Nasal Cancer

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
I am currently struggling with concerns about my 11 year old female cat, Sierra. She was always a little skittish and old biddy acting, but went into a funk when her litter mate died of renal cancer at 9 and a half years old. She has seen the vet numerous times for "eye" infections and has always had some sort of discharge that I got special wipes to clean up regularly... it was always relegated to a result of the feline herpes that she's had since kittenhood. Dec 2020 she was treated for a persistent dripping in her left eye. The medication cleared it up and her eye was clearer than it had been in a long time. In Feb 2021 I noticed a swelling above the left eye and redness. She was treated 2 times over the next 6 weeks for conjunctivitis. The swelling did not go away and I started to notice that she was sneezing blood, so I brought her to the emergency vet where they did a biopsy of the mass and determined that she has a neoplastic carcinoma, stemming from her sinuses. I am devastated to say the least. She is still eating reasonably well, still sleeps cuddled around my head on my pillow ALL night and I have to make some hard decisions. I cannot see putting her through surgery, radiation and chemo when the mass is most likely into bone and brain tissue at this point and her prognosis is poor, but I do not want her to suffer either. I will be asking my regular vet to come up with a comprehensive plan for care until it is time to say good bye. Anyone have any advice?
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,696
Purraise
18,916
Location
Nebraska, USA
Get her on Prednisone and see if that helps. It has done wonders to shrink tumors and help make cats I have had with cancer in the past much more comfortable. I agree with you, at her age, it is just not worth the pain and stress of all those treatments.....my sweet Burt lived for another two years after his diagnosis of cancer in his abdomen. I promised him no more vets, he was extremely upset every time we went in. Just love that sweet girl and make her comfortable for as long as you can. There is no way you can prepare your heart for what is coming, just live, and love, one day at a time. Now is the time to rely on your vet's advice. They have seen much and their hearts aren't as involved as ours. She will pull away from you and quit eating when her time comes, when she is no longer living but existing. Get a pain med, hopefully in a patch or cream, you can apply if the vet can't get to her fast enough. I pray that she has a peaceful end, at home, surrounded by your love. Something we all pray for. Please come here anytime you need to, we will do what we can to help you both through this. Many of us have stood where you do now.....
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
I asked the vet about the prednisone for Sierra's tumor. The Vet is leery of putting her on the prednisolone for cats, he's worried about potential other affects that she might not be able to handle. Her litter mate that died of renal cancer was put on it and she got a cushings type syndrome very badly and Sierra has in the past shown issues with certain medications (ever since she was a kitten). He is currently keeping her on the clavamox antibiotic to stave off eye infections (for 30 days then we revisit), gabapentin for nerve pain ( although we are weaning her off of that one since she HATES it and struggles when I try to give it to her) and medicam. She has been acting more normal the past couple of days and the growth above her eye is not too noticeable yet unless you know her and are looking for it. However, this morning she had a hairball that must have unsettled her stomach, after that she vomited until there was NOTHING in her stomach. (clearish fluid not even really green) This worried me and I have called the vet again... Hoping to hear back soon. I know that her time is coming, but while she still follows me around,sleeps on my pillow cuddled around my head and meows at me I'm hard pressed to think it is time...I'm hoping that I will know when it is time and not miss it and make her suffer.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,696
Purraise
18,916
Location
Nebraska, USA
If she follows you around and still wants to be near you, she still has some enjoyment in living. A cat that is suffering will pull away, usually hide and not want company. It's so hard..,..,.I have had cats that have lived FAR beyond what I thought, they have a strong will to survive.....
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,136
Purraise
9,800
Location
Los Angeles
How quickly did your other cat develop Cushings? I have had two Cushings dogs, one still living, so I am very familiar with it. Absolutely not a picnic and I don't blame you for wanting to avoid it. Oddly, neither dog ever took pred. My point is that, while I hope that your baby has a lot of time left, if the time is limited might the pred make her more comfortable in the long run for whatever time she takes it.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,696
Purraise
18,916
Location
Nebraska, USA
I agree, the prednisone made the cat we cared for with mouth cancer SO much more comfortable and he was on it almost two years with no problems. After he was on it about 6 months we lowered the dose to 1/2 of what he was taking and only once a day instead of two. It still helped him tremendously. He was so uncomfortable before it, drooling uncontrollably and pawing at his mouth. All that stopped for 2 years! The vet assistant even asked me if wasn't dooming him to kidney failure, etc. I told her he's dying, what could be worse!?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #7

