After spending another $500 on Misha today they think she has Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy for one thing because of how her ECG looked today. She does not have hypothyroidism though.
The bad news is, they aspirated the lump and the vet said she does think it looks cancerous because of the way the cells looked splintered? She says she's not an expert, though and wants a pathologist to look at it so we're sending it off for them to look at it. We should know in a day or so their results. Bottom line, it will probably have to be removed, hopefully without chemotherapy.
She did a chest x-ray to look at her heart and see if there was any cancer spread in her lungs and said that all looked clear, which is good.
This heart disease she thinks she has she explained is a thickening of the heart from the inside so it doesn't always show an enlarged heart. She doesn't know for sure she has this because we'd have to have a cardiologist confirm this with an echocardiogram which would be hundreds more. She is pretty sure this is what's going on though because of the symptoms she's been having (throwing up and weight loss) and the way the ECG looked.
She wants her to start on a medicine for that but they don't carry it so she needs to find a pharmacy that I can go and get this. I forgot what the name of it is.
I'm going to have to do some investigation on what this heart disease is too.
Anyway, I'll let you all know in a day or so what the outcome looks like with the lump and what the pathologist says and I guess we'll take it from there. One day at a time.
Oh I am so sorry to hear this..poor kitty! sure has had her share of problems.
My best buddy Opus was dx'd with heart murmur and high b/p he was on monitoring and meds for 3 yrs before he failed....so don't give up hope the meds when bought thru a human pharmacy are very cheap...
and lets hope for the best with the cancer news...
I'm sorry Misha is giving you such a hard time. Poor kitty. I will be praying for her. Know you are not the only one. I may have to put Abby to sleep. But I'm also taking it one day at a time.
Huge kisses for beautiful Misha. Please keep us updated.
Oh PK, I'm so sorry about Abby. This sure has not been a good year, has it? I feel like I just lost Willow, I hate to lose another animal so soon. I'm hoping this will be something we can control with medication and that she's got a good few years left at least. That's the goal right now anyway. I'll be praying for you and Abby too. I know how much Abby means to you. You've fought hard for that cat and have made many sacrifices for him. He's a lucky cat. Many people wouldn't have gone as far as you did. We will hope for the best for Abby too! God bless you, my friend. *Hugs*
Guys, I need help making a decision! I may ask the vet on this site. I sure need a second or third opinion.
Here's the deal, the pathology report came back and it definitely looks like sarcoma cancer because of the atypical cells. There's inflamation around the lump but they believe because the lump is so firm that's another reason to believe this is cancer.
So obviously it needs to come out but here's the deal, since they just also diagnosed her with this heart disease that makes putting her under (to remove the lump) much more dangerous. So what do I do???? The vet is suggesting I start her on a beta blocker (Atenolol) for a month and see if that helps with the heart before doing the surgery. But is it wise to wait that long if this lump is cancerous? What do I do??? I don't know what's best here!!!
Thanks PK, I just did post something on the expert forum but it looks like they only check it about every week or so. I'm going crazy trying to figure out what's best here! I can't believe she's got both problems going on. One is bad enough.
Part of me thinks if it's cancer, get it out, the sooner the better! But with the heart issue, putting her under could be very dangerous. I just don't know what to do.
Oh My....this is awful, just awful. I am so sorry. Hmm...have you searched online? Maybe you will find some helpful articles on heart disease and cancer...and surgery. Oh Gosh poor kitty. Poor Misha. This is so not fair. I will be checking on your posts periodically.
Can you go to another vet? We are talking lots of money, and putting her through pretty much the same thing all over, which would add more stress I'd assume. But maybe it'd be worth getting a second opinion before acting? But, if you are comfortable with that diagnosis then I'd do as they say.
April, I would think Misha's age would have something to do with this decision? The reality is, if she is an older cat, throw in the heart murmer on top of surgery, well, you know what I'm about to say...she may not make it and you would still be facing quite a huge vet bill anyway. I am trying to put myself in your shoes...we don't have alot of money either and I am just trying to think logically here. Now if Misha is younger, that may be a whole different story.
I can only assume your vet thinks Misha can make it another month if she is suggesting the beta blockers for a month prior to surgery. Seems though, that Misha's symptoms have already been presenting for two months so will she make it another month, I wonder? This is a terrible dillema!
I am with PK as far as getting a second opinion if you can afford to do that.
I am so sorry and simply devasted to hear this...and practically right on top of losing Willow too.
I had something similar happen with my 16 year old kitty last year, and I felt I had to get another opinion. He was diagnosed with Intestinal lymphoma, and my regular Vet just didn't know how to treat him. Those aren't the right words, but you know what I mean. I was referred to a Board Certified Internal medicine Vet. His cancer was too widespread for surgery, but with some oral chemo, I was able to give him some quality of life and relief and have him a little longer.
