Cat with tumour: operate or not?

Marisofi

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Hello everyone!

I am new here. I registered because I am looking for advice about one of my cats. I have had a very positive experience with cat forums. In fact, thanks to the members of one, I managed to save my diabetic cat when three vets had basically told me that her situation was practically hopeless. So, I hope that someone can help me here too...

The cat that needs help is called Zoe and she is 11 (she's not the one I mentioned above). Three years ago, I spotted a growth on her upper thigh. I took her to the vet who said that the growth was benign and that we shouldn't operate. But I got scared, saw another vet who shared my sentiments, and went ahead with an operation. Within a couple of months the growth had returned, this time as a malignant tumour. After that, I let her be. No more operations, no medication, nothing. She has been living a happy life, eating and playing ever since.
A week ago, she started flinching whenever I tried to pet her near the tumour. She's also been lethargic. I spoke with a third vet who recommended doing a new biopsy, and seemed in favour of operating again.
Zoe is a scaredy cat who hates going out of the house. She gets super-aggressive whenever we take her to any vet, Calmivet tablets haven't worked well either.

I don't know what would be best for her and I'm afraid of making another mistake. Anyone with a similar experience? Any advice?

Thanks in advance!
 

fionasmom

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
2,717
Reaction score
4,200
Location
Los Angeles
Never an easy decision and I am sorry you are facing this. What sort of malignant tumor is this? That could make a difference to your decision. Is the new tumor big enough to biopsy? I am assuming it is although often if a tumor is too small to get a decent piece a doctor will want to just remove it. Second question is to try to determine if it has metastasized and some of that might depend on finding out the exact type of original tumor. If you want to proceed with surgery, does Zoe have a good chance of making it through the procedure? 11 is not ancient for cats, so she might come through okay. Do you know if the first tumor was the same as the second one? In the same spot it probably is, so that means that the first one was not benign, or that the second one still might be, or that it is the type of tumor that can mutate from benign to malignant.

Sorry to ask all these questions, all of which you may already have answers to.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
12,211
Reaction score
16,005
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Hi. I agree with all that fionasmom fionasmom has said/asked. How did they determine the re-growth back then was malignant? Has it been growing in size all this time? Three years is a long time for a tumor that is malignant not to have caused some additional issues before now. If there was no confirmed malignancy at that time, could the vet use a needle aspirant on the tumor as opposed to a biopsy now? Less invasive to determine if it really is or is not malignant.

Would you consider getting a small dose of Gabapentin before another vet visit to try to calm her a bit beforehand? I haven't personally had to do this, but know of other members who have done so successfully before a scheduled vet visit.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

Marisofi

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
Thank you both very much and apologies for not replying earlier. Had to deal with some urgent issues but I did read your replies.

The tumour is about 3x2cm (I tried to measure to the best of my ability). I have no idea if there is a metastasis. I guess I have no idea about most things with respect to the tumour, that's why I should probably go ahead and have it checked out again.

In the meantime, over the past couple of days Zoe has gone back to her old self, playing and eating. She still seems uneasy when I pet her close to the tumour area though...

I'll take her to the vet and get back to you when I have more to share.

Many thanks again!
 

kittenmittens84

TCS Member
Alpha Cat
Joined
Sep 30, 2019
Messages
513
Reaction score
513
No experience with tumors, but if her fear/aggression over vet visits stops you from taking her to the vet and the current calming med you have doesn’t work well, it’s worth asking your vet about a different one. Gabapentin and trazodone are two popular options that are usually well tolerated by cats, and they have completely different mechanisms of action than acepromazine so they might work better.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6

Marisofi

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Jan 20, 2021
Messages
3
Reaction score
2
No experience with tumors, but if her fear/aggression over vet visits stops you from taking her to the vet and the current calming med you have doesn’t work well, it’s worth asking your vet about a different one. Gabapentin and trazodone are two popular options that are usually well tolerated by cats, and they have completely different mechanisms of action than acepromazine so they might work better.
Many thanks for that! Her reaction has actually been my main concern. I want to help her, not make her life more miserable...
 
Top