17-year old cat with triaditis

danimal15

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Our 17-year old cat has had pancreatitis since age 11 (he nearly died then and needed an emergency blood transfusion and six nights at the hospital).

Since then he's had good times and bad, mostly good, but had another episode last week where he stopped eating, lost interest in life, got a fever, and then suffered a seizure right in front of us. We thought he was dying. He got up and stumbled around. We took him to the hospital and they told us his bile duct is barely letting anything through due to blockages and scar tissue, causing toxins to build. They put him on antibiotics but also gently told us we should consider euthanasia. He's too old and his system is already too damaged for surgery to be an option.

Since then, four days ago, he's rallied. He's back to being hungry, eating and drinking a lot, purring on our laps, and today for the first time since this latest episode started had a nice big poop that looked normal (they'd been oddly colored before due to liver malfunctioning). The vet still recommends subcutaneous liquid, which we'll begin tomorrow.

The question is, at age 17, how much time might he have? Should we consider this something he can live through for weeks? Months? I'm curious if anyone else has been through this. Thanks.

I should add he's been officially diagnosed with triaditis. Forgot to mention.

And as an FYI, his medical treatment for the last six years has included chemo treatment, prednisone, b12. He lost a lot of weight and is down to just 7.1 pounds, from his normal of around 8.
 

silent meowlook

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Did he have cancer or does he have cancer? Wondering about the chemo treatment, what it was and the duration?
 

silent meowlook

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If he is not already seeing a specialist, he needs to. This is a bit much for a regular vet to handle. I have seen a 19 year old cat have a kidney removed and she survived to live another year or two. I forget how long. That being said, I wouldn’t have done the surgery if it was my cat. Or at least I like to think that, but you don’t know until you are in it.

Surgery can be done on geriatric cats but you need knowledgeable extremely educated and competent veterinary team to pull it off.

If his bile duct is obstructed, he should be showing signs of jaundice. Is he yellow?
 
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danimal15

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Thanks for the responses - yes he's seeing a specialist. No, he's not jaundiced now but was a week ago. He received injectable and oral antibiotics and is getting another injection tomorrow. He's eating and going to the bathroom, and seems to be comfortable. He's back to doing all of his normal things. The vet says he has a cyst-like buildup that's compressing the bile duct. She says the antibiotic is keeping him alive but if it stops working it could be days or weeks.

The question is - could surgery be an option? Our vet thinks it might kill him, but if he's likely to die anyway and being kept alive by antibiotics, isn't it worth a try? Could clearing an obstruction be so severe a surgery that he'd be likely to die? Thanks.
 
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danimal15

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He doesn't have cancer. He was put on chemo because it can be helpful for pancreatitis, the vet told us.
 

silent meowlook

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Ok. Do you know the name of the Chemotherapy? Is it injectable or a pill you give him?
I have never heard of using a chemotherapy drug for pancreatitis.
I am glad you are seeing a specialist already.

You might want to consider getting a second opinion from another specialist if you are considering doing surgery.

It is always a good idea with complicated critical cases to get second opinions.

I would never insist on a veterinarian doing a surgery that they didn’t feel comfortable doing.
 
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danimal15

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Ok. Do you know the name of the Chemotherapy? Is it injectable or a pill you give him?
I have never heard of using a chemotherapy drug for pancreatitis.
I am glad you are seeing a specialist already.

You might want to consider getting a second opinion from another specialist if you are considering doing surgery.

It is always a good idea with complicated critical cases to get second opinions.

I would never insist on a veterinarian doing a surgery that they didn’t feel comfortable doing.
He was on clorambucil because he has inflammatory bowel disease as well - I should have specified- sorry. It's used as an immune suppressant in severe cases of IBD. See link: Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats | VCA Animal Hospitals
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi. Late to this thread, but it finally caught my eye as my cat is 19+ yo, and I gravitate to what is going on with older cats. My cat has all kinds of health issues, but not coinciding with yours.

But, I was just curious if this pressure is due to a cyst-like build-up - could he have it drained periodically via a non-invasive fine needle aspiration (FNA)? Not in lieu of the antibiotics. It wouldn’t be cheap as FNAs are done via ultrasound, It’s probably an off the wall question, but I had to ask.
 
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danimal15

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Great question - yes, there is a cyst-like buildup but the vet didn't mention needle aspiration. I can ask her. Thanks.
 
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danimal15

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He doesn't have cancer. He was put on chemo because it can be helpful for pancreatitis, the vet told us.
Correcting myself - the chemo is for IBD, not pancreatitis.
 
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