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My vet cannot tell if my cat has cancer

  • NJOCK (627 posts)
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    My vet cannot tell if my cat has cancer

    Our kitty has eaten very little for a month now. She is getting very, very skinny but has leveled out a little bit now weight wise.
    She had a blood test, a sonogram and stayed at vet for three days. They said there is no sign of cancer in all tests but the only way to tell for sure is a biopsy which they don’t recommend and we cannot afford. My vet, who is extremely popular and we love because they care so deeply about all animals, said despite no sign of cancer they believe it is cancer.

    They gave me steroids to help give her the munchies and eat. They said whether it is cancer or just a serious digestive problem, steroids was what they recommend. She does go to the bathroom despite her small intake.

    Our cat Jojo ( who my daughter named after a disney character when my daughter was 5 years old) is 10 years old. She was always more like a tiny dog than a stereotype cat. Always meowing and loving people. Now all Jojo wants to do is stay with my teenage child in her room and she drinks a little water and licks all the gravy off her canned cat food and just eats a tiny bit of solid food. This has been going on for two weeks since she came home from vet but very little improvement.

    I did not tell my family the vets “diagnosis” of cancer but instead told them a half truth, saying it was a serious digestive disease but there is a chance it could be cancer. I don’t want my wife and kids fretting over cancer when I don’t have defining proof. I have carried that secret but it weighs heavily on me now. Does anyone have any suggestions on food she might eat or ANYTHING they can tell me?

    Please, please, please help me if you know anything? I greatly fear I may have done the wrong thing trying to take the emotional burden on myself in trying to protect my wife and kids.


    polly7, Enthusiast, LiberalElite and 1 otherTheNutcracker like this
    “The first revolution is when you change your mind about how you look at things, and see there might be another way to look at it that you have not been shown. What you see later on is the results of that, but that revolution, that change that takes place will not be televised.” -Gil Scott-Heron

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30 replies
    • ITW2 (64 posts)
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      1. Ask your vet for a tube of a brownish gel called Femalt.

      It’s cod liver oil.  It should improve your cats appetite while providing nutrition.

    • Demeter (5249 posts)
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      2. My daughter's cat ate 37 hair elastic bands (don't know why)

      It was very expensive to remove them, but she did recover. They were causing intestinal blockage. I think it showed up on x-ray, though.

      Sometimes changing the type of food helps…it could be allergic. Or just give liquified food, and see if it puts the weight back on her.

      Hard as it is, sometimes it’s time to accept that your beloved pet has reached the end of days, and just love her, minimize the pain, give all the treats.

      My cat had cancer in the jaw, and it was horrible and inoperable, so I let her go. I have yet to adopt another, because life is too crazy right now, and it hurt so much…still does.

      I think your handling of the information is all right. It’s not like wife and kids could do anything with the information. There will be time for grief after. No sense in starting early.

      Obama promised a lot of transparency. It finally showed up.--downwinder
    • LiberalElite (5958 posts)
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      3. There's a semi liquid treat that comes in a pouch. My cats

      liked it. I got it at supermarket but it may not be widely available. I’ll look it up and post details.

      One of my cats was thought to have an abdominal cancer. An ultrasound found a thickening. I couldn’t afford the cancer drug so just gave him Prednisone. Almost 3 years later he is still here, age approx. 14.

      I feel much better since I've given up hope
      • The Crone (3157 posts)
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        25. I wonder if the "thickening"

        Was parasite related. And then the Prednisone offed the nasties and what not.

        In any event, glad your cat is still here.

        "Let us not seek the Republican answer nor the Democratic answer but the right answer." John F. Kennedy   America is the only country that has real   lemons in its furniture polish, and artificial lemon flavoring  in its lemonade!
        • LiberalElite (5958 posts)
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          26. Thanks! He had another episode a year or two later –

          they did another ultrasound and the diagnosis this time was IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).  He’s still here, jumping on my lap (all 16 pounds of him) and living long enough to be developing that feline scourge, kidney disease.  :-)

          I feel much better since I've given up hope
    • Autumn Colors (1495 posts)
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      4. Rick Simpson cannabis oil

      I don’t know if you’re in a medical marijuana state, but please consider trying to get ahold of some of this stuff.

      If you’re not on Facebook, you’ll need to click the “Not Now” link on the panel that pops up, and then you’ll need to just scroll so you can read in the upper half of the screen.



      Medical Marijuana Aids Dying Pets Back to Health




      • Mom Cat (15002 posts)
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        16. Absolutely. I had a kitty with mouth cancer. She was circling the drain,

        losing weight, losing hair, and her eyes looked dead. I took what little MJ I could afford and made the Rick Simpson oil. Within weeks, she started looking better and lived another 5 years till after she turned 20. Give it a try!

             NEVER FORGET      BERNIE WON!          
        • Autumn Colors (1495 posts)
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          17. I'm going to cc the OP so your post is seen

          Hey, @njock — talk to MomCat if you need a first-hand account of someone who’s used this this to treat her kitty’s cancer.  (see post # 16 above this one)

          Did you post about that here before?  I swear I had seen a post on this site about it which sent me looking for info to post for this thread.

