Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Some Bad News...

Well, we are not sure how to say it, so we will just be blunt...our little Timmy Tantrum has got oral cancer. It is Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma...the worst oral cancer there is apparently. Mummy found a lump on his cheek/lower jaw bone about 2 weeks ago, on his Gotcha Day, so Tim had a biopsy last week and the results came in yesterday.



There are no other signs that he has a problem...he is 100% normal, all his blood tests, xrays etc show him to be a very healthy cat for his almost 15 years of age so Caroline Vet feels we have caught it early - no other signs of illness and or spread apart from the little lump in his cheek - and she holds a little hope that it is in a location that may be ok for surgery...but she is not an expert so she has sent off all the reports, pictures, x-rays etc to a specialist small animal cancer place just outside of London to see what they feel would be an apprpriate course of treatment...if any. We hope to have an assessment back in the next day or so. Ben Vet has gone back to school to get some more letters after his name, he is the lovely vet that treated and worked miracles with Storm...Caroline Vet is his boss so Tim will be in excellent hands too.

So our question is has anyone here had any experience of dealing with this type of cancer? We have some tough decisions to make if we are presented with treatment options - if i there are no treatment options then there are no decisions to make. The most effective treatment would be surgical removal and radiation if the tumour is in a good place for surgery...but we are concerned about post-surgery health, how do cats recover from oral surgeries? Also, does anyone know of any forums which are specific to oral cancers in cats? And any diet tips to slow down cancer growth?

Meowmie L is away for a few days with limited internet access but Meowmie J is staying with us and feeding us and loving us in her absence.

Thanks for any feedback - we really appreciate everyone on the Cat Blogosphere, even if we are rarely around these days xxx

33 comments:

Cheysuli and gemini said...

Oh noes! We do not have any experience with this particular sort of cancer. We are horribly distressed for you and your Mommas because we know what a hard thing it was for Storm to fight and now to have another potential fight with Timmy. This just breaks our heart for your family to have to go through this fear and fighting again.

We hope that there is a treatment that can give Timmy more time to enjoy your loving home.

Purrs

Riley & Tiki said...

We are so very sorry. We do not have any experience with oral cancer, but are hoping for the best. Sending you loud purrs and soft woofs.

Tiki & Kesey

Daisy said...

Oh, I am so sorry to learn this news. I do not know anything about this condition, but I am hoping that it can be treated. Purrs to you.

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Oh, no, this must have been a large bolt from the blue for you. We have no experience with this either but we know you will do whatever is best for Timmy. Purrs and tail wags.

HotMBC aka The Hotties said...

Oh noes! We is so sowwy to heer bout dis. We haf a Twitter furriend who hadded this kinda cancer and they may contakt yoo if they feel they can. It's Puz, so if someone named Puz rite, dat's our furriend.
We will purr furry furry hard for Timmy!
PURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRS,
Sanjee and tha resta tha Hotties

Camie's Kitties said...

Castel, Timmy and your two meowmies, we are so very sorry to hear that you may have to go thru cancer again. We will be purring for all of you to have the strength to do what is best. We will continue to keep yo in our thoughts.

Tavi, Cody, Camie, Miss Jade and Gracie

DEBRA said...

Sending purrs to you all........

purrs
Abby

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

Oh no!!! We're so sad to hear that Timmy has the awful cancer. We'll ask our kitty friends if anyone has experience and let you know if we find out anything.

Sending purrs and prayers for Timmy and all of you,

Charlemagne and Tamar

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

We haf no experience wif dis kinda cancer but we is gonna say lots of purrayers fur Timmy and fur yoo and yoor mommies too.

Sports Profit said...

We lost Smokey (4 years ago) and Puz (last month) to oral cancer. Our vet said that it has become the most prevalent form of cancer in cats and is very aggressive. The disease acted very differently in each of our cats and that is why the vet said, he can never give a time frame for life expectancy. The most serious issue is the jaw. Cats can put up with a lot of discomfort & pain, but as the tumor grows the possibility of the jaw bone breaking grows, the cat must be put down before that happens, the suffering would be horrible. If you have any questions, you can email me (David) at dtucci@cogeco.ca

Sorry that you're going through this, Timmy is such a handsome cat.