Yes, it's more money for the second opinion, but you already have many of the tests done on Misha, so you could just get copies and take them with you, Do you have a Specialty Hospital nearby? You could ask your Vet for a referral to a Board Certified Vet. It may be more difficult in a rural area. keep checking the Expert Forum, as they do answer. My heart and prayers go out to you and Misha.
The vet on MH wrote back and advised me to get an echocardiogram first to make sure she's actually got this heart disease (not just an assumption) and said a biopsy would be more accurate on the lump too, which makes me mad because my vet told me we could do the biopsy or just aspirate it. To aspirate it would be easier on the cat and in case it didn't show anything. Now I have to pay for 2 tests when I guess I should have just done the biopsy. The thing is, she has to be sedated for the biopsy too. Sigh. I guess first things first, I'll get the echocardiogram but I have to go to a cardiologist for that and shell out another $100, I guess, but it will show a more definate on whether she actually does have this heart disease.
I'll keep you all up to date. Thanks guys.
I saw the Vet's response. He was very good and thorough. The same happened to me with my regular Vet doing a needle aspiration on my cat's abdomen. I ended up going to a Surgical Vet at the Specialty Hospital and he did a needle guided biopsy with an ultrasound. Did your Vet recommend a Cardiologist for Misha? Keep us postted
Hi April and PK.....You know I am praying for the both of you and also Misha and Abby....if there are kitty angels up there please keep these little guys under your care...
all the best and let us know when you are able to...
I'm sorry to hear about Misha...my heart goes out to you. I will keep her in my prayers.
Just thought of something.....do you know if the vet did a fine needle aspirate or was it a core needle biopsy? The core needle biopsy uses a larger needle that can get more tissue w/out putting the cat under anesthetic. Maybe, this would be an option for Misha to avoid the invasive biopsy.
Sara-good luck w/ Snickers. I hope he feels better soon, too! Please, let us know how everything goes!
You're right....what the H is going on w/ our babies??????
Well, here's some good news! I saw the specialist today and they did an ultrasound and said Misha does not look like she has cardiomyopathy. If she does, it's in the very earliest stage, the vet said because she has no thickening in her heart muscle, in fact he said her heart looks pretty good! She does have some mild mitral-valve disease which he said could just be from her age. He did hear the heart murmer but said he really had to listen for it.
There's no need for treatment or medication for this or the mitral-valve disease, though. That means she doesn't have to take a beta blocker after all! Yea! He does want to see her in about 4 months or so just to recheck her heart.
As for the mass, this specialist recommend I get the surgery soon in case this mass is cancerous. He doesn't think it's necessary to biopsy it first because she'd just have to be put under again to remove it. He suggested just going ahead and removing it and then getting it biopsied. If you all remember, so far they only aspirated it to check the cells for cancer but it's not as accurate as a biopsy would be.
He also said she should have no problem being put under because her heart looks fine.
So all of this is good news! Next step will be the surgery, which I will have to call and schedule. I don't even know how much that will cost. Please pray about all of this. It's already cost us about $1,000 for all the blood work, x-ray, ultrasound and pathology report so far. I really, really hope this surgery will just take care of things and we won't have to worry about anything after that. Oh, and the vet said just removing the lump should be fine. He doesn't think she'd need chemo or radiation. Isn't that all good news? :)
I'll let you know when I have a date for surgery. Thanks again for caring about Misha and me. God bless you all!
Yes, this is awesome news! Well, as awesome as it can get...you know what I mean. So glad you don't have to worry about the heart issue. I will add to my "Misha" prayers that you will find the money for this surgery or at the very least, your vet will have mercy and give you a break. Our vet gave us a bit of a break with Jades boarding after surgery so while it wasn't a $5000 certificate, is was of some help with the bill so I will hope and pray your vet will do something in the way of a discount.
I've been thinking. I know this is silly, but I've been fantasizing about a fund people could contribute to here at MH, to help people such as yourself and PK and just people who don't have alot of money who's animals need surgery and if lots of people just put in $10, or even $5, how much that would help the owner because I could certainly afford to contribute a small amount of money for such a cause and surely others could too. It would be anonymous and whoever wanted to help, could do so. Probably sounds dumb, but it breaks my heart, vet fees and surgery is so expensive and so many pets may not get to live because their owners can't afford to treat them.
Well, anyway. Thanks for the update hon. I will pray you find the money!! Something good will happen...just look at what happened for PK?...I'm sure all the prayers had to have had Something to do with it, at least, I like to think so :)
That sounds wonderful and a lovely idea. I know the only way I was able to afford this so far was putting it on the credit card, which will have to be paid back eventually. I hate putting stuff on credit like that because it takes forever to pay off but what do you do when you don't have the money up front? It's not easy, that's for sure.