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
I will ask the vet again, but he seemed to think that it wasn't a good option. If it will shrink the tumor above Sierra's eye or slow it down, that would be awesome, especially since she is still acting normally. I think the concurrent pressure above and on her eye and the eye infection tendency are the current big issues and if the prednisolone will temper some of that, then I'm all for it. The other issues are how far it has gone into the brain and bone... these are issues that cannot be seen without more diagnostics. I am just so beside myself. I am afraid to hope and I doubt my decisions as to the extent of what I am willing to put her through. The medicam is apparently also hard on the kidneys and I told him if that keeps her pain down then as you said, she's dying anyway, which will take her out first?
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,696
Purraise
18,916
Location
Nebraska, USA
It's a hopeless situation. No matter what you do, is it the right decision? The best possible solution right now is to make her comfortable. Make any decisions with your heart......
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
Apparently the medicam and prednisone cannot be used at the same time. My vet said that he hasn't seen good results using the prednisolone (prednisone) on Sierra's type of cancer. Soooo.... we are doing cirenia 2x week to control the nausea and keep sinuses somewhat clear, clavamox 2x day to stave off infection, and medicam as an NSAID for inflammation and pain. She was taken off of the gabapentin as she started to foam at the mouth every time I gave it to her... Scary stuff!!! I also weigh her every morning to keep track of changes in that respect. She seems comfortable currently other than the lump above her eye. Apparently, by the time you see it above the eye (since it stems from the nasal cavity), it has already most likely infiltrated bone, soft pallet and brain. I asked about prognosis and the vet said Sierra would tell me when it was time and that I could most likely expect a gradual decline ( I was afraid a rupture of the tumor would cause sudden catastrophic pain) While there is a small chance of this, it is unlikely. I speak with my vet weekly so I can give him an update and we discuss my concerns and how her week went. He will be coming to my house to do her next check up, check blood work and discuss any changes in medication in 2 weeks (1x month). I'm taking it day by day, I am thankful for the vet's willingness to speak to me so often... I work myself up periodically at the futility of it all. But in the end, I need to know that I gave her the best love and care I could. I feel overwhelmed sometimes since I have a multi-cat household (9 all rescues) of older cats and she is NOT the only cat undergoing medical issues at this time. I have a cat that just underwent I 131 treatment for hyperthyroid and the vet will be checking up on him as well. Now every time one of my cats sneezes, coughs or acts funny my heart starts to squeeze and I worry!!! But I wouldn't trade a single one of them!!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #11

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
Thank you, My fur babies can use all the prayers you got!!
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

MamaKat9

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Messages
17
Purraise
20
Sierra's cancer is slowly increasing in size. The vet is taking her off of the medicam and putting her on depo medrol. He is giving her a sub q injection that may last from 1-3 months. She is regularly on clavamox for secondary infections. 4 weeks on 2 weeks off with daily proviable supplementtation to keep her digestive tract healthy (pre and probiotics). She is also on 1/4 tablet cerenia. She still acts like her normal self, but at her last vet visit, she started to bleed profusely from her nose when the vet put her on her side to take blood. It totally freaked me out. I am extremely sad since I know as she gets slowly worse, she is probably feeling pain that I cannot help her with.
 

di and bob

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
14,696
Purraise
18,916
Location
Nebraska, USA
If she is acting kinda normal, that is good. You are doing the best you can, and so much more than most.You are her everything, and she appreciates it. What you are giving her right now is priceless, the comfort and love she needs so badly.......
 

fionasmom

Moderator
Staff Member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 21, 2014
Messages
7,136
Purraise
9,800
Location
Los Angeles
You have taken care of her for these last few months and have done a wonderful job. She knows what you are doing and understands.
 

