SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

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Kittycatcrazy+2
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SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:07 pm

4th October: biopsy results are back and it’s not good news. Lulu has a malignant tumour in her parotid gland(adenocarcinoma I think).. It’s already spread beyond the parotid, causing pressure behind her eye and limiting her jaw movements...she lost 250grammes in the last week, so now weighs 4.65kg, which may sound ok but she’s lost 2 kilos! She is a huge bagpuss looking cat! She is having problems opening her mouth, looking like she’s in pain when she tries to yawn. The vet agrees that the kindest thing for her is to pts...vet will come tomorrow afternoon and make her a fully fledged angel. She’s such a sweet cat...going to miss you baby girl


..Hi cat family. I have a 11-14 year old, female, spayed, vaccinated rescue cat, that I adopted 3 years ago. She has had ongoing respiratory and skin issues, plus gingivitis all the time I’ve had her. We think she is probably a calici/herpes carrier, with flare ups several times a year, which are treated with steroid inhaler, antibiotics and depot injections when necessary. 3 months ago, I noticed that she always had food around the right side of her lips and on closer inspection, I could see that the upper canine was biting into her lower lip, near where she’d had the lower canine removed 2 years ago. It looked like food was accumulating in this pocket...she also was showing ‘food approach-avoidance’, wanting to eat, but letting out a cry and running away from her food bowl, so off to the vet it was. The vet examined her mouth and said she had severe gingivitis around quite a few back teeth as well, and suspected she need several back teeth removing as well as taking the front canine and the piece of inflamed lip. My cat Lulu has always had inflamed gums, which I now know may be related to her being a carrier. So, after the surgery she recovered slowly, having had 6 teeth removed as well, although her gums still looked inflamed. I was told they would send a sample of the sore patch for testing, although I was never told the result...assumed it was ok, or that they’d ‘forgotten’ due to dental proving more difficult than anticipated-apparently they found it hard to differentiate between root and bone, plus they didn’t have dental X-ray, so only warned me some roots were left in. I didn’t think much of it, until her gums started flaring up again within 3 weeks, accompanied by her exhibiting the same symptoms as before...she was scared of the food bowl, pawing at her right cheek, making weird mouth movements,( like she was yawning but found it difficult to open her jaw wide enough) and hiding. I took her back to the vet, who said she had a swelling on the top gum/jaw, right at the back and it looked like some pieces of broken retained roots were protruding through the lower gums, causing upper gum to become inflamed, therefore she would need another dental ASAP to remove any root fragments in the gum. I was going on holiday the next day, so asked if it needed to be done whilst I was away, or could it wait 3/4 weeks...I was so upset! The vet said she would give her antibiotics and meticam and as long as she was eating it could wait, but she would need to be referred to another vet for surgery as she would need dental X-rays-I’d never ever realised that my vet didn’t have dental X-ray! My mum looked after Lulu whilst I was away, giving me daily updates and said she was eating well and improving each day. So, now we are up to 4 weeks ago, when I was back home and made an appointment to reassess the situation and figure out referral. She had stopped eating again within a couple of days of me getting home. It was at this time that I started thinking she may have stomatitis and that the retained root fragments and teeth were being attacked by her body. I found a local vet with dental X-ray and made appointment for the following week, giving me time to take her back to original vet, hoping to get more antibiotic and maybe more meticam, plus get her records sent over to new vet. So, we went to the original vet practice, though different vet, on the Thursday, where I explained everything again and said we had appointment for following Tuesday, but I felt she needed something to help with possible infection and pain, just until she could have the root fragments removed. The vet gave her an injection of depot medrol, which I later found out was going to complicate her next dental! He didn’t give an antibiotic.Lulu didn’t improve by the Saturday, so I took her to the new vet and asked if they could help. It was this vet who said he thought her dental and respiratory issues were all