Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cancer in Cats: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma


Cancer in Cats: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

My series on Cancer in Cats for Pet Cancer Awareness Month continues with a discussion of this painful type of oral cancer. As with all cancers, early identification and treatment will ensure the best prognosis for your kitty.

What is Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

Cats groom themselves all the time, so it's natural that they may ingest carcinogens in doing so. In fact, this is a common type of cancer that accounts for about 10% of feline cancer diagnoses. Oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the third most common tumor diagnosed in cats. These tumors tend to be fast-growing and invasive, often spreading to adjacent lymph nodes. While there are other causes for oral tumors in cats, squamous cell carcinoma accounts for over 60% of them.

This type of cancer may appear anywhere within a cat's mouth. Most tumors occur underneath the tongue or on the gums, but they can also appear on the roof of the mouth or in the cheeks. They grow rapidly, so acting fast can save your cat's life.

When Should I Suspect My Cat Has Oral SCC?

Quite often, you'll be able to see these tumors. If you brush your cat's teeth, make sure to examine the mouth thoroughly to scan for one. It may show up as a small reddened ulcer that lingers long after it should have been healed. There could also be a small hardened, swollen area along the lower jaw or cheekbone. There may even be more than one. Places to look include the gums and underneath the tongue.

Some cats can develop an enlarged jaw due to the tumor. Kitty's face or jaw may look malformed or a bit asymmetrical. With tumors on the gums, they often metastasize to invade the underlying jaw bone. If your cat has a couple of teeth in the same area that need to be removed, the cause could be an underlying tumor and a biopsy may be indicated. If kitty loses a tooth and the resulting hole in the gum does not heal easily, there may be a tumor.

In the later years of her life, my own little Vixen developed a lesion on her chin that would sometimes swell and bleed. A biopsy revealed it to be benign, but it was a source of worry for me just the same.

Your cat will likely not have much of an appetite, always a sign that something is wrong. You'll notice weight loss, naturally, but the cat may also want to constantly be chewing. Kitty may have difficulty eating. Bad breath and drooling may occur. There may be swelling in the mouth or jaw, and the area may be painful for you to touch. The lymph nodes in the neck may be swollen. If there is a lesion on the gum, teeth near it may be loose. You may also see some bleeding from the mouth.

Feline Oral SCC Risk Factors

Cats have been diagnosed with oral cancer anywhere from ages 3 to 21, so age is not much of a factor. The average age of diagnosis tends to be 12.5 years, so older cats are more at risk. There is no predisposition to it in any particular breed of cat; all are equally susceptible. Several factors may contribute to it, although there is no major cause that has yet been identified.

Living in a house with smokers is one of the most important risk factors for this type of cancer. Even living for a little while with a smoker doubles a cat's likelihood of developing oral SCC. Cats who continually live in a smoke-filled environment are four times as likely to develop it.

Some studies have shown a link between wearing flea collars and developing this type of cancer. This was assumed to be due to the closeness of the collar's pesticides to the cat's mouth area. However, there are so many different types of flea collars that no distinction as to the type that contributed to the cancer could be made.

While exposure to the sun among outdoor cats or white-coated cats can cause tumors on the ears or nose, sun is not typically a contributing factor to oral cancer (unless the cat sleeps in the sun with his mouth hanging open).

Owners who regularly used a flea shampoo on their cats actually reduced the cats' risk of oral squamous carcinoma by 90%. This could be partially due to the shampoo also washing away many of the toxins from the cat's fur that would have been ingested through grooming.

Eating a large amount of canned cat food has also been shown to contribute to a cat's risk factor in developing oral cancer, with canned tuna being the riskiest. This one's troubling to me, as my Golden Boys both love their daily treat of some canned food in a fish flavor! The relationship between canned food and oral cancer may be related to the cats' oral hygiene, as eating dry food keeps the teeth cleaner. No study has been done on cats whose teeth are regularly brushed.

What is the Treatment for Oral SCC?

Not all oral tumors are cancerous; there are several types of feline oral tumors that can be benign. One small study showed that about half of the cats showing symptoms actually had cancer. And there are different types of feline oral cancer, although they are much less common. If the cancer is SCC, it will tend to be extremely fast-growinginvasive and malignant. Only those tumors caught very early are deemed treatable. Once it has spread, the cat's chance of survival is minimal.

Your veterinarian will do a blood count, a serum chemistry profile, urinalysis, and tests for feline leukemia (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency (FIV) viruses. X-rays, a CT scan, or an ultrasound may also be taken to locate the extent of the tumor's invasion, which can change the course of treatment. The primary tumor will likely be biopsied to determine if it is actually cancerous. This will have to be taken from the cat's mouth, not through the skin. You may be referred to a veterinary oncologist for treatment.

The stage of the cat's tumor will be assessed after biopsy as T1, T2, or T3. The testing will contain additional notes on whether the adjacent bone is invaded, if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, and if it has metastasized to other tissues. This gives the vet useful information on whether or not the tumor is treatable. Sometimes it's difficult to determine the type of cancer without additional testing, so a course of treatment is not readily apparent.

If a diagnosis of SCC is confirmed, sadly there is no therapy with great success in treating it. Surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible, followed by radiation therapy is the most common treatment. That surgery may be quite radical and involve removing a significant portion of the cat's jaw. Cryosurgery (freezing) is now being used on very small tumors. Sometimes a combination of radiation and chemotherapy are used.

Most cats survive only a few months after diagnosis. A rare few have been disease-free a year after surgery. But most owners reported that they were pleased with their cats' quality of life after the surgery and would have made the same decision to do it again had they known the outcome.

The success of surgery depends largely on where in the mouth the tumor occurred. The best location for one to be is on the front part of the lower jaw. Tumors located closer to the rear of the mouth, or those that cross the midsection of the oral cavity typically cannot be completely removed by surgery. In fact, surgery's only role in these cases is to make the cat comfortable for the remainder of its life, which won't be long. The prognosis for tumors like this is so poor that such surgery is referred to as palliative care.

Cats who survive the surgery often have trouble eating due to mouth tissue having been removed, and many of them drool. These complications require their owners to bathe their chests and front paws several times a day. Tumors involving the jaw area are also tricky, and may involve removal of a portion of the cat's jaw. Tumors on the upper jaw are typically inoperable.

Radiation may be used to treat inoperable oral tumors. It is also useful to prevent disfiguring the cat, and is used in combination with surgery for the best outcomes. This type of treatment can also be extended to include adjacent lymph nodes, helping prevent the cancer from spreading. However, the larger the tumor, the less the likelihood of its being eliminated by radiation alone. Radiation is also sometimes used as palliative therapy in cats with advanced SCC, although it rarely prolongs the cat's life for long and can have some unpleasant side effects. A new type of radiation therapy known as stereotactic may hold promise for faster results.

Chemotherapy by itself has not proven effective in fighting oral SCC. When combined with radiation, however, its effectiveness improves slightly. But many of the cats treated with chemo in studies did not live longer than a few additional months. Studies continue on new types of chemotherapy drugs, including histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs) and anti-inflammatories such as LOX and COX inhibitors.

Newer experimental drugs that mirror some being used in human cancer therapy are being tried on cats. Some are showing hope, but it is too early to say for sure.

As this type of cancer is usually extremely painful for the cat, most cats undergoing treatment also require some type of pain therapy. Supplemental nutrition will help their bodies to fight the cancer and may help them feel a little better, even if their prognosis is not good. Some may require a feeding tube, as well. In addition to difficulty eating and drooling, the cats will have trouble grooming and swallowing.

Sadly, 90% of cats diagnosed with oral SCC die within a year of diagnosis. The most that can be done with treatment is to make the cat more comfortable for the remainder of its life (palliative care). Tumors are likely to recur in more than 1/3 of cases, and will eventually make it impossible for the cat to eat or even breathe, at which time euthanasia is the kindest option. The lucky 10% of cats who survive for a year are likely to survive for at least two years. Some may live cancer-free for three years, but most eventually suffer a recurrence of the cancer.

More cancer research funds tend to go to research on dogs rather than cats, as dogs are where the money is; the sentiment among veterinary researchers is that owners tend not to treat diseases in cats as aggressively as they do in dogs and are quicker to choose euthanasia for a cat. Slowly, this is changing...the operative word there being "slowly." Cats' delicate systems are also more sensitive to drugs than dogs, which further complicates both testing and treatment options. Studies funded by the Winn Feline Foundation and The Morris Animal Foundation may yield more hopeful results.

Treatment is pricey; the testing alone could run you up to $1,000 at a veterinary oncologist. Surgery could be another $2,000, with radiation running up to $6,000. Chemo runs $2,000-$3,000. This is one of those times when having a pet insurance policy that covers cancer treatments would have been a very good investment.

As with any type of cancer, your veterinarian can best advise you on your cat's unique situation. The main pointers with oral cancer are to remain vigilant, do frequent inspections of your cat's mouth, don't smoke around your cats, and practice good oral hygiene with both regular home care and annual veterinary checkups/scalings.

Sources: "Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma: an overview", DVM 360; "Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (feline)", Marvistavet; "Mouth cancer (Gingiva Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in Cats", Pet MD; "Researchers Focus on Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma", Purina Pro Club.

135 comments:

  1. My cat Minus had to be euthanized yesterday because of an oral squamous cell carcinoma in his tongue. He was just 9 1/2 years old. All my cats are indoor cats, they don't wear flea collar, no one smokes at home, they are fed organic dry food and about a year ago I introduced canned food after I read about the need of mixing dry and wet food. So none of the risk factors seemed to be present. It's so frustrating to try and do what's best for your kittens environmentally and food-wise and still see these things happening. Three weeks ago he was perfectly ok and now he's gone...

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    1. I'm sorry :( it happens so fast, our cat Percent was just diagnosed. Minus had a great life with you, it's just so sad he was taken so soon. :(

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    2. So sorry about your kitty, Margarita. It's never easy to lose one, especially when it happens so quickly. Bless both you and Macy for giving your kitties lots of love in this situation.

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    3. Margarita - How long between when you identified the tumor until Minus died? My cat Tobie is 9.5 and we noticed drooling late July and he was diagnosed 8/14. We mixed soft and dry food and he doesn't have a flea collar. Also an indoor cat.

