Worse Zeus update

The vet sedated Zeus for x-rays and blood work this morning.

He found something large and abnormal in his chest. Likely some sort of tumor. He is developing another x-ray that should be ready in 30 or so minutes.

Zeus still hasn’t eaten.

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The vet called me back and asked me to come over to discuss Zeus.

He showed me the textbook of what a cat’s chest is supposed to look like, then he showed me Zeus’ x-rays. He has a very large mass in his chest, the size of his heart. The vet said he wouldn’t even have x-ray’d if Zeus hadn’t had those asthma-like fits over the weekend, and he was quite surprised to see a mass of that size. It is not common.

He said there were a few options. He couldn’t do anymore for Zeus, but if I wanted a referral, I could take him to a larger centre where they could do an ultrasound to see what the tumor is attached to – his esophagus or heart or lungs or whatever. He said it was likely lymphosarcoma, although all his lymph nodes appear normal. All his other organs are fine. He had 3 spots of calcification in other parts of his symptoms – a sign that there is a tumour somewhere.

The tumour is likely pressing on his heart and lungs and esophagus. His fits of not being able to breathe are likely due to stress to other people trying to handle him, and his one lung looks quite comprised from the size of the tumour.

He’s likely had it for a long time. There is no explanation why he was fine, and starving for food on Thursday, and then lifeless on Friday.

The vet said if Zeus went elsewhere for treatment, and they did ultrasounds and took a sample of the tumour, then they could do chemotherapy but that would only buy a few months.

He said he could prescribe him prednisone. It could quickly shrink the tumour, and as a side effect, prednisone will make him hungry and thirsty. It could make him feel better and make him symptom free for awhile, but what Zeus has isn’t curable.

I then asked if this is when I have to decide if he is coming home with me or not. He said if Zeus was his cat, he’d take him home for a few days, and we’d know within the first couple of days if the prednisone will help him out.

So Zeus is home with me and I took the rest of the day off work.

He was sedated this morning for blood work and his x-rays. So I am supposed to leave him in his carrier until this evening while the sedation wears off. He’s fully hydrated after his treatments this weekend, so he seems totally fine right now, just groggy. I guess he’s been nasty every time they go near him, but for me, I was able to reach in and grab him out of his cage at the vet and he just purred for me.

Tonight he will get his first two prednisone pills.

He’s sitting in his cage beside me right now and is rubbing his face on the front of his cage and trying to lick his neck (his neck is shaved from his treatments).

His time left is limited, but at least we get to say our good-byes.

Lisa

Lisa (Verkley) Schuyler is a blogger reporting live from her new home in Canada's Yukon Territory. Often found wearing a hoodie, covered in pet hair, Lisa is a mis-placed forester who now spends her days engineering happiness for WordPress users. Lisa loves nature, animals, and most importantly, her handsome husband Jeff.

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