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Seeking advice re lung cancer



 
 
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  #1  
Old June 25th 13, 12:24 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

We have a singe family pet, a female Manx cat, who is 13 years old.
We have had her since a couple of months after birth, having adopted her from a friend.

She has always been an indoors-only cat, and has been well cared for.
She has lost some weight recently.
The vet took x-rays and blood work, examined the x-rays and test results, and had them also reviewed by a radiologist.

Before we got the test results back, the vet had suggested we try feeding baby food to help get her weight up, and we have been doing that with success.

When the results came back, the vet and radiologist both agreed that there is lung cancer (spots on the x-rays), and that the blood work indicates there is not pneumonia.

The vet says our cat could die at any time, and is, or may be, in some discomfort.
We are not sure whether the cat is in pain, although she has probably been more sedentary than usual recently.

Our vet is a long-time personal friend, whom we trust very much, and we have no reason to doubt the diagnosis.
Our family has a strong emotional attachment to this cat.

We are struggling with what to do, including whether to have her put to sleep, and if so, when.

As far as trying to save or prolong her life, the checkup and tests ran a few hundred dollars, which we can afford, but costs over $1,000 would be difficult or unrealistic for us.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.
  #2  
Old June 25th 13, 02:18 AM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
buglady[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 88
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

On 6/24/2013 7:24 PM, wrote:
We are struggling with what to do, including whether to have her put to sleep, and if so, when.

As far as trying to save or prolong her life, the checkup and tests ran a few hundred dollars, which we can afford, but costs over $1,000 would be difficult or unrealistic for us.

Any advice would be appreciated.


..............I just went through this same agony with a cat
diagnosed/confirmed as having nasal lymphoma. A cat who won't smell
won't eat. Appetite stimulant worked and she put on weight. She was on
steroids but, in reality, those only have an effect for a short amount
of time. Cats resist mouth breathing. As my vet put it, they'd rather
breathe through a straw than open the mouth to breathe. She already was
doing that occasionally when I stressed her out with the daily pill. A
tumor was also forming under her eye by this time and she would
occasionally leak bloody serum out of her eyes. We had struggled for a
long time with a secondary bacterial infection, which we finally beat
with a new med. But the poor thing had had stuff crammed or squirted
down her throat for about 2 months and was heartily sick of it. Not to
mention subQs occasionally and once being in hospital for IV meds/fluids.

And a rhinoscopy and biopsy which ran me a thou, but I decided that I
needed the extra diagnostics to verify that it was cancer. That I
wouldn't be happy if I didn't know. The nose is a restricted area to
work in and my vet, like most vets, didn't have the tools to get a
biopsy. The pathology report took so long to come back combined with
primary treating vet at speciality clinic being out of town that 2 weeks
went by before he bothered to call back, which was days after he
returned to town. I had been willing to try an oral chemo drug, but by
the time he called it was too late - she was over the bridge. Just as
well I guess as Leukeran is related to mustard gas and had to be handled
with gloves. I could not picture how I was going to get that down her
throat in one go.

When the appetite stimulant wore off the steroids didn't do a thing WRT
eating. And she would look at me suspiciously and run whenever I got
near her. She'd also park herself in one spot and not move when she
wasn't drugged up. I just got to feeling that without the drugs she'd
be just as happy to leave. And when cats make up their minds, they go.

Despite her cancer, otherwise you wouldn't know she was sick. So I
struggled, as you are, with the concept of putting a cat to sleep who
didn't look all that horrible. Weight was good, coat was gorgeous, what
a horrible horrible irony.

But eventually the tumor (which already made her lift her head to
swallow food) would block off enough of the nasal passage in the back to
make breathing through her nose almost impossible. And by the time she
would be mouth breathing all the time she would be in terrible distress.

I felt at the time that it was too early. But this was one I didn't
want to be late on and didn't want to risk not having a vet available on
the weekend or holiday. So I sent her on.