connected to calici virus and she would need full mouth extraction to stop her body attacking the plaque/remaining teeth. He also said the depot medrol would complicate things as it would delay healing and make it harder for her to fight infection, due to it suppressing the immune system, but she needed the dental and couldn’t afford to wait the 6 weeks he would of liked to wait, for the drug to get out of her system. He also said she couldn’t be given the usual pain meds either, due to this depot medrol, which was another negative. She couldn’t even have the meticam. So, the next Tuesday Lulu was admitted for 2nd dental in 2 months. Again, I was warned healing would take longer and she couldn’t have the painkillers they’d usually give, so gave her something different. This dental took place about 3 weeks ago. She did seem to take longer to heal than the first time and still seemed to be in some discomfort, making weird faces, avoiding food, and me by this point, and her weight continued to go down.I have been taking her back to the vet about 2 x weekly for follow up, giving her an appetite stimulate weekly and 2 weekly antibiotic injection.On Friday the vet examined her gums and said they were mostly healing, but still not as well as she’d like, particularly on the upper right side. I said she still wasn’t eating, but vet thought this was most likely due to her respiratory issues having flared up, probably due to stress, saying if she can’t smell then that could stop her eating. I said it doesn’t normally affect her appetite-her normal weight was over 6kg, though she was now down to 5kg! The vet ordered in some Lysine and gel for me to apply to her gums, hoping that would help, again saying she would’ve liked to give her anti inflammatory but previous depot made this risky. Another appetite stimulant given also. I picked up the gel on Monday and decided I’d start it on Tuesday, yesterday, as she was hiding under the bed all evening. Yesterday, I got everything ready, wrapped her in a blanket and attempted to apply the gel to her gums....however, I noticed a fair amount of blood on my finger and stopped as I was scared I was hurting her. I rang vet and made appointment for yesterday evening, checking on Lulu regularly to ensure bleeding had stopped, which it had quickly. I took gel to appt and asked vet to show me how she’d apply it, thinking I may of done something wrong...I told vet that she still wasn’t bouncing back and now hated me! The vet started to apply the gel and the bleeding started again, quite a lot, like you’d expect from pulling a tooth! The vet managed to settle it but cannot understand why she just started bleeding. The vet has previously cleaned out food from around the stitches, without the gums bleeding. It looks like there is an angry patch on right upper jaw, really far back, and the blood appears to be coming from there, though hard to see properly. The vet has booked Lulu in for a GA tomorrow, so she can have a better look and take a biopsy of the gum tissue. The vet thinks this sore patch is too far back to be connected to her recent dental and the word ‘cancer’ has been mentioned... I’m so upset that my fur baby is having to suffer like this and I’m hoping this sore patch is stomatitis, not scc, although I realise stomatitis is incredibly painful. Idk what to think.I’m hoping the GA goes ok and the vet is able to make my little girl more comfortable.
SORRY for such a long post! Well done and thank you, if you made it this far down the page! Any advice most welcome...or similar experiences???
UPDATE: Lulu had her GA today and vet found that she has a throat tumour. Think the tumour was aggravated during the removal of the back molars on the right side, so is now visible at the back of the mouth, maybe having spread into the root space and into the oral cavity. I’m not going to put her through further, unnecessary tests or treatment,as I know this is an aggressive tumour and have seen the devastating treatment that humans would perhaps undergo...I’ll try to make her comfortable at home for the next few days and reassess what’s in Lula’s best interest. Having her pts will be heartbreaking for me whether she’s with me another few days, weeks or months and I have to ask myself, ‘why are you keeping her alive- for her or myself?’ If she will take her pain meds in food, without me having to traumatise her by squirting liquid buprenophine and gabapentin capsules into her mouth(which she is totally stressed out by), and doesn’t appear to be in pain, then maybe I’ll give her more time, but not if she’s struggling to eat and hiding in pain...one day at a time...
Last edited by Kittycatcrazy+2 on Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:14 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Stomatitis or oral cancer?

