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Rebecca
Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 14935
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I have an 11 year old cat who started to get thin. After

Customer Question

I have an 11 year old cat who started to get thin. After weeks of tests at the vets including blood/urine/ultrasound/biopsy - it has been concluded he has a large benign tumour on one of his kidneys.
I have been given 2 options:
1. Palliative care until he has to be put to sleep.
2. Removal of the kidney.
Despite getting thinner he seems to be himself. I would prefer to remove the kidney in the hope his remaining time would be better. The vet said he cannot make any guarantees nor is it possible to test how good the other kidney is functioning.
How much of an impact is removing the kidney?
Looking for help in making the right decision.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.

Hello,

I am sorry to hear your cat has this tumor. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Removing a kidney is not an easy surgery. I am a general practitioner, and if this were my own cat, I would not attempt the surgery. I would go to a surgery specialist. It will be a large incision, and he will need to recover for a week or so.

Have any blood tests been done? If his BUN and creatinine are normal, the opposite kidney should still be working. If the BUN and creatinine are high, he is down to less than 25% kidney function, which means the nontumorous kidney is not functioning normally.

This is a hard decision. If the tumor is benign, his opposite kidney is normal, and surgery is successful, he might have many good years left. If there are surgery complications, if the other kidney already has reduced kidney function, if it turns out the tumor is not benign (the ultrasound biopsy is a needle biopsy and may not pick up areas of cancerous cells in the tumor), then he will have gone through an invasive surgery but not have a long life ahead.

Are you working with a veterinary surgeon, and/or oncologist?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am working with a veterinary surgeon. Blood tests were done although from memory i don't think they were too bad - slightly high in certain places but not too much to be concerned with - i believe was the response - i will confirm what you have said with him.
My cat also had his blood pressure taken, but this was normal.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.

Good if blood tests and blood pressure is normal.

What is the surgeon recommending? Try asking him what he would do if this were his very own cat.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He said it was a hard choice. He recommends removal. I think i will ask about the blood test results and mention what you said.
As my cat is getting thinner, does that not indicate his other kidney is not functioning ok ? Im assuming if the other kidney was ok, his condition would be so noticeable ?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.

Getting thinner is a concern. It would help to know what his blood tests look like.

Rebecca and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the great rating. Please let me know what you decide and how he is doing.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Just to update.
I decided to go ahead with the operation - it was a hard choice.
The removed kidney was sent off for analyses and showed small traces of cancer.
Its been a few weeks now since the op and my cat is doing fine - running out/playing/less grumpy.
He hasn't put on weight but also hasn't lost weight. He is currently on a Royal Canin Renal diet.
Latest blood tests are not much difference to the ones taken before the op - so looks like the other kidney was almost dead.
I have been given the option of an MR scan to check if the cancer has spread, although the vet said the traces were very small and the tumour was still encased in the kidney sack when it was removed.
For the moment i think my cat has been through enough and will see how things go.Thanks for your help - was nice to hear someone else point of view.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the update. Good he is maintaining his weight. Let me know how he is doing.