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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18403
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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hi my name is ***** ***** my cat is a female long haired torti

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hi my name is ***** ***** my cat is a female long haired torti she is 16/17 she has gradually lost weight over the last 2 year but her sister of the same age died 2 year ago she seem to miss her dreadfully so we bought another kitten for her they didnt and still dont really get on but when i took the kitten for her examination and injections i was told to feed her on dry food because of the damage wet food does to the teeth so we did the same with gismo she started slavering a lot and losing weight but i put that down to her diet and the loss of her sister she seemed fine otherwise untill about 6wk ago she became rather listless and wouldnt eat or drink i managed to keep her highdrated by sringe i took hr to pdsa where he said her mouth was ever so swollen gave her ant botic by injection 3/3 times then gave me 2 wk tablets twice daily had to crush up she wouldnt eat food with them had to sringe them with milk. last mond i took her bk my vet thinks could be tumour or really bad infection has lost a really decayed bk tooth others are wobbly he said leave the antibiotics but gave her antiflamatry injection she picked up no end but her mouth seems swollen and the top jaw doesnt seem to match the bottom jaw her 2 bottom teeth lopsided sticking out of her mouth and her tongu a lot of the time can only eat blended food but very keen to eat. her left eye seems differnt to other and her left leg seems to give way when shes running and jumping could you give me your oppinion please
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I'd like to help with your concerns about Gismo's weight loss, difficulty eating and swollen lower jaw with tooth loss and changes in the way her left eye looks.
Older cats can develop organ failure and that can lead to a decreased appetite. With kidney failure we can also see bone weakening due to changes in calcium absorption from the bone due to high phosphorus levels in the blood and that could lead to some of the changes that you are seeing with her mouth, including swelling, pain on chewing and tooth loss. These kitties are normally drinking a tremendous amount of water and may vomit and are so nauseous they don't want to eat.
In her case it seems more like she wants to eat, but is too painful to do so.
With the other things that you are seeing, such as changes in the way her eye looks on that side and her tongue being displaced, I would be concerned about osteomyelitis (bone infection) of her jaw/skull and/or possibly a tumor that is growing and destroying bone and pushing on her eye. It would make sense that antibiotics to treat the secondary or primary infection and steroids to help relieve some of the uncomfortable inflammation would help in this case.
I recommend that your veterinarian take some radiographs of the affected areas of her skull and jaw and attempt to biopsy the lesion. That will tell you whether this is a tumor versus an infection and direct treatment.
If that isn't an option for her then the best that you can do is keep her as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. That will likely include chronic pain medication, buprenorphine (Buprenex) works quite well, as well as periodic antibiotics to control the infection and feeding soft foods only. Some owners choose to have a feeding tube placed when it becomes too painful for their kitties to eat on their own.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

i find this very helpful my vet did say he is worried it may be a tumour almost exactly as you said but i wanted a second opinion he thinks its kinder to put her to sleep as of her age but i couldn't believe it could be a growth because of the way she wants to eat and the way she runs aroundif it was a really bad infection he thought that or tumour is it possible to get rid of the infection or has it got too bad thankyou so much for your answers

Thank you for the positive rating.

The funny thing with cancer is that it doesn't make them feel bad until the tumor gets so big that it interferes with normal every day activities, and in her case that was eating crunchy foods, and will eventually get to the point that any food will be too difficult to eat.

If this is an infection it has created quite a bit of destruction in her mouth, jaw and skull and may be beyond treatment. It would probably take months of antibiotics to treat, and sometimes even that isn't successful.

At her age though and with all of her symptoms I do believe that this is an aggressive tumor and though there may be a secondary infection present, which treating may help her comfort level, treating the infection alone won't be a cure.

I know it is hard to accept when she seems to feel so great otherwise. In these cases I recommend treating to keep them comfortable with pain medication and antibiotics and when the kitty's behavior tells us she is no longer comfortable no matter what we do then it is time to let her go gracefully via humane euthanasia.
Changes in behavior I look for are no longer eating anything, hiding in a previously very social kitty, or becoming very clingy in a previously very independent kitty.

Best of luck with your girl, I can tell she is well loved, please let me know if you have any further questions.