      His tumor under is jaw is growing; mouth is bloody now and grooming is poor..

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    4. i'm about to join this ugly journey :( my 11 year old best friend..

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    5. My cat was diagnosed with this cancer on 8/3/14. She is 15. She did good for a few weeks and sadly the tumor is back under her tongue. Last Saturday she stopped eating. She is still drinking water but hides under the bed because she does not want me near her to give her the pain medication. I don't know what to do. All night long she sleeps by my side and wakes me up to pet her. She still purrs. I'm wondering if I should just keep her home as long as I can and enjoy her or take her to the vet? I'm not ready to lose her but don't want to hold on to her for selfish reasons either. This is so hard.

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    6. I'm so sorry about your kitty. You may find this post helpful; when my little Vixen was dying at age 24, I had promised her I would not have her euthanized, so she could spend as long as possible with me. I documented the process of her dying naturally at home and provided links to some helpful sites: http://oldmaidcatlady.blogspot.com/2012/04/final-act-of-love.html

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    7. Have the same problem. Outside of that horrific shelling drool, and trouble getting the food to stay in his mouth...He's acting normally. Has anyone experienced patches of fur, where the bloody drool dries that can't be washed out? It's almost black, oily, and the fur falls out when I bath him... What is that??

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    8. Have the same problem. Outside of that horrific shelling drool, and trouble getting the food to stay in his mouth...He's acting normally. Has anyone experienced patches of fur, where the bloody drool dries that can't be washed out? It's almost black, oily, and the fur falls out when I bath him... What is that??

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    9. I am awaiting results of this as we speak. i am so scared it is going to be cancer. She is so human like. Please pray for her. Cleopatra is her name.

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    10. No one has addressed that the kitty litter that our cats use is the most toxic of all!!! My cat after going to the litter box was licking its paws to clean off the residue of the kitty litter. This is highly toxic. Just like you, my cat lived in a none smoking environment. Fresh filtered water. Dry and canned foods. My suspicion is the Kitty litter. If I ever adopt another cat I will buy none toxic litter.

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    11. What type/brand of kitty litter do you use? Also, I would really like to hear what brand of canned food everyone feeds their kitty. Is there a link to a certain product? My cat was also just diagnosed with cancer and we cannot believe it.

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  2. Superb article. Extremely helpful. Thank you so much.

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    1. Thanks, Bill! I hope it helps some folks. Lots seem to be responding to it, so perhaps it is.

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  3. Jane,

    My beloved beaker was diagnosed two weeks ago with ssc he is now drooling blood, and his right side of his face is distorted. Pour thing, he is still eating and drinking water, but I look in his eyes and I see pain. I don't want to keep him alive for selfish reasons, but I don't want to see him suffer. He has survived so much in his 15 years with us. He even ingested an Easter lily plant 5 years ago and survived!

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  4. Jaime, I'm so sorry. It has to be difficult to watch. When my first cat was suffering from kidney failure, I was giving him sub-cutaneous fluids and he was eating a special diet, but he'd lost 3/4 of his body weight by the end. I'd asked my vet's office manager how I would know when it was "time" and she just told me, "You'll know." One night, he seemed to have finally lost control of his bladder. I held him all night, and had to get up twice and change after he peed on me twice, although without his kidneys working it was more like water. His third eyelid was showing, and I could tell that he felt awful. I knew. I got dressed the next morning, drove to the vet's office with him on my lap, walked in with him in my arms and said, "It's time." Peace to you in this difficult time.

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  5. Kitty started to sneeze a couple of weeks ago.. then she had both coughing and sneezing within days. I thought she had a cold. Within a week her snow white fur on her chest area and limbs started to change to a light brown.

    I started to worry about her and watched closely, I checked her body temperature to check for fever. No change. But I did not notice if she was eating as usual.

    During the last week, she lost a lot of weight, and in the last two days her sneezing became constant accompanied with hoarse cough and abundant drooling. She went to the vet yesterday and found that she has a tumor under her tongue.

    Kitty had stomatitis) when she was 2 years old, now she is 12. At 2 years old she had extensive surgery to remove all her back teeth, she recovered well from that. But now, it seems she has lost the battle. I only suspect that the tumor has grown rather fast since she declined in the span of a few days.

    The vet gave her a shot of antibiotic and pain medication. But she could not sleep all night, she has not been able to eat or drink much water, although she tries. She is lying down, crying in a long deep, almost quiet cry. She is also talking between cries.

    Is she telling me to please stop her suffering?

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    1. Luisa, I'm sorry not to have responded sooner, but just saw this today. Only you can answer that question, but by now you have likely already lost her. Peace to you in this difficult time.

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    2. My 15 yr old Mr. Whiskers has had stomatitis since I adopted him over 10 years ago. All of his teeth are gone and he was diagnosed last week with jaw cancer. He is disfigured, with his lower jaw jutting out. Dr. gave him a steroid shot and antibiotics. She said it is about quality of life. He isn't talking very much but wants to eat all the time. A result of the steroid I believe. I will be the one who has to make the decision and my anxiety level is through the roof right now. He is eating, playing, using the litter box and cleaning himself. No one ever told me his mouth condition could lead to cancer. Only thing new is the drooling. And he is constantly licking his neck. That is definitely new. Sorry but I just needed to vent.

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  6. Yesterday I found out the "tumor" on my cat's jaw bone was cancer. The tiny knot had been there for several months, and he didn't seem to be in any pain, etc. Then I noticed a little blood in his drool...he has always drooled. The vet put him on a strong bone infection medication and the tumor grew in triple...took him back yesterday and got the news. Was wondering if the medication may have made it grow. I am so upset...he's around 12ish, but he's my Persian baby....I know how ya'll feel. She told me to keep him comfortable and he would tell me when the time was right...just breaks my heart....frankie

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    1. So sorry to hear this, Frankie. Your and your kitty will remain in my prayers.

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  7. My 10 year old kitty has a tumor on his jaw and drools blood, it all happened so fast. the tumor grew in a matter of a couple weeks. It's really hard to think I have to make an appointment to take my friend and sit in the waiting room and wait to carry him in and have him put to sleep, I'm going to do it but it absolutly kills me to do this. I know where he will go and that he will be happy and in no pain but wow this hurts my heart! Of course this has to happen while my husband is out of town but I cant wait, I cant stand the thought of Kitty being in a lot of pain, He still eats and grooms and purrs but from what i've read this is very painful and I want to do this before hes in agony which he might be now. OMG I dont know. Oh man, oh man this sucks,

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  8. ATTENTION Everyone here who has lost or is about to lose a cat to Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. My 12-year-old gorgeous orange tabby was diagnosed yesterday. He was very active and full of energy, then about a month ago he began losing weight, stopped eating grass - which he had always loved - and started drooling sticky saliva. An indoor cat, never wore a flea collar - BUT I finally treated him against fleas with Advantage Flea Adulticide, two regular doses were given in an interval of one month apart (Sept and Oct), and weeks later he suddenly got this incurable tumour. Can anyone here confirm my suspicions? Do adult / senior cats get oral SCC after anti-flea (insecticide) treatment? Do we have a case here?

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    1. My cat Maximus is almost 12, he is a Ragdoll and he was diagnosed with a tumor on October 16, 2015. When the vet examined him he looked at me grimly and said, "This is not good". That had confirmed my worst fears. He said that these types of tumors are hereditary especially in pure bloods. But I do use Advantage II on him. Max was never a drooler so when he started drooling and I was petting him I felt the lump under his chin. I cried. I was told that I could either do surgery which comes with a lot of risks or the vet could prescribe a medication of steroids that would at least make the pain lessen. I am heartbroken I feel all of your pain.

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  9. My 18 year old baby, Cali, just passed away last night. Only two days previously had she begun drooling and starving herself. Literally just a couple of days of this occurring and she's gone. She seemed like her normal self just a few days ago! I have never experienced a pet death before, luckily i was with her when she left. Just out of curiosity, has anyone else witnessed their dying animal convulse and spasm a few minutes BEFORE they stop breathing? What's that about? It sort of shook me up.

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    1. Alexis, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose one of our beloved cats, and even worse when you think they're suffering. My little Vixen died naturally at home, and it was extremely difficult to go through. The very experienced tech at my vet's office told me that something like this could happen, and said that it was just a natural part of the dying process that some pets experience. If you'd like to read about what Vixen's final days were like, here's a link to that post in this blog: http://bit.ly/IcBX4v

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  11. Our 17 year old cat was diagnosed with SCC today and was put to sleep. He seemed fine up to a week ago then started refusing food, seemed wary of eating and was losing weight. As he had to be sedated for the exam we decided not to waken him and I was able to be with him when he was freed from his pain. I too was surprised how quickly his condition deteriorated once we noticed the drop in appetite. All the treatment options were too stressful to contemplate for a cat with his dislike of the vet's office. The only risk factor in his life was a diet of canned prescription cat foods after having several teeth removed.

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  12. I was researching scc and came across this site. our family has lost two kittys to this in the past year and a half. About a week ago I noticed a mass on the lower jaw of my a cat I have had for 14 years. took her to the vet and yet again she has scc. I find it so odd I have lost two cats and soon another to this. The first cat we lost was samba, a nine year old male cat. he was mostly an outdoor cat. he was neutered, had his shots every year and I did use advantage on him., his diet was purina cat chow/water. we lost him in January 2013. the second kitty we lost in june 2013 was a female14 years old, her name was sissy kitty. she was an indoor cat, shots yearly, spayed, diet- purina cat chow/water, we used advantage on her. our third cat is a 14 year old female her name is little puss. she is spayed, shots yearly, use advantage on her. diet is purina cat chow/water. I am spending as much time as I can with my little puss. she has been a great kitty to me. I will miss her when she is gone. I know from the other two kittys that we lost from this that it doesn't take long for the tumor to grow large.( less then a month for them) making it hard for them to eat/ drooling/loosing weight. I will keep my little kitty comphy by giving her lots of love and soft food and treats. till I have to send her over the rainbow bridge. I cant help but wonder why I have had 3 cats with this? i have 5 other kittys and i am going to make some changes in diet/flea control.

