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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9089
Experience:  Veterinarian for 29 years
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My cat Josie has been diagnosed with cancer. Ive had her to

Customer Question

My cat Josie has been diagnosed with cancer. I've had her to 3 different vets. The first one said that her lung was twisted because of the X-rays, but she wasn't showing symptoms of that. The 2nd vet said it wasn't a twisted lung, but wasn't sure what it was. But something was wrong in her lung, also because of the X-ray. She referred to another vet. This one did an ultrasound and took a sample and said it was like a bloody liquid-90% sure cancer. could it be anything else?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

RebeccaVet :

Hello,

RebeccaVet :

I am so sorry to hear about Josie.

RebeccaVet :

How old is she?

RebeccaVet :

What are her symptoms that made you take her to a vet, and get X-rays?

RebeccaVet :

My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

Customer:

She is 9 and she wasn't eating and losing a lot of wright

Customer:

weight

RebeccaVet :

The only way to be sure of cancer, is to see abnormal cancer cells. If the bloody fluid is sent to a lab for analysis, and cancer cells are seen, you will know not only if she has cancer or not, but what kind of cancer. DIfferent types of cancer have different treatments, different courses of action, different prognosis.

RebeccaVet :

Not eating, and losing weight can be signs of cancer. But they can also be signs of other diseases as well.

RebeccaVet :

So if she were my own cat, I would have the fluid examined by a specialist, a veterinary pathologist or oncologist. Then I should know what I am dealing with, and what, if any, the best treatment is.

Customer:

I have already spent around $1000 dollars for three different vets and none of them have been able to give me a 100% answer. The last one did want to send it to Purdue for testing, but it was going to be over another $100 and I am just broke and I know Josie is so tired. But it kills me to think that it might be something treatable and I'm just letting it go with the vets 90% answer. So, I was just wondering if it could be something to where I could save her life and keep her in mine???

Customer:

And if I should try to find the money for that test??

RebeccaVet :

The only way to know that would be to find out what is wrong with her. If it is cancer, there could be a treatment. If it is some kind of infection, then there could be a different treatment.

RebeccaVet :

The best way to know is to get that fluid analyzed. But cancer of some type is certainly possible, and not all cancers can be treated.

RebeccaVet :

I sure can't recommend a treatment without knowing what is wrong. If it is a type of cancer called lymphoma, then getting steroids might get you a remission ( remember remission is not a cure, it just means the cancer is in retreat but will probably come back at some point) but steroids would be the worst thing to give her if this is an infection.

Customer:

They say it's not a "puss type" liquid and that would be the sign of infection.???

RebeccaVet :

I would not be able to tell that, without looking at the fluid under a microscope and seeing what kind of cells are in there.

RebeccaVet :

Yes, if it is pus, you know it is an infection. But not seeing pus does not totally rule out infection.

Customer:

I wish I could get it to you!!

RebeccaVet :

I am not a specialist, and would send the fluid to one, if this were my own cat. I would look at it myself, but would want the opinion of a pathologist or oncologist before deciding on treatment.

Customer:

So, what your saying is that I should get the full test done and spend the money?? She is the sweetest little cat and I'm having a hard time believing

RebeccaVet :

But if you were my client, I would look at it myself, just to give you my opinion. If I saw a lot of really abnormal cells, cancer is very likely. But I am not enough of a specialist to tell you what kind of cancer it is.

RebeccaVet :

If you want to know what is wrong with her, that would be the best way. Even so, there is not a guarantee it will tell you, but it would be the best next step.

Customer:

See, and she didn't say she saw cancer cells. But she did look at it

RebeccaVet :

Did she say what she did see?

Customer:

The litte girl doesn't have much more time, she has been like this for over a month

RebeccaVet :

If she has cancer in her lungs, then you are right, she may not have much time. I am so sorry. She is too young.

RebeccaVet :

I lost a cat to cancer at 10, the youngest I personally have had a cat with cancer.