And I doubt the vet would offer any compensation. I've never seen them do it. I've been thinking of finding a new vet for a long time.
Honey this is GOOD news. I am so glad she is and will continue to be ok. Hey, do you have care credit? I hear Care Credit is very good, with no interest, just to help people out with medical expenses. I know at the Animal Hospital Abby was care credit is still accepted, and while it isn't as good as a certificate, it can at least help you owe just what you spend; that is, no interest or fees.
I know exactly how you are feeling money wise. I myself spent the same amount of money on my cat before he got referred to the big hospital. In two years, I have spent close to 10,000 on just vet bills (Not counting food, toys, litter etc) I have lost count of the many blood tests they have done....
My vet is given two certificates each year. I was lucky, or unlucky enough to have gotten the second one. With a new house and bigger bills one has to really, really look for ways to avoid being so financially affected by vet bills. Honey, don't stop looking for help. There has to be a helpful soul out there willing to either give you a better price or offer you some sort of financial help.
Otherwise I am extremely glad Misha's condition has a fix, and that everything will be ok. She has been through really tough times. I remember when you took in your friend's cat. What a mess.
April...what about calling another vet to see what they would charge for this surgery. Couldn't hurt to make a few phone calls since you want to change vets anyway. Maybe someone you know is pleased with their vet and can refer you? I think I got a good deal on Jades surgery, but I wish I had of called around just to compare. Jade is fine and all, but I don't like how uneven her ears came out which is totally obvious in her post op pic and I can't help but wonder if my vet was as skillful at this surgery as another dr might have been :(
You could always take Misha's record with you...
PK...got your PM and will reply tomorrow. I am just beat tonight.
Yeah, I haven't been too happy this last year or so where I've been going. It's just that I've gone there for almost 10 years with Willow and Misha but they have such a high turn over rate of vets there. I did like some who came and went. Now I don't know anybody and they don't know my pets anymore. I started taking the puppies somewhere else.
Just today when I took Misha to this specialist, the specialist requested her records regarding the tests they did these last few weeks, especially anything pertaining to her heart and this mass. Well, they faxed over some stuff but didn't have everything! He wanted to see the chest x-ray they did and couldn't even find anything mentioned about the x-ray at first until they had to request more stuff to be faxed over while I was sitting there. They didn't have the ECG and he couldn't find the pathology report. His assistant had to call them and ask them to fax over the things that were missing. I know accidents happen but they knew I was going to this specialist for the heart issue and the mass. They should have known to send over any pertinent information regarding these issues, don't you think?
Yeah, I may ask around or look around but I hate to have a surgery done with a brand new vet I haven't even met yet. I'll call around and see. I don't even know if a new vet would just jump right into surgery with a brand new patient. We'll see. I'll ask around and make some calls but I probably should not put this off too long in case it really is cancer.
WOW, April....they sound obnoxiously disorganized by not having everything faxed over before her appointment. That would have p'd me off enough to never go back. That is just above and beyond poor service. Please, ask around for some good, organized vets. I wouldn't even trust them w/ a spay.
I am so happy to hear the news about Misha!! We are 3 for 3 now!!! Jade you have a great idea but given the fact i am flat broke all i can do is send my prayers to all of you and your babies.......sara
Yeah, maybe I should have just hand carried over stuff but when I called them (my vet clinic) they said that the specialist had already called them and requested them to fax over her records so I just left it up to them.
Sarah, sweet Sarah, prayers mean more to me than money and I could use all the prayers I can get right now with all that's going on in my life! I'll take it. Worth more than a million bucks to me. :)
You've gotten a lot of feedback about another Vet for the surgery. If you have that gut feeling of not trusting your regular Vet, I know there are Vets specialized in surgery.It's mdore difficult in a rural area to find these vets. If you type in Surgical Vets, + your city, you may be able to find one close to where you live and just get a second opinion. Or possibly the Cardiologist can give you a referral. He's specialized in Cardiology, so I bet he knows of a good surgical vet for Misha. These Specialists have more training than the regular Vet. Maybe a little more pricey, but you will know you are getting the best. I know the money issue is a bummer. Check to see if they have Care Credit, as PrettyKitty mentioned.
YAYYYY, all the babies sound like they're doing great!! I'm glad that Snickers has stopped barfing and seems more calm around Cali. I'm also glad that Misha is eating well-that means that she'll be healthy and strong for her surgery!! And, WOW how about Abby???? That boy is amazing and is recovering SOOOOO quick! I will continue to pray for our special kids on here. I can honestly say that there is not a day that goes by that I don't think about the kids! LOL
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