Old boy.... WWYD(11 Posts)
Beloved old boy (16) has had a snotty nose - one sided - since last summer. Lots of courses of antibiotics, two rhinoscopies, CT scan at referral vets, fine needle aspiration of his liver and 3 biopsies including one that included bone samples. From the CT scan they thought it was cancer somewhere in his sinuses but none of the bipopsies or tests have found anything.... No cancer, no fungus, no foreign bodies so we got a "working diagnosis" of chronic rhinitis. Last trip to referral vets was early Dec and advice was "let's review if he's still wth us in March".
He's still here, gained 100g since Xmas, eating like a horse, playful, shouty, affectionate etc as he ever was. He has two saunas a day - cat in cat box, bowl of boiling water either end, heavy towel over the lot - to clear congestion, metacam nightly and antibiotics if he gets really snotty or sneezy.
The local vets thought is "it must be cancer as nothing else would cause these symptoms" (blood stained snot sometimes, other times just clear snot, other times nothing from the nose and we had the whole of Feb snot free).
It has been explained if it was a lymphoma it would have progressed by now and he would likely have a facial deformity (and he could have had oral chemo) so if it is cancer it's a carcinoma and the treatment is only metacam, antibiotics and possibly prednisone down the line. They don't respond to chemo and with no tumor found or clearly discernable a further referral for laser knife treatment on the other side of the country is not on the cards (especially given his age).
I have decide... Back to the referral vets even though symptoms not worse to re CT for progression or do nothing and carry on as we are....
Referral vets means an overnight stay for him and another insurance claim and is highly unlikely to change the treatment options. I kind of want to know if it's progressed but he's happy, purry and clearly not in any discomfort. Chest and lungs all sounds good, blood work normal etc.
I just can't decide what's best to do - putting him through the referral vet stuff now or keep on keeping on as we are.... In the full knowledge that he could take a turn for the worse any day and I'm making the most of each day while he is still with us at the moment. Have discussed worst case scenarios (cancer might spread to brain and cause a seizure, lots of blood if something ruptures and euthanasia when the sad time comes wth the vet and they have been nothing but supportive) and he's now in the category of being a bit of a medical mystery and having defied all expectations.
He's a totally full on, in your face big personality cat who looked all the neighbours etc and I dread the end but have grieved a lot about him since the autumn and know we are living in the moment with him (as of course he is being a cat!) so I'm trying to be realistic.
It's so hard.
it's got to be about quality of life
You say he's not in obvious discomfort, gaining weight, playful, affectionate etc, so it sounds like he's got some life in him yet I'd be reluctant to go down the route of invasive vets stuff or more than minimal testing. If it's not going to change treatment options, what's the point?
We're in the waiting stage too - our old boy is 21 and has been looking wobbly for ages now. He still goes out into the garden, has fuss, tries to steal food from the kids, all despite having fits for the last 2 years.
"none of the bipopsies or tests have found anything...[he is] and clearly not in any discomfort"
That would be what I expected.
You've confirmed all my prejudices that these tests & measures aren't worthwhile.
You certainly love your cat. I couldn't have done all that.
I'd be moving onto symptom management & keeping him comfy, myself.
I've just been through this. I recently stopped all the monitoring and treatment for my 17 year old boy's CKD. He still takes the meds but he gets to eat what he likes and we treat his nausea too. He seems happy and loves all those sachets. I felt his quality of life wasn't enough to keep putting him treatments that aren't going to make him better but just prolong his life with being able to improve it. He sneezes now too and the vet could see no obvious reason but we're not going to do any tests. I adore him as does my dd but I can't keep doing all this. Enjoy him, you obviously have done a great job of caring for him.
One of ours had cancer there. She sneezed copiously.
I'm pretty sure she was pts well inside the timeframe you're talking about though.
Thank you all. Vet called this eve to say they waiting on results still from a Swab they took from his nose at check up last week.... Poss antibiotics if they culture anything. Luckily cat is quite thick and eats tablets, metacam etc as happily as Dreamies.
He's not particularly sneezy at the mo, sometimes he has a few days where he'll have a little sneezing jags other times I don't hear a sneeze for days.
He's shouting at me from his sauna at the mo after having just chased his sister (litter mate, also sixteen) round the house and played string with me. I'll bung a treat in the cat box with him them he settles down for the rest of the time in there (15 min) and goes in without complaint if I say "time to go in your box" to him!
Personally I would leave as is. You have had tests galore, with no definite diagnosis. While he's happy and well ( other than snot / sneezing), let him enjoy himself.
That's epic! You've done an incredible amount for him and it's not an easy one deciding how to cope from now on.
I have a very old cat and the vet thought that he may be entering renal failure, but having tested his urine yesterday, we were really surprised to find out that he's not, but does have an infection, amongst his other ailments. Just when you think they're entering the last phase, they seem to bounce back. I know that he could take a turn for the worse at any stage, but I wouldn't put him through ops, etc, I'll just keep him comfortable and happy at home with all the pain relief he needs.
When I carried him up to bed the other night, I got a bit tearful, rememberijg his first night with me 17 years ago, having brought him inside when I saw him lying in my neighbours window box on a freezing cold winter night. I was so angry that he'd been left out in the cold to fend for himself. He kept me awake all night, thanking me, walking all over me and pestering the life out of my other beautiful, patient boy. Lovely memories.
Good luck. You're a very lovely person.
Snorg is reading the sauna bit with interest as she can be quite snotty, but that's due to her flat face and tiny nose. She's thinking about demanding a twice daily sauna!
.... Thanks again all. He's a very special boy, a tail amputee after an rta when he was 7, he sleeps curled up by me/or on my face and is also companion to his sister/litter mate (they came to me together from rescue having been abandoned at 9 months old) and he's been prone to colitis (usually called by what the vets call "dietary indescretion"... Being a greedy sod) all his life so has really made his pet plan insurable worthwhile! My 3 DS all adore him and have never known life without him and he tolerated lots of toddler mithering when they were younger.
The sad end is going to break my heart. Unmumsnetty hugs to all of you wth elderly cats with health issues. Horrid but knowing you've given them a long happy life and done the best by them is I guess some comfort.
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