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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read on this forum and then elsewhere on the internet that Metacam is not recommended for cats, but my vet gave it to me for my cat with bone cancer. My cat, Winter, has a swollen cheek due to bone cancer and the vet said it's not treatable (or worth treating due to his age - 17).

In another thread someone told me that cats tend not to show their pain due to protection from predators - a natural instinct. Winter doesn't show pain. His appetite seems to increase since he's been on Metacam, though, so maybe that means it is helping him.

He's been taking it about 5 days and I didn't look it up until now. Apparently it can cause kidney problems. Are there safe home remedies to keep him comfortable with bone cancer?

I appreciate any suggestions.
 

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I'm very sorry to hear of Winter's medical concerns. It's true that Metacam is a risky drug for cats and can have some extremely serious side effects, but as far as I know, it is the only anti-inflammatory labeled for any sort of use in cats, and it sounds like Winter is benefiting from it. I normally warn people away from the use of Metacam in cats, but in your particular circumstance, Metacam may very well be your best option for pain relief for Winter. I assume that Winter's prognosis for survival does not extend long-term, so chances are that he will succumb to the effects of cancer before Metacam's potential side effects become a problem. All you can do now is choose the lesser of two evils - pain or Metacam. Unfortunately, there's no way to know if or when his body may react negatively to Metacam. For now, you can see that his appetite has improved since taking it, and that's a good thing.

If I were in your position, I think I'd continue to give Metacam as long as it seemed to be helping Winter, until or unless it caused a serious side effect like kidney or liver failure. Then I'd help Winter pass peacefully.

One question - has Winter's cancer diagnosis been confirmed by a pathologist?

Laurie
 

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Hi Joyce,

I just wanted to say how sorry I am that Winter has cancer. We had a dog with bone cancer in her shoulder...and just like Winter, she never let on that she was in pain. Animals are so amazingly stoic.

Winter's lucky to have you...he's had a long life, and, with you looking after him, won't suffer at the end. I agree with Laurie...if it seems to be helping him, stay with the Metacam.

Best wishes to you both!

I've read on this forum and then elsewhere on the internet that Metacam is not recommended for cats, but my vet gave it to me for my cat with bone cancer. My cat, Winter, has a swollen cheek due to bone cancer and the vet said it's not treatable (or worth treating due to his age - 17).

In another thread someone told me that cats tend not to show their pain due to protection from predators - a natural instinct. Winter doesn't show pain. His appetite seems to increase since he's been on Metacam, though, so maybe that means it is helping him.

He's been taking it about 5 days and I didn't look it up until now. Apparently it can cause kidney problems. Are there safe home remedies to keep him comfortable with bone cancer?

I appreciate any suggestions.
 

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So sorry to hear of Winters diagnosis. Normally I wouldn't recommend metacam in cats, but in this instance, as a palliative measure, I think its fine. If its helping him, then continue. Its more important at this point to keep him comfortable.

Bone cancer is very painful, but cats are stoic creatures, so its not unusual that he doesn't act in pain.

Give him gentle hugs from me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for your kind words. When the vet initially told me over the phone after a test, he seemed sad to tell me about the bone cancer. He didn't say how long he might have to live, but Winter seems fairly healthy other than a swollen cheek. He still jumps on furniture and goes outside to walk around sometimes. He gives me a good chase when he thinks I'm trying to give him medicine. I don't want him to suffer kidney problems on top of bone cancer.

Today the vet reconsidered & said he could take 1/2 the dose of Metacam every other day while taking Tramadol twice a day on the other days. I haven't looked up that medication yet. I'm putting them in a pill pocket, though the once I've tried giving him that, he's resisted but it seemed to get down OK. I hope this works.

If you have any other advice, I'm open to hear it. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Re: Bone cancer

One question - has Winter's cancer diagnosis been confirmed by a pathologist?
Laurie, No, I don't know anything about pathologists and am not sure what the veterinarian's credentials are, but I figured he knew what he was talking about when he made the diagnosis. Why do you think it needs to be confirmed by a specialist?

Thanks for your advice and concern,
Joyce
 

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Laurie, No, I don't know anything about pathologists and am not sure what the veterinarian's credentials are, but I figured he knew what he was talking about when he made the diagnosis. Why do you think it needs to be confirmed by a specialist?

Thanks for your advice and concern,
Joyce
Joyce,

I have way too much experience with vets misdiagnosing my animals to be comfortable with any diagnosis made without appropriate diagnostic testing, esp. when the diagnosis is as lethal as bone cancer. Quite a few years ago, I had a dog with a blister on his lip. I knew it was a blister, but my housemate insisted on taking him to the vet to have it checked. After a brief visual exam, the vet declared it to be cancer and said he would have to perform extensive surgery which would leave the dog's lip permanently and substantially disfigured. I knew that was nonsense and insisted that my housemate take the dog to another vet for a second opinion. The second vet's diagnosis? A blister which healed up within a week.

I'm not sure how bone cancer is confirmed, though I'm sure that would be easy enough to discover with a Google search. If I were in your position, I would insist on whatever testing is necessary to confirm the diagnosis before deciding on a plan of medical management for it.

Laurie
 

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Today the vet reconsidered & said he could take 1/2 the dose of Metacam every other day while taking Tramadol twice a day on the other days.
Tramadol is a very potent narcotic pain reliever that is considered safer than Metacam in terms of potential effects on the liver and kidneys. Tramadol may not provide as much pain relief for your cat as Metacam, though, because Tramadol does not have any anti-inflammatory action as Metacam does. Watch your cat carefully after administering Tramadol, because even recommended doses can make a cat REALLY loopy. When I give Tramadol to one of my cats, I typically start with a dose that is 1/4 or less of the prescribed dose.

Laurie
 

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I'm sorry to hear of Winter's diagnosis. Was a biopsy done? I'm not sure if that's what they do with bone cancer, but I had a dog that had cancer and the Vet sent the tissue out to a pathologist to determine if it was cancer. The pathologist then sends the report back to the Vet. In that case, unless you plan to seek treatment, a specialist wouldn't be needed.

I had my dog Teddi on Tramadol toward the end. It made her sleep all the time. While your cat is still active, I think I would go with the Metacam myself, depending on the prognosis of course. You want to keep Winter with you comfortably as long as you can and not have him sleep away what life he may have left. Also, Tramadol is very short acting.

Hugs to you and your cat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your much considered & experienced advice. They biopsied the fluid in his cheek and determined it was bone cancer that way. The vet seemed concerned and didn't recommend surgery or even another visit, which made me think he was not trying to rip me off.

Winter's cheek has been swollen since at least mid-Feb. They say the cancer is in the lower jaw. They inflamation went down a little bit when he took antibiotics for 2 weeks, but not much. The Metacam does seem to make the swelling go down and make him feel better. There was no loopiness after the first dose of Tramadol. They have him on a low dose - they cut the tablets for me. The fact that it is short-acting is probably why they have me giving 2 doses per day.

I will continue with my doctor's recommendations, but if the Tramadol seems to make him too sleepy and the swelling reappears, I'll go back to the Metacam daily until he gets worse.

I appreciate your help & welcome any other ideas if anyone has something they'd like to contribute.

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!

- Joyce
 
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