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1 2nd July 00:43
cary
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


(pardon the crossposting: I need advice in a hurry. followups set to
rec.pets.cats.health+behav)


One of my most beloved cats ever may have a squamous cell carcinoma
of the lower jaw. The only treatment for this is to remove the
affected regions. I'm lucky in having noticed this very early,
long before it's usually detected, and so only a portion of
the jaw -- the apex, and a short distance back on either side --
would be removed.

My first reaction, horrified, was to refuse -- I pictured my cat
disfigured, drooling, eating with difficulty and unable
to groom himself. The oncologist, however, tells me that given
the very limited amount of bone to be resected in his case, he'll
"appear completly normal when his mouth is closed" and will
be able to groom normally and eat almost so.

Of course I desperately want to accept this picture -- my kitty
would be dead in a couple of months otherwise -- but I'm cautious,
and would like to hear from some "satisfied customers", if any
are out there.

So: has anyone had experience with partial resection of the mandible,
and if so, how was the cat's quaility of life afterwards?

I will have to make up my mind VERY quickly, if the biopsy comes
back positive.

Thanks in advance.


-- cary
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2 2nd July 00:43
dan mahoney
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


No direct experience with the issue, but here's my two cents worth
anyway - even if the result turned out less than optimal, kitty would
stand a pretty good chance of making the required adjustment and living
a happy life. I've been amazed at the kind of adjustments cats can make,
and still be content with their lot in life.

Dan
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3 2nd July 00:44
wafflycathcs
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Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


Not experience of that particular op, but I do have a one-eyed cat. She had to
have an eye removed following an altercation with a motor vehicle. I have to
say that immediately post-op, she looked like something from a horror film -
half-shaved head with huge stitches where the eye was. Still - once the
stitches were out and her fur grew back, the lack of one eye bothers her not a
jot. She still goes out into the garden and hunts small rodents extremely
successfully (today's count two shrews and a vole...). Before the op - she was
a miserable cat as her eye was giveing her pain - even though vet & I
desparately tried to savew the eye. Post op and minus the damaged eye she
quickly returned to being the happy cat she had been, full of life.

Basically I think what I'm trying to say is that your cat losing part of his
jaw may well be more upsetting to you than to the cat, if you see what I mean.

Best wishes to you and the cat.

helen s

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4 2nd July 00:44
cary
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


The biopsy just came back -- and it's NEGATIVE!

Sorry to have jumped the gun so, but if it had come back positive,
I would have had to decide *right*now* -- typical survival after
diagnosis is two months with this type of tumor.


I want to thank those who have replied so far -- and those
who I know will still want to. I've had such long discussions
on this, often enough in tears, that I'm still quite interested
in hearing the experiences of anyone who has faced this, and
opted for the resection.

Thanks again.


-- cary
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5 2nd July 00:44
mary
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Give kitty a big kiss and scritch for
me!
I'm so happy for you.
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6 2nd July 00:44
karen chuplis
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Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


What do they think it is then?

Karen
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7 2nd July 00:44
suprajulie
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


I have a friend whose poodle had part of his lower jaw removes, and had no
teeth. He lived for years on canned food and did just fine. However he did look
rather odd with no teeth, and his tongue had a tendancy to hang out the side of
his mouth. It wasn't grotesque, but a little funny looking and kind of cute
even though I think poodles are rather grotesque to begin with. ;-)
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8 2nd July 00:45
cary
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


In article <3faa945c$0$2519$45beb828@newscene.com> "Karen Chuplis" <kchuplis@SPAMalltel.netGOAWY> writes:
<


<>
<>
<> The biopsy just came back -- and it's NEGATIVE!
<>
<> Sorry to have jumped the gun so, but if it had come back positive,
<> I would have had to decide *right*now* -- typical survival after
<> diagnosis is two months with this type of tumor.
<>
<>
<> I want to thank those who have replied so far -- and those
<> who I know will still want to. I've had such long discussions
<> on this, often enough in tears, that I'm still quite interested
<> in hearing the experiences of anyone who has faced this, and
<> opted for the resection.
<>

<What do they think it is then?
<
<Karen


He had a lower canine (you should pardon the expression) pulled about
fif**** months ago. Current thinking is that this is bony changes
resulting from that (changes in the bone are clear on the X-rays).

However, this would have been absolutely classic -- the oncologist
says that these tumors are nearly always discovered after dental work.
And the timing, 15 months, is about right as well. And in fact I had a
very similar experience with another cat a year and a half ago: A tooth
was pulled, it never really healed, a hole opened in the roof of
the mouth, the hole would not heal, and a tumor in the sinus was then discovered.
(unlike my current problem child this cat, though greatly beloved, was
17 years old and well into renal failure, so in her case I
chose not to subject her to the surgery and irradiation that
could at best have given her six to twenty more months of life, and
likely left her blind).

I hasten to say that no one I've talked to thinks that dental work
CAUSES these tumors; on the contrary, the dental problems are thought
to be early manifestations of the tumor.


-- cary
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9 2nd July 00:45
karen m.
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


Cary,
I don't have personal experience but have read and seen pictures of many
kitties who have had jaw surgeries, or were actually born with
disfigurements. Animals are crafty little dear and will learn to
accomodate often with greater ease than people. Your vet may have some
suggestions about food bowl placement, or perhaps changing the shape or
texture of the food but I'd say all in all your kitty will be fine. Good
luck - I'll be thinking of you and kitty. Let us know what happens
please!

Karen
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10 2nd July 00:45
mmmaryinla
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Posts: 1
Default Need advice, quickly, on partial removal of lower jaw


I remember this post from someone a while back. You can go to google.com search
groups for "cat" "jaw" and see some other people who've had it done.

There is some truth is spreading a cancer into the bloodstream when certain
types of tumors are biopsied. This holds true with mostly soft tissue
tumors. This does not hold true with bone tumors/cancer. Once a bone tumor
(e.g.. osteosarcoma) has been tentatively diagnosed, it is already
considered a systemic disease because it has a very high metastatic rate.
Treatment of choice is amputation of a limb or removal (total or partial) of
the jaw (or any other bone affected). Chemotherapy is also involved.
Although cats do well with total or partial jaw removal, this is indeed a
radical procedure. I would hate to remove a cat's jaw to later find out that
it was only a benign growth.
A biopsy or a fine needle aspirate (if possible) is the least invasive way
to go to obtain a final diagnosis. However, if there is evidence in the
chest, this is a sign of rapid progression.
Ty, DVM
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