134578 tn?1614729226

Our cat Sterling and his cancer diagnosis

Hi, thought I would post this although I alluded to it recently in another community, because it looks like a story not yet done.

Our cat Sterling is formerly feral, beautiful (a silver tabby with a huge head) and a good outdoor cat. He strayed in (I think from a neighbor's farm where cats were so neglected that they often died, to the disinterest of the neighbor) and was literally so wild that I had to catch him in a trout net, and put him into an outdoor enclosure where he spent several days bouncing off the walls in panic before he calmed down.

We didn't encourage him to stay, but we did feed him and give him his shots (the vet's mock-complaining comment was "Why don't *ugly* cats ever stray in at your house?") He has been with us for about 11 years. Lately he has been on an anti-inflammatory medication for arthritis.

Recently Sterling came in with a bloody mouth, and drooling. We took him to our vet, whose associate said it looked pretty clear it was oral cancer and that there was little to be done. We put him on antibiotics and kept him on his anti-inflammatories, and took him home.

I spoke with the main vet the next day about a biopsy, and he said "Well, those big, oral lesions are almost never anything else, and we try so hard to save money for people that we don't usually tell them they need to do a biopsy for an added $250 if we think there is nothing else it could be." I told him I really wanted one, even if we just found out it was a different kind of cancer. So, we did.

From what I wrote the other day: "Cat with cancer wobbled outside this morning and spent the day deep under the porch. I am only just now suspecting that his anti-inflammatory medication has given him extremely  uncomfortable constipation (a couple of days, they were the hardest poops I've ever scooped out of a catbox, like sticks). He doesn't know if he should pound rocks or go lie in creek. Poor guy looks like c rap, he can't lick himself any more, and he's too strong still (cancer or no) for me to give a bath. (He is likely to bite me if he gets tired of fighting me.) So I washed him with a warm, wet towel, and he rubbed his poor, nasty swollen jawbone along it and purred, and now he is sleeping curled on a cushion on the back porch. Not a cat to send up the Rainbow Bridge one day earlier than required."

OK, so, to the news this morning; Sterling's biopsy does *not* have any evidence of cancer in the tissue they sent in. Since the main vet did it, I doubt he missed anything. When he called me with this good news, he said there might still be a tumor deep in the jaw, but I'm wondering if he was just feeling a little embarrassed. (After all, if I had believed him and his associate, I would have put the cat to sleep.) The lab thinks it might be a deeply abscessed tooth. This would be GREAT news, since that can be fixed, and we would already have done some good with the antibiotics. (I gave up on the anti-inflammatories when I began to suspect they were causing the constipation.)

Sterls will be off to the vet tomorrow morning to be sure the anti-inflammatory he has been on is out of his system, to get blood drawn for a liver test, and if his liver is strong enough he'll get a steroid shot. Then he'll have his tooth removed and they will see what they can do about the abscess. I'm feeling a lot more hopeful.

Moral of the story, I guess -- always ask what else can be done or checked, don't skip tests or biopsies no matter how sure the vets are. Sometimes ... sometimes things turn out better than you think they might.
2 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
242912 tn?1402543492
Well, isn't this just the best and most amazing news.  I'm smiling from ear to ear.  Best of luck with the liver test, tooth removal and abscess.  

Once Sterling is feeling better, we're going to need to see a photo of this beautiful boy, you realize :)
Helpful - 0
Hey , miracles do exist! Im glad you didnt put him to sleep !!!
134578 tn?1614729226
Here is a blurry shot featuring his drooly mouth, but you can also see his pretty eyes. He's down a lot in weight. If the treatment is successful and he really does not have any tumors at all, he'll beef up again and I'll take some of him looking like Charles Atlas next to our daintiest little female. I also have a shot of him sleeping, which is not out of focus, but doesn't make him look as special as he does in real life. I'll post it as well.

Helpful - 0
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Cats Community

Top Cats Answerers
874521 tn?1424116797
Canada..., SK
506791 tn?1439842983
Saint Mary's County, MD
242912 tn?1402543492
740516 tn?1360942486
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Members of our Pet Communities share their Halloween pet photos.
Like to travel but hate to leave your pooch at home? Dr. Carol Osborne talks tips on how (and where!) to take a trip with your pampered pet
Ooh and aah your way through these too-cute photos of MedHelp members' best friends
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.