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  13. After many years of having cats that have crossed over for various reasons, I learned of SCC two days ago. My Annie-Fran is 12.5 and it seems this tumor has progressed quickly. She is eating CD critical diet and drinking. She is on antibiotics. I will start the Prednisone today. Other then the obvious shock of this - I am most heavy hearted about knowing when is the right time. She must be in pain. She sat in a sun spot yesterday but mostly lays on my bed. She is responsive to sounds around her. The hardest thing for me is to know when. The tumor is a little bloody. I know there is no real answer to this thought. It is good to know that others love their cats so very much and that I am not alone in this grieve, pain and period of indecision. (God bless that little Vixen)

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    1. No!! Prednisone will give her Diabetes !! It happened to my Milty!!! They should have told you this @ the Vet!!

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    2. Tracie, its somewhat ridiculous to worry about a cat with cancer getting diabetes. Unfortunately, our furbabies dont survive long with SCC. Im just happy to keep mine eating for now. I could care less if she gets fat or whatever as long as it keeps her fed enough to live a little longer. She just turned 16 and was diagnosed three weeks ago. She was sick for a month prior to finally getting her in. After reading this, im lucky shes lasted so long already. The cancer has now gotten to her left eye. It cant be long until she stops eating and lets me know its time.

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    3. While development of diabetes in cats on steroids (not just prednisone) is a possibility, most of the time it doesn't happen. I've had cats who were on prednisolone or dexamethasone for months and even years for stomatitis or IBD, various cancers, etc. yet not one of them developed diabetes because of it. I have had several diabetics, but none were on steroids.

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  14. I'm writing through tears - as many of you may have. Mulan is my 18 year old ragdoll. Small, sweet and well-loved. She ruled the roost which includes our other ragdoll, Vladimir, who, at 18lbs is about the size of a Main Coon. She had been ill in Jan - relieving herself throughout the house - under piano, in front of our son's bedroom door, behind chair - vet determined urinary tract infection - treated w/antibiotic and prescr diet. She responded well, but last week started drooling, not eating etc. Thursday diagnosed with scc in back of throat under tongue. Was advised that surgery was not a recommended option due to her age, location of tumor and prior health issues. Was given antibiotic and steroid shot for inflammation. We've been feeding her with eyedropper pureed food and h2o w/pedialyte. There was no biopsy or blood test. (had blood tests in Jan - negative for issues) Was told this cancer is very aggressive and the growth may have started just within the past few weeks. As I've been reading, deterioration appears to be coming quickly. I don't want her to suffer. She is sitting quietly next to me and I worry that she is in pain. Vladimir has been close at hand - clearly sensing something is wrong - normally they are chasing each other or stealing favorite "spots". Not now. I am grateful for all that you each have shared. And the article was so helpful - gives us such clarity. I'm still torn - should I ask for specific tests or accept what appears to be inevitable and save her any additional discomfort? She has been such a big part of our lives. This breaks my heart. Thank you again - bless you all!

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    1. My cat was also diagnosed just this Friday Oct 16 2015 and he is also a Ragdoll. I was told that cats of pure breed have a higher chance of getting these tumors. I will have to go through this pain too.

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    2. Be merciful to her as she has given you everything she could for her whole life. Harry is in the final stages of scc and I too an struggling to put him down. He he's in pain...just hungry add can't get the food in from all the mucus coating his mouth. I don't know if I should put him down or let him die at home. I don't want him to be frightened in his last moments...sadly I pray he fits in his sleep. I'm so sorry about your cat

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    3. Be merciful to her as she has given you everything she could for her whole life. Harry is in the final stages of scc and I too an struggling to put him down. He he's in pain...just hungry add can't get the food in from all the mucus coating his mouth. I don't know if I should put him down or let him die at home. I don't want him to be frightened in his last moments...sadly I pray he fits in his sleep. I'm so sorry about your cat

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  15. My 19 year old cat Muffin is starting on this journey, I am terrified that my own selfishness of not wanting to let go will cloud my judgement of when it is time to let go. I love her so much I have cried a river of tears, it was painful yet very informative to read everyone's stories and my heart goes ou to you all. I will post again at a later date. Thankyou all x

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  16. Hi everyone, just had to put my beloved Marlow (14 year old Calico) to sleep yesterday due to a case of "possible SCC". Her illness was very quick. In April of 2014, I noticed that after she ate, she would paw at the top her of mouth. I took her to the vet thinking that she had a loose tooth/dental issues, but after sedating her he told me she had a mass growing from her jaw, under her tongue. He biopsied part of the mass and the biopsy came back as "possible SCC". I was heartbroken because she was healthy in every other way. Heart was good, kidneys good, teeth good, etc. In a matter of three weeks the mass had grown and she could no longer close her mouth. I took her back to the vet yesterday and he told me she was suffering. The last four days she really wasn't eating but was playing, jumping and very alert. I was very torn on what to do, so I ended her suffering. I was very shocked at how fast this thing grew. When she was first diagnosed, I could see nothing in her mouth. About 2 weeks after she was diagnosed, you could physically see it under her tongue. Another 2 weeks after she could barely close her mouth and was drooling everywhere. She lost a lot of weight due to not eating, and the sad part was that she wanted to eat so bad but couldn't. Breaks my heart to think of it. I understand what every one of you on the board are going through and wish I could give all of you a big hug. Thank you everyone.

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  17. Max is my Persian cat that I've had for 8 years (he was around 5 years old when I brought him home from a shelter so he is around 13 years old). I noticed he was drooling and thought maybe it was an abcessed tooth. He was diagnosed with cancer in his jaw bone in April. The vet said it had deteriorated his jaw bone and his teeth were falling out. He also said that Max would have around 3 months or so but he is still himself so far. I think maybe they say 3 months as to not get our hopes up. Max is still eating (can food now since he has the top half of his teeth gone) and grooms himself so I'm praying that he is not in pain. Of course, once I notice him slowing down, I will do what needs to be done as I don't want him to suffer. He is my love and I will miss him dearly when the time comes. :(

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  18. HELLO TO ALL! This blog has been so helpful and somewhat comforting. My 16 y/o maine coon/forest mix has had this swollen lump on her left lower jaw for about 2-3 months. I finally took her into the vet as It has been getting more swollen, and very hard. She eats, drinks, and goes potty just fine. I took her into the vet and he took a biopsy of the tissue inside her jaw. He took a senior blood panel and xrays of her jaw as well. He said she has a bone tumor on her jaw, and the bone is very weak and interiorating. He said he gives her 3 months max to live until she can't; eat anymore, breath, or the jaw completely breaks off. I am truly saddened, but still awaiting the biopsy results on whether or not it is cancer. I NEED YOUR HELP AND OPINIONS! I had the biopsy done, and the vet had to put stiches inside her mouth. Vet said they will dissolve in 10 days. But, Autumn has had some troubles eating and sometimes cries and chokes. Dr said it is because she is not used to the stiches and that is normal and will go away. Is it normal for them to do that? And How long will she be in pain from the incision from the biopsy? Will she fully heal from it or will she always have trouble eating? She ate perfectly fine before taking her into the vet!! She is now just on wet food. Also, I am very religious and have been praying every day for her, applying holy water both am & pm, and will also be applying hemp oil, and young living frankincense & lavender oil to her jaw. I will also be putting the hemp oil in her wet food. Vet also said to crush up 1 baby aspirin in her wet food every 3 days for the rest of her life. The hemp oil does promote bone growth, is that good or bad? I am hoping it will strengthen her jaw bone. But are bone tumor actual more bone or just a tumor tissue? Thank you guys so much, I am looking forward to hearing all of your responses! As I hope you can see, I love my sweet baby so much. She is like my child & my best friend. Hoping I have her longer than 3 months :(

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    1. ALSO; her senior blood panel came back great! heart, liver, kidneys, and everything else look great! she is not losing weight, but does cry sometimes. I think she is still in pain from the biopsy, but I am hoping that heals soon. thoughts? normal??

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    4. Hi- I am so sorry to read about your Spook. I see the post is quite old but wanted to inquire what Young Living Oils you are using. I am a member there and your post seems to be the only one I have read that shows your cat is responding to a treatment even though you said tumor is getting bigger. My cat Coonsey Little was just diagnosed last Friday. I want to try to kerp him as comfortable as I can so we can keep him as long as possible. Thanks and I am so sorry that your cat also has this horrid illness. Julie

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    5. Be very careful when using essential oils on cats, as many are toxic to cats. Check with your veterinarian before doing so. Not everything that works on humans is okay to use on cats. Just as acetaminophine (Tylenol) is toxic to cats in even tiny doses, so are many essential oils. They are too concentrated for a cat's delicate system.

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  19. Although it's heartbreaking to read all these stories, I'm so pleased that this post has been helpful to people whose cats are enduring this awful type of cancer. Blessings to you all and to your feline companions as you fight it together. Hopefully someday there will be a cure for it.

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  21. I put my dear, sweet 11 year old Pasquale down on June 10th.

    2 months before then, I thought nothing of it when he had started to drool. He was a happy, affectionate guy. He had diet controlled diabetes, but looked beautiful and healthy otherwise. But then the drooling increased and I noticed the rings all over my sofa, and blood tinged drool on his favorite pillow. Took him for a dental and nothing out of the ordinary was found. After this, the drooling increased even more, it became harder for him to eat and he became more lethargic / sleepy / hidey. By the 4th visit to the vet, they found the mass under his tongue and his jaw had a hard swelling. Thought it might be a clogged salivary duct / cyst at first, but no. By then he had lost weight and had so little to eat because it was painful. Not wanting to watch him get worse, I chose to say goodbye to my dear best friend. Worst day in my life.

    I miss him terribly every day. He made my home into *HOME* and it's so empty here without him. My heart is broken, the love he had for me was so special. I'll always love my boy so much, even though now I'm missing a part of my heart.

    Sorry to you all who have lost your wonderful cats to this terrible illness :(

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    1. When you say "mouth sores" is that including including SCC?

