Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Health (not to be substituted for qualified vet advice) => Help With My Sick Pet => Topic started by: pitaya on February 16, 2011, 11:48:28 AM



Title: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: pitaya on February 16, 2011, 11:48:28 AM
The vet believes my 14 year old cat has a brain tumor. I have heard that an MRI costs thousands of dollars. I had thought that brain surgery would be too traumatic for a cat of his age and probably wouldn't buy him much time since he's not so young anymore, so I never had the imaging studies done. But now I have heard about cats that live for years after brain surgery and I am second-guessing myself. :-\ Can somebody give me some advice? I feel like I'm wasting time by not doing anything even though it appears the tumor is slow-growing. I know brain tumors in cats are rare and there's not a whole lot of information out there. And I live hours away from the nearest veterinary neurologist. I love my cat very much and I cry every day when I think about this, but I don't know what to do. :'( Please help.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: merrihart on February 16, 2011, 12:01:05 PM
Welcome to Itchmo, pitaya.

I'm so sorry to hear about your kitty!  I know how you feel, I cry every time I think of my old bachelor kitty passing on.  *hugs*

There is a thread in this category Socks, a wonderful little kitty who survived a brain tumor, her human's use name is Ranger.  There may be information in there for you. 

I don't know about MRIs for kitties, I wouldn't think it would be possible because I'm pretty sure they won't hold still for a study to be done.  There is a thread about ultrasounds, but that is a different beast altogether.

I hope your kitty is one of the lucky ones.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: Sandi K on February 16, 2011, 12:05:13 PM
pitaya, welcome to Itchmo.  I dont have any experience with this illness so I cant help but I just wanted to tell you that my heart goes out to you and that you and your kitty are in my thoughts and prayers.  {{{hugs}}}


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: Meowli on February 16, 2011, 12:22:14 PM
I am sending good thoughts and prayers for your
kitty, too.
{{hugs}}

Meowli


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: lesliek on February 16, 2011, 01:43:03 PM
Welcome pitaya ! I am sorry you and your kitty are having to go through this. As Merruyhart said ,Ranger has a cat Socks who is older than yours and did pretty well with the surgery. We also have Ned who went through this with his Angel Thunder. They did not do the surgery. So if you read both threads & talk to Ned & Ranger, it may help you decide what to do. You can also call the veterinary neurologist to get an estimate on a checkup and what tests they would want to do. That way you have all the info in front of you while deciding. Here are the links to those 2 threads : http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/my-cat-has-a-brain-tumor-t1699.0.html (http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/my-cat-has-a-brain-tumor-t1699.0.html) & http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/i-cant-cope-long-t4436.0.html (http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/i-cant-cope-long-t4436.0.html).


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: catwoods on February 16, 2011, 01:55:00 PM
Welcome, pitaya. I have no experience to offer but I am sending warmest wishes and hopes for your kitty's well-being.

{{{Hugs}}}


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: catbird on February 16, 2011, 06:52:56 PM
Pitaya, I am sorry that you are faced with this possibility.  Shadowmice's cat Scrapper has a probable brain tumor, too; you may gain some further insights from reading that thread, as well.

http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/positive-thoughts-for-scrapper-t7193.0.html


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: shadowmice on February 16, 2011, 08:13:11 PM
Hi Pitaya, welcome to Itchmo. This is a very supportive group here.

I can relate to what you are going through. My Scrapper has been coping for the last couple of years with a probable brain tumor. We have never had the opportunity to confirm the diagnosis of the tumor with an MRI so are working mostly to address the symptoms to keep him comfortable. A combination of phenobarbital to control his seizures and prednisone to help shrink the probable tumor has worked to keep him reasonably comfortable. It took awhile to sort out the balance needed but given I was expecting to lose him almost two years ago it has been gift to have him do as well as he has.

No one but you knows what is the best course of action for you and your kitty. But definitely getting as much information as you can will help in evaluating the best plan to follow.  It is a difficult thing to find the balance between active treatment (surgery, etc) versus supportive care (keeping comfortable).  So many factors come into play, there really is no one solution for everyone. Being able to come here and gain from all the experiences of everyone here has been very helpful to me. I'm sure it will for you as well.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: JJ on February 16, 2011, 08:15:36 PM
Welcome pitaya to Itchmo. Ranger, Ned and Shadowmice have all dealt with brain tumors - may you find info in their threads to help you and your kitty.