I'd take your kitty into the vet and have him check breathing, number of
respirations per minute, whether breathing is shallow or not, and have
another talk. My father died of lung cancer and told me it hurt to
breathe. Cats hide pain pretty well. But if she's not shallow
breathing at this point, she's probably doing pretty well. ASk vet what
signs you could monitor that would tell you she's in distress.

That's about all you can do.
Good luck to you and your kitty.

buglady
take out the dog before replying

  #3  
Old June 25th 13, 11:05 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Bill Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,065
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

wrote:
We have a singe family pet, a female Manx cat, who is 13 years old.
We have had her since a couple of months after birth, having adopted
her from a friend.

She has always been an indoors-only cat, and has been well cared for.
She has lost some weight recently.
The vet took x-rays and blood work, examined the x-rays and test
results, and had them also reviewed by a radiologist.

Before we got the test results back, the vet had suggested we try
feeding baby food to help get her weight up, and we have been doing
that with success.

When the results came back, the vet and radiologist both agreed that
there is lung cancer (spots on the x-rays), and that the blood work
indicates there is not pneumonia.

The vet says our cat could die at any time, and is, or may be, in
some discomfort.
We are not sure whether the cat is in pain, although she has probably
been more sedentary than usual recently.

Our vet is a long-time personal friend, whom we trust very much, and
we have no reason to doubt the diagnosis.
Our family has a strong emotional attachment to this cat.

We are struggling with what to do, including whether to have her put
to sleep, and if so, when.

As far as trying to save or prolong her life, the checkup and tests
ran a few hundred dollars, which we can afford, but costs over $1,000
would be difficult or unrealistic for us.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Thanks.


I have had four cats die on me in the last two years. Two were poisoned. One
by Roundup weed killer, and the other by anti-freeze (ethylene Glycoil) The
other two died natral deaths from old age. My advice is to put the cat down
as soon as it shows signs of pain or continuopus discomfort, like not eating
or crying a lot. There is no sense in prolonging their suffering. We all die
eventually, and the niuce thing about being a cat is that you don't know
about death, and so you don;t fear it. As soon as you know that the cat will
not survive whatever illness he has, there is no reason to not put him down
and let him die in peace. You will feel better about it in the long run,
knowing that you did the best you could for him.

  #4  
Old June 27th 13, 01:39 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
dgk
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,251
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

On Mon, 24 Jun 2013 21:18:25 -0400, buglady
wrote:

On 6/24/2013 7:24 PM, wrote:
We are struggling with what to do, including whether to have her put to sleep, and if so, when.

As far as trying to save or prolong her life, the checkup and tests ran a few hundred dollars, which we can afford, but costs over $1,000 would be difficult or unrealistic for us.

Any advice would be appreciated.


.............I just went through this same agony with a cat
diagnosed/confirmed as having nasal lymphoma. A cat who won't smell
won't eat. Appetite stimulant worked and she put on weight. She was on
steroids but, in reality, those only have an effect for a short amount
of time. Cats resist mouth breathing. As my vet put it, they'd rather
breathe through a straw than open the mouth to breathe. She already was
doing that occasionally when I stressed her out with the daily pill. A
tumor was also forming under her eye by this time and she would
occasionally leak bloody serum out of her eyes. We had struggled for a
long time with a secondary bacterial infection, which we finally beat
with a new med. But the poor thing had had stuff crammed or squirted
down her throat for about 2 months and was heartily sick of it. Not to
mention subQs occasionally and once being in hospital for IV meds/fluids.

And a rhinoscopy and biopsy which ran me a thou, but I decided that I
needed the extra diagnostics to verify that it was cancer. That I
wouldn't be happy if I didn't know. The nose is a restricted area to
work in and my vet, like most vets, didn't have the tools to get a
biopsy. The pathology report took so long to come back combined with
primary treating vet at speciality clinic being out of town that 2 weeks
went by before he bothered to call back, which was days after he
returned to town. I had been willing to try an oral chemo drug, but by
the time he called it was too late - she was over the bridge. Just as
well I guess as Leukeran is related to mustard gas and had to be handled
with gloves. I could not picture how I was going to get that down her
throat in one go.