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  24. My 12 year old cat Peppe was diagnosed with oral squamous cell carcinoma back in March. He was doing good at first. He was still eating and drinking. Now, he stopped eating and I don't know if he is drinking any water. He has been having funny noises coming from his mouth. He has a mass on his chest as well. My sister and I had two other cats that we lost this year a little over a month of each other. One was Peppe's brother Cosmo. I definitely don't want him to be in pain or to suffer. It's just so hard.

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  25. My Ruby just had a biopsy taken from her tongue. The first 1/3 of her tongue has hardened and her right cheek. She been excessively drooling and having trouble eating for about a week. About 3 weeks ago I brought her in because she was not eating, drinking or pooping they have since taken several x-rays but could not find out what was wrong with her until now. Her body functions seem to be working but she can't seem to operate her mouth very well and can't clean herself. She is 15. :( hoping for the best but after reading this my hope is waning. It is very hard.

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  29. Myranda was recently diagnosed with Feline Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC). It was a heartbreaking diagnosis. We did not take her to the veterinarian as frequently as recommended. The veterinarian said that we needed to have her checked out because her gums were inflamed. He wasn't able to touch her mouth without her moving. We did not have the money at the time to schedule the teeth cleaning, but one day, she started acting strange and kept meowing at me. I had a "feeling" that something was wrong with her. I was right. The veterinarian removed two teeth from her mouth and noticed that one was already missing. Additionally, he said that there was a growth underneath her tongue - and it was spreading from the left side to the right side. The biopsy results confirmed that she had SCC. I was absolutely devastated. He recommended that we visit an oncologist for treatment options. I have noticed that her appetite has disappeared and she will only drink cat milk. We will be taking Myranda to the oncologist today. It is a horrible disease. She is my best friend. I'm not sure what I will do without her. I'm doing everything I can for her. I've tried literally every type of cat food and have even tried cooking her salmon and giving her chicken. She's just not interested. I'm shocked at how quickly she has lost her appetite. The veterinarian said that she would more than likely be OK for another few months. I'm not so sure that's the case now...

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    1. I totally understand and empathize with the fear and worry you feel. When my big boy stopped eating 3 yrs. ago due to a bite wound in his neck/mouth he'd stopped eating for days...not even a lick. I was trying to even get a lick of yogurt into him. Vet wanted to put him to sleep immediately due to FIV & what they assumed was cancer but I said I wasn't ready to make that decision...and 3 yrs. later he's still with us, although just today the vet said he likely has SCC in the lower jaw/mouth. She gave him 3 days to 3 wks. and did not offer consultation with an oncologist, etc. I saw in a later post that someone used Hill Science Diet Urgent Care A/D with success and I have been creating a slurry of pate cat food and piling it higher in the middle of the bowl for ease of licking. Sadly I say it's maybe good that this disease is quick but how heartbreaking to let them go. We must try to remember that we'll see them again....

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    2. I always use mirtazapine to stimulate a cat's appetite. Then they eat, feel better, and have an improved quality of life, which helps them live longer.

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    3. Mirtazapine is normally great for a cat whose appetite has diminished, but I have found that most cats with oral SCC want to eat, but if the the tumor is affecting their tongue so that they can't use it properly and they have difficulty getting food into their mouth, it is probably unnecessary and even unfair to stimulate their appetite. The appetite is there unless the tumor is so large they have difficulty swallowing. So you have to decide if you are going to assist feed your cat. If they want to eat and can swallow OK, they can live quite a while longer if syringe fed. Some people elect to have a feeding tube. Prednisone, dexamethasone and piroxicam have anti-inflammatory and, in the case of piroxicam (monitor renal values carefully on this), anti-cancer properties and can help the cat to eat more easily. In addition, pred and dex will stimulate the appetite also, and buprenorphine (opiod pain med available in liquid form from veterinary compounding pharmacies such as RoadRunner in AZ) in the cheek pouch before feeding helps a lot. Not all cats have pain with oral cancer, but it is good to have buprenorphine on hand anyway. Hill's a/d food, if necessary with water added, Wellness original chicken canned, and meat baby foods (no onion) are good for syringe feeding. Baby food needs to be supplemented with some regular cat food as well as vitamins such as Pet-tinic and/or Nutrical. Cat-Sure is also helpful for keeping weight up if your cat likes it. Most cats with oral SCC have infection in and around the tumor at some point, so clindamycin or clavamox may be necessary, and especially after a dental and/or biopsy. Most medications can be compounded into a liquid form - some even as a cream to rub inside the ear, or crush with a pill crusher and add to tuna juice or the juices from canned food and syringe in if necessary. I'm going to post about treatment in a separate post as so far I'm not reading much at all about what is available - seems most are told by their vet that nothing can be done, so anyone reading this may want to check for a later post from me (unless I see that others have already posted about that). I've had 6 cats with OSCC, and also taken care of two others briefly for a friend.

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    4. Meant to also say that water and pedialyte can also be administered via syringe if the kitty is having difficulty drinking, and also add more to the syringed food in order to get more water in, plus you can get your vet to show you how to do sub-cutaneous fluids to keep your kitty hydrated.

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  30. My Kol was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) on November 13. Prior to, she had an abscessed tooth extracted on October 29. Thinkg the abscess was the cause of her continuously tearing eye (and not her Herpes), the swellg of her cheek n tearing should have subsided. It didn't and we feared it was a tumor. Biopsy confirmed SCC. Aggressive, probably spread to her nasal cavity n bone. Cannot afford metronomic chemotherapy but decided to try an anti-inflammatory, Piroxicam, to aid in her comfort. It seems Kol cannot smell too well, and this will affect her ability to eat. I gave her "smelly" food (tuna) for dinner, and she ate it. And there is some blood in her drool. This is happeng so fast. I pray for her to go when she is ready. Otherwise, her vet agreed to come to the house when it's her time. Sigh.

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  31. My Kol was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) on November 13. Prior to, she had an abscessed tooth extracted on October 29. Thinkg the abscess was the cause of her continuously tearing eye (and not her Herpes), the swellg of her cheek n tearing should have subsided. It didn't and we feared it was a tumor. Biopsy confirmed SCC. Aggressive, probably spread to her nasal cavity n bone. Cannot afford metronomic chemotherapy but decided to try an anti-inflammatory, Piroxicam, to aid in her comfort. It seems Kol cannot smell too well, and this will affect her ability to eat. I gave her "smelly" food (tuna) for dinner, and she ate it. And there is some blood in her drool. This is happeng so fast. I pray for her to go when she is ready. Otherwise, her vet agreed to come to the house when it's her time. Sigh.

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  33. Our 12 year old kitty Baby had a small lump under her chin, I hadn't noticed it earlier and I scratch her often under her jaw. I brought her into the vet and he looked at it. He said he could do a biopsy on it to see what exactly it was. He first tested her blood and found that her kidneys and liver were also not doing well. We had noticed she was getting very thin and sleeping a lot. Because of her poor kidneys and liver putting her under to biopsy was not an option. We started her on dialysis twice a week which i do from home. Her weight has increased as her eating habits in general however the lump has maxed out width wise and now is going length wise. It is so close to being at her throat and concerned about her eating. She has not ate as well the last two days. We are not going to put her through the biopsy and surgery but rather love her as much as possible. We ordered an urn for her and are just now dreading the day she lets us know it is her time. This sounds horrible for me to say but she has been with us through so so much that when her time comes it will be harder on me then attending some of my own families funerals. (also tells you I have some horrible family members). I just know what you all are going through and thinking about it makes my heart hurt. When is the time right?

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    1. I should also note that she has started to drool within the last week, however it isn't bloody. I know the inside of her mouth is swollen as her little tongue sticks out. This lump didn't seem to start inside her mouth but under her jaw.

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    2. I can identify with the closeness you feel with her, and how grief stricken you will be when she is gone. Our Marcella has just been diagnosed last week. I had been taking her to the vet for awhile thinking there was something wrong. First she started dropping weight, which was notieable without us saying anything to people who only saw her occasionally, then she started losing fur and she has always had a thick, ultra soft coat. Everyone used to joke that they could not even find a cuddly toy that was as soft as her fur. I did my research when the fur started disappearing and everything could be ruled out due to tests run for the weight loss, except cancer. I asked our vet (saw 2 different ones in the same surgery)before Christmas, the most recent time being Christmas Eve, if they thought it could be cancer and perhaps she should be checked for it. They assured me no with a bit of an attitude I was becoming neurotic, and kept insisting it was stress related and she was washing too much because of it even though I told them she was the most chilled cat I had ever known (have pics of her lazing on her back asleep on the couch with her legs on the arm rest for comfort), and she didn't wash near as much as she used to, only a couple of times a day. 2 days later her lower lip was puffy and I hoped it was the result of a play fight with our other cat, but it didn't go away and her jaw became bigger within a couple of days. I gently felt it and she didn't show any sign of pain or pull away, and it was hard as a rock. My husband told me I was being silly when I said I was going back to the vet, so I waited another week until I could see her jaw when looking at her from behind. This time I got a different vet who took one look and said she was almost 100% certain it was bone cancer and that I was right about the weight loss and fur loss being warnng signs of the cancer. They operated the following day to remove one of the few remaining teeth she had and x ray her, but didn't do a biopsy which I would have liked. The tooth came out in their fingers with some of the jaw bone. They recommended not letting her wake up, but as she has (and still is) playful, eating, and her usual self, we didn't feel her time was then. She has pain meds and is still eating, though the last 2 days eating less, but that is a pattern she has always had so hard to tell the reason at this point until she shows signs of not eating more again. I can't bear to think of her suffering or gone as she is so much a part of me. Our other cat is beautiful, but doesn't have the same emotional connection or personality. Marcella knows when I am down, sick or in pain and won't leave my side in those times, giving me little head bumps and kisses and sitting by my side, checking on me through the night. It will be difficult to not wake up everyday to see her happy little face and see what games she plays. I just hopw I know when the time is right and I don't let her suffer unnecessarily because I don't want to let her go.

