Oral Cancer, Bad Breath, Regrets

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reba

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I just bought him a humidifier. I have to see what the diff is between that and a nebulizer. He actually looks the same though he has had very little pred in the past 24 hours. She gave me gabapentin and the buprenex. I would not give him the buprenex as he does not heed it. I have not been able to give hm any of the antibiotic for bone infection.

I am taking him in at 10:30Am for an eval and to have his head xrayed again. This will give us some additional valuable information I hope. I wish I could get him to eat something, but his nose is all clogged. It’s not running though, but it sounds terrible when he tries to breath though it.
 
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reba

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Very bad news. The X-ray showed the cancer had eaten away half his jaw in less than 12 days. I decided to send him over the rainbow bridge. His passing was peaceful and I am devastated. :(

They couldn't say whether he just had cold or whether it was the cancer impacting his sinuses.
 

fionasmom

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I am so sorry for your loss. While there is nothing right now that will seem all that comforting, you did the exact right, and hardest thing, to do for him. Continuing to try to treat that condition just prolongs suffering and cures nothing. Eight years ago he was a stray who needed a home and he found you which makes him luckier than so many other cats in the world. Hopefully, with time, good memories of him will return and replace these last hard days that you helped him to face.
 
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reba

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It’s just so unjust and was potentially preventable. I know I did the best I could, I just wish I had made a different decision. Knowing what I know now isn’t going to help him. Today is my grandmother’s birthday, I hope she was there to meet him. :(
 

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The easiest trap to fall into right now is to tell yourself that you could have made different decisions. You provided excellent care for him, dental and otherwise, for the years that he was with you. All of these oral cancers are insidious, mostly untreatable, and fast moving. Personally, I don't think that the bad breath of 8 years ago was probably a sign of any cancer. These kinds of lesions don't sit in place, in humans or animals, for that long without causing much earlier symptoms.
 
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reba

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Oh Fionas Mom I hope so. Going forward however, I will never, ever hesitate to put them under and get tooth xrays done. He must’ve had reabsorbing or bad teeth all those years because his bad breath disappeared right after the extractions. The inflammation certainly didn’t reduce the chance that those cancer cells would start dividing. Part of the reason I keep mentioning it is I hope it’s a risk-factor people consider. The thing with vets pushing dental work so hard, is that I think it engenders a certain skepticism re: it’s necessity. Unless they give you a reason other than “maybe” some treatable illness will result.

I guess I can be thankful it was so aggressive it was out of my hands sooner rather than later. I am so glad I had him in my life. At first we all treated him like the big, bad tom cat because he knocked up the mother of my kittens. Then it turned out he was the most loving, intelligent, plugged-in guy ever. He was a big linebacker of an British Shorthair (mixed in with something else), I called him my linebacker cat.
 

jersharocks

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It’s just so unjust and was potentially preventable. I know I did the best I could, I just wish I had made a different decision. Knowing what I know now isn’t going to help him. Today is my grandmother’s birthday, I hope she was there to meet him. :(
Reba, I am so so sorry for your loss. I was hoping so much that you would have a different outcome.

Please don't beat yourself up, there's not really much you could have done. My boy Flakes had his cancer appear suddenly. He had several dental surgeries in the last year of his life and the x-rays did not show ANY sign of cancer in all that time. They didn't see it on the x-rays until the very last time he had a tooth extracted, roughly 4 weeks after the one prior to that. This type of cancer is aggressive and sudden and absolutely heartbreaking.

You did the very best you could, you gave your boy a happy and safe life, and then you gave him the final gift of taking away his pain and turning it into your own. Your pain will fade over time but his was never going to fully go away until you took it away.
 
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reba

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I wonder if the extractions kick the SCC into gear or the cancer is what causes the teeth to abcess. One research article I found said well over half of the cases were discovered following extractions. If it was the former you would think more teeth would start smelling/deteriorating as the SCC got worse. But his breath had no odor AT ALL once those teeth were out.

I lost one of his kittens a few months ago at age 8 because he wouldn’t stop blocking even after PU surgery. I bottle fed him and he had lots of other health problems (e.g., IBD, bad knees). I think he was also in pain a lot given he would be untouchable one day and fine the next. That decision was less clear cut; in fact I think I don’t think about him as much as I should because I feel guilty. I have to really address that with myself as everyone knows you can’t go around grief or it just stabs you in the back somewhere else.

The vets didn’t sugar-coat anything, which is a lost art these days in vet medicine.

If I were wealthy I would fund research into blocked cats and now this.
 
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I got some more water into him this afternoon. Went much better than the syringe feeding. When I went upstaires to feed his children (they are his kittens that I bottle fed, I trapped him later and brought him inside), I heard him come up the stairs looking for food. Prepared bowl one - no interest, bowl two - also no interest. Squeezed the juice out of the proplan urninary veterinary diet, mixed in some pate and he ate some of that.

Oh and before he ate, he pooped - yeah!!!!

Then after he ate I stuck him in the bathroom and turned on the shower and let him sit in the steam for 15 minutes. He wasn’t happy about that and pawed at the door, but at least he has the will to express his displeasure. Let him out and he went to the water bowl and drank some water. Yeah! Then he came over and jumped up on the bed and is stretched out next to me. Still can here him wheezing though.

