Dear Dr. My 9 yr old kitty started sneezing about 5 months ago. I took her to the vet when her face started to swell on one side, up side of her nose and under her eye. Without extensive testing (CT Scan) my vet thinks its a tumor. Took her to another vet and pretty much got the same answer. She breaths only thru one side of her nose, eye and nose are very runny, clear liquid. I’m beside myself that I cant afford the tests that she needs but have been told that if it is a tumor there is nothing to be done. What can I do to make her more comfortable? How will I know when her time is near? She still eats and drinks. I’m heartbroken. Thank you for any suggestions.
Answer from Dr. Gaylord Brown:
I am sorry that your kitty and you are having to go through this situation. She would benefit from a definitive diagnosis. Although cancer is likely, there are other conditions that can mimic a tumor but are more treatable. Severe infections due to various causes can be treated. The most common of these is cryptococcus, a fungus. Unfortunately, some conditions are not curable. We do encounter these at the sanctuary. When we do, we provide hospice care as long as the cat or dog can be kept comfortable. This includes palliative surgery, pain management, nutritional support, fluid support, antibiotics as needed, and a lot of love. The patient will dictate when the time is right. We rely on their appetite and demeanor to let us know when they have given up. Providing hospice care is not inexpensive and it does require a veterinarian to prescribe medications to assist in the patient management.
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