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    3. Three years ago I brought my big boy to the vet for a bite wound. They told me it might be an abscessed tooth & he had FIV & cancer in abdomen and he only had another day or two to live so wanted to put him to sleep immediately. I said that I wasn't ready to make that decision and I'm exceedingly glad because that was 3 yrs. ago. He recovered finally from the bite wound and has only this week shown signs of cancer in his lower jaw/chin. No biopsy either for him as I didn't want to put him through all that pain and risk for a disease that has no cure. So we're just keeping him comfortable for now & praying the good Lord keeps him comfortable & takes him when the time is right. He's a sweetie pie. I know what you mean with your girl being so attentive to you...your best friend. I've had two girls like that also and one of my current boys is like that, too. It's never easy, but pray all these kitties mentioned here are comfortable & they go in their own time when called to "come home" again....

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  34. My baby and best friend (first let ever) was diagnosed last weeks with SCC. He is a few months shy of his 15th bday. He is still purring and eating ok. I can't believe how fast this tumor showed. First his eye was watering, then a couple days later his cheek was swollen, couple days after that red. It's breaking my heart but I have promised him the second he "tells" me it's time, I will be strong. Heart is breaking.

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    1. I feel for you so much Sue. Is he still with you?

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    2. I feel for you so much Sue. Is he still with you?

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    3. It's so heart wrenching, I know...and my boy was diagnosed today with the same thing. In one way I'm glad to hear that it's fast so he's not in pain, yet I wish we had more time...there's never enough time when a loved one is sick and the end is in view. You'll know what to do...and He will guide you and your fur baby. Hugs!

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  35. My 13 yr old Charcoalie has SCC, about 5 months now since first detected. His left jaw bone is very big and his left eye bulges out. He still seems happy in a lot of ways and has bonded more closely to me.

    I thought he was gradually losing his appetite over the weeks and months, and he has gotten very thin.

    Our vet had told me that he may lose his appetite and ability to eat, and that would likely be the signal to euthanize him. So I always thought we were close to the end. Well I still do, but not due to a lack of appetite, but just because I know his cancer continues.

    It turns out though, that I was just not giving him the food he really wanted. I had tried some variations, and he was often turning his nose up at my offerings. Recently I tried canned seafood pate varieties from that big pet food company. I feed it to him in bite size chunks. Under the chunks, in the bowl is some warm water with some of the pate mashed into it.

    ALSO, I use baby aspirin, up to 1/2 per day (40 mg), and that is mashed with a blade and dissolved into the water/pate mix. I think the aspirin makes the pain that he almost certainly has much more bearable.

    Charcoalie is now ravenous. I have to hold off the food a bit for fear of him throwing up from eating too fast. After eating, his face looks like the two year old who dove into her birthday cake.

    On occasion his mouth has bled. When that happens I back off the aspirin...maybe skip a day or go to a quarter pill for a couple of days.

    He sleeps each night next to my face and purrs full throttle.

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    1. I layed down on the floor next to mine as he ate to find out why his face was getting all up in his food. You are going to have to start making tall piles of food for him. His jaw isnt working and his tongue cant get out far enough to eat properly. After the food mountains didnt work anymore, mine seemed like he lost his appetite, I panicked, but came to realize Pumpkin would never be able to eat or drink on his own again. He's worth my time.. I feed him and give him drinks by hand with a 10 ML syringe. I feed him a prescription food called Hills Science diet urgent care A/D. I also have to bath him several times a week. I have realized it will go on as long as I let it because he was dx in July

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    2. The vet just told us that my boy likely has that as well & there's no cure although some people try. We didn't confirm with a biopsy as I said don't put him through that discomfort if there's no cure anyway. Vet said my boy has 3 days to 3 wks. to live. Currently he's happy, purrs, eats & drinks if I make a slurry of pate food with water, which seems easier for him. I wipe him clean many times daily with warm water & cloth which vet said is good. We were told over 3 yrs. ago by another vet that my boy had cancer elsewhere in his body & he had 2 days to live & they wanted to put him to sleep on the spot. I said no and we prepared to make his last days comfortable...and that was 3 yrs. ago! Now we're preparing once again to make his last days comfortable. I'll also try the Hills Science Diet Urgent Care A/D when he slows down eating. Yogurt is also good. It's so difficult when these things happen but I hope we all make the best decisions for our fur babies!

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    3. Thank you for your responses. I do wish you all the best in your care for your beloved pets. I thought today was Charcoalie's last day. Our vet had said that one day he would no longer be able to eat, and that is what happened. Yesterday and this morning he looked at his food (the pate as mentioned in post above) and seemed to really want it but was unable to swallow it. I think the cancer is restricting the size of his esophagus. I decided to see if a liquid diet might work and decided to try a homemade recipe that would have high protein and fat. The recipe will probably evolve, but here is the initial version: 1/3 c raw egg white (91% protein) (available in some stores, like wm, next to the eggs in a milk container), 1/4 c unsw soy milk, 2 T olive oil, 2 tsp vitamin paste for elderly cats. I mixed them in a blender, and he is lapping it up as I write this.

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    4. Charcoalie is like a special needs little brother to me. I know that once disease inflicts itself on our little independent cat friends, the relationship changes. And no one knows that more than our furry friends. He or she becomes dependent, but has special ways of communicating appreciation for the things we do to make their home stretch as comfortable and fulfilling as possible. Here is a special thank you to the Old Maid Cat Lady for this blog.

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    5. I have moved to version 2 of Charcoalie's liquid diet:
      I read that raw egg whites contain avidin, which binds with and therefore blocks Vitamin B absorption.
      1 organic egg, 1T Olive Oil, 1/2 c organic lactose free cow's milk.
      I cook the egg gently in the olive oil, over easy, until there is no more raw white. Process/blend with milk. For the vitamins and any meds (incl his 30 mg aspirin mentioned above) I dissolve them into a small amount of warm water and then add a little of the egg/oil/milk food and use a (new) ear syringe to carefully deliver.

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    6. The tumor on Charcoalie's left jaw bone are about half the size they were 3 or 4 weeks ago. I do not know what that means. Did the cancer spread to other areas? Is his immune system fighting it back?

      He still seems very vulnerable and has a touch and go appetite. He is very thin. The ear syringe seems pretty good for feeding him when he does not eat on his own. He is too thin to miss regular meals. His new batch of vitamins came in today (Nu-Cat on ebay). I wanted vitamins with taurine and these have it. They crush easily and go down pretty easily with a little water in the regular syringe. I do his aspirin the same way.

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  36. My cat Monkey was just diagnosed with Scc two days ago. My husband took her to the vet to get her teeth checked out while I was at work. She's always had terrible teeth and breath but we've avoided getting her checked out because she can be a little crazy and protective and knew that she would have to be sedated and that it would be very traumatic for her. She's only 7 years old :(. The vet had to give her more sedative than expected because after administering the sedative Monkey was still fighting her off...she's feisty! There was a lump on her jaw and some teeth that needed extraction. The vet immediately told my husband that she believed the lump was cancer and said that she would do x-rays to make sure. After looking at the x-rays, the vet said that it was definitely cancer and expected that we would be back within the month to have her put down. She extracted the bad teeth anyway (one of which was directly above the tumor, which is on the outside lower jaw), saying that it would make her more comfortable for her final days. This is a new vet to us so I don't have much experience with her. I'm considering getting a second opinion as no biopsy or blood tests were administered. She hasn't lost weight or changed her eating habits, no bloody drool, since the extraction her breath is now fine. I'm in absolute shock as I thought she just had a bad tooth. I would love to hear the opinion of people who have had cats with this diagnosis. Is a second opinion a good idea?

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    1. I always say a second opinion is a good idea! Also, let your fur baby tell you by her actions if she's feeling better. I sometimes think they say cancer too freely. I brought my big guy in to the vet 3+ yrs. ago for a bite wound to his mouth & neck…was told it might be an abscessed tooth (but I believe it wasn't as he was a big fighting feral cat who adopted us) & vet didn't really seem sure. Then I was told he had cancer in his abdomen (he's had that lump for 8 yrs.) and likely his cheeks were cancerous as well as they felt thick. (I call it chubby as he's a big un-neutered boy so has that wide face.) They also said he was FIV positive. (I've also heard that tests are never 100%.) They wanted to either do cancer surgery or just put him to sleep on the spot saying he'd only live 1-2 days anyway. Now it's 3+ yrs. later...and he should've been gone by now with their diagnosis. However, I must say that just this wk. he's shown swelling in lower jaw & I'm with a new vet who said probably cancer with either 3 days to 3 wks. to live, and offered to take a large biopsy to confirm. But I asked why subject him to that if you're 95% sure just by looking at him, and there are no options for a cure? So we left with minimal pain treatment and lots of tears. If this vet is right, we'll (once again!) be trying to make his last days comfortable. In summary, I think that sometimes vets differ drastically in opinions. I've had cats for 38 yrs. and suggest to get a second opinion and listen to your inner voice. Hopefully your fur baby may just have needed a bad tooth removed...only time will tell. Wishing you the best guidance with your decisions. I hope we can help our boy be comfortable in his remaining time with us...because I think it would be too much to expect a vet to be wrong twice...but wouldn't that be nice?

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  37. My 13 year old ginger Tom cat Rufus was diagnosed with this last month, after initial vet visits thought it was just a infection from chewing on something he shouldn't (he's quite mischievous) the lump got bigger so under anaesthetic he was xrayed and had the teeth in the area removed, also confirming the worst! It has been three traumatic weeks since, trying metacalm as pain relief I found this was the thing making him not eat! He's always been a little fussy. 2nd resort is a injectable pain killer, however after injecting him every 12 hours for 3 days I found this was just making him sleep all the time and took his appetite away again. I descided to stop the injections and just see how he was actually feeling/acting rather then just being doped up. He's now responsive meowing for his food a brush and a cuddle. I really don't know what the best thing to do is as he Is having trouble cleaning and getting a little smelly so I try and bathe him with cloths and warm water, when i do around his mouth blood clots have come out. I feel for every one here because I too have been told that I'd know when it was time but he still has the sparkle in his eyes. Although the second eyelid is starting to show on the side of the Tuma. I said I would take him tomorrow as he hasn't eaten for a day and a half then he goes and eats lots of chicken tonight. I'm hoping he'll give me a sign tomorrow before the vets as I don't want him to be in pain but I still don't have the feeling in my heart that's it's time.. I hope that's not me just being selfish.

