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The Face of Feline Osteosarcoma by TheLadyJ The Face of Feline Osteosarcoma by TheLadyJ
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 :iconastralseed: and :iconlintu47: for their help and support in promoting awareness!

Relevant art:
Contest Entry: Two sides of the same coin by TheLadyJ

And looking for an update? Check it out!
Feline Osteosarcoma, Clover. by TheLadyJ
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:iconschmetterlingmx:
schmetterlingmx Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2014

Thank you for being the way you are, thank you for your heart, for being in this world, for loving and rescuing cats, and doing till the impossible for your furry children, even when I never met you before, I could never thank you enough. I'm really happy to find angels like you, sometimes I lost all hope on humanity, but someone like you gives it back to me again.


:heart:

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:icongreenhuntingcat:
greenhuntingcat Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013
Bless you Clover!
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the thought!
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:icongoofyroofy:
goofyroofy Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013
you may want to check out holistic vets, as theres a lot of natural items that can help in reducing the cancer of future cancer, as well as nourish the body after the chemo/radiation. A couple starting items are clean chlorella, bio age algae supplements, etc.
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Certainly, everything needs to be explored.
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:la: Thank you!
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    My pleasure :happybounce:
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:iconpastel-painted:
Pastel-Painted Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2013  Student Writer
Beatuiful.
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, shes got such a side for the camera ^^
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:iconblacknoxstar:
BlackNoxStar Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Clover... She is so, so beautiful... I can't believe someone would abandon such a beautiful girl... Shame on them!

Anyway, I wish her and everyone at your home good health, and that the treatment takes and she pulls through without a lot of pain...

A big hug and a kiss, from me, to lovely Clover, and when she gets home, lots of treats and cuddles and just love!

I love cats... They are just beautiful animals, friends, companions, and family, it makes me really sad to see one in pain... :(
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your kindness is so, so appreciated. ^^
Reply
:iconkurushimifutago:
KurushimiFutago Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Very lovely cat~ We hope she gets better...~

FuK~u
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Yes, lets hope!
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:iconwildwishkitty:
Wildwishkitty Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I hope your cat gets better, she really is beautiful. :) I just have one question- since the bones are brittle do that suffer breaks easily? 
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
With this kind of cancer, yes. Osteo, bone cancers, eat and thrive off minerals and leave the bone with no support, so yes  high falls, pressures can shatter them. While cats are quite limber and spry, cancer changes everything. We only noticed she started to have a problem when she limped after jumping from the window sill.

Now, she has foam stairs so she can get up on the couch without jumping. 
Reply
:iconstrudel--cutie4427:
Strudel--Cutie4427 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013   Writer

I have one question... My cat ((May she RIP)) got cancer in her shoulder. Before it started really swelling ((Not even a CM if at all)) the vets said it couldn't be removed because there was a possibility it may have been in her heart. Is that true, and if it is, would it have been smarter to amputate anyway, to give her a bigger chance? ((Since you obviously know enough about it))

 

I hope your kitty gets better. Mine, obviously, didn't. Her shoulder ended up bigger than her head :( ((Before you ask - she went missing for like 3 months or so a week after she went to the vets, so yknow, it's not like we were neglecting her or anything))

Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm sorry about your kitty.


It depends how the cancer grew. It may have been like how our kitten has it now: It's close to the spine, so the complications are numerous with that. Amputation of the shoulder could have been too invasive, if it involved moving ribs, collarbones and what not.


Shoulders are key part of the 'Thoracic cavity.' Which help keep your chest's shape/function with your spine and ribs. ( I don't know if thats what it's called in animals, but from my experience things have been pretty mirrored. Also, I'm an EMT.) To remove the whole blade, may have been impossible, who knows. OR surgery could have provided minimum corruption removal, so there was little chance of success.


All cancer metastasizes eventually, in some way. It very well could have gone to her heart and was at the beginning of some final stages.  At that point, why start cutting pieces off?  That's crazy her tumor got so massive, but certainly by that size, atleast the cellular mutation was begging. The longer cancer is in the body, the more rampant it will run. Blood circulates numerous times in a minute so times that by hours, days and weeks, thats a long time to expose a healthy system.


Also, interesting fact about survival: Cats who get cancer in their early lives are seven times more likely to get a DIFFERNT type of cancer, later in life. And, a cat living 3 years after cancer treatments is like a human living 15 years in remission. 


Again, I'm sorry. Like with my case here with clover, sometimes our little ones were born to get sick. :(
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:iconstrudel--cutie4427:
Strudel--Cutie4427 Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013   Writer

((What's an EMT - out of curiosity))

 

Yeah, we thought it grew pretty quickly, but she was surprisingly well - considering she had been missing for a long time and was practically skin and bones when we found her again. ((We think she was locked inside somewhere by mistake, which is why we couldn't find her)) But we did our best to feed her up again and make sure she was happy and well looked after while we tried to save up for the vets.

