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Cat Lymphoma - Advice

  1. #1

    Cat Lymphoma - Advice

    We're looking for any advice and knowledge with regards to helping our poor baby cat who has lymphoma cancer in her nasal canal. It's a soft tissue cancer and hasn't spread and is isolated only to her one nasal canal. The cancer, when it flares up and she hasn't had chemo for 4 or so weeks, her nasal canal closes and she has difficulty breathing.

    Basically she has a chemo dose every 3 weeks and every single time she has the chemo, within hours, her breathing normalizes and she has absolutely no breathing issues, but as a result, she loses her appetite. We inserted a feeding tube which allowed us to give her recovery food and crushed up pill medication without any issues. Her recovery time from the chemo to being able to eat on her own is around 10 days. As soon as she starts eating on her own, she vomits the tube up and then has a day of being uncomfortable but she normalizes again.



    The vets are basically saying they don't want to have to reinsert the tube every 2-3 weeks when she does chemo and has advised that we stop the treatment as a result.

    Obviously, this is a very difficult thing for us to do as we see how well she responds to the treatment. She has 10 days of being tired and we have to feed her through syringes or whatever, but as soon as she gets over that period, her breathing is great, she's very happy and active and back to being a normal cat until we go through the chemo again.

    Any advice on this situation would be greatly appreciated. We don't want to lose our baby! Please help us!

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum. Thank you for posting. What is your cat's name, and how old is she?

    I would not want to stress her out with a feeding tube. Syringes work just fine without one. The key is making sure she loves what you are feeding her. If you are feeding her a prescription diet, she probably does not like it and needs to eat regular cat food again.

    I always prefer to do this naturally because drugs have side effects, but an appetite stimulant called mirtazapine made my last cat hungry all day when she took it. Just 1/4 of a pill quadrupled her food intake for nearly 3 days. When the first dose wore off, she continued to eat the amount most older cats need (5.5 ounces), so if the vet recommends it and she has no side effects, I would expect two doses to be enough. Side effects are no fun, however, and there are ways to naturally make her eat on her own without it, so what I now call "meowsapine" because of my cat's behavior, so you should try changing the food before adding medicaiton.
    Keep your cats inside and safe.

  3. #3
    Hi there,

    Her name is Honey and she's 11.

    She doesn't take well when we try and feed her the recovery food post chemo. She gets super agitated and it's really difficult to administer food without the feeding tube. That was the main reasons the vet put a feeding tube in. She recovered so well from the last chemo and her feeding tube made it really easy for us to give her all the nutrition that she needed to get better. The vet pretty much doesn't want to continue the treatment because the lack of feeding tube makes it difficult for us to give her the food she needs.

    We've put her on tons and tons of different stimulants and most of them haven't really worked on her. Mirtazapine worked for a little, but she was back to not eating within a few hours.

    We're at our wits end when it comes to a way to get her through those bad 10 days post chemo.

  4. #4
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    Wow, how on Earth does meowsapine not work? All cats are different, but if she likes her recovery food something should have helped.

    What is her recovery food? There might be a better option if she has a hard timie smelling it.
    Keep your cats inside and safe.

  5. #5
    So we're using Royal Canin Recovery milk and Renal milk. She drinks a little here and there. But they're both high-calorie foods and they go super well down the feeding tube cause it's really thin, like water.

    We're using also using the Royal Canin Recovery tins. She only eats a little bit before she's done. It's just not enough to keep her body functioning well enough while she's having the chemo.

    I was hoping there was some trick that someone had done to either keep the feeding tube down or perhaps getting her to eat properly quickly after chemo

  6. #6
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    Hmmm, I have never heard of giving cats with renal failure milk. Unless her kidney function is declining, that seems useless to me.

    This is a can't hurt/might help idea: Byy one can of Royal Canin (same flavor in kitten formula) that is chunks and gravy or flaked instead of pate, separate the solid and liquid, and put the gravy down the feeding tube. If it works let her eat the chunks. Of course the vet needs to approve this long-term because Honey is on a prescription diet, but it is better than milk.

    Sorry, I don't know anyone who has the same experience, but other people should have better suggestions based on what they have had to do.
    Keep your cats inside and safe.

  7. #7
    The main issue is that she keeps throwing the tube up. She's had 3 tubes that she's thrown up. The vet says that giving her more surgery to get a tube in every 7 or so days just isn't viable. When we had the tube in, we had no issues, she was getting all the calories that she needs and she was getting much better and staying better for longer between chemo blasts.

    She just won't keep the tube down for more than 5 days. It's inserted into the side of her neck.

  8. #8
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    lymphoma is a very aggressive cancer, I lost one of my bengal to cancer in his chest when he was 12. I can sympathize with you as I know how hard it is to loose one. Have you tried feeding her baby food? Lots of times sick animals will eat baby food. Right now I'm dealing with my daughter's bulldog, first she had surgery then developed pneumonia, she is home now but refused to eat until I started feeding her baby food. I'm still feeding her baby food but she is just starting to eat her regular food again.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  9. #9
    Baby good is a good call! Any particular flavours that you've found that work?

  10. #10
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    not the junior variety of baby food, I go with chicken or turkey. The one that more liquidy and not solid chunks in it. Something that she can just lap up. You can even warm it up just a bit, if she can smell it it may encourage her to eat
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  11. #11
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    Warning abiout baby food: Many recipes have onion powder. Read the labels carefully.

    There is a difference between getting enough calories and enough vital nutrients. Milk is good, but meat is better. Don't make her a vegetarian!
    Keep your cats inside and safe.

  12. #12
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    What little bit of onion powder thats in the baby food I doubt will hurt her. I give baby food to sick animals all the time and never had a problem
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  13. #13
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    Gerber 2nd Foods Meats, Chicken & Chicken Gravy, 2.5-Ounce ingredients, ground chicken, water, cornstarch

    after you get her to eat the baby food, try some canned kitten food.
    he is your friend and protector, he will love you unconditionally, you owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion

  14. #14
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    +1 on kitten food
    Keep your cats inside and safe.

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