Mass in abdomen?

petra_gwMay 22, 2009

One of our kitties (male, 11, neutered) has been losing weight and has had a ravenous appetite along with the weight loss. I took him to the vet today, fully expecting for him to be diagnosed with hyperthyroid or diabetes, but during the exam the vet felt a mass in his abdomen.

She had me feel it, it feels soft, sort of like a bunch of fat. She took an x-ray, it looks like a long, wide mass obscuring the bladder and the intestines. We have an appointment for an ultrasound next Wednesday.

I am totally shocked, we just lost our 12 year old Baby who was suffering from IBD, and now this. She said there was a small chance it could be a huge abscess, but considering his weight loss and the fact that his temperature was almost normal, and his blood work completely normal, she does not think so. Have any of you guys had a similar situation, and if so, how did it turn out?

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lfnyc

I'm so sorry, Petra. Reluctantly, I have to tell you that my late cat Otis had similar symptoms at the age of 13. He was a gentle giant of a cat...26 lbs...but not overweight. I had noticed that he wasn't as active over a short period of time, but attributed it to age. He had lost a bit of weight but since he was eating and drinking with normal BMs I was not alarmed. He had normal bloods as of a check up a year prior.

Then suddenly, he started looking a very gaunt...I weighed him and he was down to 19 lbs. I took him straight to the vet, she took bloods (normal)but an ultrasound showed an abdominal tumor.
She didn't even consider surgery or a biopsy...said that these tumors are mostly inoperable. We kept Otis comfortable and eating with oral Prednisone. She told me I would know when it was time. Otis hung in there for another 6 months with varying degrees of inappetance.

I hope you guy's prognosis is different.

Lisa

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 8:58PM
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petra_gw

Lisa, I am so sorry for your loss. Otis truly was a giant at 26 pounds. Was he a Maine Coon?

My husband called the vet to ask questions I neglected to address because I was so upset about the diagnosis. The vet said even if the mass is benign it has to be removed because of its location. So we are leaning toward asking her to do surgery and remove as much as she can, and send in a biopsy so we know exactly what we are dealing with.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 5:44PM
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lfnyc

No...but a lot of people thought that. O was a big brown tabby,

I was looking thru my old vet papers and found his "Ultrasound, Abdominal mob" report...if you are interested, here is the pertinant info after describing as normal all other abdominal (liver, gall bladder, spleen, ducts, stomach, pancreas)functions:

"There is a focal intestinal mass. There is a mildly enlarged mesenteric lymph node.
Ultrasonographic assesment: Intestinal neoplasia
Recommendations: Consider coag and guided biopsy of mass."

i think what happened is that my vet could not guarantee that the mass would be removeable...but the that the biopsy alone would be major surgery and recovery. I opted for conservative treatment.

I hope your cat does better...please keep us posted.

L

    Bookmark   May 24, 2009 at 12:36PM
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petra_gw

The surgery is set for next Tuesday. I am still hopeful it might turn out to be benign and, if not, that she can remove all of it. It appears to only be attached to the stomach, not to any other organs. I'll update you on this thread next week, I really hope all will go well. It would be hard to lose another one so soon.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 5:29PM
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olyagrove

No, no experience or advice to offer...but wanted to wish your kitty good luck next Tuesday! Hope all goes well!

    Bookmark   May 27, 2009 at 6:07PM
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petra_gw

Olya, thank you. I do too, maybe we'll be lucky and the vet will be able to get it all.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2009 at 10:27AM
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petra_gw

Hi Lisa, looks like we are in the same boat. The vet did surgery first thing this morning, but called to tell us the growth is attached to the small intestine and a resection is not an option. So she took a biopsy and closed him back up. She did say liver and kidneys and everything else looks fine. She thinks its a gastric lymphoma. I guess we'll also go the prednisone route and I am researching holistic treatments. Considering she wasn't able to remove the tumor, I feel really bad we put him through surgery.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:59AM
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petra_gw

Correction, intestinal lymphoma, not gastric. His stomach and everything else looks okay, it's attached to the small intestine.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 11:07AM
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lfnyc

So sorry to hear that,Petra. Is there a chance that the mass is benign? And if so, perhaps that will make a difference.

