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Ola Barrett
Ola Barrett,
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 174
Experience:  Veterinarian at Lake Chatuge Animal Hospital
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I took my 16 1/2 y.o Maine Coon to a vet because she was suddenly

Customer Question

I took my 16 1/2 y.o Maine Coon to a vet because she was suddenly peeing all over the house in little drops. I immediately that that she had some kind of urinary infection. The vet examined her by feeling her abdomen and blurted out, "She has cancer". Shocked and next to tears I couldn't believe it. I asked how do you know by just touching? Don't you do a biopsy to see if it's benign?" He did not answer but instead gave me a list of chemo treatments around $10,000. Also to test her it would cost $1,700. He also said she has a heart murmur; probably heart disease, too. I left dismayed with a prescription for Steroids after he took a urine sample. The next day and of this writing my kitty did not show any further signs of improper peeing. I administered the medicine for 3 days now and waiting for the vet to call with the results of the "test". I do not trust this vet for he had no empathy and was too quick with the answers. I asked how long he had been a vet and he answered, "7 years.". What should I do? Go to another vet for a 2nd opinion?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.
Hello, I am Dr Ola B and I am a licensed veterinarian. I am so sorry that Sheena isn't feeling well and that you had such a bad experience with the previous veterinarian. Honestly, even if your veterinarian was suspicious of cancer, he didn't handle this well.. The first thing that needs to be ruled is a lower urinary tract infection and/or the presence of bladder stones. Only when infection (or in cats, lower urinary tract disease) or bladder stones are ruled out as reasons for inappropriate urination, can cancer be suspected. If your veterinarian did a urinalysis, urine culture, abdominal x-ray and blood work and all of these test were inconclusive, then bladder cancer may need to be considered. Cancer that affects the bladder in cats and dogs is known as transitional cell carcinoma is unusual in that it affects the bladder wall and can only be detectable and tested via ultrasound. Here is a little more information about how the etiology of this and how is diagnosed or ruled out:, if Sheena does have a urinary infection and your veterinarian did not complete proper testing, steroidal medication can make matters worse as steroids can suppress immune function. I do believe it may be best for your to get a second opinion on this if only to find a doctor that you feel have a better comfort level with... hope this advice was helpful to you. Please let me know if you need clarification on anything or have other questions about this. Also, please do not forget to rate my answer which I hope you found to be "excellent." You may do this by clicking "rate our conversation" below (Your rating is the only means of compensation I receive for answering your question). Again, let me know if I can help you further:)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
The type of cancer the vet stated was "lymphoma". I felt her belly and I don't feel anything. He said she has a tumor. The full battery of tests would be $1,700 which I do not have. I'm awaiting a phone call from the vet regarding the urine analysis. Should I stop the steroidal meds? Sheena shows no sign of improper urination. Her nose was warm a day ago and dry but today it Is cool to the touch and moist.
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.
If you have started her on steroids already, definitely do not discontinue them! Steroidal meds have to be gradually tapered over time in order to prevent adrenal gland dysfunction which can make them really sick. You should wait until the urinalysis results come back. I would also recommend abdominal x-rays to evaluate if a mass can be seen.. When an abdominal mass is palpated in a older cats belly, the top rule out is intestinal lymphoma.. Most cats that have lymphoma can only be definitively diagnosed via surgical biopsy or ultrasound guided biopsy. Most older cats aren't really treated with chemo once diagnosed because it can be hard on them.. Often times, cats are treated symptomatically to reduce symptoms and make them comfortable as long as possible.
For now though, wait until urine results come back, then go from there...
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.
Hello, just checking in to make sure that I answered all of your questions about Sheena? Let me know if I can help you any further? Also, please take the time to rate our conversation so I can receive credit and feedback for assisting you and Sheena.. thanks so much:)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Vet called back and the results of the urine analysis is he found some blood in her urine. He said to NOT stop the steroids (predestinone) What should I do? She is looking fine, eating, playful, and her nose is cold and wet.
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.
Yes, keep on the steroids since he did not detect any signs of a urinary tract infection. You will need further diagnostics to determine if a mass may or may not be present in her abdomen. I would reassess this with your veterinarian when you take her in for her recheck exam which I would recommend in 2 weeks or so:)
Expert:  Ola Barrett replied 6 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Ola Barrett

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