When the appetite stimulant wore off the steroids didn't do a thing WRT
eating. And she would look at me suspiciously and run whenever I got
near her. She'd also park herself in one spot and not move when she
wasn't drugged up. I just got to feeling that without the drugs she'd
be just as happy to leave. And when cats make up their minds, they go.

Despite her cancer, otherwise you wouldn't know she was sick. So I
struggled, as you are, with the concept of putting a cat to sleep who
didn't look all that horrible. Weight was good, coat was gorgeous, what
a horrible horrible irony.

But eventually the tumor (which already made her lift her head to
swallow food) would block off enough of the nasal passage in the back to
make breathing through her nose almost impossible. And by the time she
would be mouth breathing all the time she would be in terrible distress.

I felt at the time that it was too early. But this was one I didn't
want to be late on and didn't want to risk not having a vet available on
the weekend or holiday. So I sent her on.

I'd take your kitty into the vet and have him check breathing, number of
respirations per minute, whether breathing is shallow or not, and have
another talk. My father died of lung cancer and told me it hurt to
breathe. Cats hide pain pretty well. But if she's not shallow
breathing at this point, she's probably doing pretty well. ASk vet what
signs you could monitor that would tell you she's in distress.

That's about all you can do.
Good luck to you and your kitty.

buglady
take out the dog before replying


It's a decision that you just can't win. Either you're going to feel
awful that you euthanized your cat too soon, or you're going to feel
awful that you made the cat suffer because you couldn't bear to let
go. Just be prepared to feel awful and do the best you can.

I also had a cat, my favorite, come down with a leukemia at around age
15. He had collapsed and almost died. My vet said that if I wanted to
save him I would have to take him to the specialty vet and I did so.
They said that he could live for another two years with a decent
quality of life, so I had them do what they could. After four very
expensive days (several thousand $) I came to get him and he was
petrified and just miserable looking. He also had the worst case of
diarrhea I can imagine.

I had to alternate giving him prednisone and leukeran, with the gloves
and all. I hated having to get those pills down his throat and he
hated it as well. He only lived for maybe five more months, and he
never climbed the cat tree again so I have to assume that he was
nauseous the whole time.

I would not do it again that way. Maybe I will make myself miserable
next time by doing it too soon, but I will not make a trusting
companion suffer like that.

Do what you think is best and then you know that at least you did your
best. That's a minor comfort, but the best I can offer. You have our
purrs.
  #5  
Old June 27th 13, 05:35 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Bill Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,065
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

dgk wrote:
On Mon, 24 Jun 2013 21:18:25 -0400, buglady
wrote:

On 6/24/2013 7:24 PM, wrote:
We are struggling with what to do, including whether to have her
put to sleep, and if so, when.

As far as trying to save or prolong her life, the checkup and tests
ran a few hundred dollars, which we can afford, but costs over
$1,000 would be difficult or unrealistic for us.

Any advice would be appreciated.


.............I just went through this same agony with a cat
diagnosed/confirmed as having nasal lymphoma. A cat who won't smell
won't eat. Appetite stimulant worked and she put on weight. She
was on steroids but, in reality, those only have an effect for a
short amount of time. Cats resist mouth breathing. As my vet put
it, they'd rather breathe through a straw than open the mouth to
breathe. She already was doing that occasionally when I stressed
her out with the daily pill. A tumor was also forming under her eye
by this time and she would occasionally leak bloody serum out of her
eyes. We had struggled for a long time with a secondary bacterial
infection, which we finally beat with a new med. But the poor thing
had had stuff crammed or squirted down her throat for about 2 months
and was heartily sick of it. Not to mention subQs occasionally and
once being in hospital for IV meds/fluids.