Still problem remains that I can’t get any meds into him.
I used a vics vaporizer for Jezibel. With only water ana little salt. She loved it and sat right in front of it.
 

Meowmee

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I wonder if the extractions kick the SCC into gear or the cancer is what causes the teeth to abcess. One research article I found said well over half of the cases were discovered following extractions. If it was the former you would think more teeth would start smelling/deteriorating as the SCC got worse. But his breath had no odor AT ALL once those teeth were out.

I lost one of his kittens a few months ago at age 8 because he wouldn’t stop blocking even after PU surgery. I bottle fed him and he had lots of other health problems (e.g., IBD, bad knees). I think he was also in pain a lot given he would be untouchable one day and fine the next. That decision was less clear cut; in fact I think I don’t think about him as much as I should because I feel guilty. I have to really address that with myself as everyone knows you can’t go around grief or it just stabs you in the back somewhere else.

The vets didn’t sugar-coat anything, which is a lost art these days in vet medicine.

If I were wealthy I would fund research into blocked cats and now this.
I am so sorry, 💔😿you did the best you could. Hugs❤ It sounds like he had a similar situation to Jezibel. Once she had the enucleation, the cancer spread much faster. In some cancers they may postpone surgery, like prostate cancer- if the prostate is enlarged, they will often try to reduce the size with hormonal treatments until it is smaller if they are going to do surgery because it is known to spread more easily when they do surgery if it is enlarged. It is hard to say which comes first. I think sometimes it may be cancer at the start and maybe an infection was the catalyst. I do think a surgery can make it spread more quickly. If you know there is a cancer then you can try chemo/ steroids as well as surgery in some cases. In many cases viral infections have been linked to cancers as well we already know.

DVM told me Jezibel would survive a while but she was not going to be able to eat and would get thinner and starve etc. she was already in pain and I was not going to put her through that, she would not survive it all. I wish it had been properly diagnosed at the beginning so I could have changed things in her treatment etc. I don’t think she would have survived long but I would not have put her through a surgery. I just wish I had gotten her inside earlier and tried to help because she had the drooling etc. for a long time on and off before the crisis with her eye. So I think the cancer was already there growing for a while maybe. Or maybe some chronic condition that turned into a cancer. I gave her lysine in her food daily but it wasn't enough. She was fiv/ felv negative so that was not a component.
There is a good grief forum at the rainbow bridge site where you can talk about all of your thoughts. I know how you feel and there is a big hole in your heart now, his love will always be with you. 💕

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Run free sweet boy you were dearly loved ❤🐾🐈🌈 so sorry about his kitten as well, I hope they are together now

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Antonio65

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I'm so sorry reba reba , deeply sorry.
You did the best you could, you must have no regrets.
You gave him a wonderful life, you turned his life to a marvellous one, the life he will remember forever.

Though we try to do the best we can, we don't have the control over just everything, but we can make things better, and this is exactly what you did.
He hasn't gone away, he's still there, watching over you, like you watched over him where he was in need.
 
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reba

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Thank you all I was so happy on the way to the vet that it might have been something other than the cancer, but it wasn’t. I had dreams they were going to tell me it was an abcessed tooth on top, but instead it was worse than I could have imagned. I am glad he is not suffering, but I’ll never have a cat like him ever. He was the most human-like cat I’ve ever owned. Slept with you like person with his head on the pillow and his body spooning yours. Stared in your eyes all the time. When he tried some nonsense with trying to be dominant over his daughter, we had a stern conversation once and he never tried it again. So smart. Loved everyone. When I first brought him inside he would drive people crazy because he would eat anything you left out on the counter for a second.

Whomever abandoned him used to hit him. When he first came inside everytme I raised my hand to pet him he would crouch down and prepare himself to be hit. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. Anyway, I suppose that I should go over to the Rainbow Bridge forum and tell his story over there.
 

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When I first brought him inside he would drive people crazy because he would eat anything you left out on the counter for a second.
Same here with my younger cat ;)

Whomever abandoned him used to hit him. When he first came inside everytme I raised my hand to pet him he would crouch down and prepare himself to be hit. I haven’t thought about that in a long time. Anyway, I suppose that I should go over to the Rainbow Bridge forum and tell his story over there.
He did know love in your home, and I'm sure he forgot the hard times he had in his first years.
 

neely

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My heartfelt sympathies go out to you. :hugs: With every animal I've had to say goodbye to I always looked back and wondered what else could I have possibly done. It's those what-ifs they stick in our mind and we can't easily let go of them. But later when you can look at things more objectively you realize you helped ease his pain and he is no longer suffering. He is at the Bridge now with all our cats who have gone before him. RIP sweet angel.:angel:
 

AbbysMom

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On behalf of the TCS Team we are so sorry for your loss. :hugs: Threads are locked after such a loss as a sign of respect. When you feel up to it, please consider starting a tribute thread in our "Crossing the Bridge" Section.

Rest in peace sweet boy. :rbheart:
 
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