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My 18yo female cat has a small, very firm egg-shaped lump on…

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My 18yo female cat has...
My 18yo female cat has a small, very firm egg-shaped lump on her chest behind her left front paw, discovered about 18 months ago which has steadily grown to it's present size. She's gone from 11lbs to 7 lbs in the last 2 years and her appetite has all but disappeared, she'll only eat tuna or boiled chicken in 1 tsp increments about every 2 hours. She throws up any dry cat food she tries including the kidney diet from our vet. She still drinks and uses the litter box ok but she is unsteady sometimes. What are the possiblities?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Cat Veterinary
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Answered in 2 hours by:
1/31/2016
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 23,052
Experience: Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
Verified

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Again I do apologize that my colleagues could not aid you sooner, but can you tell me:

Has her vet done any tests (ie bloods, xray, ultrasound, etc)?

Has the lump been tested?

Was she diagnosed with kidney disease?

Has she been on any medication for this or her vomiting?

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
No, no, yes and no. Our vet is aware of the lump and has adopted a wait and see attitude. The office is also aware of her weight loss as we've been going there with all of our cats for the last 7 years.
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Her kidney "failure"(function) was somewhat reversed with a change to a special kidney food diet, none of which she'll touch. We've tried the dry, and 2 different kinds of wet. As of now she'll only eat canned tuna and chicken.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Thank you,

First, while we often will monitor lumps before removing, if this is steadily growing then we'd really need to think about further addressing it. You may want them to sample it to diagnose what is there or we may even need to consider removing it since further progression could lead to ulceration, pain, and infection risk with the lump.

That said, her other signs are more worrisome. If that lump is cancerous it could be why she has lost weight. Though if she is thought to have compromised kidneys, then progression of that can also cause weight loss, appetite loss, and vomiting. So, that could be our trigger for those more serious signs. Of course, GI infections, other organ/metabolic issues, and the lump if cancerous could cause those signs as well.

With this all in mind, even if the vets are aware of the weight loss, we really need to start discussing what we are going to do to try and manage it for Kitty before she wastes away. With her poor appetite and nausea, we'd want to be at least thinking about treating her with anti-nausea medication +/- appetite stimulants. As well, there are medications (ie Semintra, phosphate binders, Azodyl, etc) that can help kidney function. And if we can do that, we may be able to halt her signs and even use calorie rich foods to help her regain weight. Otherwise, we'd want to consider having bloods tested to make sure that kidney disease is all that is going on and assess how severely those kidneys are compromised to determine her overall prognosis. Based on that, we can use the above but could potentially consider fluids as well.

Overall, Kitty has a few different concerns here that are placing her into a precarious state. At the very least, we need to address her nausea so we can get her eating and stop that weight loss. Otherwise, since both kidney issues and a cancerous mass could play a role in triggering these signs, we'd want to look further into these and address them as much as possible to keep her comfortable and prevent her from just wasting away before our eyes.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

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Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 2 years ago
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. B.
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I work nights, so my schedule makes it hard to get appointments with the vet. We're going to try to get her looked at in the next couple of weeks. So far, so good with the tuna and chicken. She's been able to keep it down and she still drinks ok. I didn't mean to imply that she never ate the special prescription diet we had her on. She ate the dry for a couple of weeks but that started coming right back up. We switched to wet and she seemed to like it for about 3-4 months, then wouldn't eat it. We tried another type of wet, (minced vs stew) and she again perked up. We have been alternating the 2 types of wet but I think she just got tired of the same thing all the time. She seems to be ok with the tuna for now, at least it doesn't come back up. My only concern is she's not getting adequate nutrition from just the tuna and chicken. Or, is she so old now that it would upset her more to try to make her take a supplement than just letting her be......? In the words of a current politician, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" I don't mean to make light of Kitty's situation, she's been a much loved part of our family for 18 years and I just want her to be comfortable and not hungry.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Hi again,

Her behaviour with the diet isn't uncommon, many cats do the same. Therefore, I often find medically managing them while letting them eat what they want tends to work better with out stubborn kitties. So, in the regards ***** ***** them comfortable and compromising, that is the approach I find does work best with them. That said, since unbalanced diets are risky, it would be ideal to use a kitty vitamin/mineral supplement to just head off any deterioration from that. Otherwise, just since you noted it being a struggle to get her seen and since nausea is a major concern here, I would suggest at least trying her with an OTC antacid like Pepcid (More Info/Dose @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/famotidine-pepcid) or Tagamet (More Info/Dose Here @ http://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/library/over-the-counter/cimetidine-hcl-tagamet). That way we can at least try to allay that for her and that could help boost her appetite as well.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

** Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
Thank you, ***** ***** the H-2 receptor blocker(s) at the dose recommended in the referenced article.
Cat Veterinarian: Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian replied 2 years ago

Hi again,

That sounds like a good plan of action for Kitty.

All the best,

Dr. B.

----------------------------------------------------------------

* Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need as this is the only way I am credited for assisting you today. Thank you! : )

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