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 Post subject: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:59 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:32 am
Posts: 3
Hello Fellow Feline Fans!

My name is John. I am a devoted cat lover having had cats most of my life. At the present time we have three adorable Bengal Cats, 2 females and one male. They are littermates and are now 11 years old. The one female Angel was recently diagnosed with feline asthma and reversed sneezing. I love them all so dearly.

I am a former United States Marine and disabled combat Veteran. I suffer from severe PTSD. My cats are my family and they really help me manage it. I find petting them and loving on them makes my heart rate go down and it relaxes me.

I joined this forum because we need help. You see our male Bengal "Gordy" (for Jeff Gordon), has been losing weight. He already is a long slender cat so any loss in weight is immediately noticeable. I took him to the Vet yesterday for a check-up and the Vet gave me that sad look on her face. Bottom line, Gordy either has IBD or lymphoma, not a great choice is it? The only way to confirm this is by aspirating a piece of his intestines with a needle. It was all I could do to hold back the flood of tears building in my eyes. Good thing I was wearing dark sunglasses at the time because I was devastated at this bad news.

I read that the average life-span of a Bengal cat is about 12 years although there are many Bengals living as long as 16 yrs. Is Gordy too old to save? How much time does this really give him? Any advice is welcome.

Its not the money. The question for us is what will Gordy's quality of life be if it turns out to be lymphoma? Chemotherapy, radiation, x-rays etc. that is a lot for any sick 8.5lb cat to endure especially when he is older. On the other hand what if it is IBD? Same question? I love this little guy with all my heart and then some, but I don't want to see him suffer through this treatment if it is not going to give him any real quality of life. Any one here ever have to deal with this situation? Was it worth it? I would so value and appreciate hearing from anybody here that knows something about this or has experienced it for themselves. Should I even bother taking him in for a biopsy or just ride it out with medications as God and nature intended and just keep him as comfortable as possible?

Thanks everybody, Gordy thanks you too!!

God Bless Our Beloved Kittys!!!

:cry: :cry: :cry: John (cat lover)


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:59 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
John, welcome to the forum and thank you for your service to our country! A diagnosis of IBD is not terminal. It is usually controlled with diet -- lymphoma is something totally different. It's a type of cancer that is terminal if not treated. So, it appears there are two separate issues here. What options you have depends on a few things. Are you prepared and can you afford to spend what could be thousands of dollars to diagnose and treat lymphoma -- if that's what is found. If it is just IBD, then a change in diet may be all that is needed, but you need a proper diagnosis. Your vet should have given you the options. A biopsy may be the only way to tell for sure. A bengal can live 15 to 18 years, so I don't think yours are too old.

Another key is how is Gordy acting? Is he eating and drinking and using the litter box normally? Kitties can usually let us know that something is not right and whether or not to try treatment. But it's a personal decision that only you can make. Most of us will do what it takes to keep our pets with us as long as possible as long as they are not suffering in any way.

Know, too, that you can check with another vet for a second opinion if you do not have faith in what your vet has told you. It seems the one with asthma isn't presenting as much of an issue for you. Cats can get any disease that humans can get (and several more that humans cannot).

If I were in your shoes, I would go for the biopsy so you know for certain what you are dealing with and then make a decision. One doesn't know the quality of life for a kitty with lymphoma. You can opt for treatment if you want to try to deal with. Know that lymphoma in humans is one of the types of cancer that is easily curable. A co-worker of mine had Stage 4 lymphoma and recovered completely. There is always hope and miracles happen every day.

Know that the members of this forum are here for you -- for support and for answers. Please keep us informed.


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 5:04 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 2:26 pm
Posts: 724
I don't have any advice or experience with your issues but just wanted to say I will be thinking of you and Gordy. Good luck

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Melissa

UK
Oscar - Rescue (Rascal!!!) Bengal


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:00 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:00 am
Posts: 4145
Location: Portland Oregon, USA
Thank you for your service John, and sorry about your troubles. I won't try to comment on prognosis since I'm not a vet. I had a cat that had a growing mass in her stomach, but she was 17 at the time, and had some heart issues, so a pretty different situation. But I will say that I don't really consider 11 to be an old cat. I think most of the mortality statistics that you hear take into account various mishaps that can happen to cats, but are not necessarily related to health. That and chronic diseases which end a cat's life prematurely. I think 16 or 17 years is a pretty realistic expectation for most cats (and there are many that visit or lurk in this forum who have had cats live considerably longer than that). But I know what you are going through as I've faces similar decisions to yours several times.

Anyhow, Sorry man, I know how badly this sucks :sad: Get a second opinion if you aren't fully trusting your vet. Also, I know this doesn't help now, but Pet Insurance can give a lot of piece of mind in such situations, because the whole "worth it" part is no longer even a factor.

Good luck

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The little monsters 3
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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 4:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
John, I hope you will keep us posted on how things go. You and your babies have been in my thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 10:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
Posts: 678
My first bengal boy was diagnosed with IBD after a biopsy, I was told his was quite severe as he had terrible diahorea and lost alot of weight, he was 2 years old at the time, he was put on steroid tablets and chemotherapy tablets which he did exceptionally well on, he was fine for 3 years when unfortunately it turned to cancer and nothing could be done, but this was quite rare for this to happen.

Definitely go for the biopsy as you will then know what you are dealing with and get the correct Treatment for him.

Good luck and keep us informed.

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Clare
Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:32 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Fri Mar 11, 2016 8:32 am
Posts: 3
Thank you for your kind words of support and especially for sharing your feline disease experiences. I know first-hand how incredibly painful losing a pet, any pet for that matter. It's as if you are losing a piece of yourself. When my "Little Man" places his beautiful head in my hand as I gently brush his face, his sweet eyes will lock on to mine an I will feel that sharp pain in my gut as I feel my deep love and affection for a dam cat! I so love him!

The biopsy is a min of $3,000 plus follow-ups, etc. One could spend all day hypothesizing on what is ailing him but the fact are the facts and there is only so much that can be done to the point of doing the "Little Man" more harm than good.
Currently I have Gordy on 1mg Metronidazole, Clambucil (Chemo), Prednisolone, Folic Acid, The Metro is only for a week. It is an anti-biotic. Gordy still eats like a horse and I have seen improvement in him since starting him on all these meds. I think it takes a couple of weeks before one can form a better opinion on his condition but I am encouraged. He's sweet cat and submits to his medications like a brave little soldier.

Thank you all again for your warmth, caring and advice and for sharing your experiences.

Meow!


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:31 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
Posts: 678
He is eating alot because of the prednisalone it is a steroid which makes people and animals have a ravenous appetite.

I was told my boy had to have the biopsy before he started the prednisalone as it prevents healing.

I have my animals insured so all his treatment over 3 years was covered.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do.

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Clare
Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Intro/Need Help!
PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 3:55 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
I'm so sorry, John. In my quick research, I'm finding it's more like $1,500 for a biopsy! I haven't checked with my vet to see what they might charge, but it's always a personal decision as to whether you want to proceed with any type of concrete diagnosis! I know how your heart breaks for your little fella. It's the BEST feeling in the world to give and receive love from a pet and it's the WORST feeling in the world to know they have something wrong with them and there appears to be little you can do to heal him. We've all had to go through this at some point -- it's heart wrenching. There are medications -- but they won't cure the problem. He will let you know when it's time to let him go. I hope that's not for a while yet.

{{{HUGS}}}


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