I went thru this with Otis back in 2005, so the experience is not really fresh in my memory, but the Prednisone kept him eating and relatively active (remember, he was 13). I do remember having to change his foods...giving him anything he would eat, including Tender Vittles, while having to adjust his Pred dosage along the way.

I wish I had more to offer as far as advice.

Lisa

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 2:11PM
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petra_gw

She is submitting a sample for biopsy, so we'll find out by next week, but she thinks it's lymphoma. I asked about Prednisone, but she said she does not want to start that until his incision is healed up. Did Otis stop losing weight while on the prednisone?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 3:02PM
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lfnyc

I think his weight stabilized @ 19 lbs...remember that he was a BIG cat to begin with. Most humans who've been on an extended course of pred will tell you its a plumper-upper.

I recall that Otis' appetite did increase immediately when he started the pred...and then had its ups and downs. I kept a daily log of how much he was eating...and I fed him seperately from his buddy Max to make sure it was Otis who was consumming the food.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:01PM
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petra_gw

His appetite is ravenous, but he's lost weight, which is why we were initially convinced he must have hyperthyroid. I just hope the prednisone will stop further weight loss. He still weighs 11 pounds, but he used to weigh 16 and is thin now.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2009 at 10:37PM
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lfnyc

That seems unusual. Did you ask your vet why this might be occurring in the absence of a hyperthyroid? Could the mass be affecting his adrenolyn production? I know that animals (like humans) can have Addisons disease (and are medicated with predinsone).

In the meantime, if you have the time, keep a daily food diary so you can tell your vet exactly how much he's been eating.

L

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 9:44AM
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petra_gw

Yes, I did ask her about the appetite, and she said it's not caused by hyperthyroid because he does not have a racing heart and some other symptoms consistent with that. She said sometimes, cancers can cause a huge appetite initially.

He will sit next to us while we eat and insist on handouts. He also seems to crave raw meat, when I am cooking he is right there next to my feet, begging.

I thought Addison's caused lack of appetite and abnormal lab values, but I might be wrong.I'll ask when I pick him up today. His labs and exams were all normal, except for the mass. He also has normal stools, no vomiting, really nothing that would let you know anything is wrong, except for the weight loss and hunger.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 10:46AM
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laurief_gw

How "normal" was his thyroid result? I assume your vet tested his Total T4, but occasionally a hyperT cat's Total T4 will remain in the high end of normal range. If your cat's TT4 was in the high end of normal, you might consider requesting a Thyroid Panel which will include Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, and Free T3. If one or more of the other thyroid markers is elevated, he may, indeed, be hyperT.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 9:11PM
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petra_gw

Laurie, I have to trust the vet re. the results. As it is, with probable lymphoma he only has weeks or months and the lymphoma will kill him before a thyroid condition ever would. She gave me a printout of a photo of the tumor she took during exploratory and it is very nasty looking. I can see why she couldn't remove it, it has completely enveloped part of the bowel. She is almost 100% sure the tumor is cancerous, the labs are just to verify.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2009 at 11:15PM
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Anne_Marie_Alb

Petra, I just got to this thead, and I just can't tell you how sorry I am. I am afraid I don't have anything to contribute. I recently lost a cat with a mass in the pelvic area (he lived for another 8 months, but had other issues). I am just happy your cat is eating and acts 'normal'..

Just would like to say that a 'racing heart' (heart murmur) is NOT a symptom of hyperT, but a result of untreated hyperT, as my vet explained. But I agree with you that, at this point, it might be the least of your worries.

I am sure your cat will be happy to be home. My thoughts are very much with you!
Keep us posted if you can,
Anne-Marie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:24AM
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petra_gw

Thanks, Anne-Marie. I am so sorry you also lost a cat to this.
He is recovering well, has used the litter box and is eating. He is even letting me give him his pain med, which I was worried about as he is so hard to handle.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 11:55AM
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lfnyc

Petra, your cat sounds like a real trooper. My question about his increased appetite combined with weight loss was an acedemic one. In order for that to happen, something as to be souping up the metabolism. Due to his condition,there may not be a viable remedy. Obviously, you want to give your cat whatever he wants as long as he wants. He may have months ahead of him. There were days when Otis would not eat unless I hand fed him piece by piece...and then a couple days later, he would be munching away from his bowl.

