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Old 08-07-2011, 01:37 PM
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HarrysMom HarrysMom is offline
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Default My cat Audrey: Audrey is at peace

This morning I found a hard, large lump on my 20 year old cat Audrey's jaw. My heart stopped because this looked like nothing I've seen before. It just looked big and hard. I took her in to the holistic vet as all the other vets were closed today. The holistic vet is also a regular vet. The vet thought that Audrey likely has a mouth cancer. X-ray definitely showed bone erosion. We do have a small unlikley chance it is tooth abscess because the first aspirate contained pus - this is unlikely because the second and third aspirates were clear. It could be that the tumor got infected.
This came on so suddenly - at least I think. She sees her regular vet monthly because of her thyroids and high blood pressure. I don't think she had this in July.
Audrey is 20 yo, and she's had a full life, but nothing has prepared me for this. She is the most neglected creature in hour house because she's been so easy.
Last few months, she has been licking her mouth quite a bit, but we could not find much. I thought it was infected gum - so we had her on Clindamycin. The pet dentist did not want to clean her mouth because of her age and heart murmur. Last week or two, she has been pawing at her mouth, but I did not notice anything until this morning. I don't know how I could have been so neglectful - esp since I pill her 2x a day.
The vet was telling me that there was nothing I could have done - it was not like I was going to pursue an oral surgery for a 20 yo cat.
I will know for sure tomorrow as I will get the cytology and the radiologist reports back, but my heart breaks - esp since I've neglected her so much.
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Old 08-07-2011, 01:56 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

oh, what a sweet cat. Please don't be so hard on yourself, you strike me as one of the best pet Mom's ever.

I'm going to cross my fingers for the small chance that it is an abcessed tooth. That happened with my non diabetic dog Ranger, huge lump in his throat, I was convinced it was a tumor, it wasn't it was a very abcessed tooth.

If it isn't, listen to your vet. 20 years with you, I bet she has had a wonderful life and knowing cats, if she had wanted more attention, she would have gotten in your face and demanded it!

big hugs and let us know

Judi
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

Yunhee.... I'm so very sorry to hear about Audrey.

Please don't beat yourself up about not noticing. I know several people whose dogs or cats have gone through this and in every case the tumor wasn't obvious until it was quite advanced. They discovered it exactly the way that you did and in the advanced state that you did. I don't know why that is so but it seems to be very common. I can only guess that it develops inernally and then at some point breaks through the palate.

These tumors don't have a good prgonosis even with surgery, as I understand it. They are very aggressive.

Having been in this place just a few months ago with Gus, I know how hard this moment is.

And I too hope it is only an abcess.

Sending you a hug,

Natalie
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:09 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

Thank you, Natalie and Judi,
I think the reality has not hit me yet. I look at her, and I can't believe that she likely has squamous cell carcinoma. There is nothing I can do - with Harry's diabetes and Cushing's, I had to immediately deal with the illness. With this, there is no injections and treatments that I can do, so it is now as if this tumor is not even there (hard to explain what I mean).
She did have signs - a bit of drooling and making this weird biting sound for months. I thought gum infection.
I am also upset because I spend thousands in vet bills - running blood tests, monthly blood pressure and etc., but it seems to be the unexpected things that happen (like Harry's diabetes instead of GN and Cushing's - and Audrey's SCC instead of thyroid, high blood pressure and heart murmur). That is life, I guess.
Today, I allowed her into our front yard (her dream). I follwed her there to keep her safe.
Now she is begging me for food. Her breakfast is still there. She's been a pest around the feeding time for a few months now - it is as if she blames her old food for not being able to swallow well and thinks new food could make a difference.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

Oh Yunhee. I'm so sorry. Here's hoping for the best for you and your furry family.

Tami, Soaphie and Syd

PS - 20 years is SO impressive!!!!
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

Thank you, Tami.
I have another cat, James, who is 4 months older than Audrey.
I can't believe that I have four ancient geriatric pets - but honestly, I never thought that I would end up with two 20 year old cats and two geriatric dogs at the same time.
I've been really lucky with my cats because until recently, they had been healthy with no issues.
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

I'm so sorry Yunhee. I echo the rest in hoping for the best for Audrey!
Do keep us posted.
Patty
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:00 AM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

My mother's cat developed mouth cancer. It progressed rapidly and she had to have Slicker put down when he could no longer enjoy food of any type.

I'm sorry to hear your Audrey has it. 20 years is pretty darn good for a cat.

Keep hanging in there.

Bonnie and Angel Criss
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

I don't have the best news.
The radiologist report came back - extensive bond lysis into the mandible area along with teeth infection from the neoplasia - most consistent with squamous cell carcinoma. The cytology report will be back tomorrow.
Bloodwork, ironically, looked great - nothing abnormal - amazing for a 20 year old cat.
I will the use of low dose Naltrexone or Piroxicam with the oncologist tomorrow. I also ordered some Essiac tea at the recommendation of some friends. The holistic vet, though, said that Audrey's cancer is too aggressive and advanced for Essiac. The goal is to ensure that Audrey is comfortable and painfree as long as possible.
I also spoke with her regular vet who checked her mouth on July 12 and noted "no lesions or mass seen." She was so shocked by this news - esp since this thing grew so quickly.
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: My cat Audrey has a mouth cancer

Yunhee,

I am so sorry to hear about Audrey. No matter how long you have them, it is never enough. It is amazing how fast that it grew so rapidly.
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