- 5 years ago
I have two lovely 16 year old female calico cats. They are sisters from the same litter. They have been remarkably healthy all their lives, with every vet saying that they’ve never seen senior cats in as good shape as ours.
Sadly, over the past few weeks, one of our girls suddenly started losing a bunch of weight (she’s normally 9lbs and now she’s down to 6). I was out of the country for the past 3 weeks. Before I left, I thought she was looking a bit thin, but she was acting normal and eating, so I didn’t think much of it. When I got back a few days ago, she had deteriorated dramatically. My husband was at home with her and, bless his heart, he didn’t notice anything. He apologized and confessed that he should have been more observant. She has basically stopped eating and has no interest in any kinds of food (I’ve tried so many different things). She wasn’t drinking very much water either. I’m trying not to be mad at Darling Husband. I know he’s not detail oriented but I really wish he had picked up on this and brought her to the vet in my absence.
I took her to the vet as soon as I got home. The vet confirmed that she was dehydrated, and felt some kind of mass when she massaged her belly. They did an xray that was inconclusive. It showed something fuzzy in the abdomen – below the lungs and at the top of the stomach, but it wasn’t enough to go on. All her bloodwork was all normal. This vet is pretty sure it’s cancer, and wants us to get an ultrasound (which may or may not confirm it).
Apart from the weight loss and her coat looking a bit unkempt, our cat is behaving like herself. She’s cheerful and playful and she’s been running around, jumping on furniture, vocalizing (not more or less than usual). Could cancer take her body over that quickly, and still leave her with that much energy?
Also, the vet sent us home with an appetite stimulant that worked almost immediately. She has eaten a normal amount of food over the last 12 hours, and she slept in her usual spot (on our bed).
I am not a vet, but part of me is suspecting that she has an impacted hairball. She has a very thick coat and would normally throw up hairballs a couple of times a week (despite us grooming her often). We have not seen a hairball in several weeks, but she has been throwing up little bits of liquid. She has also been grooming herself. I mentioned this to the vet and she said that this is possible, but VERY unlikely, and that cancer is the most likely scenario.
I have made an appointment for a second opinion with a different vet, who has offered to review the xrays that the last vet took. We cannot afford an ultrasound. It would run at least $600, and the vet visit/meds/xrays from yesterday already set us back $400.
Bees who are vets or experienced with cats – is our vet right in predicting cancer? Is that the most likely scenario, especially since our cat still seems to have so much energy?
I promise I’m not looking for someone to tell me what I want to hear (that cancer is less likely than something else stuck in her belly). I’m just confused and this vet was very gruff and kept interrupting us as we were asking questions. I left the office feeling very sad, confused, and full of questions that she didn’t have time to hear. When she called me today to say that the bloodwork was normal, she reiterated that the prognosis was “guarded” and that she’d be surprised if it’s not cancer.