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Old 04-18-2016, 12:23 PM
 
873 posts, read 2,765,446 times
Reputation: 949

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This poor guy has been given a 6-8 week prognosis on 3 different occasions and has beaten the odds every time. This time I fear he will not beat them by much, but he could still surprise.

Over 4 years ago he was diagnosed with stage 1 kidney disease and put on a kidney diet. He never progressed past stage 1 thank goodness. He later was diagnosed with IBD, but the vet did not do a great job in following up and validating the disease. I don't think he ever had that really. For the past 2 year years we've been taking him in for a series of odd symptoms, but with no diagnosis:
  • Pawing at the left side of face
  • Loss of all whiskers on the left side of face
  • Odd dark band around outside of nose that would come and go. (Flat to the touch...vet said it's just some mucus).
  • Pawing at mouth when eating (vet said teeth looked fine)
  • Yowling at night (vet said eyesight can weaken when they get older. He was 14 yo.)
  • Started scratching ears frequently

We took him to a new vet in January who did a dental cleaning and tooth extraction. They had to remove TEN teeth! I was not expecting that. The vet said that the teeth were okay but the bone was damaged. No visible signs of ulcers. In fact doesn't look or act like a 16 year old.

Now coincidentally, during the dental surgery he was burned on his abdomen. It took several weeks and specialized treatments to heal the burns before we could follow up on the dental. During his burn recovery, he continued to paw his mouth, but we had to wait until his burns healed to continue with the other diagnosis. (Don't get too hung up on this point. The vet who did the surgery compensated us for everything, including the surgery and burn treatment.)

Last week we saw the specialty dental vet who did exploratory surgery and couldn't find anything wrong with his teeth. At this point the pawing and scratching was so extreme, that I insisted something must be wrong. The vet recommended an x-ray of the head. There it was...a large facial tumor in his sinus area. The vet advised us that it is not treatable and recommended pain and nerve management.

From the outside, he looks perfectly fine. He's on 35mg of Gabapentin twice daily and he has calmed down. He appears to be starting to lose his eye sight. His eyes are becoming visibly cloudy.

Sorry for the long post. I'm just wondering what to expect over the next 1-3 months.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:42 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,190 posts, read 1,907,208 times
Reputation: 2676
I'm very sorry you had to go through so much to get the diagnosis. It's hard to know what started first--the tooth problems or the tumor, given how many teeth he lost.

I knew a woman whose cat had this, and the photos I saw were heart wrenching. At some point the tumor will block his nose and/or mouth and affect his ability to breathe, smell, and eat. Keep tabs on your cat's behavior. I'm sure the pressure from the tumor will only get worse and cause more pain. Sadly, there will come a time you need to decide "when."

I'm very sorry. I want to give you a huge thumbs up for your persistence and love for your cat. I wish more people were as dedicated as you are. Please keep us posted.
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:15 PM
 
9,575 posts, read 15,444,589 times
Reputation: 15771
I'm so very sorry to hear about your kitty! This is the loss of a long-time companion, and I'm sure the process will be very difficult for you and kitty!


We lost a dear cat to the same diagnosis---squamous cell carcinoma = scc of the jaw. I just happened to notice a lump on his jaw, went to the vet, dx==scc.He was along in years, too, about 15 then. We put him through #ell trying to save him. We took him to cancer specialists, including Texas A&M, and Gulf Coast in Houston. We spent $5000 on chemotherapy alone, not to mention other treatments. At the time, my DH was pulling in about 200K, and we had pet insurance, so I took the "dam*ned the torpedoes full steam ahead" stance.


Then, one day, I took a good look at him. He was just a little old bag of bones, obviously suffering......


I was told that SCC is particularly cruel in that it does NOT metastasize. It would eventually destroy the jaw bone structure, but it would not spread into other areas, such as lungs, etc. In other words, the animal would not be released by a cancerous death. Death would occur from secondary causes, such as dehydration, malnutrition, etc. When they wanted to insert a feeding tube to address those issues, I said enough. We were keeping him alive just to suffer.


I'm sorry to be so blunt, but do realize there's no cure for SCC, and treatment just keeps them alive when all quality of life is gone. Making the decision to have the animal PTS is a difficult decision, but part of our responsibility as pet parents. If you wait too long, they won't be able to find a vein, then, your options are particularly grim. Better sooner, while you have more options for a peaceful crossing.


Take care, God Bless!
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Old Yesterday, 12:31 PM
 
873 posts, read 2,765,446 times
Reputation: 949
Default Farewell to Rowdy

I should have posted this last summer. Rowdy hung in there for another year beyond what the doctors predicted. He had so much fight in him! Eventually, the weakness in his legs and his overall loss of muscle from the tumor overcame him and in April of 2018, it was time. He was one of my favorite pets and I miss him.

Thank you all for your kind words in 2016.





Attached Thumbnails
My Ragdoll was diagnosed with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (sinus) - what to expect in the coming weeks-grandmas-book-42-sm.jpg   My Ragdoll was diagnosed with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (sinus) - what to expect in the coming weeks-grandmas-book-20-sm.jpg   My Ragdoll was diagnosed with advanced squamous cell carcinoma (sinus) - what to expect in the coming weeks-grandmas-book-40-sm.jpg  
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Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM
 
2,949 posts, read 1,134,290 times
Reputation: 5695
He's so lovely and I'm sorry he (and you) had to suffer so much. I'm glad you feel better enough to share his picture with us.
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Old Yesterday, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
22,263 posts, read 4,701,198 times
Reputation: 27051
Beautiful.....glad you had extra days. We here know how hard it is to lose a little pal.

Hope you'll have many great memories.
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Old Yesterday, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
2,190 posts, read 1,907,208 times
Reputation: 2676
A year! Wow, that is pretty great. He sure was a handsome guy. Thanks for updating us.
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Old Yesterday, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Florida
52 posts, read 7,201 times
Reputation: 117
Beautiful cat. He is watching you right now, happy that you are thinking of him.
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Old Yesterday, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MISSOURI
7,521 posts, read 2,222,137 times
Reputation: 5888
So sad.
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