My Question to Ask E-vet

20 May, 2009

I am determined to find out as much as I can about what might be Sooty's
problem. People have asked is it a growth, or is it cancer - or what.
Get a second opinion, would a biopsy help. I then remembered that my
longest standing group of cat friends are on Yahoo FrankTheCat and
several times someone has posted a question on AskE-Vet
This is a yahoo group formed more than a decade ago and has been of
considerable help on previous occasions. I have joined and posted that
I think covers Sooty's case - I set out my post below, it might be of
help to others in a similar situation.

AskE-Vet Post

I need some help clarifying things around our recent vet visits and our
cat Sooty who is approx. 13 years of age a black cat. I respect and
trust our vet but would like to clear some things in my mind so I can
ask the right questions if I need to call - I have been a little upset
so having a focus with a goal is helpful.

Sooty - story so far

Sooty started losing weight a about 6 weeks ago. She has always been slender
so it may have taken a little while to become noticable. Concerned, I
took her to our vet who did a thorough examination and prescribed a
short course of antibiotics, gave her a steroid injection to boost her

She continued to loose weight so a short while later I took her back for a
blood test - the results came back with nothing untoward being
indicated - no thyroid trouble which had been a thought.

We took her back for the third time on Monday and, suddenly the vet found
a growth in her abdominal area, he felt around her hips etc., as vets
usually do. He said it would be risky to operate as she is 13 and as
they would have to join the bowel together again the recovery might
kill her.

We have brought her home and I am determined to explore every avenue I can
to make sure I have as much knowledge as I can to understand what is
happening. Sooty is eating very small amounts of real meat (and I am
going to get some fish), drinking regularly, still cleaning herself, is
quiet but can be sprightly and when I spoke to my friend in the UK by
telephone she spoke to Sooty (I held the phone for her) and Sooty
turned on her purr like a light switch.

My questions and comments - these might seem silly but as a layman I would appreciate being enlightened.

1)How can the vet be sure that it is not a large but benign growth or a
blockage that can be sorted out with medication or minor surgery?

2) Would x-rays help - should I ask for him to do a biopsy. Would they help?

3)How come this didn't show up in the blood test. If it is cancer (and
this has come on within the last three weeks so had happened Very
Quickly) would it have done?

4)An animal communicator colleague said Sooty told her she was feeling
severe nausea. Sure fine, if you don't believe in that kind of thing,
she was there, online, so I asked OK. Would this nausea tell a vet
anything I don't know already.

5)Would a second opinion be of use. If Sooty is seriously ill, I am
prepared to acknowledge this, but I would like to understand as much as
I can about her condition, the options, what it might be (a benign
growth/cancer/blockage) and how to deal with it.

I feel a bit in the dark and am happy to ring my vet with questions or go
back if I need to. I would appreciate some guidance on doing the best
for Sooty - that is my first and foremost concern - her well being and
future care are my first concerns.

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