          • Mom Cat (15002 posts)
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            20. Yep. That was me. Cannabis cures. Just check out Rick Simpson

            and his film “Run From The Cure!”

                 NEVER FORGET      BERNIE WON!          
      • Immacolata (246 posts)
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        24. Exactly what I just posted.

        I’m getting some high CBD oil on the 4th for my dog.

    • NV Wino (5919 posts)
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      5. What are they going to biopsy?

      Does she have a tumor? This sounds more like a thyroid problem. I would get a second opinion.

      Resist-sm_zpswfchkz8t “As we act, let us not become the evil that we deplore.” Barbara Lee  
    • xloadiex (375 posts)
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      6. My son's cat Steve

      has the exact same thing. He’s been through all the tests. No cancer, diabetes, or thyroid. He also had become very skinny. He has been on a daily intake of prednisone for over a year. They think it may have something to do with digestion.

      I don’t know why they can’t figure this out.

      • LiberalElite (5958 posts)
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        10. My vets first thought abdominal cancer. Now they

        think it’s IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). He’s on Prednisone.

        I feel much better since I've given up hope
        • xloadiex (375 posts)
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          14. Yes

          I’m pretty sure that was the conclusion from my son’s vet. He lives in Ca and I’ll talk to him later today. I know right when he started to get sick he had very bad bouts of diarrhea.

          On the other end of the spectrum, my sisters cat has been diagnosed with mega colon. She occasionally has to give him an enema.

          I no longer have cats but the last one I had, had diabetes. I had to give him daily insulin shots. My other sister’s cat was also diabetic. I was always amazed at the number of people I would run into with diabetic cats when I went to buy the special food.

          I really makes you wonder what they are putting in pet food.


    • rogerashton (67 posts)
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      7. Our Vanessa had a thyroid problem.

      She was about 16 then. She took supplements from then on and lived a couple more years — just a very old kitty.

    • LimeTree (45 posts)
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      8. When faced with similar situations with our pets

      we’re happy we went to a dog/cat oncologist.  We are very happy with our routine veterinarian and they provided a referral.

    • CountAllBernieVotes (69 posts)
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      9. Last ditch food advice

      Sorry to read about the possibility of cancer. 

      When any which one of the cats I’ve had over the years got to where they could not or would not eat, I have found that smoked salmon works!   I’ve never found a cat that doesn’t love it.  It is very expensive but … better than no food at all.

      Also, in the higher quality canned salmon from Alaska, the juice is a real temptation too but it is just that, juice.  I haven’t found it to be particularly attractive otherwise as a food.   If you can find a small package of smoked salmon, try that and see it the kitty will have a bite or two.

      Again, real sorry to real of this problem — it sounds like hyperthyroid to me, a condition that took the life of my cat OK (aka “Old Kitty”).  She got really thin but she did still eat and  she lived to be 18 years old.

      Best of luck to you, kitty & your family!



      • Autumn Colors (1495 posts)
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        13. That can't be the cat's only food, though

        There aren’t enough nutrients that cats need in canned fish.  For one, they need taurine from bones.

        You might try some “limited ingredient” canned food and then mashing it up with a fork and adding warm water to it until you get it to the consistency your cat will eat.  If it’s a digestion problem, it could help.  Easier to digest fewer ingredients.  One of our 2 has allergies and we’ve had good luck with Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient.  There are less expensive brands, but if you’re watering it down and only giving a little bit at a time, it should last longer.  (If I didn’t have someone else helping with the cat expenses, I wouldn’t be able to give them this.  There are less expensive ones on the market.  Natural Balance is about 1/2 the price. Blue Buffalo Basics is about 25% less than N.V.)

        If your cat likes fish, you can get fish oil liquid supplement for cats (make sure it’s for pets because the human ones have other things in them to make it taste better).  Nordic Naturals makes one for pets and it has a little eyedropper in the bottle.  Adding a few drops to your mashed up food/water will make it smell a little bit like fish.

        cc:  @njock


        • CountAllBernieVotes (69 posts)
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          18. I never suggested that

          It is a last ditch sort of thing.  May get the appetite going which is what it did for my cat that lived to be 18 years old.  She was a sickly kitten filled with worms and would not eat but she could not resist smoked salmon.  I gave her small bits of it at first and eventually got her on a regular cat diet.

          These CBD oils being discussed are salmon oil based in many cases.  I wonder how safe they are?

    • Sweet freedom (390 posts)
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      11. I'm another jumping on the hyperthyroid possibility

      How old is your kitty? If a senior, hyperthyroidism is very common and aligns with the symptoms you are describing. Ask your vet if that was ruled out.

      Hope your kitty feels better soon


    • LiberalElite (5958 posts)
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      12. Further to my previous post-

      suggest you try Delectables Bisque Lickable Treats by Hartz. Comes in a pouch. You can get it online and some supermarkets. Dont know where you’re located but I found it in Stop and Shop. Also, some cats like baby food. The drawback to that is it’s constipating. PLEASE NOTE: Do Not choose baby food with onions or garlic. Those are toxic to cats.

