life issues,
= I always feel that I wait too long to euthanize. My worst fear is that
my cat will suffer,

No personal experience, but I sent a 16 yr old cat on early who had
nasal lymphoma. I just could not stand her having a tough time
breathing, and the end, like your situation would have been an
emergency. Besides, the only way she would eat is if I would pill her
every other day with steroids and an appetite stimulant. It got so if
she would see me she'd get up and leave.

You might check out these sites:
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_transitional_cell_carcinoma.html

http://www.petplace.com/cats/urinary-bladder-cancer-in-cats/page1.aspx


It's not clear to me if all bladder cancers are transitional cell or
not. I think a week for a repeat ultrasound is too soon. I think it
will be hard to measure, unless the cat is is the same exact position,
and you might not gain any info at all.

I'm sorry about your kitty. The best to you and her in the coming days.

buglady
take out the dog before replying

buglady[_2_]
March 3rd 14, 03:51 AM
On 3/2/2014 9:53 AM, cindys wrote:
> bladder cancer

You might also be interested in this:
http://www.interhomeopathy.org/three-cases-in-companion-animals-calcarea-carbonica-and-cancer-of-the-bladder

buglady
take out the dog before replying

March 5th 14, 05:47 PM
On Sunday, March 2, 2014 9:53:54 AM UTC-5, cindys wrote:
> I noticed that my cat, Amanda, who is just shy of 14 years old and has cardiomyopathy and the start of CRF was recently spending an inordinate amount of time scratching around in her litter box. I also had noticed she wasn't grooming quite as well as she used to (but it wasn't significant, and I attributed this to her aging).
>
>
>
> Concerned about a UTI, I took her for her 6-month checkup a little early, and it was discovered she had lost 1-1/2 pounds in the last 6 months. The vet did a complete workup, including an ultrasound, and the diagnosis was bladder cancer. It looks fairly advanced to me on the ultrasound; it looks like the tumor is occupying 2/3 or 3/4 of her bladder. Considering her age and other health issues (not a surgical candidate at all), I have agreed with the vet to limit her treatment to meloxicam (similar to piroxicam).
>
>
>
> Here is my concern: On the basis of my past experience with feline end-of-life issues, I always feel that I wait too long to euthanize. My worst fear is that my cat will suffer, and I feel that in the past, I have caused unnecessary suffering in my cats by waiting too long. OTOH, I don't want to rush to euthanize Amanda if she has any decent amount of time left. I know that if the cancer obliterates her urethral opening, it will become a medical emergency, and she will suffer greatly. I want to avoid this scenario at all costs. The vet wanted to prescribe enough meloxicam to last for a number of months. I told her that, given the size of Amanda's tumor, I thought she was being extremely optimistic.
>
>
>
> My plan at this point is to repeat the ultrasound this week (one week after diagnosis) and see if the tumor has progressed. I'm also thinking about having a weekly ultrasound to track the tumor. OTOH, while Amanda is behaving normally at this point and is still eating and using her litterbox, she seems to have gotten frailer in the past week (or am I imagining this?). I'm debating about having her euthanized sooner rather than later (as in the next week or two), but then I'm thinking, what if she really does have several months left?
>
>
>
> Has anyone had any experience with feline bladder cancer who can share with me how rapidly the tumor progresses? If the bladder is 2/3 filled with tumor, e.g., how long until a crisis occurs (weeks versus months)?
>
> Thank you in advance.
>
> Best regards,
>
> ---Cindy S.

So sorry Cindy. I have not had experience with bladder cancer, but my last cat had liver cancer. In general, you can tell if they're in pain by the way they relax. If they are in pain they tend to scrunch up, sort of like a crouch. If they stretch out and look relaxed, then chances are they are usually not in pain. If they eat reasonably well, move around, groom themselves, use the litter box, that's a good sign. If they purr when you do those things to them that would normally cause them to purr, then they probably don't feel horrible.

I work at the MSPCA and the things I described above tend to be born out by what I see there.

It's a very tough call. In my cat's case he started to vomit one day and couldn't stop. That was the sign for me to euthanize him. I truly understand. It can be very hard to tell when a cat is in pain or uncomfortable. When I have an animal that I know has only a short time left I'd rather err on the side of a peaceful death than wait until they hurt. I wish we could do that for ourselves and our loved ones.