Cat Cancer, Chylothorax

kittymama0610

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I brought my healthy 9 yr old cat into the vet for labored breathing a couple of days ago. X-rays done, showed she had pleural effusion. Thoracentesis was done (basically they tap the chest cavity and withdraw the fluid). Fluid analysis showed cancer cells and chylothorax(chyle accumulating in the pleural cavity due to either disruption or obstruction of the thoracic duct).
Vet recommends doing ultrasound of heart looking for chest mass and following up with oncology, the risk of a repeat pleural effusion is always there. He also mentioned biopsy and chemotherapy, as well as euthanasia.

All of this comes as a huge shocker and blow because I feel as though 9 is young for a cat & I thought i would have many years with her more to spend. Also, the day I took her in she was still eating, drinking, playing, all her normal activities.

Although I have the money to pursue chemotherapy, biopsies, repeat taps of the chest I don't want to put my kitty through that for a short extension of her life. Chemo could require going to the vet weekly or monthly and she HATES the vet. Everytime we go she turns into a whole other animal, she even tries to attack us there, and she defecates on herself due to fear.
They will repeat imaging today & she if there is any mass and check if fluid reaccumulated. If no repeat fluid, I could possibly bring her home in the next couple days. My mind is telling me to bring her home, possibly get one oncology consult just to see the options, and let her live comfortably as possible at home, and if its time to cross the rainbow bridge I will call a home euthanasia service so she can be around those who love her most in her own space.
Sorry this is long and drawn out. Has anyone been thru anything similar? Or went thru with chemo w/ their cat? Thanks
 

Catvivid

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I haven't been through this, and I feel so sorry for you and your cat. Nine years isn't a lot for a cat, but it's still a long time. I suggest you look for Cole and Marmalade on YouTube. One of the cats, Marmalade beat cancer. I hope that'll help.
 

silkenpaw

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I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Please make sure that other diagnostic possibilities have been ruled out and that it definitely is something terminal. If it is cancer, you may not have the option of letting her die at home. The pleural effusion may recur and air hunger is not a good way to die.

I did give radiation therapy to a cat. He was old (I don’t know his age, I was told he was 12 when he came to me and he was with me for two years.) The radiation was for quality of life. He had a painful bone lesion which was growing rapidly, and we took him for RT to give him and ourselves a bit more time. He got only two doses before he started peeing blood and had to be euthanized but it saved him pain in the last few weeks and allowed us to say goodbye. This cat was not traumatized by going to the vet, though; your situation sounds different.

Depending on what the source (primary) of the cancer is, chemo may be curative or may buy you a little more time. Some chemo is given by mouth, so you don’t have to take her to the vet. Again, it depends on the primary.

It’s really up to you what you do. Just make sure your kitty has pain meds you can give her at home. And yes, I agree nine is not old. Sometimes life stinks.
 
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di and bob

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I would say go with your heart. Chemo and all those terrifying vet visits and tests really only prolong the enevitable. They help prolong life, but at what cost? They don't cure. Whatever you choose you will be devastated at the end. Wondering if you should have done chemo, or if you go with chemo was it worth it to her? I knew my 16 year old Burt had cancer, he had a mass in his abdomen and the vet stated he was sure it was cancer witbh his other symptoms but he could biopsy, I declined. Burt was absolutely terrified at the vets, I couldn't do it to him. Watching him decline was horrible, but he acted happy and was so grateful for all the attention and extra treats. I would suggest having an injection of pain meds, or liquid pain meds, just in case. Our vet was busy with an overturned cattle truck on the day he died. It was not something I want to go through again.
Just love that sweet girl as long as you can, we had a year with our precious Burt. I'll keep you both in my thoughts and prayers, any decision you make will be the right one, because it is made with love.
 

cocoanlace

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My cat, 14, was just diagnosed with pleural effusion this week. They also think they see a small mass. She went through thoracocentesis Saturday and fluid was sent to lab. Post-X-rays and ultrasound also done again. Once a cup of fluid was removed, another growth or lobe or lesion can be seen . Radiologist report echos the same thing the vet already said Saturday. It could be this. It might be that. It's probably this. And cannot rule out chylothorax. But the radiologist did recommend a $2,000 CT scan. I wish I had advice for you.
 
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