      I feel much better since I've given up hope
    • Enlightenment (887 posts)
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      15. We have an 18 year old cat who

      is in good health, but doesn’t eat enough to feed an ant.

      As it is dangerous for them to not eat and drink, our vet suggested that we ‘give her what she will eat’.

      Successful offerings include:

      • Gerber meat baby food – she likes chicken better than turkey, but neither if they are cold.
      • Freshly cooked ground beef, lightly seasoned, rare. Only warm and fresh, though.
      • Canned tuna in water – she prefers just drinking the ‘juice’ from the can, but will occasionally eat a slurry that we make with the meat and some warm water, blended into an unappetizing (for us) liquid. About the consistency of a thin milkshake.
      • Canned chicken in water (same as above).
      • Mac and cheese. Seriously.
      • Half and Half. I know they say not to give cats dairy, but the problem is that some are lactose intolerant in adulthood. However, the heavier the dairy, the less of a concern that is because the fat literally ‘crowds out’ the lactose. Some cats love yogurt (ours used to, but prefers the half and half now).

      There is also a medication called Cyproheptadine – when she gets very uninterested in food, the vet gave us this to give her. She weighs 5 pounds and gets 2mg (a half of a 4mg tablet).  Presumably once a day, but it seems to last her about three days . . . and she is ravenous while it’s in her system.

      In a pinch, you can also syringe feed and/or water (careful with the water so you don’t choke your kitty). We had to do this with one of ours who was very ill, but not terminal or old. They don’t like it, but sometimes it will kick-in their own desire to eat and drink.

      Hope your kitty improves soon!


      All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies. - John Arbuthnot, 1637-1735
    • Gallagher (535 posts)
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      21. Maybe you can try chicken liver…

      That brought my sweet rescue, BT back when he didn’t want to eat.  He preferred it slightly cooked, mixed in with dry cat food (wetted down, and mashed up). I needed to be with him at feeding time to encourage him to eat. He stayed with me another 14 months, before I had to let him go. (He was about 16 years old at the time.)  You will need to experiment to see what she wants to eat. Try the “fancy” canned foods. Try anything.  You may find something that suits her.

    • Totally Liberal Dem (1513 posts)
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      22. How much would it cost for the vet to examine the cat for cancer?

      You know all of us love our four-legged children.  Maybe we can do something to help?

    • Immacolata (246 posts)
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      23. I don't know what state you're in,

      but if I was in your shoes I would give my pet cannabis oil. My boy has a mass in his stomach that will be coming out in a few days and whether or not it is cancer, I’m starting him on hemp, or cannabis oil. Nothing to lose except a little money. It won’t hurt my dog (nothing and nobody has EVER died from cannabis use) and just might help. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence behind it. More concrete evidence would be nice but TPTB just now have started to acknowledge the benefits and there have been few studies.

    • NJOCK (627 posts)
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      27. She died in her sleep early Friday morning

      Thank you all for your help. You are all so wonderful. Sorry I didn’t thank you sooner. The last few days she got so weak and skinny and could not even walk so my family figured out it was cancer. Despite that, my daughter took it extremely hard anyway because it was her first pet she called her own. And now I have been sharing my grief with my wife and kids that I have held in for weeks.

      Jojo was ten and we adopted her along with her sister Shanna at a rescue shelter. Shanna is fine, just moping around the house now.

      Despite being Russian agents, you people are the best. Haha.

      “The first revolution is when you change your mind about how you look at things, and see there might be another way to look at it that you have not been shown. What you see later on is the results of that, but that revolution, that change that takes place will not be televised.” -Gil Scott-Heron
      • glinda (2332 posts)
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        28. Good time to adopt a friend for Shanna since she will be stressed and

        lonely. Many a shelter have kits that need homes for the Holidays.

        Last year, I lost 2 of three kits that came from the same family. Exactly 30 days apart. The mom cat, Maki and her son, Smudge, both had a rapid Cancer. Smudge saw 4 Vets 6 times and no one knew if he had C or not. He had a very rare Liver C type that was hard to detect. His mom died the next month of a huge stomach tumor. I have Alice….the runt left. She is about 13. Smudge also was younger when he passed. Like your kitty.

        Alice was so depressed that she has rarely come out of the bedroom where she and her mom slept all of the time. Oddly, she has taken to an interactive “Lil Bub” toy that purrs and now comes out a bit. It has been a year! But we have other kits so they try to engage her. It has been slow. I worried about her health because of her losses.

        I am sad about what has happened to you baby and family. I get it. They leave us too soon. Think about a young friend for your kitty to help her through her grief. To help all of you through it.

        “Even a cat appreciates kind words.”–Russian Proverb


        Animals know more than we do. - Native American proverb
      • Magical Thyme (2847 posts)
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        29. I am so very sorry for your loss, NJOCK

        godspeed and rip, JoJo. 

        Peace to you, Shanna, and your hooman family, NJOCK

      • night (163 posts)
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        30. I am so sorry.