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Author Topic: Wasabi has tongue cancer  (Read 28642 times)
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Soo
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« on: January 30, 2012, 04:39:53 AM »

  My wasabi, 12-1/2 years old rescue tabby has been with me since he is 6 weeks old.  He is my baby and best friend.

 He showed some signs of bleeding 10 days ago, until I got worried and bring him to emergency hospital  two days later.  They run blood test and told me that his tooth is very rotten and that might cause the bleeding and suggested that I get his tooth extracted.  He was schedule to have his tooth pulled two days later.  The nite before he went for sugery, I told him 'You are going to be all okay tomorrow'.  The vet called me after the surgery and advised that there's a big mass underneath his tongue and it doesn't look good.  We had biopsies done and she called me back two days later and advise that the cancer is bad and has spread through his organs.  He has about 2 weeks to a month left.  She told me to spend quality time together, feed him what he likes, let him do what he likes in the mean time, until his meds stop working and he stops eating. He will be in so much pain that he doesn't want to do anything. Then I have to consider his quality of life.  This is very shocking and sudden.  Everything happens way too fast.  My heart is aching from all these.  Cry
 
So, he luvs tuna and raw beef.  I fed him tuna two days ago, he luvs it.  But when I switch to raw beef, he will pick out the beef and leave the tuna behind.  He had stopped eating tuna now.  Is it good to feed him raw steak?  He had been eating that for two days in a row.
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August
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2012, 04:56:46 AM »

Soo, I am so so so very sorry to hear the news about your baby.  I lost my sweet baby boy Mooch last year to lymphoma.  It was also very sudden ... and devastating.

If Wasabi loves to eat raw beef, I say give him all he wants.  You might stock your fridge a bit with various foods in case he wants a little variety - his tastes might change over the next numbers of days.

I know it's going to be terribly difficult - near impossible - to know the right time to let him go, Soo, but letting him go before he feels pain, or at least just when you see him in discomfort ... as excruciating as it is, will feel so much better for both of you.

I'm sending you and Wasabi much strength, and am here if you ever need to talk.
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catmom5
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2012, 05:31:54 AM »

I am so very sorry to hear this sad news.

I think you need to do whatever it is that keeps your Wasabi happy and comfortable. Let him eat what he wants and spend these times creating wonderful memories together.

I've not lost a pet to cancer, but two to heart disease and I agree with August. It is better to let them go too soon than to wait too long. My guess is that Wasabi will let you know when it's time.

Please know that many of us here will keep you in our thoughts and prayers and we are here to support you in any way.
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catbird
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2012, 06:07:32 AM »

Welcome to the forum, Soo, although I'm sorry such sad circumstances bring you here. Cry

I agree with what everyone else has said--if raw beef is what Wasabi wants, go ahead and give it to him.  There is no need to worry about a balanced diet at this point, since now it's all about quality of life rather than quantity.  You can offer him some different foods to see if he likes them.  If his problem is centered in his mouth, it might be more comfortable for him to eat very smooth foods (you can try to put the raw beef in a food processor with a little broth and blend it very smooth, or try that with other meats, too.)  You will be able to see whether smooth foods work better for him or not. 

Do check his bowel movements, because if he has cancer throughout his abdomen, he may become constipated and that is uncomfortable.  Your vet can give you suggestions for how to help with that, but many people have found that a little plain canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not the pie filling) each day is very helpful.  There are also other things, such as psyllium fiber, Miralax, and so forth that can be used if this becomes a problem.  (There are even some cat treats that contain the psyllium fiber.)

Keeping you and Wasabi in my thoughts as you go on this journey.  Having lost a cat in a similar way recently (although the problem was in her back, not her mouth), I know what a shock this kind of diagnosis brings.  Please feel free to ask any questions that you need to at any time; someone on the forum will probably have an answer.