Customer:

No, just that it could be a few different things. But cancer was high on the list.

RebeccaVet :

I agree. And she sounds pretty sick. But if there is any hope of treatment that will make her well again, even for awhile, you need to know what she has.

Customer:

I just was hoping that someone could give me a little light and tell me it might be something else and that it could be treated

RebeccaVet :

It could be, it definitely could be something like an anerobic infection, or a fungal infection.

RebeccaVet :

There could be a benign growth in her chest, like a thymoma, that is bleeding but is not cancer.

Customer:

She wants to eat, but gets to excited and dry heaves. And she doesn't even want to drink now. She acts like her tongue doesn't work. She sticks her mouth in the bowl and just kind of tastes it.

RebeccaVet :

Any of these could be treated. The right antibioitic for anaerobic infection, anti fungal drugs for a fungal infection, surgery for a thymoma.

RebeccaVet :

She sounds very sick.

RebeccaVet :

It is so hard. I hate to convince you to spend more money only to find out that she can't be cured.

RebeccaVet :

But you just do not know what she has yet.

Customer:

Surgery is out, I can't afford that. But if there was pills or something that could make it better, I'm all for that.

RebeccaVet :

If it were a fungal infection, or bad bacterial infection, she might still not make it. And she might need more than just pills.

Customer:

The vet said that there was something that "looked" like a growth in the ultrasound, but once again, couldn't give a 100% answer

RebeccaVet :

That is too bad. A bleeding tumor would explain what is happening.

Customer:

This just came on all of a sudden and that's what worries me. She was her same playful self and then boom, it just all changed.

RebeccaVet :

And that might look like the "twisted lung" that the first vet thought was there.

RebeccaVet :

The thing about cancer and cats is that it often comes on suddenly.

RebeccaVet :

Cats are secretive about being sick.

Customer:

I just keep hoping for the best, XXXXX XXXXX no where.

Customer:

The first vet said she could have fallen or something and that's what caused her "twisted lung". Could something like of happened ie...fallen and caused something else in that area??

RebeccaVet :

They will hide their symptoms as long as they can. when it gets to be too much, too hard to fight, they can go from looking normal to looking very sick, seemingly overnight.

RebeccaVet :

A twisted lung is rare. It could be from trauma, and could look like atumor on ultrasound.

Customer:

This is my first cat and I have been learning so much over the last month

RebeccaVet :

I am sorrry you are learning because she is sick.

Customer:

She had urinated on the floor a couple of leading up to this and now I know that is a first sign of something being wong

Customer:

Me too, Thank you!!

Customer:

I just hate to lose her!! She is so beautiful and so sweet, it just kills me!!

RebeccaVet :

Another thought: you could request a second opinion on the X-rays, with radiology specialist. He or she might be able to tell a twisted lung from a tumor.

RebeccaVet :

If the Xrays are digital, that is easy to do.

RebeccaVet :

I understand not wanting to lose her. My 10 year old cat with the brain tumor is still the best cat I ever had.

Customer:

I've had 2 sets of xrays taken And one said the twisted lung and the other said that there was something, but not sure what.

RebeccaVet :

A board certified radiologist should be able to tell you.

Customer:

I'm sorry bout your cat, I know that feeling. She is the best!!

RebeccaVet :

I still miss Hudson. He has been gone for a long time. I have had a lot of cats, but if I could have one of them back, it would be him.

Customer:

But, with this in her lungs, wouldn't she be having trouble breathing??

RebeccaVet :

I would expect she would be having trouble breathing, but again, cats can fool you.

Customer:

What about other symptoms with it? IE...coughing up blood or something?

RebeccaVet :

I saw a cat that the owners had for 10 years, got him as an adult cat, and he seemed fine. I was going to do a minor surgery on him but thought his lungs sounded not quite right. We took an Xray, that cat had had a diaphragmatic hernia ( meaning his stomach and liver were in his chest) all that time!

RebeccaVet :

Sometimes all you see with cancer, is weight loss and not eating.

