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My post yesterday was dedicated to our trooper dog Koa, today’s post is dedicated to our resilient cat. I wanted to put this story out there to raise awareness about skin cancer in cats. Ciati, our cat, is 10 years old. She’s playful, loves boxes, meow talks, knocks (or scratches rather) on the door to have us let her in if it’s shut and loves fresh water!

ciati the cat

Photos of Ciati from her healthy days.

About a year ago, we noticed she was sneezing and having difficulty breathing in addition to a couple of red spots on her nose, which got bigger with time. We took her in to the vet and they said she probably has an allergic reaction to something. The vet gave her a cortisone shot. Following this, her sneezing and wheezing reduced a bit but the red spots remained.

We didn’t pay too much attention to the red spots since we thought it was part of the “allergic reaction” and assumed she was just fine. But a couple of months later the sneezing and wheezing came back, so we took her back to vet and they gave her the cortisone shot again. This happened one more time. By now, the red spots had gotten bigger to where we got alarmed. So we took her back to the vet and they said it was skin cancer or squamous cell carcinoma and suggested surgical removal of part of her nose. What I fail to understand is why didn’t they figure this out at least the second time we went in with her so called allergic reaction symptoms?

Ciati

Anyway, we took her in for surgery, everything seemed fine, they said they got all of the cancerous part and said that she should be find. About three weeks later, what was left of her nose was inflamed and she had new growths that looked way worse than before. Sure enough, the vet confirmed that the cancer had returned with a vengeance. The vet said she has maybe two weeks to live.

She’s a resilient kitty, she has one hole for a nostril, cancer has taken over the other one and she mostly breathes through her mouth. She still eats, drinks water and meows and is on pain medication for now. The vet asked us to bring her in when she starts telling us it’s time for her go. It’s sad but we’ve got to deal with it and enjoy the little bit of time we have left with her.

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We did learn a big lesson from this – if you ever see unusual red spots or growths on your cat’s nose or anywhere else that keep getting bigger take them in to the vet right away and ask the right questions too. In retrospect it doesn’t make sense that an allergy would cause a skin growth, I feel like we should’ve asked asked the right questions but the thing is, sometimes you just blindly trust the vet.

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— TUF Quote

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

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