Shadowmice posting at same time as myself.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: NedF on February 16, 2011, 11:41:25 PM
Pitaya,

I'm so sorry to hear your cat may have a brain tumor. I know how overwhelming it is to hear
that. The treatment options you have of course depend on what's available where you live,
what you can afford, and what's best for the kitty. Your kitty is only 14 which is not that old.
How is his health otherwise? Does he have any problems with his kidneys, liver, etc.? If he's
healthy then he should be able to have surgery (if the tumor is operable). If you want to
consider surgery then you would need to have an MRI done so the surgeon can see if the
tumor is operable. Ranger can give you more info about MRI and surgery since her kitty
Socks has gone through all that. MRI and brain surgery are very expensive so you will have
to take that into account when weighing your treatment options. I felt guilty thinking about
treatment costs with my cat, but it was necessary in the decision making process.

If you decide that surgery is not an option (or the surgeon determines the tumor is not
operable) then there are supportive care treatments that can give your kitty a good quality of
life. This is the treatment I chose for my kitty Thunder. She was 18 when she was diagnosed
and her kidneys were not in the best shape so she wasn't a good candidate for surgery. Her
tumor was also slow growing. I agonized over that decision for weeks but in the end I knew
it was the right one even though I wanted to do everything for her. The treatment for my
cat was phenobarbital and keppra to control her seizures, prednisilone to slow the tumor
growth, and most importantly, buprenex for pain control (my kitty had head pain from the
tumor and also pain from her arthritis). My cat had a pretty good year after her diagnosis
with this treatment. She was comfortable and was able to do her favorite things. The last 3
months were more difficult as her kidneys failed and she just got too weak to go on. It's
painful to remember all this but I do not for one second regret my decision in her treatment. It
was the right treatment for her and for me.

Your post reminds me of my first post about Thunder's brain tumor. I cried alot too. You will
make the right decision for your cat.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions you have.



Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: bug on February 17, 2011, 07:34:15 AM
Welcome pitaya. I'm so sorry to heat that your baby may have a brain tumor. You have the best folks in NedF and Ranger to guide you and answer your questions. I have had an MRI performed on one of my cats for a different condition and I can tell you it's completely painless and they tolerate the procedure very well as they are under anaesthetic so they don't move around. My cat needed contrast media (gadolinum) to allow the radiologists to view the area in question better. I paid $1300 for the procedure and considered that a decent price. I don't know what the costs are in your area. I wish both of you well in your quest. Please keep us posted on what's happening.

{{{Hugs}}}


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: ranger on February 17, 2011, 11:00:30 AM
I'm sorry your kitty may have a brain tumor, my Socks was almost 15 when she had her brain tumor removed.  She recovered very well from the surgery, came home the next day.  It is expensive but my neuro said older cats have a better recovery rate than younger ones so don't count your kitty out as too old.

What are the sx you kitty is having, walking in circles, seizures?

What part of the country are you in pitaya?  I'm in Massachusetts and had an excellent surgeon.

MRI's can cost different amounts in different places as does surgery.  Is you kitty a boy or a girl?

Oh slow growing tumors are good news.  Feel free to ask any questions at all, I remember how frightened I was.

 :-* :-* to your kitty and hugs to you.

Judy


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: pitaya on February 19, 2011, 03:34:31 PM
Thanks, everyone, for the support. I will be sending a private message to those who have experience with cats with brain tumors, but I don't feel completely comfortable posting everything on a public forum that anyone could access.  :-\ Nonetheless, your prayers and support mean so much to me!!! I feel like a lot of my friends can't possibly understand the attachment I have to my cat and how devastated I am, so it is good to have you all understand.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: lesliek on February 19, 2011, 05:24:10 PM
pitaya- I know you will make the best decision for the 2 of you. Hugs and positive thoughts and prayers for many more good days together whichever way you decide to go. Remember ,you know your kitty best and keep that in mind when getting options.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: NedF on February 21, 2011, 02:24:01 PM
Pitaya,

I tried to send a PM but your inbox is full!


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: caylee on February 21, 2011, 05:43:59 PM
Maybe pitaya needs to make a few more posts before being able to send or receive pm's.

Hugs


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: JJ on February 21, 2011, 06:06:15 PM
caylee is right about number of posts before being able to receive pm's. It is 5 I think.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: NedF on February 24, 2011, 04:01:55 PM
I hope pitaya checks this thread again. She's probably wondering why she hasn't gotten any replies to her PMs.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: caylee on February 24, 2011, 04:44:57 PM
Looks like she has not been signed into itchmo since the 20th. Maybe one of the mods could leave a pm in her box telling her about the post requirement before anyone can pm her.

Hugs


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: catbird on February 24, 2011, 05:28:27 PM
I will see what I can do.  I don't know if she has her PMs set to go to her email or not, so if I PM her, not sure she'll realize it.  I think I can PM even if the inbox is full.  It's possible she is reading the posts as a guest.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: pitaya on February 24, 2011, 05:39:56 PM
Sorry about that, but thanks for informing me about the rules! I didn't get the replies to this thread in my email, but I did get the pm in my email. I will fix it. Thanks for being attentive to the matter!!


