Nerdgirl5000
My beloved 15 year old cat has a tumor.  I first noticed it at the end of March, brought him into a vet who (didn't feel it/think it was anything), then in December when he developed diabetes and (luckily) immediately went into remission, the new vet did a very thorough exam and felt it. It had grown a little bit by then (from chickpea size to small lima bean size.)  It's on the rib, is hard as a rock and the vet said, of course, next steps are xrays/biopsy and when I asked if it was a malignancy, was there anything that could be done, he said normally, if it is a malignancy, which he expected it to be, normally, that type of cancer (an axial osteosarcoma) has a very dire prognosis so surgery wouldn't buy him much time. Speaking with other people/googling it confirmed what he said. 

I decided to forego the xrays/biopsy because since nothing can be done to save him and I think it would be inhumane to put him through anything if he can't be saved.  He COMPLETELY stresses out at the vet, it's an awful experience and always has been so why put him through that unnecessarily if nothing can ultimately be done to save his life.  I'd rather have his last months be happy and loved and normal vs. being put through a horribly invasive & painful surgery.    

Yes, I'm completely heartbroken.  I've not only spent the past 14 years with him, but have no other family (parents dead, no sisters/brothers/aunts/uncles or 1st cousins, currently single, no children of my own.)  In fact, my mom (who died 5 years ago) found the cat for me (he was the kitty of someone who lived down the block from her who couldn't keep him anymore) so I'm really feeling this potential loss.  A lot. 

The past few months I've been dedicated to keeping him in diabetic remission which has been great and he seems better.  He's jumping again, he eats normally, hasn't lost weight and goes to the bathroom fine. He sleeps a lot more than normal.  And the tumor's been growing.  I only touch it every few weeks because it's so stressful, but it's fairly big. I don't know if he's in pain. 

I want to surround him with love and comfort til the end.  How can I tell if he's in pain? Are there painkillers I can give him that would help him?

Thanks to any and all for listening. 


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Beesmom123
I am so sorry for what you are going through.It's devastating to contemplate your beloved friend suffering and to imagine life without them
I lost the feline love of my life 15 months ago..he had just turned 16 . As hard as it is for us, we have to do whats best for them.It's obvious you love your baby very much and want to spare him stress and suffering. 


There aren't a lot of pain alternatives out there  for cats , one that is safe & commonly used is Buprenex ( buprenorphine), my 13.5 year old cat has small cell lymphosarcoma, and is currently taking Buprenex as needed. he has been on chemo medication recently ( leukeran), which while it works for some cats  with minimal side effects and they  can go onto remission,  in this case it caused him to be very  nauseous and lose appetite. and weight. So I have stopped the chemo and am giving him his other meds. I, like you want whatever time he has to be as pain and stress free as possible

the Buprenex is in liquid form,given by mouth from a syringe, they are given a very small amount so it's easy to administer. I get mine from a local compounding pharmacy who are able to flavor it so it is more palatable ( it can also be order on-line from a compounding pharmacy)

I would ask your vet if Buprenex would be appropriate for your cat,  the only major side effect I am aware of is potential for constipation but there are things to counteract that if that proves to be an issue ( over the counter Miralax in their food, Cisapride by prescription), my cat is on both. I would avoid Metacam at all costs, if the vet mentions giving him a pain injection be sure and ask exactly what is. Metacam can cause sudden death or serious side effects in some cases. Onsior is safer but is generally just used short term , i.e after a surgical procedure

we sometimes have to assume cats are in more pain then they manifest, cats are very good at hiding pain and weakness. 

My best to you and your baby

Diana
Bee- "Good night sweet prince & flights of angels see thee to thy rest"
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Nerdgirl5000
Thank you so much for your reply, Diana.  Condolences for your furry baby that passed away 15 months ago and my thoughts are with you with your sick 13.5 year old. 

I guess I'll play it by ear then.  If he stops eating, I'll call the vet and mention Buprenex. It's all very overwhelming.  

Thanks again and my best to you and your baby. 
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Derynie
My 12 yo cat was diagnosed with mammary cancer. I found a hard lump the size of a Lima bean by one of her nipples. The vet thought it might just be a cyst, so she removed it, but it was suspicious so she sent it in for a biopsy. Turns out it's the kind of cancer that will keep coming back and eventually spread. The vet gave my baby 1 year to live. She said all I can do is check her for lumps and get them removed when I find them. Of course, I'm beyond upset. I've just been spoiling her and trying to fatten her up for the hard times to come.

I'm so sorry about your kitty cat. All we can do sometimes is just love and spoil them rotten for however long we have them. I hope you and you kitty are well.
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Nerdgirl5000
Thank you so much, Derynie, and I'm so sorry to hear about your fur baby! I've chosen not to remove the lumps--because it wouldn't change the outcome, what's the point of putting him through the pain and trauma of surgery? But mammary cancer might be different and help (if you remove the tumors.) 

My cat is hanging in there. His tumor (tumors?) are large (they're on his rib, hard as a rock and now about 4"--feels like a large flat bone with two or three hard lumps on it, each the size of a lima bean.) but don't seem to be causing him any pain. He's alert, eating, drinking, jumping and going to the bathroom.  It's been over a year since I first noticed this. 

Yes, all we can do sometimes is just love and spoil them rotten for however long we have them.  I've stopped waking up every morning and wondering whether he would live or die--it was simply too stressful. I'm choosing to think my cat will be around for a while longer (but emotionally prepared--HA!--if he doesn't.) I think that's the only way to live through something like this. 

One thing I did (and I don't know if it's helped) is change his food so it's high fat, very low carb. I read someplace online (and have no idea if it's true) that tumors don't grow with fat. So maybe fattening your cat up for the hard times to come will extend her life.  I certainly hope so. 

I wish you both the best. 
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