Clover is my one year-old tortoiseshell kitten who developed a tumor on her hip. We found her at a month old abandoned by the side of a KMART.
Feline Osteosarcoma is a cancer that behaves very similarly to Osteosarcoma found in Children. It targets youthful, growing bones and takes the calcium, proteins and minerals for itself. It leaves the bone brittle, deficient and corrupted. Under an xray, afflicted bones have a 'moth-eaten' spotty, experience.
it's an aggressive cancer that requires aggressive treatments that aren't for the faint of heart. Surgery, typically amputation of the area is routinely followed by injected chemotherapy every three weeks. Or, if you really want to go all out, Radiation therapy at a routine place to blast the remaining cells. All are ways to combat pain, increase longevity and quality of life. The painful, arthritic like feeling is gone once the affected limb is removed. The pet is pain free after, though the initial, new, three legged experience is startling.
As our Surgeon described it, "Especially with hind leg amputations, I've learned that: Animals are simply three legs and a spare." Cats recover well, jump, run and spring with three legs just as well as with four. But amputation is not enough, the body is prone to cancer. How do you set the clock back?
Human Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy is hard on the body. Vet medicine is different. Humans can rationalize suffering but animals can't. So these doses are smaller, less effective, but still purposeful for terminating cancerous cells. They are even the same drugs. Hair loss is the most common side effect for Animals, but minimal discomfort is the ultimate goal, hence small manageable 'preventative' doses, rather than 'curative' doses.
Did you know people go to school to become specialists in just
animal cancers? We've met the only
Oncology/surgical specialist team in the entire Inland Empire. They're like the 'House M.D.' of pets and they're insanely good. Not cheap, no one expected it to be cheap, but they should spell 'Specialist' with a few zeros attached. It's been a shell shocking process, while compounding the price with the fact that Clover is just a baby.
In closing, I know not everyone can invest into a sick pet. And even if that is the case, every pet owner loves their pet beyond measure. When we accept a defenseless creature into our homes, we need to do right by them. We need to love them, until they aren't around to be loved anymore. We're fortunate enough to try and care for Clover. But, like the majority can't, no one faults them. They are still good, loving people and did right by what they could. One day, even for Clover, will come the time when there will be no more balls to chase or feathers to destroy. It's inevitable.
But I wanted someone to have more information. So they could catch it sooner, see it faster, treat it quicker, or something. It's knowledge well paid for and certainly worth sharing. "Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to."- Alfred A. Montapert
Many thanks to
for their help and support in promoting awareness!
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