If he gets difficult to pill, consider Pill Pockets.

L

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 1:34PM
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petra_gw

Well, his cooperation last night must have been a fluke. He just would not let me medicate him at noon and has gone into hiding to get away from me. :( I know he is in pain because he is hunched over, I wish he'd let me give him the pain med. It's liquid med in a syringe, so I have to squirt it into his mouth.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 2:15PM
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Anne_Marie_Alb

Yes, your cat is a real trooper.. yet, he IS smart, and he learned quickly the signs of.. "here comes my med!!" I hated to see my cat hide as I knew it was his way of telling me he was not feeling good... Maybe in his case, it is just "Med? Thanks, but no thanks!"

Med pain??? I hope it is NOT metacam. I do not mean to worry you (you do not need this), but this drug is simply not safe for cats (especially the oral injections). I have learned that the hard way.

Well, thinking of you both, and thanks for the update. Now at least he is home where he is getting the best of care!
Anne-Marie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 6:13PM
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petra_gw

Hi Anne-Marie, thanks for the warning. It did not even occur to me to check on the med. I just looked at the package and it's something called "Buprenex". I remember our IBD kitty getting the same stuff after her exploratory.
I did get the antibio pill into him, resorted to trickery by hiding it in a small bit of food and putting the plate in the cabinet with him. He gobbled that up, so I gave him several spoon fulls more, and he ate those too, and drank water. Now, if he'd only come out.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:08PM
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Anne_Marie_Alb

So relieved it is not Metacam! Buprenex is fine.
Glad he ate and got his antibiotic. He will come out when he is ready, poor guy! Maybe he'll make room for you in the cabinet...lol! Really, he needs a place where he feels 'undisturbed'. Hard to take for us...
Hope tomorrow will bring some improvement,
Take care
Anne-Marie

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 9:41PM
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quasifish

I'm so sorry you are dealing with this.

I read, but did not post to, your post when you first wrote it because you described my boy kitty in the months before he was diagnosed with cancer. By the time he showed signs, the cancer was everywhere, so they did not know where it started (and there wasn't really any point of trying to figure it out at that point anyway).

I had not been worried about him because he had perfect blood work just a couple months before and his appetite was fantastic- I didn't realize that a ravenous appetite sometimes goes hand in hand with cancer. It wasn't until later when I looked at pictures that I realized he had lost a bit of weight.

Again, I'm so sorry that you are going through this. My heart goes out to you. (((HUGS)))

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 12:08PM
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petra_gw

Anne-Marie, I think you are right about him coming out when he is ready. He emerged last night, but this morning one of the others was pestering him and he went right back into the cabinet. He probably feels vulnerable because of his injury.

Quasi, I am so sorry for your loss. I think this sort of thing just sneaks up on you, and by the time there are symptoms, there's not much that can be done. I also did not know that it can increase appetite until the vet told me, I always thought cancer causes loss of appetite.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 1:53PM
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lfnyc

Actually, that does make sense...that abnormally rapid cell growth requires excess energy intake. But I guess that the moral of the story (for all pet owners) is to weight your pet at least once a month.

L

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 2:35PM
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petra_gw

Lisa, weighing them is a great idea, the weight loss just seems to sneak up before you realize anything is going on.

But I do wonder, even if something like this were discovered early, would it make much of a difference as far as outcome? I guess it might allow treatment to extend life a few months, maybe by the tumor being small enough to remove.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2009 at 3:07PM
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lfnyc

I wondered the same thing. But there are other problems that cause weight loss that if detected early can be treated (diabetes, CRF, thyroid).

How is your guy doing?

