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My cat has cancer, don't know whether to treat or not.

(56 Posts)
alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 16:52:13

Just found out my 10 year old cat has a tumour in his small intestine sad

Treatment would involve more scans/x-rays and an operation. Possible chemotherapy.

However I have three children (including a baby) and we can't afford it really. Chemo would not be an option as his waste could be toxic. No guarantee an operation alone would cure him (and we don't know if it has spread yet) although for this type of tumour there is a chance.

Vet did say we could keep him comfortable and euthanise when appropriate. I'm so confused/torn/upset. Of course I want to save him but the treatment route seems like a big undertaking with three kids, financially and practically (and of course emotionally too).

Any advice would be gratefully received

chockbic Thu 22-Jan-15 16:54:06

Can you ask for a biopsy?

alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 16:57:48

I'm not sure if she mentioned biopsy. Maybe they would biopsy when they'd removed the tumour?

chockbic Thu 22-Jan-15 16:59:04

Reason I ask is that one form of the cancer has a much better survival rate than the other.

mrsruffallo Thu 22-Jan-15 17:00:08

I am a great believer in letting pets go when it's their time. I certainly wouldn't spend tons of money trying to further what is after all, a short life. It's a great opportunity to talk to kids about the 'circle of life'.

mrsruffallo Thu 22-Jan-15 17:01:35

10 is a good age for a cat, too. He will still be elderly, even if he could survive this. I would go with the Vet's suggestion and have lots of cuddle and goodbye time until then

StickEm Thu 22-Jan-15 17:01:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mrsruffallo Thu 22-Jan-15 17:07:58

You do mean cat, StickEm, don't you?

alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 19:14:15

Going to speak to vet tomorrow

insertsomethingwitty Thu 22-Jan-15 19:40:43

If it was my cat I wouldn't treat. I would medicate if necessary to keep the cat comfortable if that was appropriate but as soon as quality of life diminished I would euthanize. I would not do any life prolonging treatment.

Honsandrevels Thu 22-Jan-15 19:48:06

I had two cats with mammary tumours. Both times we had them removed and one cat needed a further op to remove all mammary glands. A bit like a cat tummy tuck, poor thing.

They both lasted another 5 or 6 years without any other treatment. Clearly it depends on the type of tumour and the spread though. If it is be aggressive then you may as well leave the cat be and let them enjoy their life free of any surgery. One of my cats had an infected wound and it must have been painful.

alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 21:28:23

He won't eat a thing, is so skinny. Keeps defacating in the house too. Seems confused.

Actually the vet seemed to be in favour of treatment but I'm not convinced it will help him.

Wolfiefan Thu 22-Jan-15 21:34:38

We had a boy cat with cancer in his gut (not sure where). We decided to go for low dose chemo and steroid to try and keep him comfortable. He pretty much stopped the awful messing everywhere and started to seem a bit better.
Of course it was never a cure.
If your cat is confused and not eating I think that seems to indicate things are really rather bad.
Our line has always been quality if life. Is Wolfiecat still Wolfiecat? Do they still get enjoyment out of things they used to?
Sorry. This is horrid.

Micah Thu 22-Jan-15 21:41:46

i don't believe in putting animals through cancer treatment. It's too painful with too poor a quality of life, to small a chance of a cure, and only prolongs the inevitable.

if the vet thinks surgical treatment might work- ie it hasn't spread past the original tumour and he can be fairly confident of removing it entirely, I'd go for that. But radio or chemotherapy, no.

If nothing can be done surgically, I'd provide care and pain relief until quality of life was no longer there then euthanise.

Good luck

alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 22:53:01

He doesn't have much quality at the moment. He doesn't seem in pain but he's not eating or drinking. He can't come in the house unsupervised because he defacates and this is despite having a litter tray and cat flap. I have a baby and two young children as well.

We've tried every food under the sun. He used to go mad for his treat of tuna but not interested. I'm not prepared to keep him in this state for much longer. I lay awake at night thinking of him dying alone in our utility room.

AShiningTiger Thu 22-Jan-15 23:02:00

I wouldn't. I'd treat him surgically but no chemo etc. esp on a not so young cat. I have seen it. I work in a vet surgery. My vet doesn't recommend it often. It is just prolonging the pain imo. Ask yourself, would the cat enjoy the trips to the vet, all the blood tests, op, medicine, side effects... . Plus with young children you cannot be a nurse realistically.
I love my cats to bit but I would not want them to have their last months in pain and stress.
Hard decision without adoubt.

alteredbeast Thu 22-Jan-15 23:12:44

Is it worth doing the surgery? I'd want to know if it's spread first.

PinkSparklyPussyCat Fri 23-Jan-15 11:32:25

I'm so sorry you've got to make this decision. Personally I would treat him surgically but no chemo as I don't think it's fair to put animals through that.

BTW, is 10 really classed as an elderly cat? confused

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 11:56:41

When I was a kid, 7 or 8 was considered elderly, Pink - these days.......well. It's certainly 'getting on' but more like the far end of middle age to me now. (Apart from teeth and joints etc - no-one has told cats' structures that lifespan is better now.)


It's a bad place for you to be - but how much worse for him? Not eating or drinking and pooing everywhere? I think that, with much love, I'd be calling it a day for him now. Your judgement of course and based on your knowledge of him and the vet's advice.

alteredbeast Fri 23-Jan-15 12:53:08

He's getting a steroid injection to try and give him some comfort over the weekend and we can try and be with him, because it's likely he'll be put down Monday sad

foofooyeah Fri 23-Jan-15 13:01:02

I went through similar with my cat. But the vet said straight away not worth treating as a nasty form. She had a steroid injection and rallied round for a while but then stopped eating. I was taking her to be PTS but she died at home the night before. It is very sad, but IME its time for you to say goodbye (as you are).

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 13:17:00

Take care. Many people here will be thinking of you all during the weekend, I'm sure.

shaska Fri 23-Jan-15 13:29:05

Hopefully the steroid will enable him to have a lovely last weekend with you.

The old chestnut is really true - when it comes to putting to sleep, better a day too early than a day too late.

Sympathies very much with you, it's an awful thing to go through, but I think you're doing the right thing.

alteredbeast Fri 23-Jan-15 13:42:08

I wondered if euthanasia asap but vet did say Steroid can really perk them up. So will focus on a nice, last weekend and hope he at least gets back to a little of his old self.

I thought we had longer, ten doesn't seem that old.

cozietoesie Fri 23-Jan-15 14:22:22

Yes - steroids can sometimes give their system a real kick up the backside. It usually doesn't last long though so a nice weekend will be good for him.

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