Post by Antonio » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:09 pm

My cat had SCC under her tongue, so I cannot tell if this is the same thing.
But what I know is that an SCC is a very aggressive kind of tumor and grows fast. So, if you have seen something worrying a few days/weeks ago and nothing has become different over this length of time (change of size, shape or position), I'd say that it's more likely a stomatitis/gengivitis.
Has Lulu been tested for FIV and FeLV?
Sometimes these diseases can give nasty oral issues.

I'm so sorry for your and Lily's situation, I know how you both are feeling, I've been through the same desperate moments with my cats, and I know how terrible you feel. I couldn't sleep or eat.
I do hope someone can give a more thorough experience.

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Re: Stomatitis or oral cancer?

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:25 pm

Thanks for your response. I only noticed her bleeding yesterday, although she has been having symptoms of stomatitis for a few months. Also, her eye has started weeping over the past week, on the same side of her face...I know enough about oncology and anatomy to know that scc can rapidly invade the nasopharyngeal area and the eye, so that worries me somewhat. However, due to her having ongoing respiratory issues/most likely a calici carrier, we assumed the weepy eye and recent nasal congestion was due to her having a stress related flare after the dental...but now I’m thinking it could be all connected to whatever is going on in her mouth...idk...I’m trying to stay hopeful and telling myself the vet would of picked up an scc during her last dental, which was 3 weeks ago. However, it seems that it’s possible that it could of only developed within the past 3 weeks...I’m hoping the vet came do something tomorrow to make her more comfortable and the biopsy gives a negative for scc. I don’t think she’s been tested for FIV or FeLV and I have often thought about this over the years I’ve had her, but I guessed the shelter would of tested her. She’s an indoor cat since I adopted her, though know little about her earlier life. Her bloods are all good and no fever present. I’m praying she gets though this...
I’m sorry to hear you’ve had experience with the awful disease that scc is. How long did your cat survive after you first spotted something wrong? Did your cat have any treatment?
Thankyou again for your support...it’s horrible seeing our little ones suffer and breaks my heart.

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Re: Stomatitis or oral cancer?

Post by Ruth B » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:44 pm

I'm so sorry you have gone through all that (don't worry about the long post, it better to tell us everything and it helps you to be able to tell someone even if only on a forum). I can't really give any advice I've never had a cat with SCC (fingers crossed I never do) but I do know a little about dentistry as my father was one and there are similarities between cats and humans when it comes to extractions.

When a tooth is extracted it leaves a hole where the root was, this can either be closed up with stitches or in humans is often just left to scab over. If the scab comes off before healing has started then all the blood that was in the socket escapes exposing all tissue surrounding the tooth, as this isn't designed to be exposed to air it is very painful when it happens. If the extraction site is still bleeding then the socket will scab over and and fill up and everything will be fine otherwise the socket has to be packed to protect it. While I would imagine that the cat's gums were stitched after the extractions there is still likely to be a socket full of blood under the stitches and this is why it seemed to produce a lot of blood when it was disturbed. It might be possible to just dab the gel on to the gum in the extraction site without risking disturbing the healing tissue and any scabs.

With luck when the vet checks her it will be apparent that the only problem was slow healing of the sockets.

It does sound to me like your original vet was less than fully professional over the whole matter and i hope your new one proves to be good, and that Lily will have many more happy years with you.

Once the gums are healed if there is no other problems she should be fine, while he didn't have all of her underlying problems i did have a cat who had to have all his back teeth extracted and he was far better for it once they had healed up, happily gumming his way through bowls of crunchies for his remaining years.

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Re: Stomatitis or oral cancer?

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:21 am

Thank you so much Ruth for your reply and good wishes. I’ve left my furbaby with the vet this morning, so now the waiting begins....The new vet is lovely and I know she will do her best to get to the bottom of what is going on. It may be that several concurrent issues are masking whatever is happening inside her face, as chronic respiratory problems(including sneezing, nasal discharge) may of caused us to overlook the fact that she could have a nasal cavity tumour, which is what I’m beginning to suspect. Nasal congestion and discharge is common to both illnesses and being a calcili carrier, we assumed her recent nasal congestion was a flare up of her calici virus, due to stress. I’m hoping that this bleeding is just due to slow healing and I somehow dislodged the plug, causing a sudden rush of blood into her mouth. Her nasal discharge and tears are both clear, not blood stained, so I’m seeing that as a positive sign. I know with humans, removal of deep roots can create a fistula into nasal cavity(I have some medical training, which is sometimes more of a curse than a blessing), which is another possible complication, though this is unlikely. The vet is going to do full bloods, test for FIV, FeLV, put her on fluids, take radiographs of the nasal cavity and jaw from various angles, take biopsy of tissue that isn’t healing, flush her lacrimal duct and possibly nasal cavity...she said she’s going to ask a specialist for advice also as Lulu is an unusual case(not sure if that will be via video call or phone), so I’m confident she is in good hands. Now I’m just praying all my worry has been unnecessary and it is something treatable.
Thankyou for your support and reassurance xxx

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:38 pm

I’ve added an update to the end of my first post.

