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My lovely old boy cat has mouth cancer

(21 Posts)
timtam23 Fri 23-May-14 20:58:01

Just that really. He has had what seemed to be worsening gum/teeth problems (his teeth have never been great but his breath was very stinky & he was drooling a bit) and had steroids & antibiotics but I was struggling a bit to get him to eat food with steroid tablets in. The vet's had another look tonight and thinks his tongue doesn't look right and there's probably a cancer growing there. Obviously the outlook is grim. The vet was really nice and we have a palliative care plan to give him long-acting steroid injections until there seems no further benefit to be had. He's had an injection tonight plus some antibiotics so we'll just keep an eye on him over the next few days. Any sign he's uncomfortable or his appetite is dropping off & we'll be having him PTS as I would hate to drag this out too long for him. At the moment he's pottering around and nibbling fancy cat food (chicken fillet in jelly!) and the vet thinks it is reasonable to carry on for the time being.

Very sad as I have had him since he was 3 months old, he was a stray feral kitten living by the local railway line with his mum and he has such a lovely affectionate nature, he absolutely adores being stroked and spends every evening climbing on & off DH's lap for more & more cuddles

We will make a real fuss of him for his final few weeks but I will miss him when he has to go sad

cozietoesie Fri 23-May-14 21:10:38

Oh, timtam. sad I know you thought he didn't have that long in any case but it's still so hard.

Bakersbum Fri 23-May-14 21:15:12

Sorry to hear this. Enjoy lots of cuddles with him over the next few weeks and spoil him rotten.

timtam23 Fri 23-May-14 21:26:05

Thank you smile

He is now curled up asleep with Dudley on the armchair, I am a bit tearful looking at them

In some ways it helps to know something major is wrong, it means we won't be trying too hard to keep him going.

The vet was actually relatively positive and thinks at best he could even have a couple of months left of reasonable quality of life (he is a good weight, and the vet thinks steroids could really help by removing swelling in his mouth etc although the effect will diminish each time and eventually they will not help any more)

He has had such a long & happy life, it's amazing that he and my other old cat, who died last year, have both reached the age of 18. Trouble is that because of them I'm not at all used to losing a pet, before I had the cats my last pets were guinea pigs when I was 12!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 23-May-14 21:32:46

Oh this is awful news, poor old boy.


tallulah Fri 23-May-14 22:09:08

That is really sad. My old cat seemed to have something wrong with her eye and when the vet looked it was a tumour on her jaw pulling her face down. She didn't appear to be in pain so like yours she had steroid injections.

She got to a point where she was sleeping all the time and wasn't eating. She had a pillow by the radiator in the kitchen so she was comfortable and could see people coming and going. I'd just started to wonder if it was now time when one morning I came in from putting the washing out and she'd just slipped quietly away. She'd miaowed at me gently as I went out and I'd stroked her and talked to her, and I must have only been outside 10 mins max, so it was very quick and she didn't suffer.

I was pleased it happened like that, so she didn't have the trauma of being put in the cat box and in the car back to the vet.

timtam23 Fri 23-May-14 22:21:24

Thank you for that tallulah I am secretly hoping my old boy slips away in his sleep too - although I know it's unlikely. I think we may arrange for the vet to come to the house to do the deed, I know they will do this with a day or so's notice (harder to arrange in an emergency)

OldLadyKnowsSomething Fri 23-May-14 22:32:37

I'm so sorry to hear this timtam, you were very kind to me yesterday and yet you had this on your mind. I hope you get your couple of months of good time with the old boy.

It sounds odd, but I had a very elderly dog who lasted much longer than I expected, with meds from the vet. When the time finally came for him to be pts, I found I'd done most of my grieving while he was still with us and I had few tears left to shed; I think the vet nurse who took me through the cremation stuff may have found me a little unemotional (she was cracking up herself, having just had her own pet pts).

{{Hugs}} for you and your lovely, long-lived and much beloved pet.

toldmywrath Fri 23-May-14 22:38:18

Bless his little cotton socks- he obviously has a very loving mum & you will do your best for him. I hope he has many more purry nights & days ahead.

Birdsighland Sat 24-May-14 00:12:05

I hope the steroids give him some relief. My boy seemed to be quite far gone when they discovered his tumour. We had a little time, but I really felt cheated by the relatively short time we had after diagnosis. It is also nerve-wracking trying to assess if the discomfort is outweighing any quality of life.

Hopefully your chap is a little earlier if he is only slightly drooling. You've had him all his life really. It is very sad, but how wonderful for him to have only known love and affection for so long.

And to help him decently and comfortably pass will be the final expression of that.

timtam23 Fri 30-May-14 22:27:30

Well he'd had a good start to the week after the steroid injection, it really perked him up & he was scoffing his food, but he's quite dribbly again and his appetite is not great today (although he is grazing a bit) so I think we might have to make a decision about PTS this weekend. Will see how he is in the morning as he has had up & down days before, and he's still pottering around & going outside, but I think he's at the limit of the benefit he's going to get from the steroids. Poor old boy I am feeling really nostalgic & sad, we have a lot of history together and I'm remembering the scrapes he got into in his youth.

cozietoesie Fri 30-May-14 22:30:22

I've found before that steriods have an almost miraculous effect at first but that that wears off pretty quickly when things are serious.

Thinking of you all, timtam. Is Dudley staying close to him?

timtam23 Fri 30-May-14 22:37:47

No - Dudley has spent the evening outside, not staying nearby at all. Sometimes he's all over the old boy, grooming him etc, but not today. Not sure if that's significant! We'll see how it goes. The main thing is making sure the cat isn't suffering, he seems comfortable this evening but if not eating properly tomorrow I think there's only one decision.

cozietoesie Fri 30-May-14 22:40:05

Take care.

merlincat Fri 30-May-14 23:52:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

timtam23 Mon 02-Jun-14 12:46:05

I took him to the vet this morning to be put to sleep sad
It was obvious that his mouth was getting worse quite rapidly so we gave him some extra steroid tablets over the weekend and he had a lovely 2 days in the sunshine, snoozing & pottering around as the fancy took him, and he had whatever he wanted to eat (including the leftover tomato sauce from a can of baked beans!). We made a total fuss of him, lots of strokes and he was groomed from head to tail which he has always adored.

I held him as the vet gave the injection and it was very calm & peaceful, there have been some tears but mostly relief that it was the right decision and things would only have got harder for him if we'd left it a few more days.

I keep thinking I can see him out of the corner of my eye - I guess it will take a while to get used to, he had been around for 18 years after all.

Bakersbum Mon 02-Jun-14 12:58:37

So sorry timtam, it sounds like you gave your boy a lovely few days and got to enjoy every last bit.

Big hugs and be kind to yourself now, lots of extra cuddles for Dudley, my other cat went a bit strange for a week or so.

crazynanna Mon 02-Jun-14 13:02:44

So sorry timtam sad

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:05:24

I'm so sorry timtam, it was the right thing to do though.

cozietoesie Mon 02-Jun-14 13:09:17

So sorry, timtam - he had a couple of good days in the sunshine and lots of love at least.

Has Dudley noticed his absence do you think?

timtam23 Mon 02-Jun-14 13:29:08

Thank you

cozie I don't think he has noticed yet, although he is asleep now as usual (he & old boy have tended to snooze all day although not usually curled up together)

Maybe this evening he might notice something's changed, we'll know to look out for it anyway

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