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KrazyBoutCatz

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Update on Nala, September 19, 2018: The tumor now has 2 ulcers, and when I tried to clean it Saturday she indicated, for the first time, that the cleaning was painful. My heart broke. I consulted with a close friend who has been in cat rescue almost 40 years. She suggested that I ask my veterinarian about providing buprenorphine and gabapentin for pain control. He had no issue with providing either one.

The buprenorphine dose makes her a lot more comfortable, I can tell by the way she positions herself. It also made the wound cleaning a lot less stressful for her. I am using a very diluted chlorhexidine rinse, and removing as much of the pus as I can with a cotton swab. I think I am going to start giving her the buprenorphine as a scheduled dose, since it does not make her overly lethargic, and helps with her pain.

I tried half of the dose of the gabapentin oral solution he prescribed on Saturday night. It had a very strong sedating effect even at the reduced dose, so I am only going to use it if I sense that her pain gets a lot worse.

It is very hard for me, as I see the inevitability of her condition each time I clean her wound, but I am trying my best. I know cats are meticulous groomers, and I suspect that the malodor from the tissue breaking down is even more unpleasant for her than I. Plus the fact that she can't effectively clean it on her own anymore. So I take a deep breath and try to send her the positive energy of my love while I am cleaning the wound.

With my veterinarian's blessing, I also increased her prednisolone dose to twice a day. It also is contributing to her comfort by slowing the growth of the tumor somewhat.

***Please note, gabapentin oral solution is a prescription drug that CANNOT be used in dogs, because it contains a chemical called XYLITOL, which can cause fatal low blood sugar and/or liver damage in dogs.

Original post: August 15, 2018: My 16 year-old Siamese calico mix, Nala, has a rapidly growing fibrosarcoma on her belly. After lengthy discussion with my family veterinarian, we have decided on palliative care only. I have researched the care of fungating ulcer tumors, but most of the plans involve applying and regularly changing an absorbent dressing. I am not sure that she will tolerate any kind of dressing on the wound without trying to remove it. Does anyone have any recommendations on keeping the tumor as clean as possible, without causing Nala undue stress? I am grateful for any suggestions.
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CK1991

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I have unfortunately had some experience with sarcomas, and I know they are deadly and move quickly. Nala may be suffering unless she is on very strong pain medication ... and then is she the same Nala? This is a question you will need to answer yourself and it's a very difficult one. I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your beloved Nala! :(
I believe it has to be about quality of life. It's so obvious how much you love Nala but if she has an ulcer that you are unable to dress.etc. and she is probably in pain then you may want to spoil her rotten now and think about when it might be time to take away her suffering. I don't know all of the specifics so it's hard for me to say. Letting my babies go was one of the worst things I've ever had to do but I've never regretted it as I loved my little dogs so much and just couldn't bear to think of them being in pain. This is so tough I understand and I wish you all the best. Hugs to you!!
CK
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Tankie12

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This may help a little- it’s natural you can give as often as needed and it was in my Vet cardiology office for sale, so it’s safe. You can also order it through Chewy. I’ve seen it at Walmart for people the only difference is the human formula has alcohol in it,,,,,

It helps relive anxiety, it’s liquid in a dropper. Much peace for you and your baby

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KrazyBoutCatz

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Thank you both for your advice! I honestly don't think Nala is in pain . . . She gets up eagerly to eat twice a day, and when we go outside on the patio, she stretches her body when she lies down, which I don't think she would do if it were painful. She does sleep a lot more, I am sure that is because the tumor used up a lot of energy. So I give her lots of high calorie and dry food to help her out with that. She was already 9 years old when I adopted her with her two "siblings", after her human mom became homeless.
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Tankie12

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Wow I think you have a wonder kitty! So happy it doesn’t appear painful but keep in mind our fur baby’s are really good at hiding pain. Keep it clean as best you can and enjoy the sweetness❣️,,,,,
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Thank you Tankie12 . . . Nala just came to sit on my lap for about 20 minutes, and I made sure to scratch her head and adore her as she deserves!
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Tankie12 my heart is breaking . . . Nala's tumor has gotten even bigger. And in the last 12 hours, it seems to be leaking a malodorous fluid in small gushes. I feel badly, I know how important it is to cats to keep themselves clean. And she seems to be avoiding sitting directly on it for the most part. I contacted my vet to see if it is appropriate to increase her prednisolone dose in case she is feeling more pain . . .
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Reply with quote  #8 
I know it upsets her that she is walking around with a belly she can't keep up with clean . . .
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Tankie12

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I’m soo sorry! Please if I break of it’s cause I’m at the Dr’s.
Do what you can to make her comfortable but honestly I wouldn’t wait for them to call back, take her in. She really needs to be seen he’s going to tell you to bring her in anyway and waiting while she’s uncomfortable is unfair to both of you.

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KrazyBoutCatz

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Tankie12, I am ever so grateful for your support!I am constantly in touch via email with my veterinarian. He understands that, insofar as much as it is possible, the decision for Nala's spirit to return to the Universe be hers. He reminded me that as the tumor enlarges, it will go through repeated phases where it fills up with fluid, and much like a blister, once the ulceration bursts, she will temporarily feel better again. He was right. When it comes to the point where I sense (or Nala signals to me) that she is not able to rally back like usual, the hospice vet is a phone call away. (I registered her with pet hospice the day after her diagnosis.) Until then, I will make sure all of her needs are being met during these last days that I am graced with her presence.
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Tankie12

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Than it’s on to enjoying your precious Nala ☺️ I was worried Orly but it sounds like your getting great advise. Arranging at home services will make the transition easier for you both as well. You’re doing really well but just reach out whenever, even just to vent. Kissies for Nala and hugs to you,,,,,
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Sil

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Reply with quote  #12 
KrazyBoutCatz,

It seems like you are doing everything to help Nala.  I know it is hard, seeing their bodies "being" invaded by these awful illnesses.  But, in the "present", just enjoy Nala - I am sure, your are already doing this.  And, we will be here to offer comfort and support.  Prayers and hugs.    
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thank you Sil.
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thank you CK for your understanding. I spoke with my veterinarian and now Nala is a lot more comfortable on an increased dose of prednisolone and scheduled buprenorphine given orally. I already have her registered with Lap of Love veterinary hospice, so when she tells me she is ready, a veterinarian will be able to do the euthanasia process peacefully at home.
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KrazyBoutCatz

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Reply with quote  #15 
Tankie12, please see my update above about Nala. I am ever grateful for the support.
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