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Ruth B » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:58 pm

I'm so sorry it wasn't the outcome we had all been hoping for.

I fully agree with your decision to keep the invasive treatment to a minimum and just to let her have as good a life as possible for however long she is happy living for.

It is always heartbreaking making that final decision, I, like many other here, have gone through it recently, the only good thing is that we can make the decision rather than see them suffer a slow end. Hopefully she will take the meds and you can spoil her rotten for her last days, weeks or months, however long it is.

Big hugs to her and you.

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Lilith » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:15 pm

Hi, have just read your update and I agree with you - palliative care rather than impose a stressful regime. It's what I'd demand for myself under the circumstances.

With all the very very best to you and Lulu, I'm so sorry to read this, but I think you're doing the right thing. I hope you have some happy times together yet, love, Lil x

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:13 pm

Thank you so much Ruth and Lil for the reassurance that I’m doing the right thing by Lulu. Her tumour is incredibly friable, plus it’s affecting her ability to fully open her mouth, so my vet has recommended a liquid diet of watered down a/d or other puréed food. I’ve got a baby blender so I’m going to blend the Sheba fine flakes that she loves as this evening she turned her nose up at the a/d and finished off my other cat’s Sheba...Lulu obviously didn’t listen to the vet! I’m worried about her bleeding due to how fragile the tumour seems to be...the vet has said not to worry if she bleeds as it will stop quick enough and she will manage it herself-I don’t have to do anything or panic! I’m worried that eating regular cat meat will cause the tumour to bleed, if it grazes tumour. Also, she rubs her face against things, like her catnip toys or my hand when she wants attention...even this could trigger a bleed, but vet says let her carry on these behaviours, if Lulu is happy to do them. I have to trust Lulu wouldn’t do anything that causes her pain. She’s had her evening gabapentin in a little tuna cat soup juice, so hope that helps settle her overnight...let’s see what she’s like tomorrow...oh, forgot to say, her bloods were all good- no FIV or FeLV!

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Ruth B » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:54 am

I hate to say it but you could stop her doing all the things she enjoys and give her a few more days of life, or you can take the risk, let her enjoy her life rubbing up against you and the catnip toys and if it does start bleeding and it doesn't stop she will likely just start to feel sleepy and pass quietly from the blood loss dreaming about the last few hours when she was enjoying herself.

I firmly believe in quality not quantity of live when it gets to this point.

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by booktigger » Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:40 am

I'm sorry to hear this, I have lost a cat to SCC, when his started to bleed I made that decision. I wouldn't stop her doing things though, quality of life is so important

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:53 pm

I think the time is quickly approaching when I’ll have to let my sweet Lulu run free across the bridge...I’ve been unable to get her to take pain medsthis last 24 hours and she hasn’t eaten. She been sleeping mostly, though varying her sleeping places...under the bed, windowsill and favourite bed, but hasn’t come to my bed yet this evening, which she always does, up until tonight...it’s still early though, so she may still come for cuddles...I’m wondering if the vet could give her something that would make her comfortable for her last 24 hours, before helping her on her journey across the bridge...I’m going to miss her so much, but know Ineed to let her go...

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Lilith » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:01 am

Hi, and I'm so sorry to hear this. Lots of love and hugs, Lil x

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:54 am

Thanks for the support and hugs everyone...I kept checking on Lulu during the night and she seems more settled, sleeping on the spare bed, so I managed to squirt the vetagesic into her mouth (I haven’t been able to get it into her the past few days, so she’s just been having gabapentin, which may be making her more sleepy)...anyhow, 30 minutes later she comes into my bedroom, up onto the bed, demanding cuddles and face rubs. She spent a good couple of hours with me, constantly pushing against my hand if I dared to stop stroking her face, then wondered off to sleep in one of her own beds. She even ate 2 of those lick e lix yogurt treats and a felix sauce treat, which I know isn’t much, but she’d not eaten all day, so I was pleased she had something inside of her! I think I’m going to phone the vet and see if her biopsy results are back yet and bring Friday’s appointment forward to tomorrow, and maybe arrange to have her pts at home before the weekend. I need someone else to look her over and give their opinion as I don’t know if I’m seeing what I want to see...the vet won’t of seen her for a week, so is more likely to notice any deterioration in her overall condition and notice if her face is more swollen on the tumour side than last week. I was so prepared to say goodbye today, then she perks up and looks like her usual self, albeit a little thinner(she did need to lose weight and had been on weight management diet plan before she got sick- she had gone down from 6.6kg to around 6 kg, but has now gone down to under 5kg) Her fur is actually looking better than it has in years~she sheds much more than your average cat and suffers from dry skin, sometimes developing little scabby patches and hyperesthesia type symptoms; whereas her fur is currently glossy, with no dry flakes or matts and no skin rippling when touched along her spine. Maybe I’m just trying to convince myself it isn’t time...