((At the same time as her, we had a cat with a sensitive stomach, and another with thyroid issues, plus we'd recently put down our dog who was suffering from seizures, so yeah, money was a little tight at the time. Coincidently - all of these problems started after the government sprayed the area several times for Painted Apple Moths (It was allegedly unsafe for humans... :facepalm:) so I'm blaming that, but that's sorta off-topic))

 

I did not know that actually. That's amazing... and actually kinda sad...

 

:iconsadnodplz: At least they grow in loving households, right.

Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
An EMT is an Emergency Medical Technician. They Drive and Ride in Ambulances, and respond when you call 911.


Yeah, all we can do is love the crap out of them.
Reply
:iconstrudel--cutie4427:
Strudel--Cutie4427 Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2013   Writer

Ohhh okay... and 111 is our emergency number here.

*nods*

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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Animal suffering pains me the same as human suffering does. I had my tough times with my cat too and the treatment and surgery were expensive, but she is part of the family.
    I will make a poll to spread the word about the cause, but i'm afraid it won't have a great response since some pet owners don't care enough and some of the ones who do don't afford to take their pets to routine check-ups or pay for the treatment when they get sick.

    I wish all the best to Clover :hug:
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh wow! Thank you so much, that is very kind. I didn't know how to push the message out there, some type of awareness, if it touches one person, it's worth it.
I so agree with you, that she is part of the family, and I can easily (emotionally at least) justify the cost.
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:iconlintu47:
lintu47 Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
    Emotionally yes, i agree. It made me think what i would do if my lady would leave me and i got very emotional, almost crying in my pillow. Many don't understand this bond.
    Try to make a journal about this, start a project perhaps, a contest theme related, i will support it with whatever i can.
    And i just saw another poll with your story from a person with impact over the community so you're off to a good start :hug:
Reply
:iconalaskandesert:
alaskandesert Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2013
A gorgeous kitten, I am very sorry about the situation. I have a sick cat of my own and it's hard.
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:( SAD FACE
Reply
:iconalaskandesert:
alaskandesert Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2013
:(
Reply
:iconfancyindia:
FancyIndia Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Poor Neil Diamond (aka Clover) :(
Also, she hid for so long, I had no idea she got that big! O.o
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
right? Shes like a whole cat now!
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:iconcolonelyeo:
ColonelYeo Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm really very sorry to hear about your kitten. :(

My cat, Pumpkin, had to be put down when she was around 13 due to cancer on her tongue. I know how bad it feels to watch that and not be able to do anything. :iconsadhugplz:
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
hopefully we'll beable to make this change soon, so there can be some improvement in morale.
Reply
:iconpenndreadful:
PennDreadful Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Ohh, a tortoise shell... our Gremlin was a tortoise shell too.

We have a formerly feral white cat here these days named Marshmallow. She used to be out in the sun far too much so the edges of her ears are all curled, but it's the spotty pigmentation I keep an eye on. Last thing I want to see is that cat getting melanoma or something.
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I like how she was feral then got a super cute name like Marshmallow. Adorable. There are cat types that have curled ear tips, but I dunno about the blotches. 
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:iconpenndreadful:
PennDreadful Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013
She's a cutie, that one. Born in a horse's food trough, actually. She's a scourge of chipmunks, but very harmless and sedate otherwise.
Poor thing is dealing with an eye problem right now, tho'.
Reply
:iconcrab-hermit:
Crab-Hermit Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
That kitten is absolutely adorable. Poor little thing... I really hope she makes it.

If I can do anything, let me know.
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:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just keep being being my awesome friend
Reply
:iconcrab-hermit:
Crab-Hermit Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2013
I can definitely promise you that! :D
Reply
:iconthornblade:
Thornblade Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Simply gorgeous and one lucky kitten to find her way into your home.

I hope she turns out okay what ever you decide 
Reply
:iconsamuel7702:
SAMUEL7702 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Student Interface Designer
Hermoso Gato! :3
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
:D
Reply
:iconjolan5:
jolan5 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
Well i suppose it's best to save up a bit of money to use in emergencies. I would propably do the same.
Reply
:iconitachiman3:
Itachiman3 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
JACKIE! please......make a skype. i have attempted the doctor's hair do and want you to see how it turned out XD
Reply
:iconjolan5:
jolan5 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
You have horrible timing.
Reply
:iconitachiman3:
Itachiman3 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
you don't say? XD quite bad timing i'll agree but it was the first post i saw by her when i got home after the cut 
Reply
:iconjolan5:
jolan5 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
You could ave sent a note, posted on her main page. But it's not really my business.
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Realy, here? On this deviation, you want to talk about your doctor who hairdo? really?
Reply
:iconitachiman3:
Itachiman3 Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013
yep, was the first post from ya i saw after i'd gotten home from my hair cut!
Reply
:icontheladyj:
TheLadyJ Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Really, you're quite unbelievable. 
Reply
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