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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20729
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have a beautiful 16 year old cat. Within 48 hours we

Customer Question

Hello, I have a beautiful 16 year old cat.
Within 48 hours we noticed a very drastic change in behaviour (no appetite & hiding) and loss of weight.
She has been keeping away and not affectionate. We took her to the vet after noticing an obvious bloat to which the vet found a large tumour in her abdomen.
The vet said not much can be done and without more testing or surgery a definite prognosis is unlikely but confident the outcome either way will be unpleasant.
After a vitamin b and steroid shot and some anti inflammatory she brightened up a bit. Still not much appetite but drinking a lot.
She rests way more than usual and often her eyes are wide open and blank. The past two nights (so 5 days since that vet visit), she has come to bed to be near us.
She isn't purring as much and we are giving her a vitamised meal couple times throughout the day and around her picking at food.
When I take her out she has a good scratch on her scratching post and goes to the toilet. I guess I see good signs but know she is not herself at all...
I want to avoid euthanasia and can only hope a peaceful death in her sleep one day but for now, is there anything you suggest I do, look for, other?
Thank you x
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome,

So sorry to hear about Bossy's condition, however this is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

I am a small animal vet with many years experience with cats and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next five to ten minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }


Dr Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Geogia,

Regarding Bossy, I have worked out an answer for you below ...

1. Abdominal tumours are very common in older cats and sadly it is a common cause of death, surgery is rarely an option because removing the tumour itself may not achieve much as by the time you can palpate the lump in the abdomen the cancer itself is likely to be widespread in the cat's lymphatic system. In a cat of sixteen I would normally personally dissuade owners from any sort of surgery, but I would use exactly the same Vit B12 steroid cocktail your vet uses as this can perk these cats up and raise their quality of life for a short time, but usually then it will become ineffective and if at that point the cat is obviously suffering then that is the time to have your vet quietly and gently put Bossy to sleep. Sadly it would be rare for her to slip away on her own without going through a period of suffering. Sorry to so blunt ...

So on answer to your question all you can hope to do to help her is just to keep her comfortable and reassured for now and have your vet give the steroid B12 cocktail if she declines and keep your vet in the loop.

2. When to make the final decision? : Well over the years I have often been asked when is the right time to put a cat to sleep, there is no one easy answer for every case. But whatever condition your pet is suffering from at the end of the day you know Bossy best and you will know if she is suffering unduly. My experience is that if a client is asking this question then there are still good and bad points to weigh up, so all you can really do is to continue to weigh up these good and bad points, basically assess the quality of her life on a day by day basis, you know and obviously care for her so only you could make this decision.

Sooner or later a caring owner like yourself will just wake up one day, take a look at Bossy and say enough is enough. On that day follow your instincts, give your vet a call and make the arrangement to quietly and gently put her to sleep, almost certainly you will be doing the right thing ...

Also I should be available online for you the next four or five hours today so please do not hesitate to get straight back to me if her condition changes in any way or you would like to talk things over with me further.


Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue, such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Georgia,

I am just checking back in to see how Bossy is getting on and also checking to see if you would like to talk things over further ...


Dr Scott

Please be kind enough to rate my service to you after we have concluded our dialogue. Such feedback helps me maintain the quality of my answers.