Let me briefly describe what has happened to my 14 years old female cat, Gigi, recently. Gigi has had chronic diarrhea since early May and that worried me a lot since her blood-related brother died of GI problems couple years ago. So I brought her to the vet and she had a bloodwork done. I was told the values (like RBC and PK) were in the abnormal range and was given Petonics for her and see if that helps her diarrhea. But after a week or so, her stools turned from paste to jelly/watery WITH blood, so I took her to a local ASPCA hospital for a second opinion.
After $2,000 in bloodwork, ultrasound, and pine needle sample tests, the doctor from the ASPCA concluded that Gigi either has Lymphoma or Carcinoma. I was told Lymphoma can be treated by prednisone but Carcinoma has to be treated by surgery and chemotherapy.
As I was told EVEN WITH treatments on either situation (chemo or chemo + surgery), her survival time would NOT exceed 18 months, though if surgery needs to be performed, she might die immediately or days afterward if the cancerous cells spread out (??)
So my questions are:
1) further procedures are needed to determine if Gigi has either Lymphoma or Carcinoma and biopsy + colonoscopy are the best combo as I was told. This combo would cost around $1,200 or so though another option would be surgical biopsy but it's very invasive, risky and costly ($2,000+.) But even these are performed, the vet stated that it's NOT 100% certain they would find anything as well. Cost is a problem but I also hate to see Gigi going through the pain and how stressful she is every time I carry her into the hospital. I wonder how successful (like 50%, 80%...etc) biopsy + colonoscopy are in determining what type of tumor a cat has?
2) what are the side effects of prednisone (steroid)? I acknowledge that side effects are different on humans vs animals, but my mom has several side effects after having steroid to treat her back pain.
3) what's the life expectancy whether I treat Gigi or not? Is it really only maxing out at 18 months?
Thanks in advance with ANY feedbacks!