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cat jaw grinding

My old cat makes a terrible grinding sound when she eats, even when the food is totally soft and mushy.  This has gone on a long time and she is dehydrated and doesn't eat or drink much.  We coax her to eat as much as possible.  She has lost a lot of weight.  She has medium length fur and does have hairballs also.  The vet finds nothing wrong with her lab work and sees nothing  wrong  looking in her mouth and cleaning her teeth.
What could be the problem?
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A second vet xrayed her mouth and head and showed me a strange area that looked like a tumor.  Said it was either an inflamation and prescribed Prednazone (sp?) or an inoperable tumor.  He also said to feed her meat baby food or Prescription canned cat food A/D by Hill as it is like Ensure for cats.  The kitty seems to be feeling better.
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