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Bone cancer in leg.

Species: Cat
Breed: domestic
Age: 11-15 years
Hello
My cat is 13 years old he was always a big cat and then became a big fat cat. The past year he was impacted with stool about 3 times. We took him to the vet they treated him and we gave him some fiber and he was good. He started to lose weight the last few months but was till doing fine.
Until last week I noticed him limping then all of a sudden his back right leg was dragging.
I took him to the vet they xray it and his knee is shattered. They suggested a surgeon could help. I went to another vet who is a surgeon and he said the only way the cats knee would do this is from cancer and he could see i guess cancer around the area. He suggested not to do testing etc etc.. he gave me a week supply of pain medicine and said to me it would be best to put him to sleep.. The last few days the cat is eating he is not moving around much but he is still moving and walking from room to room. We helped him in the liter box and we leave food near him. I just don't know what to do? Everyone thinks I should put him to sleep . But he is still totally with it and eating. I guess my question is how long can he last this way? Is it best to put him down because he might be suffering? I don't want to be selfish and keep him around but I just feel if he has more time why should i take that away...
As you can see I am torn about this and just trying to find an answer .. any help or feedback would be greatly appreciated
thanks
linda


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear about Begittsy. This is a very difficult situation.

If the surgeon feels that there is cancer in the leg then this really is likely an accurate diagnosis. There aren't many things that look like bone cancer on xrays.

Unfortunately, bone cancer is a very painful thing. Now, cats will do all they can to hide pain. You mentioned that Begittsy is not moving around much and that is usually a sign of pain in cats. Where dogs will still limp around when they have pain, cats will stay as still as possible and only move as necessary (usually in order to get food.)

I think the trial of pain medicine is a good idea. If he really really perks up on this medicine then I would say to talk to your vet about continuing to give it.

However, if you haven't seen much improvement then there are some hard decisions to be made.

Truly, the best thing to help you make those decisions is your vet. I know this is hard to hear, but if your vet has suggested that euthanasia is the best option, then they are likely right. The only reason for them to make that suggestion is in the interest of the cat.

With my own animals, when they have a condition that I know is eventually fatal, I always err on the side of euthanasia. Even if it means a week or more shorter life, I would rather that there is as little painful time as possible.

One other thought - if you are not willing to let go just yet would be to talk to your vet about doing an amputation. If there is no obvious spread of cancer to other parts of the body then this could be a cure. However, at 13 years of age it's hard to say how many years the poor little guy has left.

I hope this has somehow helped with your decision making. Please let me know if you have more questions.

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.