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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-04-2018, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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cat with possible lung cancer

My name is Mario and I would like to tell everyone here hello!

I signed up with this forum to get some help/information about my female cat "GeGe" as she may have lung cancer!

I have researched a lot on the internet searching for answers, but I believe that joining this forum will give me the best options as to what the next steps should be with my cat's health!

I will wait patiently for one of the moderators/administrators to approve my membership, so that I can post in the proper place about my questions and concerns!

Wishing you all the best!

Sincerely,

Mario P.
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-08-2018, 07:54 PM
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Hi Mario,

Your post has been approved and moved here. I'm so sorry about the possible diagnosis. Will they be doing more testing to confirm? I've honestly never heard of lung cancer in a kitty before so am hesitant to say anything about it. I do know of quite a few kitties with other types of cancer, and in some types (small cell lymphoma), cats are treated with chemotherapy and do quite well.

Oops. Right after I posted that, I remembered this website. It has not been updated in quite some time, but it may have some basic information for you, and I noticed that it talks about secondary lung cancer. http://www.harpsie.com/cancer.htm

Last edited by spirite; 08-08-2018 at 07:56 PM.
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-11-2018, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Spirite,

My cat GeGe is an 11 year old female cat that may or may not have cancer! I brought her to the vet about a month ago, and she had blood work and X-rays done. The blood work looked to be OK, but the X-ray showed that either it could be tumors starting, or possibly a bacterial infection. She was given Enrofloxacin and I gave her a pill every day for 20 days. She still had a cough and phlegm in her throat/chest area. I have also been given her antihistamine pills (Hydroxyzine) as prescribed by the vet.

I brought her back to the vet this past Monday, and the vet said she seemed to be doing better, as she did gain a pound back along with other signs! So she gave her a steroid shot that was supposed to kick in around 24 hours. This shot was supposed to last around 3 weeks or so. So, the next day, my cat seemed to be doing better. Her rattle breathing was almost gone and she appeared to be feeling better. The next day, she seemed to be feeling a little worst and the rattle seemed to come back, but it wasn't as bad as it has been.

My cat still is eating a little, but not as much as she used to. I have also been giving her some brown nutrient paste along with the antihistamine that was prescribed by the vet. She seems to do better outside, rather then inside. As of today, she has vomited a little, and she appears that when she tries to lay her head down to sleep, that the phlegm in her throat makes her start to cough. She will lift her head up, and begins to open her mouth some to get air. I also notice that she swallows and makes motions with her mouth.

At this point, I am not sure what to do??? I know that she doesn't feel well, and was hoping that after the last visit to the vet, she would be getting better! As I said, the vet seemed to think that because of her signs, she was showing that perhaps the X-rays were not cancer. I am not certain at this point!

Could someone give me advice or tell me what may be going on here with my cat??? It would be deeply appreciated! I do have a copy of her X-rays and blood work. I could upload it here if someone would like to see it?

Thanks,

Mario
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 01:13 AM
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Hi Mario,

As I said, I really don't have any experience with lung (or heart) issues in kitties, but just to make sure I've understood:

GeGe's symptoms are coughing, with phlegm, a rattling sound and some distress breathing, and lack of appetite?

Did the symptoms start around the time you first brought her to the vet a month ago?

The vet first thought something on x-ray might be tumors, or a bacterial infection, but now she doesn't think whatever she saw is cancer? Did the vet tell you what she saw? Was she the one who looked at the x-rays? If so, I would recommend that you have them sent to a veterinary radiologist for interpretation. Vets are general practitioners; I know they can read the basics, but I've always had my kitties' x-rays sent out to be read by a specialist who may see things that a regular vet doesn't.

GeGe didn't really improve on Baytril, so the vet crossed bacterial infection off the list of possibilities. The antihistamine and steroid are in case she has allergies? Are you still giving the antihistamine?

Since you say her breathing seems to improve when she's outdoors, I'm wondering if it's an allergy to something in her environment. Were there any changes around the time that the symptoms started? New plants, cleaning products, detergent, soap, litter, etc.? I'm assuming you haven't changed her food.

