Friday, October 28, 2011

Check Your Cat

Booksey Rose 2000-2006
Cats get cancer. Our first cat, Booksey Rose, died from cancer five years ago this month. Since October is cancer awareness this is a good time to share our experience. Cat cancer is very common, just as it is for humans. If we live long enough, it is likely that we will develop heart disease, cancer or some other disease. I don't like to think about it, but it is true, eventually we all die of something. This is also true for our family member pets.

Booksey Rose and I were doing our nightly cuddle when I found the lump on her shoulder. We took her to the vet and he did surgery to remove the cancerous lump. He said he got it, but that it would probably reoccur. Booksey Rose lived for another year before it came back.
Booksey Rose loved to help with everything!
Here she is as a two year old helping the printer.
Cancer can develop in any organ or body system. Some cancer involves the development of tumors, while other forms (like leukemia) involve changes in the blood or bone marrow. Cancer can occur in the skin or under the skin, and it can affect just about any location or organ in the body. There are also several types of cancer that can develop in different locations throughout the body.

Here are some things to watch for:
1. A lump or growth that grows quickly
2. A mass that seems to be attached to the underlying tissue
3. A mass that changes its character
4. Weight loss or loss of appetite
5. Coughing or difficult, labored breathing
6. Bloody urine or difficulty urinating
7. Lethargy or a decreased energy level
8. Change in personality

Booksey Rose after cancer surgery.
The hard part was having to keep her in a cage for weeks while she healed.
Cancer treatments can be expensive. Booksey Rose's surgery, medicine, etc. was around five hundred dollars. Treatment often involves surgery, but it can also involve radiation and chemotherapy. The cost can vary from hundreds to thousands of dollars. I personally would not put a pet through radiation or chemotherapy, the surgery was tramatic enough.

Cats leave paw prints on our hearts!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so sorry you lost Booksey. We lost our Diego last year (he was a year older than Booksey) and I'm still trying to grapple with the loss. You're right--part of being a pet owner means taking care of your pets' health and monitoring them for diseases.