Customer:

OKay, I've just been 2nd guessing myself on having the sample tested at Purdue and wanted to know what another vet thought.

RebeccaVet :

You might not see blood being coughed up. Blood has to be in the airways to be coughed up. If a lung is twisted, or a tumor is outside the lungs, you can't cough the blood up because there is no direct connection to the airway.

RebeccaVet :

I would have the test done, myself.

Customer:

Is that something they would hold onto? So I could call and have it done still?

RebeccaVet :

That depends. If you told them you didn't want the test, they may or may not have kept it.

Customer:

Ok, I guess I'll have to call and see. Thank you!! I just wish I could save her...Josie is my everything!!

RebeccaVet :

I understand. I hope you find out good news.

RebeccaVet :

I will check back to see how she is doing.

RebeccaVet :

Is there anything else I can answer, or help with?

Customer:

Me too!! Thanks Again!!

RebeccaVet :

You are welcome1

RebeccaVet :

Kindly rate my answer, but only if all your question have been answered.

RebeccaVet :

I hope to hear something good when I get back in touch.

Customer:

I don't think so...unless you have some tricks to help me to get her to eat and/or drink??

RebeccaVet :

I would offer broth, watered down cat food or baby food. Tuna or tuna juice is often appealing.

Customer:

I think I've tried everything!!

RebeccaVet :

There are some great appetite stimulants (prescription drugs) like mirtazapine, cyproheptadine, and valium.

Customer:

Tried all that and it did work, but then she quit with all that too. I even tried pumpkin because someone online said cats would eat it and it was good them too. She turned her nose away from that. lol

Customer:

Also, why wouldn't they offer drugs to help with this??

Customer:

You said there are ways to help, may not cure, but help

RebeccaVet :

I don't know why they didn't.

RebeccaVet :

Cats will tolerate steroids like prednisone much better than humans, and it might get her to eat.

Customer:

She just said she was sorry and that was it. I would think that if there was a way to help her and me, she would have offered it

RebeccaVet :

I am sorry she did not give you more options.

Customer:

Is prednisone expensive?

RebeccaVet :

No, quite the opposite.

RebeccaVet :

Even if you have to get it made as a liquid or a transdermal gel, it is not expensive. The pills are very inexpensive.

RebeccaVet :

Is there anything else I can answer?

Customer:

Okay, thank you!! I will talk to my vet about that. Just so you know...I am a 40 yr old male with no kids and I have raised Josie since she was maybe 4 weeks old. I have been her father, mother and protector and I just want to save her. My name is Jeff.

RebeccaVet :

Hello Jeff. I can tell she means a lot to you.

Customer:

No, you've done the best you could with what you know. Thank you!!!

Customer:

She really does!!!

RebeccaVet :

You are welcome.

Customer:

Thank you Rebecca!!! How much could be suffering?

RebeccaVet :

I always think of the appetite as being a measure of how a cat is feeling.

RebeccaVet :

If she won't eat, she probably feels pretty bad.

Customer:

I tried to get her to eat tonight and she sniffed and kinds licked at it, but didn't get much

RebeccaVet :

Try syringe feeding a liquid like baby food mixed with water or broth.

Customer:

And, afterward she had tears coming out of her eyes...tore me up!! Can cats cry??

Customer:

And could she be sad beacause she wants to eat, but can't?

Customer:

I did try that and it seems to work, but she HATED it.

RebeccaVet :

Cats do not have emotional tears, like humans. But if she didn't like the feeding or it irritated her, her eyes could water.

Customer:

Okay, I think I'm done now. Thanks Again!! You've been a great help!!

RebeccaVet :

You are welcome.

Customer:

Have a good night/weekend!

RebeccaVet :

You, too.

Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 9089
Experience: Veterinarian for 29 years
Rebecca and 5 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the great rating, and the bonus! Much appreciated!

Rebecca

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Rebecca
Rebecca
Veterinarian
783 Satisfied Customers
Veterinarian for 29 years