If she's having trouble breathing, and she's coughing, she may also be congested and not able to smell her food. That may be why she isn't eating well. You could try warming her food a little, or adding something super stinky, like the liquid from a tin of sardines, to her food.

Congested kitties can also benefit from spending about 15 minutes in a steamy bathroom. But I'm hesitant to recommend that in case it makes her breathing worse.

I'm not an expert on bloodwork, and most of knowledge pertains to kidney disease, pancreatitis, infections, but I'd be happy to take a look if you post the lab results.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Hello Spirite,

Thank you very much for your concern and information!

The vet that I bring her to is also a surgeon. I'm not sure how much she really knows as compared to an oncologist? She was the one that took the X-rays and also gave me the results. When they had called me back to come in and discuss the recent results, she started with the blood work first. Told me that for the most part, her blood work was OK. Then she talked about the X-rays and brought me in the back to show me what she thought she had saw. GeGe had had another X-ray taken in November 2017, as she was having trouble with her bowels moving due to hair balls. That X-ray that was taken back then (2017) was compared to the recent X-rays. She pointed out that the lungs in the 2017 X-ray to be clear, compared to the recent X-rays.

She pointed out that the recent X-rays had whitish spots that were not there in the 2017 ones. That is what was very concerning to the vet. So she said that it looks like it may be the cancer or the beginning of tumors, or it could be a bacterial infection. That is when she started GeGe on Clavamox. I tried given her the pills, but they were making her vomit, so the vet changed over to Enrofloxacin. I gave her one pill everyday for 20 days. I was also giving GeGe the antihistamine pills as well.

It does seem like when she is with me at night, as she most always sleeps in bed with me, she doesn't seem to get good sleep like she used to. She will stare ahead, then look to the right and the left as if she may have anxiety? Then I notice that when she lays her head down to try and sleep, a little while later she will begin to cough, then she puts her head upward and will open her mouth as to breath better.

What has me puzzled is that when she was brought to the vet this past Monday, the vet seemed to think that she was showing signs that this may not be cancer, as the vet said there would be no signs of improvements with cancer!

She definitely has something going on, just not sure what? She also started getting a little nauseated and I could hear her trying to vomit last night, but nothing actually came out?

I also wanted to say that before GeGe had became ill with this coughing and congestion, that she had worms from fleas in her stomach. I was given (2) pills that were supposed to kill any types of worms that may have been inside her. I then started giving her the Frontline Plus that you pour on the skin in between the shoulder blades. Not sure if these toxins can cause ill effects!

Anyhow, to answer your questions here:

GeGe's symptoms are coughing, with phlegm, a rattling sound and some distress breathing, and lack of appetite?
Yes, but she does eat some and I also give her a nutrient/calorie supplement

Did the symptoms start around the time you first brought her to the vet a month ago?It may have started a few weeks earlier

GeGe didn't really improve on Baytril, so the vet crossed bacterial infection off the list of possibilities. The antihistamine and steroid are in case she has allergies? Are you still giving the antihistamine? I take it that the vet has crossed off the bacterial infection, as the symptoms are still there. I presume the steroid was given for for both allergies as well as possible inflammation. I am still giving GeGe the antihistamines

Since you say her breathing seems to improve when she's outdoors, I'm wondering if it's an allergy to something in her environment. Were there any changes around the time that the symptoms started? New plants, cleaning products, detergent, soap, litter, etc.? I'm assuming you haven't changed her food. I'm not saying that her breathing improves outside, it just appears that she seems to be more content outside in the heat. She doesn't seem like she has anxiety as bad outside? If that makes any sense. She appears not to cough as much, but she still has that rattle sound in her chest. It also appears that when I get close to her or pet her, is when she must get more excited, and then she begins to show more rattle sounds and usually will cough after. Not certain about the cleaning products, as I really don't think I have used anything new. I did get some peppermint extract to spray for smells? Not certain that could cause this? She does go outside in the back and will eat grass. I also noticed that they have some wild mushrooms starting to grow. Not sure if she would eat them, but never know! She is still eating the Party mix treats, so nothing new as food. Today is a bad day as she is not wanting to eat. I had given her some of the party mix treats, but she refuses to eat. I also gave her the antihistamines earlier, so maybe she will eat later.