Eric and Flynn said...

We are so sorry to hear this sad news. We are purring for Timmy that the vet can help him.

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

Here's some information from someone at Momma's work. We hope it is helpful.

Charlemagne and Tamar

"Squamous cell is the most common type of skin cancer. The success of treatment depends most on whether it was caught early or not. Being located in the mouth will make it difficult to prevent irritation or injury to the damaged tissue.

My cat also had this type of cancer on his leg. In his case the tumor had “soft margins” and was highly pigmented so his prognosis was not good. The cancer had almost certainly spread by the time I discovered it even though the tumor was only about ¼ inch across at the widest point. It looked like a black/brown wart but bled very easily if bumped or scratched and was easily hidden by Sinbad’s long fur (Sinbad was probably part main coon).

Sinbad’s tumor was removed and biopsied. Since the cancer had spread, my cat was only expected to live another 3 months or so. The vet said removing his leg might give him a little extra time but couldn’t promise since this cat was 18. I thought the surgery would be too traumatic and decided not to do it. Instead we cared for him attentively through the end of his illness.

Sinbad never seemed to be in any pain. He played, ate and napped in his normal pattern. The wound where the surgery was performed never healed properly which is another sign of the cancer’s spread into neighboring tissue. We had to bandage and keep antibiotic ointment on the wound. Sinbad lived nearly a year after his diagnosis and passed in his sleep one afternoon.

My recommendation is to question the vet closely about the best case and worst case scenarios, treatment options and no treatment. Then make a decision when they’ve gathered all the information they can. No doubt they’ll want to avoid choices that will lead to diminished quality of life. But no one has a crystal ball and whatever they choose may turn out better or worse than expected.

I feel for them. This is a difficult place to be in.
Janet"

A Few Good Cats said...

We'll send healing vibes and purrayers to Timmy... and we hope you can find a treatment that will cure him.

The Island Cats said...

We are so sorry to hear about Timmy. We have no experience with this but we are purring very hard for Timmy and hope that the vet can help him. We are purring for you too, because we know how worried you are.

Parker said...

We are so very sorry that Timmy has this awful disease. Our purrs and prayers are with you.

Everycat said...

Poor Timmy, we are all so sorry to read of this. We know you will choose the right course of action to help Timmy and won't put him through anything compromises his quality of life badly. We send you all love and rumbly purrs with special noses kisses for dear Timmy.

Whicky Wuudler & Family

The Furry Kids said...

Oh no! We are so sorry to hear about Timmy. We are purring and purraying for all of you.

Junior and Orion said...

Oh no! We are so sorry to hear this! We will be purring for the good option to be found and for Timmy to be okay. The Kitty Gods must have sent him to you cause they know how well you treated Storm when she was sick.

Sunny's Mommy said...

I'm so sorry.

My kitty who came before the ones we have now, was diagnosed with oral cancer as she approached 15. She was not biopsied, but diagnosed with x-ray. Our vet said if we wanted to seek treatment for her, minimum of removing the tumor and possible further treatment, we'd have to go to the local vet. university. My husband wanted to do that, but I was unwilling, thinking about her quality of life with the size of the tumor that would have to be removed from her jaw.

Our vet told us without treatment she could last weeks or up to 6 months. The cancer was aggressive and progressed quickly.

It is a hard decision whether to seek treatment or not. My best wishes and hugs to all of you, as you decide what to do.

Kaz's Cats said...

We're so sorry to read about Timmy having cancer. We haven't known any kitties who had that type of cancer, so all we can do is purr and purr and purray and send positive thoughts to Timmy, and to all of you, because we understand that it's a very tough time on all of you,

{{{hugs}}}

Gypsy & Tasha & Karen (Mum)

momsbusy said...

one of my cats had squamous cell carcinoma that started on his toe. by the time we found it, was initially treated as an infection, had the toe amputated and had the biopsy results back the cancer had already spread. this process took a total of maybe 3 weeks. when we took him to have an ultrasound done the tumor was the size of a baseball near his heart and he died a few days later. from what i read about squamous cell carcinoma it is the most aggressive form of cancer.

we will be keeping timmy and your entire family in our purrayers.

momsbusy, yuki, kimiko, kintaro & tt

♥Mimi♥ said...

