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3yr old cat has cancerous tumor..what would you do?
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3yr old cat has cancerous tumor..what would you do?

Here's the story. My cat who's only 3 years old has been limping around the past few weeks. This past week I noticed that she's got a growth on her paw on her front leg. She had labs and biopsys. Today my vet called with the news. She has a cancerous tumor that seems to be only locally on that tumor. However, because of the place and the way it's attached to her bone she cannot just remove the tumor. There are two options. Either cut off her entire front right leg off or let her live with the growth for a while longer and put her to sleep when she starts to get into to much pain. The cost to cut her leg off is about $800. I already spent $400 on tests. My family thinks it'd be best to just put her to sleep now. The vet said that she's confident that she'll be a normal healthy kitty after the amputation and that it shouldn't return. I'm torn...I love my cat and she is only 3 years old. I don't want her to suffer with 3 legs and what if it does come back someplace else??? I just feel like I'm killing her because she doesn't seem sick..I don't know what to do.

Any thoughts?
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587315_tn?1333556383
What do you mean by "suffer with three legs"??????????  I'm sure that you've seen plenty of 3-legged animals running around, hauling a-s-s!!!  Animals do much better than we do, if we were to lose a limb.  Animals are survivors.

A friend of mine had a himalayan that had a bone cancer in her leg, AND after 5 yrs the cat was still around.  Don't know the story now because I lost contact with him.  If your cat's tumor is small enough, I'd go for the surgery.  She's young and strong, to me it would be worth it.  But, ultimately, it's your call.

ZQ
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Avatar_f_tn
Oh, go for the surgery.

Do not have her put down.  You will recover from the cost in time.  It is worth it.  Give her a chance at life!

Dont take any notice of your family, you will feel so much better if you save her it will be a beautiful thing to do.

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228686_tn?1211558307
Animals adjust to having three legs very well. Especially the loss of a front leg. I've seen quite a few in my time (and for some reason they're always nicknamed "tripod" or "trike". Go figure :) )


On a serious note, the bigger question is can you and your family adjust well to the change as well? If any member of the family is grossly turned of by the concept of amputation than you should talk openly and honestly about this issue.

This isn't a person, it's a cat. It won't understand negative feelings towards it because of it's now status as "handicapable" (a stupid term, but appropriate).

She will understand that she's being shunned and looked on with distaste. So be sure to hammer out this issue right away and deal with it. Otherwise your cat may start to develop behavioral issues that will have nothing to do with the amputation itself, but how she is being treated at home.
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685623_tn?1283485207
Did your veterinarian tell you what type of tumor this is?

I will also add my sentiments that cats seem to adjust very well to losing a limb and living life on three legs.
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419990_tn?1228262726
she said that they can't "name" it but it seems to be something within her connective tissue. She said it's locally contained and very doubtful to spread. However, there's got to be a reason why she got the cancer in the first place? What if it reappears a year or so from now on a different leg? I'm with you guys I can't imagine putting her down just because of a little tumor.  She's walking around pretty much on 3 legs as of right now.

I just don't want her to suffer later on and wish that I'd have just put her down now..
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685623_tn?1283485207
You said you had a biopsy of the mass done...what did the pathologist say?  

Another option you might consider is taking her to a board certified veterinary surgeon or a veterinary oncologist before making this decision.  A second opinion couldn't hurt...

Good luck!

Tomcat
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587315_tn?1333556383
So, you are saying that they did a biopsy and couldn't "name" the type of cancer????  I'd demand my money back, because that's the REASON for getting a biopsy.  In order for your vet to give you the cat's odds of beating this the tumor must be classified.  I'm serious hon, DEMAND your money back.  AND, do NOT take sarcoma as the name, that is a very broad term for a connective tissue tumor.  Bone is classified as connective, as well as cartilage, blood, and muscles.  Try doing a google or yahoo search on connective tissue tumors/cancer and see how much comes up!!  The vet probably did a half butt job on the biopsy or didn't get enough for a sample.  That was a waste of money, and trust me, I know because I've had them on my cats.  Don't let the vet pull this on ya!!

I still say you go for the surgery!!  You'll have a chance, esp. if the tumor is small.  Without the surgery, your cat will have no chance at all.  And, your cat is obviously already in pain since he/she is already walking on 3 legs.  Your cat will do just fine on 3 legs, ALL of us are in agreement on this post about that.

ZQ
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Avatar_n_tn
I just want to echo everyone else and say yes to having the surgery. Your kitty will be able to live with only having 3 legs very well. I hope you decide to keep the little one around. Your baby will enrich your life even more when you see how much better she will feel and how well she'll do after her recovery. I'm saying she and I apologize if you have a boy kitty.

I know it's expensive but your baby is worth it. I also agree with getting a second opinion.
That never hurts and may give you new insight as to how to treat her. I also think it's strange that they couldn't tell you what kind of cancer it is.

Please let us know what you decide to do.
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172023_tn?1334675884
I had a dog with bone cancer, one that is very invasive and almost universally fatal.  We had his leg amputated, and had chemo, too.

He lived almost 4 more years with his "incurable, rapidly fatal" cancer, happily hopping around on 3 legs as easily as you could ever want, until he died of an unrelated heart problem.  His incurable cancer never recurred at all.

Sometimes I think the statistics on cancer in animals is so grim, partly because not very many people treat the animal for it.    Many animals with cancer do extremely well, if given the chance.

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Avatar_f_tn
Look if she gets sick, baadly in the future yo will deal with it then and putting her down might be the answer.

But it is not the answer now I think.  Imagine how much you will love her with three legs :-))
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541150_tn?1306037443
I second the above posters. I'd say go for the surgery. If you put her to sleep you will never know if the vet was right or wrong about the tumor coming back, and you'll be wondering and doubting yourself feeling guilty. It's your cat, not just any animal you found yesterday. Help her live longer on three legs. It will even make her more beautiful when you see how well she adjusts to her new shape.
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