Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The big "C", times two. :(

This year has not gotten off to the best start, pet-wise. Last week, we took Freya into the vet because she seemed to be bleeding from the mouth. I thought that she had perhaps lost a tooth (she is a bit older, after all), but it turned out that she has cancer of the mouth. This type of cancer is very bad for kitties – it’s in the bone, and the only thing they can do is remove part of the jaw (um, no thanks) and even then the median survival time is only 7-8 months. We opted to treat her with antibiotics and steroids, but those are just stop-gaps to keep her comfortable for the time she has left – likely days or weeks.

She’s stopped eating her regular kitty food but is still happily devouring treats. She has never been one to eat wet food, tuna, shrimp, cheese, chicken... or any other delicious people food, so it's a bit of a challenge to tempt her appetite. Hubby and I have agreed that when she stops eating, or when her breathing becomes labored (the cancer is apparently affecting her left nostril) we will call it. We don’t want her to be uncomfortable or scared. For now, she’s happy getting lots of love and snuggles, and we’re playing the waiting game.

To make matters worse, this week we found a lump on Elias’ right ankle.  I’d noticed it before but it seemed to have gone away – I figured he’d knocked himself while playing. However, by Sunday it was noticeably worse. We took him in to have it biopsied, and while we are waiting for the results to confirm, the vet is almost positive that it’s a nerve sheath tumor. Unfortunately, these have a high rate of local recurrence. If it recurs, a second surgery (or limb amputation) is the recommended option; radiation is recommended if it recurs a third time. Elias did not do well coming out of surgery, and we definitely won’t do radiation.  Median survival time for this type of cancer seems to be 6 months-2 years.  We’re definitely hoping it’s more toward 2 years, as Elias is a huge part of our family.  

And of course there's the Cone of Shame to deal with too. Poor pitiful doggie.

I sure hope y'all's years are starting off better in the critter department than ours is. 

14 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear that:( Why can't our animals be invincible?

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    1. Invincible animals would be great. :)

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  2. So sorry Jen - I don't even know what to say. (((hugs)))

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  3. Oh no... I'm so sorry, Jen! :(

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  4. I am so very sorry.
    I recently lost my ancient kitty Callie, but Gerber's baby food kept her going for quite a while (vet's suggestion). Her favorite flavor was chicken. It's quite wet and easy to lick. Worth a try.

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    1. Good suggestion on the baby food! I will see if Freya likes it. Thanks!

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  5. Oh, you are having a year and it's only January. Hugs to you and yours.

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    1. Perhaps we're getting everything out of the way early in the year? I sure hope so...

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  6. Oh dear. I dealt with mammary cancer in my old Queensland, and she survived it to die in old age of other causes. But I know each type has a different prognosis. So sorry you have two pets dealing with this--that is very hard. Sending many good wishes your way.

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    1. Thanks, Laura. Freya also has mammary cancer on her belly, but for kitties it's a very slow-growing cancer (years) and we had opted not to treat it surgically because the removal would be so extensive. The mouth cancer is completely unrelated, but so fast-growing. Poor baby.

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  7. Aw, no. I'm so sorry. Freya and Elias are so awesome. Sending lots of virtual snuggles for them. *hugs*

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