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: pitaya on February 24, 2011, 05:49:15 PM
Figured I might as well add another post to get up to 5 and update you on my kitty!

Well, we just found out he's in the first stage of renal failure so he is now on a renal diet. And he also has hypothyroidism. So I want to find out a little more about these two issues to know how best to proceed with the next step on what to do about his brain tumor. But at least he seems happy and acts healthy most of the time. I took him outside the other day so he could run around and he had a blast!


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: caylee on February 24, 2011, 06:27:29 PM
Kitties can live a long time after they are first diagnosed with CRF, as long as their diet is managed properly. And the hypothyroidism can be taken care of too. Ranger can also tell you of her experience with Socks. I think she tells about it in the brain tumor thread - somewhere near the middle to the end.

http://itchmoforums.com/help-with-my-sick-pet/my-cat-has-a-brain-tumor-t1699.0.html

Hope you will find the answers to help you make the choices that you need to make. We are here for you if you need emotional support. We all understand that animals are like our kids.

Hugs


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: caylee on February 24, 2011, 06:40:24 PM
Here is a section of the forum you may find interesting.

Feline Chronic Renal Failure and Insufficiency
http://itchmoforums.com/feline-chronic-renal-failure-and-insufficiency-b82.0/

And here is a thread warning not to use metacam for pain. It can cause a kitty to go into sudden fatal kidney failure.

Do Not Use Metacam/meloxicam
http://itchmoforums.com/veterinary-references/metacammeloxicam-t2907.0.html



Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: Mandycat on February 24, 2011, 09:50:55 PM
Figured I might as well add another post to get up to 5 and update you on my kitty!

Well, we just found out he's in the first stage of renal failure so he is now on a renal diet. And he also has hypothyroidism. So I want to find out a little more about these two issues to know how best to proceed with the next step on what to do about his brain tumor. But at least he seems happy and acts healthy most of the time. I took him outside the other day so he could run around and he had a blast!

pitaya,
Can you clarify whether you meant "hypothyroidism" or "hyperthyroidism"?  Primary hypothyroidism is extremely rare in cats, but hyperthyroidism is very common in older cats.  I can answer many of your questions and give information about hyperthyroidism if that is what it is.  I can also refer you to an excellent forum that can give you excellent advice and guidance on managing hyperthyroidism and CRF together.  I am sorry that you are having to deal with these issues, but you are doing the right thing to seek out information from others who have experienced them.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: pitaya on February 25, 2011, 03:58:48 PM
Figured I might as well add another post to get up to 5 and update you on my kitty!

Well, we just found out he's in the first stage of renal failure so he is now on a renal diet. And he also has hypothyroidism. So I want to find out a little more about these two issues to know how best to proceed with the next step on what to do about his brain tumor. But at least he seems happy and acts healthy most of the time. I took him outside the other day so he could run around and he had a blast!

pitaya,
Can you clarify whether you meant "hypothyroidism" or "hyperthyroidism"?  Primary hypothyroidism is extremely rare in cats, but hyperthyroidism is very common in older cats.  I can answer many of your questions and give information about hyperthyroidism if that is what it is.  I can also refer you to an excellent forum that can give you excellent advice and guidance on managing hyperthyroidism and CRF together.  I am sorry that you are having to deal with these issues, but you are doing the right thing to seek out information from others who have experienced them.

It is a low thyroid level, but perhaps it is not hypothyroidism, but just a little low. I don't know how low it is, but that is something I need to find out. He has had low thyroid levels in the past, in particular, on one occasion where one of his front teeth cracked and had to be pulled. 


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: BW on February 26, 2011, 07:14:54 PM
Pitaya,  I am so sorry to hear about all your problems with your dear kitty.  you are getting excellent advice here, as well as emotional support.  You certainly are dealing with a lot all at once.  I am not able to provide any better advice than  you are already getting, but I can pray for you and your precious little friend, and send positive thoughts your way.   I have had cats with CRF and also with hyperthyroid, and these diseases are difficult, but it is possible to deal with them, and if properly treated your pet can have years more time with you.  I have not had experience with brain tumor, but as you have read, others here have.
So once again, bless you both, and all my prayers.


Title: Re: Feline Brain Tumor
Post by: NedF on March 23, 2011, 02:49:33 PM
I just wanted to add that in light of the recall of canned Wellness, the neurological symptoms you described (in your pm) can be due to thiamine deficiency. Another problem with canned food right now is zinc toxicity which causes kidney failure.

Info on thiamine deficiency causing neurological symptoms:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernicke%27s_encephalopathy