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Metacam for cancer pain.

Species: Cat
Breed: Birman
Age: 11-15 years
I have a 13 year old Birman female cat, never really been sick in her life. We regularly go for annual checkups to the Vet and this year the Vet detected gingivitis and Samantha (the cat) was admitted for a scale and polish. During the surgery they became aware that her jaw bone had deteriorated and after x-rays they found part of the jaw bone “missing”. They did blood tests and also discovered she had renal deficiency. The latter was not severe, but it was 1 – 2 stage and of course the Vet’s diagnosis for the jaw bone was cancer. She didn’t do any other tests to confirm that diagnosis, but I have to agree that when I saw the X-rays there was nothing else I could even imagine that would eat away at a bone like that.



Now she did discuss with me various options for my little girl, radiotherapy, removal of the tumour etc., etc., but I love her too much to put her through any more invasive and scary treatments and after some emotional deliberations we both agreed to make her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.



From what I have seen and read on the web, it will be the bone cancer that will cause her the most pain and discomfit and the renal deficiency apparently will not be (from what I have read) painful.



So I accepted the Vet’s suggestion to put her on Metacam on the 2kg rate once a day to relieve any pain or discomfit from the cancer without we hope impacting too much on the kidneys.



Your webpage regarding Metacam in the final analysis appears to confirm that it should not impact adversely on the kidneys. I hope this is so. We see the vet again in 4 weeks, she will continue to monitor her blood readings etc to ensure that there is no marked decrease in function.



We did use Onsior initially when Samantha came out of surgery, but the Vet felt that the Metacam had less chance of impacting negatively on the kidney function.



In light of all of the above, do you feel that we are heading in the right direction??? Do you have any suggestions or advice you could give?



I love my little girl and am dreading the inevitable.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that your kitty is going through this. I have a similar case in my practice right now where we thought there were simply dental problems, but it turned out that there likely was cancer in the jaw.

Unfortunately mouth cancer in cats is very difficult to treat. We usually don't cure it. I think that in Samantha's case, keeping her on medication to help with inflammation and discomfort is an excellent idea.

This is a situation where I would feel comfortable using Metacam. My concern with Metacam is that there are reports surfacing where some cats have had serious kidney problems after receiving one single injection of Metacam. This is REALLY rare, but because of the severity of this possible reaction I have stopped using injections of Metacam. I still do prescribe oral Metacam.

A new study has recently shown that oral Metacam when given at the proper dose does not have much effect on the kidneys at all.

In your cat's case, there are several benefits to giving Metacam and I do think that the benefits outweigh the risks.

I think we have to be prepared though (and I think you are) that the cancer in the mouth is likely to get worse and eventually we will have some hard decisions to make. Unfortunately, in my experience mouth cancers in cats tend to grow very quickly.

I really hope Samantha does well. If you have more questions please feel free to reply. I will be heading to church soon and will check in on your question in a few hours.

Dr. Marie



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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.