And a rhinoscopy and biopsy which ran me a thou, but I decided that I
needed the extra diagnostics to verify that it was cancer. That I
wouldn't be happy if I didn't know. The nose is a restricted area to
work in and my vet, like most vets, didn't have the tools to get a
biopsy. The pathology report took so long to come back combined with
primary treating vet at speciality clinic being out of town that 2
weeks went by before he bothered to call back, which was days after
he returned to town. I had been willing to try an oral chemo drug,
but by the time he called it was too late - she was over the bridge.
Just as well I guess as Leukeran is related to mustard gas and had
to be handled with gloves. I could not picture how I was going to
get that down her throat in one go.

When the appetite stimulant wore off the steroids didn't do a thing
WRT eating. And she would look at me suspiciously and run whenever
I got near her. She'd also park herself in one spot and not move
when she wasn't drugged up. I just got to feeling that without the
drugs she'd be just as happy to leave. And when cats make up their
minds, they go.

Despite her cancer, otherwise you wouldn't know she was sick. So I
struggled, as you are, with the concept of putting a cat to sleep who
didn't look all that horrible. Weight was good, coat was gorgeous,
what a horrible horrible irony.

But eventually the tumor (which already made her lift her head to
swallow food) would block off enough of the nasal passage in the
back to make breathing through her nose almost impossible. And by
the time she would be mouth breathing all the time she would be in
terrible distress.

I felt at the time that it was too early. But this was one I didn't
want to be late on and didn't want to risk not having a vet
available on the weekend or holiday. So I sent her on.

I'd take your kitty into the vet and have him check breathing,
number of respirations per minute, whether breathing is shallow or
not, and have another talk. My father died of lung cancer and told
me it hurt to breathe. Cats hide pain pretty well. But if she's
not shallow breathing at this point, she's probably doing pretty
well. ASk vet what signs you could monitor that would tell you
she's in distress.

That's about all you can do.
Good luck to you and your kitty.

buglady
take out the dog before replying


It's a decision that you just can't win. Either you're going to feel
awful that you euthanized your cat too soon, or you're going to feel
awful that you made the cat suffer because you couldn't bear to let
go. Just be prepared to feel awful and do the best you can.

I also had a cat, my favorite, come down with a leukemia at around age
15. He had collapsed and almost died. My vet said that if I wanted to
save him I would have to take him to the specialty vet and I did so.
They said that he could live for another two years with a decent
quality of life, so I had them do what they could. After four very
expensive days (several thousand $) I came to get him and he was
petrified and just miserable looking. He also had the worst case of
diarrhea I can imagine.

I had to alternate giving him prednisone and leukeran, with the gloves
and all. I hated having to get those pills down his throat and he
hated it as well. He only lived for maybe five more months, and he
never climbed the cat tree again so I have to assume that he was
nauseous the whole time.

I would not do it again that way. Maybe I will make myself miserable
next time by doing it too soon, but I will not make a trusting
companion suffer like that.

Do what you think is best and then you know that at least you did your
best. That's a minor comfort, but the best I can offer. You have our
purrs.


Yes.
We human beings understand what the doctors are doing, what the choices are,
and why we are suffering in the hopes of the reward of an extension of our
lives. Cats can't understand any of this. They only know that they are being
tortured, and they donl;t know why or what they did wrong that caused you to
do this to them. Why inflict this on them? Far better to put them down and
let them die in peace. Give them a shot of morphine, so they think
everything's OK, and let them go to sleep forever....

  #6  
Old June 27th 13, 06:06 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
buglady[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 88
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

On 6/27/2013 12:35 PM, Bill Graham wrote:
Give them a shot of
morphine, so they think everything's OK, and let them go to sleep
forever....

