My 13-yr old cat was drooling excessively and not able to eat her food very well. Vet looked in her mouth and advised that there was a tumor and diagnosed Oral squamous cell carcinoma. The Vet advised about surgery, radiation and chemo but only sent us home with some liquid pain medication. Not sure what to do next. Would also like to know what would be the best type of food for her to try and eat that would not add more discomfort.
Hi this is Dr M and I will try to assist you today. I switched to question-answer mode because I have problems with the chat mode. However, I will be here to answer all your questions until they are answered.
I am sorry to hear that you cat has been diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma. This is a fast progressing disease with local invasion to surrounding tissues. The pain medication is intended to alleviate discomfort so that Maxie feels better.
As supportive care, you should continue with pain relief for now. The most common pain reliever use in cats is buprenorphine. The are other type medications that can be used to stimulate appetite, like mirtazipine.
Any cat can food is ok for now. Frisky's has many different flavors and some good options to begin with. Veterinarians have a can of food named Hills a/d. It is a very soft food that sometimes they eat well. Other options are to add warm water to her normal kibbles or some low sodium tuna water.
Please let me know if you have more questions, so that I keep answering them for you.
Based on age would you recommend that a tissue sample be taken to determine if the tumor is benign or would you suggest some other step/action?
That is a good question. I think a lot depends on your expectations and quality of life. If you are sure you want to treat all the way, then diagnosis would be the way to go. Knowing that treatment options are limited. The bright side is that removing it would add some quality of life until the growth grows back. I have seen masses that though to be squamous cell carcinoma and turned to be just bad inflammation from dental disease.
There are risks associated to anesthesia, however it is all about outweighing pros and cons, so that you can make the best decision. Unfortunately, you are the only one that can make this decision because you are the only one that knows her, knows about her personality and how she may do going back and forth to veterinary offices.
With that age, it is important to know that you may go through that and another problem starts soon after. That is very common in older cats and you have to be aware of that this may not turn as simple as just going into "surgery and finding out what it is" type thing. In any case, I always say that when you know about things is easier making decisions for them. So, I always recommend finding the true problem.
For more info about squamous cell carcinoma, please check this LINK.