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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21259
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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Customer Question

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

What type of cancer did the vet tell you your cat had in the paw?

How old is your cat?

Has there been any evidence to show that the cancer has spread at all?

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I was not told what type unless there was abiopsy done. He is just 4 years old It started as a lump and xrays has shown it is getting bigger and has gone down farther oninside his leg in 6 weeks. It is not know if it spread. Blood work 6 weeks ago was ok
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your additional information about the situation.

I'm surprised the vet didn't do a biopsy to know that it IS cancer, and what type he's dealing with. However, if it has grown and spread on his leg in such a short period of time, the decision to amputate may be the right one. But, I would definitely get a second opinion from a feline oncology specialist. Specialists can be found at ER vet centers and veterinary teaching hospitals/universities, so if you're fortunate enough to have one or both of these facilities in your city, try to get an appt. for evaluation of your cat's paw, there.

If the paw has to be amputated, your cat should still enjoy quality of life and he will learn to walk with only the three remaining paws/legs. You can help him adapt by being encouraging and helping him get around at first, but cats are very adaptable when it comes to these things, and soon he'll think he's walking and playing just like he did before. I'd just like to be sure that the diagnosis you're getting (you really need to ask the vet what type of cancer he thinks this is, and ask more questions about the proposed surgery) is the correct one, and also, more bloodwork should be done, since 6 weeks ago the blood showed nothing unusual. This will give you more information on what to expect:

I hope you're able to get some more information and a second opinion from a specialist, and that your cat will be fine. Would you please keep me posted on how he's doing and what the vet tells you? Thanks.

Cher and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
The vet said he would do a biopsy from 3 seconds of his leg but that would only tell him that it is cancer and would involve time to diagonis and name it. He also said he would have to re operate to remove. I don't want any more trama that I need to put on him. I love him so much I just want the best for him and the least trama. I want to make the right desicion as he does mean the world to me.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
I understand fully how you feel, and would feel the same way under the circumstances. I also understand that with cancer, time is of the essence. If you've been working with this vet for a long time, have confidence in him and feel he's the best doctor to do this job, then you can give the go-ahead for the surgery. Do ask him though, if he feels you should get an opinion from an oncology specialist first, if this can be done ASAP. Also, ask your vet how many of these types of surgeries (amputations) he's performed in the past.

I just find it odd that he told you it would take time to diagnose and name it, but he knows it's cancer. I know vets can tell this from the location, look and apparent spreading of it, but because your cat means the world to you and I understand your worry, it's my personal opinion that you should at least get a second opinion from a feline cancer specialist and at least one biopsy should be done, if possible. I'm not a vet, but have an awful lot of experience with cats with various medical conditions, and if this were my cat, I'd try to get more information before making the decision to amputate. As long as you can accomplish this very quickly, (getting further information), it's the next step I'd take.

I'm going to try to get the opinions of some other cat experts and vets on the site re: your cat's situation, and let you know what responses I get.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I did look at the xrays 6 weeks apart and it looks like a fuzzy mass and has gotten bigger. He did put him on an antibotic which I gave him for three weeks every day and he seemed to improve but he was also on a pain medicine. When that was gone he started to limp again and I took him bach before the 8 week check up re xrayed and foun it to be bigger. You can also feel a lump in his paw. It also got bigger. I would appreciate anything you can do to help me. I know this decision is mine alone but I appreciate all the info I can get. If I do get a second and the biopsy might it spread into his luns and then I have lost all? This was what I was told?
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again,

How did this start? With him first limping, and then you felt a lump in his paw or his leg? If his paw, where? On the top or underside, where the pads are; if the leg, where first, the bottom part (foreleg) down nearest the paw, or the upper part of the leg nearest his chest?

Yes, there's always a chance it could spread to his lungs, if it's a fast growing cancer. I'm waiting on some replies from other cat experts, so we can give you the best advice possible. Thanks for your patience.

Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again,

I've consulted with some other cat Experts here, and the consensus is, if this is fast-growing and this indicates a cancerous condition, go ahead with the amputation to stop the spread of it, and then you can consult with a specialist for a prognosis and to answer all of your questions on the condition.

As I mentioned, a cat with 3 or 3½ legs can learn to function normally and still enjoy quality of life, so don't worry about that part of it. It IS important to make sure all the cancer is removed, so act on that first.

Please keep me posted on how your cat is doing, as I'm really concerned and would like to keep in contact with you about him. My best thoughts and prayers go out to you both for his complete and speedy recovery!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you so much for your continuing help. It is his leg. I guess it is the forleg in the joint of the paw. Do not know if it is in the paw . He started to limp one day and I thought he had sprained something jumping like he always does. So I didn't think too much of it until I went to trim his nails and he pulled it back and cried. I then felt a bump and though maybe he broke his leg. This is what I told the Vet.Then the xrays and he mentioned cancer. He sent the xrays out to be looked at by another specialist and he thought the fuzzy area could be an infection from an older break possibly.Then he suggusted the antibiotic which I did and then here we are. I will keep you posted and thank you for your prayers. I pray that he will be ok day and night. You are a comfort to me and I thank you for that. I just don't know where to turn. How do I write to you? Just leave this open? Or do I write someplace else? The doctor wants to operate Tuesday morning.God Bless You.....
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
You're very welcome!

No, you don't have to leave this open, you can click 'accept', which will close the question, but then can send me a 'private message' (like an email) through Just Answer. I will send you one first, so all you have to do is hit 'reply' to send me your updates. I'll be thinking of you and your boy (Blacky?) on Tuesday morning and pray all goes well!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Just received your email. My name is XXXXX XXXXX my boy's name isXXXXX or Blacky for short. Good Night and thank you for being there.We will write you and keep you posted. Thanks also to all the others that helped us.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
You're very welcome, William, and thanks for your accept.

A vet on the site has pointed something out, re: Blacky's condition--as general rule, bone cancers do not cross a joint, therefore, it might be something else. You mentioned when the specialist looked at the x-ray, the fuzziness could have been caused by an infection related to a past injury (break?). If the area initially responded to antibiotics, as you mentioned, this is a real possibility--infection in the bone, not cancer in the bone. I'll get back to you with some more info as soon as I can.

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: Cher
Blacky was operated on yesterday morning and it was definately cancer. It was also one of the fast growing ones. We think we got it in time as the 6 xrays the Dr took before he operated did not show any signs of it being any place else.I went to see him later in the evening and I was taken back at first. But when he knew it was me he came over and rubbed my hand. I turned away for a minute and looked back and he was standing on his one leg. I am suppose to take him home this evening if all is well. I am waiting for the Vet's call now. Thank you from both of us for your help and support in helping us through all this. I am short of cash right now but I will keep this address and send you something as soon as I can. Your voice in the night really helped me as I was so upset and crushed . We will both be fine and at least we have each other. Thank you again and May God Bless you.
William and Blacky
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi William,

Thank you so much for updating me on Blacky and his surgery! I'm very glad to hear that he responded to you and he might be coming home today--that's great news!

I'm very happy to have been of help in your time of need, and understand the terrific emotional trauma you are going through. Blacky's speedy recovery is now first and foremost!

Cher : )

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