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    1. My thought is, let GOD decide. You're doing everything in your power to make him comfortable, and that's wonderful...he knows he's loved. Sometimes I wonder if it's better to try to save them with surgery, etc. or just let nature take it's course...and I don't know if I'd have the heart to put them to sleep. We just brought my big guy in to the vet today & she said cancer in lower front mouth...and offered to do a biopsy to confirm but when I asked, "Why, is there any hope of treatment?" she was not hopeful and did not offer any treatment options. He's alert, purring, eating & drinking with drooling & his jaw is moved over to one side from swelling. I'm a afraid to try therapies as he's older and I was told years ago by another vet he's FIV postitive (although tests are never 100% sure on that either). So considering all that I'm thinking simply to administer a pain relief and was told no side effects but like you, we'll wait and see. He still lets me rub his face with a warm water moistened cloth to gently clean him...I let him rub into my hand so he can determine pressure so as not to hurt him. I was told he'd live 3 days to 3 weeks yet now I'm reading online maybe 3 months...or surgery options & chemo available. If we could afford it I'm not sure we should anyway. It's sad and I totally empathize with you...but I'm thinking we'll let him tell us...or leave it in God's hands. Sometimes I think nature is more merciful by not prolonging a painful life whereas the medical field may prolong death. It's all about quality of life and letting nature take it's course...and love and comfort him to the end. Hope you make the right decisions for your fur baby, too! XO

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    2. I give Charcoalie 30mg aspirin per day (1/2 baby aspirin, crushed and dissolved in about 1/2 tsp water, admin orally via syringe). He has gotten this regularly for over 6 months. I know vets do not normally recommend aspirin, but you can find info online about it.

      A doctor/teacher at the local (LSU) vet school told me they use it regularly with cats. It metabolizes more slowly than it does in people, so the 30mg/day just keeps the concentration in the blood stable.

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  39. Thank you so much for this article/blog site. My 16 y/o baby, Piper, was diagnosed with oral cancer two weeks ago today. It was an awful moment and the vet wasn't very helpful as far as information or what to do for her. She was given Gabapentin which put her into an awful state of sedation for two days and made her so clumsy after only one pill. I refused to give her another and she was given another pain med (forget the name) and that was no better. Finally, went to another vet last Thursday (one my brother goes to) and he gave her a steroid pain shot which seemed to help. She was alert, active and eating well up until yesterday. I noticed that her tongue was sticking out a bit and swelling of one side of her face was apparent. She still has an appetite, bless her heart, but of course has trouble eating. I'm terrified of having to make "the decision" but as many have said, I don't want her to suffer either. Heartbroken for her.

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  41. Drooling is the unintentional spillage of saliva from the mouth. Drooling can occur with any condition that impairs neuromuscular control of the muscles around the mouth, leading to weak muscles around the mouth, that increases salivation (the production of saliva), or that impairs swallowing. Cerebral palsy is one example of a condition in which oral neuromuscular control may be impaired, resulting in drooling. Drooling is common in infants because of immature muscular control. Medically, drooling is referred to as ptyalism, and an excess of saliva is known as sialorrhea.

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  42. My cat is 14 years and has been diagnosed with oral mouth cancer the middle of Jan. 2016. My vet is very very good and he has told me a lot about oral mouth cancer. Because of the size of the tumor and the location he thinks doing a biopsy would break her jaw and any other invasive procedures, like surgery would just cause her pain and not prolong her life....she would just suffer. He can't be sure it's SCC without the biopsy but that is usually what it is in most cases.

    My cat has always been my snuggle baby. She never cried or woke me for food. She has always slept good at night. When I went to bed she got in bed and we snuggled and slept. I am an ill/disabled person and if I was sleeping she would sleep. She just wanted to be with me, hugging me and I her. When I did get up she didn't cry unless she was talking to one of her toys she loves and would carry them around talking to them. Now she cries a lot of the time. Sometimes I just don't know what to do. Dr. Z, and I agree, that she really doesn't seem to be in pain. You can touch the spot, her mouth and all over her and she doesn't mind one bit. She looks beautiful and the tumor has hardly grown and the little bit it has it is growing outward away from the inside of her mouth and that is good. She is breathing fine and there is no drooling or anything else that would make you suspect that she was ill. I have her on Royal Canin BABY KITTEN wet loaf in sauce food. She can eat it some like it is in little small portions, but mostly I smash it up and then add hot water and stir till it is a good consistency for her to eat it without a problem. She at times eats really well. Other times she acts hungry and starts eating but then walks away like she has forgotten what she is doing and she now gets distracted easily and she is very attuned to any noise. I have to make sure it is quiet in the house. Except for the TV I can't watch a video on my computer or play music or she doesn't like it and cries. Sometimes while eating she goes to pee all of a sudden. After a short while she comes back and cries again and wants to eat more. I didn't have time to fix my breakfast till 4pm the other day.Some days she eats a lot and others not as much. I am up around the clock feeding her. She plays more than she has in a while and acts like she feels good.Only 2 days has she seemed to feel a little bad in 2.5 months.

    I can't understand the crying and not sleeping at night now. Sometimes she wants my attention, sometimes food, but other times I don't know what she wants. I give her Rescue Remedy for cats to help keep her calm and have spent a small fortune on it. If I wasn't giving it to her I don't know what she would be like. I can no longer afford the Rescue Remedy as I am disabled and alone on disability so her vet has prescribed Amytriptylin in a cream to put inside her ear (which is Elavil) to help keep her calm as it is way less expensive, but I am afraid of side effects. The Rescue Remedy is natural and just a herbal tinture. Has anyone used this drug on there cat?

    She cries during the day and night but nights tend to be worse. I love my baby and will see her through this but I am not getting sleep and my health is taking a huge hit. I have to be able to take care of her!

    Has anyone had any experience with the onset of dementia with oral mouth cancer or had a cat that went from being calm and a non-crier to this crying? Please give me any feedback that pertains to this situation. She is now sleeping but I am sitting here in tears I am so tired and feel so unwell. I don't know what to do to help her and myself. I am now in my 3rd month going without sleep. During the day when she sleeps I have to get things done and get to my doc/hospital appts. Anyone have any advice?? Thank you......

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    1. So sorry to hear about your kitty. My only experience with dementia was when my little Vixen lived to be 24. In her last few years, she developed a little dementia and would go sit in my dining room and just yowl. I would try to comfort her, but it didn't seem to help. Once I was on the phone with one of my suppliers when she started it, and the man said, "Oh, that sounds just like my wife's cat when she got old!" I had an animal communicator "talk" with little Vixen to see if there was anything I could do to make her more comfortable in her old age. Here's the first link to one of those posts: http://www.oldmaidcatlady.blogspot.com/2010/10/do-your-cats-talk-to-you.html

      And here's the second half of that one: http://www.oldmaidcatlady.blogspot.com/2010/10/wisdom-from-my-cat.html

      I also scheduled a follow-up consultation after I'd made a few changes; here's that post: http://www.oldmaidcatlady.blogspot.com/2011/01/early-goodbye.html

      Laura is not inexpensive, so I don't know if that's an option for you. But those sessions awakened me to how my little Vixen perceived a lot of things in our everyday life. There was a simple beauty in her perception of the world. I did feel much closer to her after that and was able to make a few changes that made her a little more comfortable.

      Vixen developed a sort of sore on her lower jaw in her later years that was biopsied, but came back negative. So while I don't have experience in dealing with the type of cancer your kitty has, I do have experience with the dementia that caused her to yowl. I wished I could have done more to comfort her at that time, but there's only so much we "cat mamas" can do.

      Are there any organizations locally that can help you care for her since you're disabled? I wish that more groups placed cats as therapy animals. They are so much less trouble than dogs and are a great comfort to many folks with disabilities like yours. Perhaps they can help with the purchase of things like Rescue Remedy; I also sell it and am not sure how my prices compare; here's a link to it on my site:
      http://www.oldmaidcatlady.com/rescue-remedy-pet-calming-formula

      You may also find this post helpful, albeit a bit of a tear-jerker; it's the one from Vixen's final days. It may give you some tips to help comfort your kitty nearer to the end: http://www.oldmaidcatlady.blogspot.com/2012/04/final-act-of-love.html

      All the best to you and your sweet kitty! You're in a time of transition. I'll keep you both in my prayers.

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  43. Vixen is beautiful. My old Fred lived to be 22. I thought him beautiful and wise. As for my Maike, we were doing pretty good and she was eating even if I was getting up around the clock. The last few weeks, after finally losing a tooth that was loose due to the cancer, finally fell out she was eating better and sleeping longer periods of time. I got my hopes up that this was a good sign. I haven't let her but to go to my own necessary doctor appts as I am ill and disabled. Yesterday I was gone for an hour. When I got home and tried to feed her she was pulling at her mouth and gagging a bit. She has been eating Royal Canin BABYCAT Kitten foood, loaf in sauce and I was adding warm water and a little Rescue remedy. So now she cannot and does not want to eat that anymore. I grabbed some Peach yogurt that I don't usually by and happened to be in the fridge and tried that and she liked it and ate it. This morning I have a call in to her vet. I have seen 2 posts of some recipes that someone is feeding their cat but when I click on it, it brings me here, so I don't know how to post back to that person. I don't know what my vet is going to say. It may be time for some pain meds. I don't know. I do know that I am not ready for this. My heart is breaking in my chest. I still can't come to terms with the fact that I am going to lose my precious baby to this horrible cancer.

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    1. I give Charcoalie (my cat who has had SCC in his jaw since before Aug 2015) 30mg aspirin per day (1/2 baby aspirin, crushed and dissolved in about 1/2 tsp water, admin orally via syringe). He has gotten this regularly for over 6 months. Prior to using a syringe, I put it in his pate food. When his eating the solid food became less reliable I switched to the syringe.

      I know vets do not normally recommend aspirin, but you can find info online about it.

      A doctor/teacher at the local (LSU) vet school told me they use it regularly with cats. It metabolizes more slowly than it does in people, so the 30mg/day just keeps the concentration in the cat's bloodstream stable.