Many {{{hugs}}}
catbird
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Meowli
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 06:11:32 AM »

Sending prayers and good wishes for Wasabi, that he can be kept comfortable and you will have some good days together.  It is a good sign that he wants to eat, even if it is raw beef. I agree to let him have whatever he likes.
{{hugs}}
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lesliek
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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 07:01:25 AM »

I am so sorry Soo . Cry I agree with what everyone has said, feed Wasabi whatever he wants and enjoy what time you have left together. As Catbird said, sometimes with a mouth problem they can eat something wet and smooth better. If not a pureed meat that you make, maybe some baby food meats. I would also say go at the first sign of pain, or any serious weakness in his back legs. He knows you love him and will do whatever is best for him, sending big hugs and positive thoughts to you both.
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Soo
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 08:58:27 AM »

Thank you everyone with the support.  I am very grateful for all the kind words.

I tried to give him a varitety of food, baby canned food and tuna juice, canned chicken for cats with lots of broth.  But he seems to show no interest to that.  He will beg for the beef when I am slicing it for me.  I slice into small tiny pieces so that he can eat it. He is still pretty playful, purrs a lot and follows me everywhere in the house, up and down the stairs, jump onto my bed and sleeps with me. But I know his days are numbered.  It really breaks my heart.  Cry
He has quite an appetite, throughout the day, he ate an 8oz steak yesterday.  He is always begging and crying when I am slicing the beef.  He is drinking lots of fluid, I left the bath tub faucet running with droplets of water and he seems to be spending quite some time there.
I will go and get some canned pumpkin and psyllium fiber for him later this afternoon. He only pooped once daily but very tiny.  He is on prednisolone and buprenorphine and was told the morphine will make him constipated. 

Lesliek, I don't understand when you said 'any serious weakness in his back legs'.  I haven't lost any pets before, hence I have no idea what to expect and what are the signs.
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JoMax
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 09:41:20 AM »

Adding my hugs and thoughts for you & Wasabi as you share this precious time together.  It will feel unbearable at times, but, as others have said, we are all here for you whenever you need to reach out, share - or just rail at the unfairness of it.
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JustMe
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 04:17:59 PM »

Soo,

I am so very sorry to read about your kitty, Wasabi. {{{hugs}}} Not sure where you are located, but if you are in the United States, I would suggest asking your vet for cans of A/D (by Hill's). It is very smooth in consistency and when my cats have been sick they have found it to be quite tasty.  You can even thin it with liquid if necessary. It supposedly has higher calories and is recommended for sick or debilitated cats and dogs.  We lost our young cat, Harley, to a squamous cell carcinoma in his lower jaw a few years ago, and he was able to lick that up quite well for a couple months.  Is Wasabi getting pain medications? Will keep you both in my prayers. 

JustMe
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lesliek
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« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 04:57:54 PM »

Soo- sometimes when they are chronically ill, the 1st sign of it getting worse is not being able to stand straight with the back legs.  Wobbliness & an unsteady gait, along with the whole back end being much lower than the front. It is usually followed by a reluctance to eat anything & is a sign that they are ready to go. Lack of appetite, thirst & a lot of sleeping are a normal stage for all humans & animals with a terminal illness. It's not a good idea to try to force food or fluid at this point, it is a normal stage for someone who is dying. I know your 1st instinct when that happens will be to syringe food & water, but the kindest thing you can do is take Wasabi in right away. If its a Sunday, you can try syringing some water only to get through until morning to see the vet Wasabi is most comfortable with. JustMe's suggestion of A/D is a good 1, its high in nutrients & calories & even if Wasabi will only eat a little it may help.
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Soo
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2012, 05:12:17 AM »

Thank you all again for the good thoughts.

Wasabi had an 8 oz stead yesterday, I sliced it up to very tiny bits.  He will sit right next to me when I am slicing them up and stretch up to beg for his food.  I also switch a little cook chicken breast for him, he seems to take a little liking to it, not much though.  He had some whip cream too.  He luvs whip cream since he was a baby and always try to take a chunk when I am not looking.  As it is too sweet, I never dare to feed him.  Now, I just feed him whatever he wants.  He did poop a bit more than the day before.

I live in Canada, but I will call the vets office and ask for the A/D can food later this morning. 

