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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 17098
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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My cat is a neutered female aged 14. She has gradually

Customer Question

My cat is a neutered female aged 14. She has gradually stopped eating and has lost a good lot of weight. Her blood was analysed by the vet and all results were good but he found a tumour/mass in one of her kidneys. He has not done an X-ray, MRI, CT scan or urine analysis yet so probably does not know what type of tumor it is. The 2 possible options I have been given at this stage are to either remove the kidney or euthanasia. (The second kidney seems fine.) He said some cats get a new lease of life after this operation but as she is old, she could die during the operation or may not recover much.
I would like to get a few opinions from professionals as to which option I should go for. I do not want to cause unecessary suffering to my cat.
If I were to choose surgery…
• What does the entire procedure entail?
• How can the vet check for metastasis?
• How long will she be away from home?
• For how much of that time will she be conscious?
• Will she need to be given an intravenus drip to build her up in advance of the operation?
• What would her quality/duration of life be after the operation (best and worst case scenario)?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am sorry to hear about Lizzie. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

Removing a kidney is major surgery, best done by an experienced or board certified surgeon. Before thinking of surgery, I would do a chest Xray to look for evidence of the cancer spreading to the lungs, because then surgery would not be recommended. If she were mine, I would probably next do an ultrasound to get a biopsy, so I know if surgery would help or not.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

The time she is from home would depend on how the surgery went. If it went well, maybe only a day or two. If there are complications, it might be longer.

She would alway be conscious, except during the actual surgery.

She will need to be on IV fluids during and for awhile after surgery. Fluids would not "build her up", just maintain hydration, electrolytes, kidney function.

Until we see if surgery is successful, if there is metastasis and what kind of cancer this is, I can't tell you quality/quantity of life.

Let me know what else I can answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

The abdominal ultrasound would also be a way to look for metastasis.

If you have more questions, please let me know, and let me know if this was helpful. I am sorry to hear she has this condition. If it is a cancer confined to just the one kidney, she should do well after surgery. Let me know how she is doing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My Vet reckons the mass in her kidney is cancer judging by the size of it. From what he could feel he thinks that there are no other lesions in the abdomen but he could not determine if there were any in the liver. He said he would look at the liver during the surgery to see if there were any metastases there. He has recommended that if I am to go ahead with the surgery I should bring her to him tomorrow to have 24 hours Intravenous fluids in advance of the operation. He has said he would not recommend a scan or X-ray he'd just go ahead with the operation based on what he has seen.
I did not ask why he did not suggest an X-ray... (He does not have MRI of CT scan equipment). Do you think it is a bad idea to go ahead without doing any sort of scan? How easily can a vet be sure of a diagnosis based on a full manual examination and blood bio-chemistry?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I were to find a place to have a scan done, will the cat need to be anaesthetised for it?
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

My personal choice would be to do a chest Xray; if there is evidence of cancer in the lungs, I might question doing surgery if the tumor has already metastasized. Same with an abdominal ultrasound; find out if there is one tumor or more than one, and if there appears to metastasis to the liver before doing anesthesia and surgery. I personally would not be sure of the diagnosis just based on palpation and blood work. He should not have to be anesthetized to do a chest Xray or abdominal ultrasound.

I agree with doing fluids ahead of time.

Let me know what else I can help with and answer.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

I hope you were able to see my responses; I have not heard back from you! How is Lizzie doing?