I have no experience with this type of illness. All I can give you to is our love and prayers.

Karen Jo said...

I am so very sorry to hear about Timmy's cancer. I am sure that you will do what is best for him and I hope and pray that you caught it in time. I have no personal experience with this type of cancer, but Ayla the Grump died of something similar. Her Mom currently blogs at Flock O' Fuzzies or you can find a link to Ayla's blog by clicking Ayla in my labels and following the link there.

Poppy Q said...

We are sad to hear about Timmys cancer, but know that you and the vet will look after this sweet fellow.

Sorry we have no experience with this type of cancer either, but know that you have an awesome vet looking after you all.

Sending you big hugs.

Margaret Elmendorf said...

I am so sorry Timmy that you have cancer. Our Mom has it too but she is all right now. So I know you will be all right. Lots of purrs and prayers from all 20 of us.

Cats~Goats~Quotes said...

Sadly, we have had to deal with this terrible disease. Our little Georgia was 15 years of age when she got mouth cancer. We were told there was not any way perform surgery in that area.
We are so very sorry you are having to deal with this monster disease again.
Sending many, many gentle (((Hugs))) to Timmy and purrayers to all.

~ The Bunch and Mom Bobbie

Furkidsmom said...

We're sorry to hear about Timmy. We don't have any experience with it, but we'll be purring and purraying for Timmy.

Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

Ikaika said...

We are so sorry to hear the news about your Timmy and send lots of healing purrs and energy his way.

Our 14 year old, Tabbygail, was recently diagnosed with a tumor (not oral but a thymoma), which is problematic for surgery. In consultation with our vet and our acupuncturist/TCM practitioner, we are trying a mushroom formula from a company called Fungi Perfecti. It is a combination of about six different varieties of mushroom with various anti-cancer and immune boosting properties. We are hoping to see some tumor shrinkage and also ease her breathing issues by doing chest taps every couple of weeks to drain the plural effusion that builds up around the tumor. We wanted something that would be non-invasive and improve her quality of life, even if only for a short time. Like you have done with Storm and are now doing with Timmy, we just love Tabby each additional day she is with us.

We hope your vet finds a good course of treatment for your sweet kitty boy, and we will be continuing our purrs and good thoughts for him.

'Kaika and his mom

Teri and the cats of Furrydance said...

This is our first visit to your blog. We came cuz we heard the news about your cancer. Our mewmie is a vet tech and she said many other of your followers gave you good info, but she wanted to add that comfort should be your guide. Often they are put on cortisone (prednisolone works better than prednisone in cats) to suppress the immune system and slow the tumor growth. Good pain meds like Buprenorphine or Tramadol can help too. We wish you many days together, and take lots of pictures, too for they will help ease your sadness when the time comes.

Craig & Caroline Hind said...

Aw boo. :-(((( We hope that everything goes well for Timmy. We're all purring for him.

Timtam, Mumble & Misu (and Craig & Caroline)

lloyddobbler said...

My 17-19 year old cat (not sure of exact age) was diagnosed via biopsy with an oral squamous tumor about 6 weeks ago. I first noticed a lump right before a scheduled vet visit for something else, so I had him looked at within a few days, and biopsied a week later.
The vet said that where the tumor was located would make surgery not a great choice, and that steroidal treaments would probably cause stomach and intestinal ulceration. I decided to just let him live it out with pain meds (Buprenex)until it was time to not let it go on anymore.
As of today, that time has come. He had a bad weekend, and has not eaten on his own in a week. I force fed him some puree'd cat food a few days last week, but it seemed to only make things worse, so I made an appointment for this evening to take him out of his suffering.

Castle said...

i'm sorry lloyd...i'll be thinking of you and your little fellow tonight. my thoughts are definitely with you x

Castle said...
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