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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32878
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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My cat Kizzy is 8 years old. She is normally a very healthy

Customer Question

My cat Kizzy is 8 years old. She is normally a very healthy & affectionate cat who likes to go outdoors a lot. About 4 weeks ago I noticed she had a bald patch on her back and some round, red sores. I assumed she had been fighting with other cats as she often does. However, days later whilst stroking her I noticed she had sores and scabs all up her back from neck to tail and she was losing a lot of hair. I assumed it was a flea infestation which she has had on occasion. I used the Frontline spot lotion on the base of her neck. 3 weeks later, the redness has gone but she still has some scabs. Her coat is very dry to the touch and coarser than normal and her breath started to smell bad. Then about 5 days ago I noticed she wasn’t eating her dry cat food as much and wasn’t grooming herself, her paws were really dirty and she started batting her paws against her mouth and chewing them. On closer inspection she had a sore on the side of her lip/face and her bot***** *****p was red. Her eyes were weeping and she was drooling sometimes with blood in it. She still seemed to be hungry so I gave her ham which she struggled to pick up by her mouth and used her paw but would drop it. When I noticed she wasn’t drinking and losing weight I booked her into the vets 1 day ago. I didn’t mention the fleas at first as was more concerned by her mouth. The vet had a look inside her mouth and said she had bad teeth, breath and had a mass under her tongue which was lumpy and pale looking. The vet said my cat had probably got an aggressive tumor which was inoperable and most likely cancerous. She said she could do a biopsy to confirm but said it wasn’t worth it as she was convinced she was right. She looked at the flea bites and said she couldn’t see any signs of live fleas.
She administered a steroid injection and an antibiotic injection. She said it was now a case of managing her illness but suggested that the end result would be to put her down eventually. Obviously I was devastated and cried all night. After a few hours I tried to give her some shredded ham and flakes of tuna, her eyes lit up and she ran to it and managed a few nibbles but with difficulty in chewing holding her head to one side. She also went to her water bowl and stood looking at it for ages but wouldn’t drink. I tried her with a little milk and she managed a few sips but seemed to be in pain.
I decided to research her condition and symptoms, chemotherapy and radiotherapy were mentioned as a form of help though my vet didn’t offer any of those. I came across some other conditions which were similar/exact symptoms of my cat. For instance, Gingivostomatitis, or Bartonella which is a significant side effect from a flea infestation.
Obviously I would like to think that she has something other than cancer as I am struggling with the prospect of her dying or having to put her to sleep. As it stands now since the injections she is walking around, going outside, jumping on things, meowing and following me everywhere waving her tail and seem genuinely happy and definitely has a appetite but though she tries to eat and drink it obvious she is in pain and not much is going in. I just don’t what to do, I don’t want to put her down whilst she seems so happy to be here but I can’t watch her die from not being able to eat or drink either.I was hoping the injections would help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Kizzy. I recommend that you insist upon a biopsy of that mass. If cancer is, indeed, found, you'll have the closure you need. In the event that that mass represents a different disease process such as eosinophilic granuloma which would be consistent with her miliary dermatitis/eosinophilic skin disease, you'll know that it can be addressed with the same type of steroid that was in the injection.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.