Hi, all,I've been lurking here for a while, and now I desperately need some others' input. I have five cats total, four of them over 14. Cassie, the 17 year old, went off her food briefly and when I took her to the vet, we also realized that her breathing was very shallow, and she occasionally "coughs". Did full blood workup; all fine except for high eosinophil (sp?) levels. X-rayed. Discovered cancer in her lungs and probably spleen; heart and diaphragm almost not even visible.

I don't plan to treat it IMHO, that would be cruel in a 17 year old where it is so advanced. Vet said it's fast growing; she went from 13 lbs to 9 in less than a year. Still, she doesn't seem terribly uncomfortable, is back to eating & drinking & even using scratching post; bladder & bowel habits normal, though she still is breathing shallowly. I have her on prednisone to make her more comfortable while I agonize. My choices are euthanization or letting nature take its course, but, of course, I don't want her to suffer.

I know that in this group there is no dearth of varied opinions. I'd like to hear as many as possible to help me make the best decision for her. Thanks,
Auk
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Have you gotten a second opinion just to be sure it is cancer?

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Hi, all, I've been lurking here for a while, and now I desperately need some others' input. I have five ... opinions. I'd like to hear as many as possible to help me make the best decision for her. Thanks, Auk

I'm very sorry to hear about your cat's diagnosis. It's tough to lose them when you've had them so long.Please understand this is just my opinion. But if it was my cat, I would just make her as comfortable and happy as possible for her remaining quality time, and euthanize her before she really starts suffering.. It's hard to know when a cat is really in pain, but she should give you some clues. She may go off her food, and she may start hiding. If she were doing those things, and in generally acting lethargic, I would think it's time.

I wouldn't want keep her until she is suffering terribly or in a crisis situation. Right now, from your description, it sounds like she's relatively comfortable and still has a good quality of life. . You'll just have to trust your own judgment, since no one knows her like you do. I would also see if I could get the vet to do a house call for euthanasia. Good luck. I'm very sorry. Pleasse keep us posted.

Sherry
I agree with this poster. I would keep her as comfortable as possible and when her quality of life diminished (ie stops eating, hides, etc), I would have her euthanized.
gail
circa 15 Dec 2003 16:14:01 -0800, in rec.pets.cats.health+behav, auk7 (Email Removed) said,
Hi, all, I've been lurking here for a while, and now I desperately need some others' input. I have five ... of varied opinions. I'd like to hear as many as possible to help me make the best decision for her.[/nq]Having lost a cat to cancer, and having followed the chemo route, which was right for my cat and my situation, I can understand a lot of what you're feeling. If I were in your shoes, I don't think I'd be likely to go the chemo route, either. As far as whether/when to euthanize, all I can say is that you'll know when it's time. The fact that you're already agonizing over it tells me that you won't be one of those people who holds on too long and makes the cat suffer as a result.

As long as she's seeming relatively normal, I'd let nature take its course. There will likely come a day when she will no longer be willing to fight any more, and you'll know when it comes. She's over 17 years old, and unless you recently acquired her, you know her well enough that you will just "know" when it's time to release her. Until then, enjoy every moment you have with her. The two extra years I had with my Alex meant more to me than I can express.

When it came time to let him go, I was ready, and so was he.
I am sorry that you have to go through this. Losing them is so very hard.
Laura
circa Mon, 15 Dec 2003 17:15:38 -0700, in rec.pets.cats.health+behav, Cat Protector (Email Removed) said,
Have you gotten a second opinion just to be sure it is cancer?

Oh, good god, shut UP, you illiterate fruit loop. Jeezus.

Laura

I am Dyslexia of Borg,
Your ass will be laminated.
Still, she doesn't seem terribly uncomfortable, is back to eating & drinking & even using scratching post; bladder & bowel ... of varied opinions. I'd like to hear as many as possible to help me make the best decision for her.

I think your cat will tell you what she wants when the time comes. I personally feel that as long as she's happy and comfortable, spoil her rotten. When she is no longer enjoying life or in pain, have the vet come to your house to help her go to sleep. Plan for what you will do when she is gone ahead of time, i.e. bury her in her favorite spot in the garden? cremate and put in a little urn? You'll be upset when she does pass so it's best to take care of the other things ahead of time. I will keep you both in my prayers.
If it's advanced & treatment/chemo (which most cats tolerate very well) wouldn't help Cassie, then what I'd do would be to...

strike a compromise: I'd let nature take its course w/ appropriate treatment - the Prednisone, for ex. - to ease her symptoms. But then when it became evident that she was beginning to be in distress, would choose euthanasia.
Cathy

"Staccato signals of constant information..."
("The Boy in the Bubble") Paul Simon
I think when the quality of life isn't good anymore, then it's time to help our furry friends by easing their suffering. Quality of life meaning is she eating, going to the bathroom normally, doing her everyday usual behaviors.

I'm very sorry to hear your kitty has cancer, Auk.

Lauren

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