      I do hope people who have cats with SCC and other potentially painful conditions will do the research on aspirin for cats and make decisions that may very well alleviate their pain without noticeable side effects.

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    2. Maike's vet came Friday and gave her another steroid shot. By that night and the next morning she ate really well. I didn't even have to water down her food. The vet says that the steroid shots don't make cats hungry like they do dogs and people so I assume it was just the irritation and possible pain from the tumor that was keeping her from wanting to eat. She was gagging some and pulling at her mouth when she didn't want to eat last week all of a sudden (I thought that was the beginning of the end and couldn't stop crying) but that is the first time and the tumor is smaller now, so I don't know what to make of that. I think the gagging was from the tee tiny bits of bone they ground up in all pate's. She is on the Royal Canin BabyCAT for kittens 1st stage of life. Once the steroid shot kicked in she could eat......so there must be some pain involved also.

      I was in disbelief the tumor had shrunk in size. He thinks it is due to the 3 steroid shots she has had. He now talked about being able to possibly do a small slice biopsy on the tumor but not drilling into the bone. Before he thought a biopsy would break her jaw. I asked if since the tumor was shrinking if he thought it was really cancer??? He said that the tumor is very hard and that is an indication of cancer, but their is a slight chance it isn't. We won't know without a biopsy and if it is cancer what kind; but then does it matter what kind? I don't know. I get so upset due to my chemical depression that I forget to ask all my questions even though I write them down. :-( I also asked about doing x-rays now. Before because of the size of the tumor he thought it best to just keep her comfortable and I think he thought that it wouldn't be long. He also knows I have very little money. I have been charging everything on my CC's but it's getting to the point where I won't be able to much longer. I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride. I don't know what to do or where to spend my money.

      She did so well but already now she isn't gobbling down the food like she did Friday night and Sat morning, and it's not even been 2 full days. I am so exhausted I don't know what to do. She had me up and down all night again. I love my baby so very much and would do anything for her but I am also ill and disabled. It's taking a toll on my health but I have managed to hang in there. She hasn't lost weight (I have performed every trick in the book to get her to eat) and her lungs are clear and she shows no other signs of being ill. With the location of her cancer (if it is) being in her lower jaw, the vet said he has seen cats live up to a year before their bodies start to succumb to the cancer. I have no support or friends to help. I was having panic attacks last week when she stopped eating and the lack of sleep and stress is really knocking me down. I give her Rescue Remedy and that will help her sleep a tiny bit but not enough. The vet prescribed amitriptylin but it's a drug and has side effects and I am scared to give it to her but I can't afford to keep buying the Rescue Remedy. I will have to use it. She cries at night a lot.....first I think it was because of the discomfort and also being hungry and now I think some of it has become habit cause she will sleep during the day fine, but I can't. I have doc appts and so forth. No one else answered me about if their cats cried at night. Does yours? I don't know what else to do. I am determined to see her through this but I have got to get some sleep myself or I am going to end up in the hospital. Thanks!

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    3. The only cat I've had who cried in the night was my little Vixen when she got old. She would sit in the dining room and just yowl at various times of day or night. Geriatric cats do that because they get a form of feline dementia and will sometimes forget where they are. I would try comforting her, but it didn't help. Eventually I just had to learn to live with it. I have never had a cat with cancer, but ask your vet if it or the drugs may be causing your kitty to experience a little dementia.

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    4. Charcoalie does not cry. He yowled one morning a few weeks ago, but that was because I forgot to put the water in the bedroom that night and when I opened the door he darted into the kitchen to drink for a while.

      He has gone into another stage of this disease--the tumor on his jaw, which was hard and huge (about 1x2x3 inches for the last 5 months) suddenly and rapidly shrank. It was never biopsied, so I must assume it might not be malignant. But the other aspect of the current stage is a loss of appetite.

      I think the aspirin I give him is the lifesaver for him. I think it makes his pain bearable.

      Sleep for the caretaker is vital for the health of both. I use earplugs sometimes and try to make sure we have both eaten well right before bedtime. Still 6 hours seems like a luxury. Look up Benadryl for cats. The breakable caplet for humans is good for cutting the dose down to the right amount.

      Dissolving meds in a small amount of water and admin orally via syringe...that is a great ability to have as a caregiver. I wrap Charcoalie in a towel with his front legs down, and hold him securely then deliver a small amount at a time as he swallows. Lately I hold the back of his head too for secure delivery. I tilt him back to get it in, then tilt back to forward to let him swallow. Maybe practice with plain water to figure out what technique works. It may take several attempts for her to get accustomed to it. Of course if you can put meds in a little food and know it is being eaten, that works too.

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    5. Thank you Lynn Maria for writing. I feel quite alone in this situation with Maike. I have rescued and cared for many a cat but have not had a situation like this before.

      I have a call in to my vet now. I am so psychically ill today from no sleep last night. As I said, I am an ill person with various diseases and the no sleep night after night is taking it's toll on my physical and emotional health greatly. I have been going without sleep night after night since January. I have to be able to sleep or I am going to get sicker to the point where I can't take care of Maike.

      As far as drugs, Maike has only had 3 steroid injections spread 30 days apart and they have only seemed to have made her feel better so she can eat. The only other thing I have been giving her is Rescue Remedy. I have been ordering in bulk but just noticed last night when I ran out, that the last 3 bottles in the order contained grape seed alcohol. All the others had no alcohol......but she slept better when she was getting the little amounts of the grape seed alcohol. I don't know if it is harmful or not. Some 'people' on the net say no way to the alcohol, but years ago that is the only kind they had to give animals to calm them down and I have found almost no bad medical information on adverse affects from the tiny amounts of grape seed alcohol. I can't afford to keep buying it anyway, alcohol or not.

      After being up all night and Maike only eating a little bit of food, she is now crying loudly because she wants to play. Even though I am ill I have gotten out of bed and played and played with her but when I stop the screaming starts again. I don't know what to do and honestly feel I am losing it!

      Oh, I did try the Amitriptylin (Elavil) RX last night finally, that the vet had given me because I ran out of Rescue Remedy, but it had no affect on her what so ever. I didn't give it to her before because it is a drug and I was scared of side effects and still had plenty of the RR left so I held off. The vet said it won't make her sleep but will just calm her down. No, it didn't!

      After the steroid shot on Friday she started to eat again and gobbled down a whole can of food on Saturday. She ate good and slept decent. Then Sunday came and now the screaming hasn't stopped.

      How did you sleep through all the yowling? I have a small house and no matter where she is I can hear her. During the day she will sleep some. I try to wake her often but can't keep her up all day as I have things to do and my own doctor appts and errands. I have held her and done all I know to do. I feel so lost in trying to help my precious girl while trying to take care of me. I can't put her to sleep for crying but I am in tears because I am so worn out and sick. Any offers from you or anyone would be appreciated. I don't have any answers. :-(

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    6. If a cat rescue place in your area has volunteers who do foster care, maybe a kind person would take her in for a few days to give you a break to get caught up on sleep. Maybe send them an email to see what possibilities exist.

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    7. Thank you for the thoughts. Maike has only been outside of the house to go to the vet. Very few people have been to my home since I was made ill. I am scared putting her in a new setting might upset her worse. My vet called but my dying phone kept cutting him off. Hopefully he will call back yet a 3rd time today and see if he has any thoughts.

      I think some of it is behavior whether a little dementia or not. After receiving the steroid shot she can eat but is having some aversion issues to her food since it hurt her before. I think that she was just so hungry from not eating before that she gobbled up the whole can on Sat after getting the shot Friday. Before the tumor shrunk some I was catering to her every time she wanted to eat a little and maybe I have contributed to some of her behavior. I knew she was hungry and could only eat small amounts in the beginning......Saturday was an exception in eating the large amount......I don't know. I did some research on behavior after I made my post here earlier. Also, she had just lost her brother, Sulli, New Years Eve and then she was diagnosed with mouth cancer......that is really when the crying started. So it seems a complex issue when I sit down and get my fogged brain to process and break it all down.

      She is being quiet again now. I played and played with her and wouldn't give her food. I may run out and grab some more rescue remedy but I really want to talk to my vet first as I have already charged over $200 on RR in the last 2 months!! Her food is small cans and costing $1.49 a can but that was all she would eat after she started having problems eating and was diagnosed. It took me forever to get a food that she would eat so I have been charging it also. I love her so much as you can tell and will do anything for her. I appreciate your post. When I am sick and worn slam out I just can't think and don't know what to do for her when she won't stop crying. by the way....I saved your recipes in case I need them later. Thanks again. C

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    8. Here is another idea: If you are willing to let her cry herself to sleep in another room, that might work. It takes a lot of will, but you already know that your ability to function depends on sleep. Ear plugs or a white noise machine could help. If I were in your shoes, I'd hit the "whatever it takes" button for the sleep recovery. She needs you to do that for her too.

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    10. Princess:
      I sincerely think that if a cat is crying all night long, they may be in serious pain and the kindest path would be to put her to sleep.
      " Don't push the River ~ it flows by itself."
      By Barry Stevens
      I think you are pushing the River, by trying to
      keep her alive even though she sounds like she is not enjoying even a neutral life at this point.
      I totally feel for you as I would like to keep Chestnut alive longer but ~ not if he is in pain,
      and shows that by crying, falling over, wincing from the pain etc. Just some thoughts on kind
      reactions to our pets as they pass from this life to possibly another!
      Love & Happiness,
      ~ Emily

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  47. I am going through this right now and I'm struggling as to when it is the right time I don't want her to suffer.

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  50. I have found everyone's responses heartbreaking. I'm in a similar situation as you all have been and I can't stop feeling like my heart isn't going to break into small pieces.
    My baby Lemon is 11.5, he's been such a good friend. He is also the first animal I have owned on my own. I honestly don't know how I can live without him. He came to me three weeks ago with blood covering his chin. I took him to the vet and they did some blood work and a biopsy and it came back as cancer.
    The vet closed up the area and said that as long as he is eating he should be ok. His eating has slowed once again and this morning he had blood drool. I don't want him to be in pain, but I'm not sure I can let him go. I spoke with the vet and he is going to give him a shot that should reduce the swelling again and give him some more time. I keep telling myself that quality not quantity is best, but I don't know if I can do it. How do you put down your best friend? Your first real pet?

