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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15149
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My cat has had both eyes removed due to cancer in both of them.

Resolved Question:

My cat has had both eyes removed due to cancer in both of them. Over the last few days he has been very quiet, he sits with his front paws under him and his head held down. I realise that with cancer his time is limited but I wonder if perhaps we have got there now. what is your view?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name isXXXXX and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Roger's seeming withdrawal and possible discomfort over the past few days.

How long has it been since his eyes were removed?
Is he still eating and drinking well?
Is he maintaining the same position pretty much all of the time?

If his surgery was done within the past week or so he may just need better pain relief while he heals.
If it has been several weeks since surgery then cancer involving the eyes can easily travel along the optic nerve to the brain. My concern is that his cancer has done so and is either affecting brain function or is causing increased pressure behind his eyes leading to a severe migraine type headache effect.

Unfortunately he cannot tell us how he is feeling, but if he is maintaining his position pretty much all of the time and not eating and drinking well that points toward over-riding discomfort.

It may be possible to control his discomfort a bit longer with anti-inflammatory steroid medications like Prednisone or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Meloxicam (which he is on now) or Onsior (robenacoxib). We can also use an opiod type pain reliever called buprenorphine alone or in combination with anti-inflammatories.

If we cannot get him comfortable then I do believe we need to consider his quality of life.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 15149
Experience: Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
Dr. Kara and other Vet Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

He had the first eye removed in Feb 2013 i was told by the vet at that time is was an aggresive cancer. His second eye was removed sept 2013 and was told at the time it was a Sarcoma. He is eating but is very skinny now. This sitting as he does has only been after the last week. He is also not very good at grooming now, being a long haired cat he is now getting knotted.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the further information, it is very helpful.
I am glad to hear that he is still eating, but the fact that he is getting skinny probably points to an increased metabolism that is burning more calories then he is taking in. That can indicate that the cancer has spread as cancer cells have a very high rate of reproduction which burns a tremendous amount of calories. He probably cannot keep up with the amount of calories he needs now to maintain weight. That can make him weak and tired.

I think his new way of sitting indicates pressure in his head and pain.

His poor grooming habits also point to a cat that is focused elsewhere and is in pain. Cats that feel well, or at least are still able to hide their illness, don't let themselves go.

I think that you need to discuss with your veterinarian either adding pain medication to see if you cannot get him more comfortable or consider humane euthanasia, letting him go gracefully. I'm sorry as I know no one wants to hear that their pet is in pain or it may be time to let go, but I believe he is trying to tell you he is miserable the only way he can.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As much as it will break my heart I do think you are right the time has come. I don't want him to suffer, I will do anything to keep him, however I dont want him to suffer however much I love him. Thank you for your advice but I think the next step is the Vet.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
I'm so sorry, he sounds like a very well beloved boy who has had rotten luck. Please know you both are in my thoughts, take care, Dr. Kara.

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