SDerailed

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
166
Purraise
345
I'm so sorry. This is a very rare and aggressive cancer and every kitty's journey seems to be different. My kitty was just diagnosed with stage 4b nasal cancer and it has already spread to multiple tumors on her lungs. You wouldn't know it though, because other than frequent nosebleeds and weight loss she seems exactly the same. No wonder why this is often diagnosed on late stages.

DM me if you would like to talk, I would enjoy having someone to compare notes with since their is so little literature out there that is kitty specific.
 

all4mom2

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
91
Purraise
67
I'm so sorry. This is a very rare and aggressive cancer and every kitty's journey seems to be different. My kitty was just diagnosed with stage 4b nasal cancer and it has already spread to multiple tumors on her lungs. You wouldn't know it though, because other than frequent nosebleeds and weight loss she seems exactly the same. No wonder why this is often diagnosed on late stages.

DM me if you would like to talk, I would enjoy having someone to compare notes with since their is so little literature out there that is kitty specific.
My 16-year-old male has presumptive nasal/sinus cancer, as I'm not paying $2k for a diagnostic cat scan when the prognosis is poor and I wouldn't pursue aggressive treatment anyway (he is terrified of the vet). A constant unilateral discharge, constant infection -- for which daily amoxycillin is working so far -- and occasional unilateral nosebleeds. His third eyelid on that side is also always half closed now, so I assume there's some ocular involvement. What were yours' symptoms, and what did you find helpful, if I may ask? This IS very rare disease, and it's hard to find any info on it....
 
Last edited:

SDerailed

TCS Member
Adult Cat
Joined
Jun 10, 2017
Messages
166
Purraise
345
My 16-year-old male has "presumptive" nasal/sinus cancer since I'm not paying $2k for a diagnostic cat scan when the prognosis is poor and I wouldn't pursue aggressive treatment anyway (he is TERRIFIED of the vet). A constant unilateral discharge, constant infection -- for which daily amoxycillin is working so far -- and occasional unilateral nosebleeds. His third eyelid on that side is also always half closed now, so I assume there's some ocular involvement. What were yours symptoms, and what did you find helpful, if I may ask? This IS very rare, and it's hard to find any info on it...
My girl had allergies for years that at some point turned into sinus cancer. Makes sense since cancer effects damaged areas more Retrospectively, I think I could tell when it turned to cancer symptoms when the 'allergies' were only one one side of her face. Meaning, only one eye was weeping, only one nose was running. She had problems breathing, congested, watering eye, green music and chronic nosebleeds. We put her on every allergy medicine and it didn't seem to help.
We finally went for an x-ray (we didn't want to put her under anesthesia, so we waited for the x-rays) and it also showed a 17mm tumor in her lungs and several other tumors. I know they say the cancer is local, but hers wasn't so it was pretty definitely cancer.
We decided to just give hospice care since she wasn't a candidate for chemo or radiation. Not that I think I would have done it even if she had been. We put her on a high dose of pred. She passed 2 weeks ago when the tumor went into her esophagus and she was having a hard time breathing, even with her mouth open. :(
I think, if she hadn't always had horrible allergies, we maybe would have found it earlier and had a better ending for her. But many are diagnosed late in the disease lifecycle.
 

all4mom2

TCS Member
Young Cat
Joined
Jun 18, 2021
Messages
91
Purraise
67
Yes, the fact that it's unilateral is the big tip-off. I feel so bad for mine snuffling and snorting; I know how absolutely miserable I feel with nasal congestion. And at least I can blow my own nose! Sometimes I wonder if it's time, but he still enjoys eating, sunbathing, and cuddling, so we take it day by day. They really do have a strong will to survive.
 
Top