................Morphine makes cats just plain crazy - hyperexcitable.
Totally contrary to what it does in humans.

buglady
take out the dog before replying
  #7  
Old June 27th 13, 06:18 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
buglady[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 88
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

On 6/27/2013 8:39 AM, dgk wrote:

It's a decision that you just can't win. Either you're going to feel
awful that you euthanized your cat too soon, or you're going to feel
awful that you made the cat suffer because you couldn't bear to let
go. Just be prepared to feel awful and do the best you can.


..........Amen to that! I don't regret the decision to toss a barrel of
money I couldn't really afford at the diagnosis. I just had to know.
It could have been something fixable and it would have haunted me that I
didn't find out for sure.

They said that he could live for another two years with a decent
quality of life, so I had them do what they could.

............Oh yeah, the primary speciality vet had done a smear sample
at the time of the rhinoscopy and told me it was lymphoma but they'd
wait for the path report to make sure. Then he gave me all the options.
And said lymphoma was weird. One chemo treatment and it could
disappear. Gosh, despite the horrific price tag, I felt I'd really have
to consider it. But I talked to an assoc vet when path report came in
and she said, yeah, it can, but it will come right back unless you keep
up with the chemo. Nothing like stretching the truth. He said 2 years
also but I read a journal article that realistically put it at around 8
months. Two years is the right hand side of the bell curve.


I would not do it again that way. Maybe I will make myself miserable
next time by doing it too soon, but I will not make a trusting
companion suffer like that.


.............Well, you never know how any disease or cat may react. It
could be a whole new ballgame. But you do know now they're not quite
telling the truth when they say 2 years and decent quality of life. One
has to ask oneself who the cat is being kept alive for, yourself or him/her.

My cat was over 15 also.


buglady
take out the dog before replying
  #8  
Old June 27th 13, 09:13 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Bill Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,065
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

buglady wrote:
On 6/27/2013 12:35 PM, Bill Graham wrote:
Give them a shot of
morphine, so they think everything's OK, and let them go to sleep
forever....

...............Morphine makes cats just plain crazy - hyperexcitable.
Totally contrary to what it does in humans.

buglady
take out the dog before replying


That may very well be true. But they can give them something that
tranquelizes them, and I always ask for that when I have to have one put to
sleep.

  #9  
Old June 28th 13, 04:47 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
dgk
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2,251
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

On Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:18:34 -0400, buglady
wrote:

On 6/27/2013 8:39 AM, dgk wrote:



............Well, you never know how any disease or cat may react. It
could be a whole new ballgame. But you do know now they're not quite
telling the truth when they say 2 years and decent quality of life. One
has to ask oneself who the cat is being kept alive for, yourself or him/her.

My cat was over 15 also.


I don't think they were lying; I think they probably did have cats
that do very well on chemo. I know that cats are supposed to tolerate
chemo much better than people do. It just didn't work out in my case.

That's what makes it so hard; we can't talk to our cats and explain
what's going on. All we can do is what we think is best.
  #10  
Old June 29th 13, 10:03 PM posted to rec.pets.cats.health+behav
Bill Graham
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,065
Default Seeking advice re lung cancer

dgk wrote:
On Thu, 27 Jun 2013 13:18:34 -0400, buglady
wrote:

On 6/27/2013 8:39 AM, dgk wrote:



............Well, you never know how any disease or cat may react.
It could be a whole new ballgame. But you do know now they're not
quite telling the truth when they say 2 years and decent quality of
life. One has to ask oneself who the cat is being kept alive for,
yourself or him/her.

My cat was over 15 also.


I don't think they were lying; I think they probably did have cats
that do very well on chemo. I know that cats are supposed to tolerate
chemo much better than people do. It just didn't work out in my case.

That's what makes it so hard; we can't talk to our cats and explain
what's going on. All we can do is what we think is best.


That's why I love them so much. They have loads more character than any
human being I have ever known. With their limited intelligence and frail
bodies they choose a path of action, and then give it their all, and remain
in control until the bitter end. It is easy for me to understand why the
Egyptians considered them to be Gods.....

 




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