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    1. I am so sorry that Lemon has this god awful disease. My cat was diagnosed with oral cancer a year ago. At first the vet thought it was squamous cell but fortunately for Maike, and myself, it was not! That doesn't mean it hasn't been a long hard journey though, as I have to hand feed her tiny amounts of food many, many times a day and night. Her brain has some dementia, her front legs tremble some and she is having constipation so I have to give her meds to make her bowels move and I have to adjust it daily trying to get it just right as she gets really upset if she has loose stools and she cries if her stools are too hard. I went 5.5 months without sleep because of a tooth that the cancer was pushing on and causing her pain. The vet was afraid to put her to sleep to pull the tooth. He thought it might kill her and he didn't want to do a biopsy because he thought it would break her jaw. She cried almost non-stop. Everybody said put her to sleep but I didn't listen. We weathered the storm and the cancer finally pushed the tooth out on its own. We have struggled our way through this journey, and have changed our routine over and over trying to find what works best for Maike. My beloved baby. I am a very ill person myself and have put my own health on the back burner, as much as I can, so I can take care of her. Though she is not my first pet, she is my heart. She has clung to me and I have clung to her for almost 15 years. She literally has been my best friend and the one who stood by me when I became ill and friends disappeared, even my best friends. I have been alone mostly, except for her. I too don't know how I will survive losing her and I don't know if I can put her to sleep. I have always known in the past when it was time to let go, and I did, even though I have loved all my cats so very much.... but not this time. This time I just cannot handle it or fathom being without her, or putting her to sleep. There is the option of care palliative care and hospice till he dies naturally. That is not easy either on you or Lemon. For me, right in this moment, it's a hard choice to make. I have always chosen to not let my babies suffer in the past and humanely put them to sleep....but with my Maike.....I don't yet have a clear answer. My heart and brain just cannot wrap around it. So, my writing to you probably didn't help you but if it did anything it let you know you are not alone in your struggle. It's not an easy choice. Everyone always says, "You will know when it's time" and often you do......but not always! I hope you will find clarity and know what you want to do and when.......when the time comes. Talk to Lemon and listen to him.

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    2. Can you clarify whether you are using the canabis oil or paste......or both? I need Maike to CALM down, sleep well and not cry. She is not in pain. She just gets confused with the dementia. She eats fine so I don't want to make her any more hungry. She weighs 12 lbs. What do you specifically give Kali to calm her, how much do you give, how much does it cost and where do you get it from? If you could just answer this I would greatly appreciate it. I got confused reading. Thank you so much!! Connie

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  53. Hi Guys, my precious Maine Coon has been diagnosed with cancer. We thought that the lump on his cheek was an abscess, unfortunately it's not. I live in Bryan, and luckily we had a culture sent to A&M. We adopted him from the local shelter, full grown, in May of 2012. We had him treated for thyroid cancer in Houston 12/10. Spencer was about the age of 2 or 3 when we adopted him, so he is at least 17yo. My vet stated that radiation would probably not be effective given his age. I know that this sounds silly, but I am not ready to give up on him. If I could have him treated with radiation, I will. But given that my husband is a physician, he is not as supportive in my plan. He still eats and explores outside like his usual self and he is still eating. I just don't what stage he is at, nor do I know what to do. I have never had to have a pet euthanized. I am at my wits end. He was diagnosed on the 13Th, this past Friday. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

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  56. Wow!I am so grateful for this blog. My 10.5 yr tuxedo was his playful, mischievous self until 3 weeks ago when I noticed drool on the left side of his mouth. I took him to the vet thinking it was an abscess tooth. The vet felt a hard mass under the left side of his jaw and an X-ray showed an aggressive osteosarcoma (was not biopsied so it could've been squamous cell cancer). I took him home with pain meds but after two days of watching him totally deteriorate, I had him put to sleep. Within one week, he went from eating and playful to drooling, pacing and going up to his food bowl and not able to eat. The hardest part is getting mad at myself that I never noticed this mass although he had fluffy fur around his neck. He did tilt his head at times to eat but my husband said, "All animals tilt their heads when eating." He also had bad breath the last 6 months but I thought it was his tummy or something he ate. We are also a nonsmoking home, he's been an indoor only cat,always eaten Iams dry food daily and twice a day fancy feast canned -- was a solid 11 lbs his whole life--, never had a flea collar BUT I did do Advantage flea treatment because I have a dog and another indoor cat, I didn't want the dog to bring fleas in to the cats. This has been very painful but reading others stories has helped especially since they all sound the same. Prayers to all of you and your furbabies.

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  57. I lost my Siamese boy 2 years ago, having same problem.
    He was starting to drool, went to the vet, he gave me some medication for pain. After researching the medication, I have discovered, that this will speed his death. I refuse to give it to him. Went back to the vet with this so called pain control med. and told him about my research. My boy was diagnosed in September 2013
    By not poisoning him with that med. he was still with me until feb.2014 when the situation was for him unbearable.
    Couldn't eat or drink anymore.
    That was time to say good bye.
    Still painfull for me. I miss him so much.
    I have discovered, that you can treat your cat or dog
    With cbd oil, which kills cancer cells.
    I discovered that to late.
    He was eating fancy feast his all life, he loved that food,
    But perhaps that food gave him cancer.
    He was only 12 years old.
    Before him, my other Siamese lived until 20 years.
    But he was never eating any caned cat food.
    He loved only meat or fish which I cooked for him.

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  58. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was a cutie, too. I was really beating myself up bc I didn't know how this could have gone unnoticed by me or family members until he was drooling. From that moment to one week he declined. I have another cat, same age and I keep feeling under her jaw... If only I would've known what to look for before my Calico went through this. That's why blogs like this are so important .

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  60. It's wonderful to see so many people sharing their stories and support here on this post. But know this: if you're posting here to sell something of yours, or if you're using an affiliate link to a retailer's site to make commissions on recommending products, I will delete your comments. This is not a marketplace for you to make money off my research. Write your own blog posts! Thanks.

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  61. I just now deleted another spam comment on this post. If you are even thinking about posting a comment here with a link to something you're selling, be aware that it will not last long. No cannabis oil, no miracle cures from preachers...none of it!

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    1. Thank you so much for starting this. It helped me during such a difficult time. Thanks for monitoring it, too. I will continue to follow this blog as the new posts regarding cats and oral cancer continue to help the healing process. By the way, your Vixen was beautiful.

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  63. Folks...once again, this is NOT the place to peddle your cannabis oil or whatever other products you are selling. If you post a comment with a link to something you're selling, or a phone number, or an email to contact somebody to buy something not through OldMaidCatLady.com, your comment will be deleted. Thank you.

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  64. Recently I found that my Ringo (about 13-16, huge tuxedo tabby cat) has oral cancer. On our last regular vet visit, I urged them to look inside his mouth because I thought he might have dental problems. They didn't notice a tumor (which by then had to already exist and be big). About two weeks later, he started drooling and bleeding from his mouth every day and lost a lot of weight. We took him back there and they didn't look inside his mouth. They weren't even going to perform a surgery until several weeks later -- and in the state he was it wasn't clear he'd last that long, but beforehand they did manage to sell us lots of expensive medications like feline acne creams that we now will have no use for. We're never going to that vet again.
    Eventually it got bad enough that we took him to a decent vet, who were going to check him and operate promptly (if he had a dental problem), and later that day they confirmed he had an oral tumor which was already in his jaw, chin, and mandible. Given the poor prognosis, they didn't biopsy, but it's most likely he has SCC. Given that treatment would require removing his jaw, subjecting him to radiation therapy every day, and putting him on a feeding tube, and that at this point it wouldn't remove the cancer, we decided not to put him through that.
    Somehow after that his condition improved temporarily. Maybe he learned to eat and move his jaws in a way as to avoid bleeding. But now, after 3 weeks since the diagnosis, he's lost a lot of weight, and it's getting increasingly difficult for him to eat (even though he clearly wants to!), and yesterday when he tried eating on pain medication, it was clearly very difficult, and caused him to bleed from his mouth a LOT, so much that we decided we have to put him to sleep tomorrow.
    Ringo always loved eating and was (for a cat) a true connoisseur. He ate constantly if he could such that we had to make sure he didn't get obese. He frequently "asked" for (or stole) human food, even vegan foods. It was to my eternal amusement when he would come over to me and push my hand out of the way with his paw to get some of my food. Like any cat he would steal things containing meat from other people, but he could also eat an entire plate of steamed broccoli, asparagus (his favorite veggie!), or string beans. Other food he's stolen from me and/or eaten include crunchy chinese noodles, french fries, hash browns, and latkes, spaghetti, and corn on the cob. Now he has little enthusiasm - food has to be semi-liquified or heated up in the microwave for him to eat at all, and he can't enjoy many of his favorite treats (like feline greenies, which are too hard).
    Ringo used to be a very friendly, playful, and social cat and his sudden decline came as a horrible shock. Despite being old, he really enjoyed jumping out at me and chasing me around the house, and having me chase him. All of a sudden, he stopped. He used to approach and cuddle up with anyone he could find, but now he's much shyer and hides. When he was sitting in the living room with us, he'd purr so loudly and so constantly that my mom used to think it was a problem with his breathing. He doesn't purr nearly as much any more. Another terrible thing that changed is that he loved being petted and rubbed under his chin more than anywhere else, but after the tumors, most of those areas became somewhat painful.
    I still feel terrible that I didn't do a better job protecting him and caring for him, and I wish I could've intervened sooner. We've only had Ringo for about 4 years, but in that time he's become part of our family and it feels like his life was cut short. But I take solace in the fact that he loves us (he's sitting next to me as I type this), that we love him, and that he's had a happy life with us.
    My heart goes out to all the people dealing with or who have dealt with this cruel and heartbreaking disease as well; thank you to everyone for your stories.

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  65. Good details on cryotherapy treatment. You can also find more information regarding this topic at our question and answer website.

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