    Bookmark   June 6, 2009 at 9:19PM
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petra_gw

We received the biopsy results, "undifferentiated adenocarcinoma" with a poor prognosis. No treatment options other than supportive care. It's what I expected, but it still feels like a punch in the gut.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 10:44AM
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lfnyc

So very sorry to hear that, Petra. I wish I could offer some sage advice other than to say that he may have more time left than has been the experience of other cats mentioned on this thread...and however long Puss has left, you have a chance to spoil him, love him, and appreciate him until he asks you to give him a humane and peaceful end.

lisa

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 4:57PM
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petaloid

lfnyc said it all better than I could. My thoughts are with you and your kitty-cat.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 11:35PM
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lily316

Very sorry to hear your sad news.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:07AM
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petra_gw

Probably grasping at straws, but I ordered something called C-Caps for cats (and dogs). It contains herbs which seem to have cancer-fighting properties. I know there's no cure, but maybe this will keep his quality of life better for a while. I am also giving him fish oil.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 11:18AM
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coconut_nj

Grasp away Petra. I'm so sorry. I'm sure you will but if he was liking the raw meat and he tolerates it, I'd keep giving him some of that. Maybe try some raw fish too. Whatever seems easiest on him. I mention the raw because that moves through their intestines faster than most processed foods, especially if they have any kind of grain in them. [Don't know if he gets kibble] Was thinking of it being attatched to his intestines. Like you just thinking outside the box at whatever might help his life be the best quality. The fish oil sounds good. Again, I feel for you.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 2:55PM
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petra_gw

Coconut, he's been eating raw beef and natural chicken off and on, and I bought some raw Alaskan wild-caught salmon today as well. I am kinda worried about the salmon because I read somewhere it can contain parasites which are bad for cats, but even if I have to cook it a little, he should like it.

He sure likes the fish oil, I put some in his food 3 times daily and so far, he is gobbling it up, knock on wood. It seems to have a good effect on him too, he is very lively.

The kitties also get EVO canned, which he really likes. He tries to eat the other cat's shares. :o)For dry, we have Core, but he hasn't eaten any of that in a while. He seems to prefer the canned and the raw meat. I just wish I could find a way to keep him from losing more weight. He is too thin.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 4:49PM
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ritamay91710

Petra

I am so sorry to hear about your baby. My Rex was diagnosed with probable liver cancer. (I say probable, because we never did a biopsy, just an ultrasound which showed many masses, and 2 vets agreed that is was most likely cancer)
I ordered him the c-caps, and he survived over a year longer than they told me he would. He eventually died from what they think was a blood clot, because he had been doing so great otherwise. (he also had CRF, hyper-t)
I am definately not saying that the c-caps did it, I'm not even sure if he did in fact have cancer, and I would NEVER give you false hope....but maybe it's worth a try. I know how hard it is to hang in there sometimes, I am going thru hard times with my Jazz right now. He also has CRF and hyper-t, and is now anemic, but we are hanging in there.
I read thru all the posts...what's your baby's name?? Did I miss it?
Rita

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 7:42PM
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petra_gw

ritamay, thanks so much for posting about the C-Caps!! Now I am even more glad I ordered them. I hope we have as good a result as you and Rex did.

I am sorry about Jazz's health problems, I hope he will improve. Our 15 year old kitty has a problem retaining potassium and the vet thinks he might have early stage kidney problems, so I have been pondering something called Vitamineral Green. I bookmarked the website where it's discussed, linking below. Supposedly, it helps the kidneys a lot.

Almost forgot again, his name is Bogart, but he usually goes by his nickname DeeDee. Not manly, but he doesn't care. :o)

Here is a link that might be useful: Vitamineral Green

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:31PM
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ritamay91710

Petra,

I call Jazz "mama"...not exactly very masculine either!!
It started out as "mama's boy", but just got shortened to "mama" LOL!! (he has many other nicknames also)
It's so hard to go thru these times with our babies, we just love them so much, huh?
Rita

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:50AM
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petra_gw

Yes, it's really difficult. But we have to get through it, no alternative. Give "Mama" a pet from me. :o)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2009 at 11:57AM
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gibby2015

So sorry to hear about your kitty. I just started reading here after losing my 19 year old CRF cat recently. I have another 15 year old with IBD that has been relatively stable but recently seems to be deteriorating. I'm kind of thinking the same thing you mentioned. It's bad enough to lose one but losing two in a short time is really tough to take. I had another cat succumb to IBD at age 16 so I guess I will not be surprised if he does not live to be as old as my other cats have (19 & 20). Pets are such a joy but it's so hard to see them sick and very hard to see them go. I'll be thinking of you!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 11:28PM
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