I really appreciate your help, and hopefully my GeGe will get better!!! Hope you have a blessed day!

BR,

Mario
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Here are the blood work and X-rays..
Somehow it didn't load on my last post!

Thanks again!
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 08:57 PM
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Hi Mario,

I only have a couple of minutes so just skimmed your post, but for right now, I wanted to ask whether that peppermint spray has any essential oils in it? Essential oils are toxic to kitties, so I'd check the ingredients to make sure about that.

Again, I don't know anything specifically about the lungs but will be back later to try to offer some suggestions.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-12-2018, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Hi spirite,

I believe it was an essential oil.. I hope that didn't cause this illness! I had no idea about it being toxic! Oh boy, I will never spray anything like that again.

Thanks again! I will wait for your reply back!
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 12:50 AM
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Hi Mario,

The essential oil may have nothing to do with GeGe's current issues; I don't know how/what type of symptoms would indicate an adverse reaction, but essential oils are definitely not good for kitties. Maybe the risk is exaggerated and/or adverse reactions are very rare, but I'd probably mention this to the vet so that she's aware. GeGe wasn't ingesting any, which I imagine is much more toxic.

The bloodwork really doesn't seem to show anything unusual, as your vet said. Low ALP and elevated amylase aren't usually things to be concerned about, nor is the low eosinophil count. The only thing that may or may not mean anything is the low sodium.

Despite the fact that the vet is a surgeon, I wouldn't take that to mean that she's an expert at reading x-rays. You might ask her if additional imaging, like an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI, could help to identify what those spots are. And if you do additional imaging, I would definitely make sure that they are being sent to a veterinary radiologist for interpretation. Any kind of imaging - x-rays, CT, MRI - is only as useful/informative as the skill of the person interpreting the images. I have two surgeons at a top cancer hospital and have had a ton of CT and MRI scans, and the surgeons rely on the radiologist's report. An oncologist would only be necessary if GeGe does have cancer. He'd be the one to recommend treatments but definitely not the person you want reading x-rays or scans.

It sounds like there are a lot of other variables, between the worms, the dewormer, the flea med, plus the antihistamine and steroid - though you know that the antihistamine and the steroid didn't cause the issues to begin with. The thing is, I have no idea what sorts of side effects could be caused, whether lung/breathing issues are among the side effects of any of these, but I would follow up with the vet on whether the worms, dewormer or flea med could be causing GeGe's issues. I will say that my kitty was one of the 0.5% of cats who have an adverse reaction to Revolution, which is supposed to be the safest flea med, so a reaction to a medication is absolutely possible. In my kitty's case, it was lethargy and inappetance, not issues with breathing, but kitties have different reactions, so who knows?

Do you know what kind of worms she had, and what dewormer she was given? Was she rechecked to make sure the worms were gone? If so, how?

As for being outside, yes I get what you mean, but it could be that she seems more at ease precisely because she's having less trouble breathing. She may still have the rattle in her chest, but maybe it's easier for her to get more air into her lungs? Shifting position is definitely a sign of discomfort, and her movements could be her way of trying to make it easier for her to breathe.

I'm just throwing out some ideas, and I'm not an expert, but I'm trying to go through the stuff that I would do if this were my kitty. After talking to your vet about whether further imaging could help with a diagnosis (and the essential oils, and worms, etc.), my next step would be to see if there was a university near me with a veterinary program. They would likely have a hospital and specialists; I think they usually take clients, and some offer phone consultations.

Is that a possibility for you?
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 08-13-2018, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi spirite,

Thanks once again for your compassion and info! So nice to have someone like yourself that wants to help others/cats in need!

I live around the New Orleans area, so perhaps I can ask the vet who she might recommend that is a specialist for reading X-rays for cats! I will bring up the worms and meds for worms, and also the flea med. I'll also ask her if she thinks that GeGe should have CT scan or MRI to further check out her lungs.

I don't have pet insurance, so hopefully I can find some place around here that could perhaps help me out some, or even a payment plan. These vet trips are getting expensive!

I'll post back here after I have talked with her about these things and will let you know. I can't thank you enough for your help and concern! Take care!

Best,

Mario
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