By the way, I never get to see the vet when all the tooth extract, biopsies happens.  She only talked to me twice on the phone, that's when she has to deliver the bad news to me.  Other than that, I had been dealing with the receptionist.  When I called the vet office last week, the receptionist was kinda pushing me to put wasabi down.  She said "I have an opening at 2:30 and 4:30 this afternoon, however Dr. is not available tomorrow and we are wide open on Monday.  The doctor is busy on Tuesday, but I can squeeze you in at 4:30".  I was being pushed to put him down on tuesday and over the weekend, my friend help me to call the vet office (she had her cats of 20 years put down in the vet office too, but she has different vet.) and talked to her vet.  He called me and said that he is sorry that I was being treated that way and if wasabi is still doing well, there's no rush to put him down right away. 

I hope I am doing the right thing by keeping him with me for a little longer.  As he still plays with me, jumping up and down, looking out the window when the birds are on the tree, eats and drinks.  But he's sleeping a bit more than usual and he has drool coming out of his mouth every now and then.  I want to do what's right for him rather than what I feel is right.  It's the most difficult thing that I have to do and it really breaks my heart.  Morning is the worst for me, I will burst into tears just looking at him, petting him and hearing him purred. He had lost about 0.6lb and I had lost 3.6 lbs, percentage wise, mommy is not doing too good.

Thank you all for listening, giving advice and the good wishes, as I don't think I can go through this without the supports.
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shadowmice
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2012, 05:28:40 AM »

Hi Soo. I live in Canada too and I had the option to get a/d or an equivalent Recovery food made by Medi-cal at our local vet clinic, so I think you should be able to get one or the other. Might not hurt to have a little of both in case Wasabi doesn't like one.

It's a shame the receptionist was pressuring you about such a difficult decision. It was good the other vet offered some support. It is very individual to the pet involved to determine when it is time. If Wasabi is playing, eating, and showing interest in other activities then it certainly sounds like he is not ready yet. It is a difficult thing to go through and you will often find yourself second-guessing what you are doing; that is common. Try to enjoy as much as possible the time you do have together now. Cherish those moments of play and interaction while you can. The rest will come as it must and when the time is right you will know and will be able do what is necessary because you know your Wasabi the best.
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Spartycats
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 05:36:43 AM »

Soo,

Shadowmice said everything I wanted to say.  If Wasabi is eating, playing, watching birds, etc. - just try to cherish the time.  I'm glad you have a friend who called the vet's office for you.  Wasabi will let you know when he is too tired - he is your best friend; you will know, and you will be able to put his need before your own pain.

{{{Hugs}}} and prayers.
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August
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2012, 05:41:10 AM »

Soo, sometime much later down the road you might want to think about making a complaint about that receptionist.  For her to push you like that is completely unprofessional and really just makes me angry.  She shouldn't even be able to have the job she has if she can't treat you and Wasabi with the respect you both deserve.  I'm so sorry you had to deal with that.

I agree with your friend -  it seems that Wasabi is enjoying himself, and there is no need to feel rushed.

That's wonderful that Wasabi is getting the royal treatment and is able to eat such delicacies!  Every kitty should be so lucky to have such love and care.  His playing and jumping around and eating and drinking all sound really good.  

At least from my experience, and I tell you this only so that you can be a bit more prepared - when my boy started to crash (I also noted trouble in his back legs), it was very quick.  You will know.

So for now, keep showering him with your love and your food  Smiley  and enjoy every moment you can with him.  Wasabi is a very lucky boy to have you.
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lesliek
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2012, 06:26:09 AM »

I'm so glad your friends vet spoke to you, to have them tell you by phone when it wasn't an emergency wasn't good. And the receptionist was totally out of line. I agree with shadowmice, it doesn't sound like Wasabi is ready. Believe me you will know when its time. He won't want to play or cuddle and he won't be interested in his steak or whipped cream. I hope for a long time for you to be together. The drooling is normal with any mouth problem, and he may need the soft purees as the tumor grows. They can have trouble chewing and swallowing solids as it progresses.
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