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Cat with bone cancer.

Species: Cat
Breed: Stray -short haired
Age: 11-15 years
When I came home on 4th of JUly Toesy (inside cat)was limping and not using front left leg. Took to vet...he said cat has bone cancer in leg and it is broken in two places. Ulna should heal, but long bone doubtful. He recommended soft splint and just see how long cat lasts. Did not think amputation would be good since cancer might have spread and front leg amputation is hard on cat. No other tests were run. I have been reading on the internet however that bone cancer rarely spreads much in cats if it is in the legs and that most cats do fine on three legs, even if one of the amputated limbs is a front leg. Cat is eating well and seems quite active (somewhat "sad" acting though) despite the splint. He has lost some weight in the last year but is also older. Any thoughts on amputation? It is just not right at all and I should let him go until quality of life is bad, or should I look into it more thoroughly?
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME and THOUGHTS!!


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Oh, I am so sorry to hear that Toesy has bone cancer.

I have researched bone cancer in cats for you and have found some statistics that may be useful.

In dogs with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) there is a relatively high chance of metastasis (spread) to the lungs. However, this chance is greatly reduced in cats.

One study showed that the average survival time of cats diagnosed with osteosarcoma was 6 months. However, in cats that had amputation the average survival time was 11.8 months.

I have found that most cats do extremely well with amputation. I have rarely had a client regret doing it. There is a period of a few days to possibly a couple of weeks where there is some discomfort while the wound heals, but most cats do well with this.

What we have to decide though is whether it is worth doing the surgery if the average survival time after surgery is 6 months more than without. This will be a tough decision.

I hope I have helped with your decision making. And again, I'm sorry that you and Toesy are going through this.

Dr. Marie.

---This question was asked in our Ask A Vet For Free section.---


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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.