Cary 2012-07-02 00:43:49
(pardon the crossposting: I need advice in a hurry. followups set to
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
Thanks in advance.
Dan mahoney 2012-07-02 00:43:56
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.
Wafflycathcs 2012-07-02 00:44:02
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.
–This is an invalid email address to avoid spam–
to get correct one remove dependency on fame & fortune
Cary 2012-07-02 00:44:22
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.
Mary 2012-07-02 00:44:31
YIPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! Give kitty a big kiss and scritch for
I’m so happy for you.
Karen chuplis 2012-07-02 00:44:39
What do they think it is then?
Suprajulie 2012-07-02 00:44:54
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. 😉
Cary 2012-07-02 00:45:02
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> “Karen Chuplis”
<> 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.
Interesting! I’m so glad it is just that. Karen
Karen m. 2012-07-02 00:45:06
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
Mmmaryinla 2012-07-02 00:45:12
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
Karen chuplis 2012-07-02 17:10:33
Polonca12000 2012-07-02 17:10:36
No advice unfortunately, but we are sending best wishes and extra-strong
purrs for the biopsy to come back negative,
Polonca & Soncek
M. l. briggs 2012-07-02 17:10:58
l>Hoorah! It is nice to get good news. May he heal now and remain Healthy. MLB
Cary 2012-07-02 17:11:06
In article <email@example.com> firstname.lastname@example.org (Mary) writes:
Gizela 2012-07-03 09:23:28
No stories similar to yours but purrs that it ends up OK Angela and Gizmo
Linda e 2012-07-05 17:42:25
HOW WONDERFUL!!! Congrats! Linda
Felinesfive 2012-07-09 03:34:32
My cat had the same problem but I did not catch it in time. It was very agressive and she had a large tumor in one month. I was told by a specialist that they could remove the left side of the lower jaw but it would be a matter of 8 -9 months before it came back. Finally when she would no longer eat I had to have her euthanized. It was very painful.
Interesting! I’m so glad it is just that.