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kay » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:18 am

your plan sounds good - with cancers it's all about pain rather than overall condition, I think - I always recommend taking daily photos of the cat when he or she can't see you, so you can look for signs of being in pain and general deterioration, as they can hide it when interacting with you

euthanasia at home is the way I have gone in the past, and it's so much easier all round for cat and owner - it's a luxury not available to everyone, of course, but well worth it I feel if it is - my Trigger went to the Bridge in his own bed, and with a last bit of his beloved chicken liver in his tum, and I have none of the torturing memories of his passing that others have to live with

hugs to you and your Lulu

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:51 am

Thankyou Kay. We have an appointment this afternoon where I will ask the vet if she agrees that it’s time...I’ll ask if she can give her something to make her comfortable, prior to scheduling a home visit later today or tomorrow...Lulu had a good night, most of which she chose to spend cuddled into me on my bed. She didn’t appear to be in pain, except when she tried to yawn, which I guess indicates the tumour is growing around the TMJ, limiting her jaw movement. I think this is the symptom that is pushing me to let her go sooner, as well as pain...as the saying goes, ‘better a day too soon than a day(or minute!) too late’...

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:26 pm

Tumour originates from salivary gland, so not SCC, but something just as bad...think it’s adenocarcinoma...vet advised euthanasia within 24 hours, so she’s doing a home visit tomorrow and helping her soul move on to ab better place.
Thanks to everyone for the good thoughts Xxx

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by fjm » Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:14 am

My thoughts are with you today, as you set her free from pain and discomfort. It is the right thing to do, but that does not make it easier.

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Ruth B » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:23 am

I'm sorry to hear this, and wish it had been a better outcome.

No matter how much we know we are doing the right thing it still hurts.

Enjoy today little Lulu and then Rest in Peace, having known only love at the end and no suffering.

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Kay » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:40 pm

thinking of you

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:40 am

Thankyou to everyone who gave me support over the past couple of weeks. Lulu was released from pain on Friday, 5th October...she passed peacefully in my arms, at home. Her tumour was invasive and aggressive, visibly distorting the right side of her face at an alarming rate. It was shocking, the speed at which she deteriorated in the last few days of her life and the pain must of been crippling...run free now, my beautiful snuggle baby...you will never again have to experience pain or discomfort as you’ll be restored to full health now you’ve crossed the Rainbow Bridge xxx Sleep tight xxx

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Lilith » Tue Oct 09, 2018 1:14 pm

You've done the right thing, no matter how painful it is to let her go free of that awful illness. Love and hugs, Lil x

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Antonio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:01 am

I'm very sorry for the loss of your precious Lulu, I know how hard it is, and reading your words has been like re-living my nightmare with my cat Lola two years ago, when she was diagnosed with an SCC in early October 2016, and she left me in March 2017.
I do hope you are going to feel better much sooner than me... I'm still in a deep depression for what I went through. I'm clinging to everything that recalls me of her.

RIP Lulu, you are now as beautiful and strong as in your prime. Shine on your Mom and help her to get over this pain :(

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Kittycatcrazy+2 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:25 am

Thanks again to everyone who has followed Lulu’s story...it’s already been a week since we helped her cross over the Rainbow Bridge and I’m missing her in so many ways...I miss being woken up by the feeling of her breathe on my cheek and the tickle of her whiskers on my face, which was her way of telling me she wanted me to get up-if I closed my eyes, she would then tap my face...she never meowed, or at least hers was a silent meow. I have many happy memories, though I also have regrets, mainly about putting her through 2 dentals and having most of her teeth removed in the last months of her life. I guess we weren’t to know that it wasn’t dental issues causing her pain as the tumour wasn’t visible inside her mouth at this stage and her face still looked the same as ever. I guess the final outcome would of been the same though as this is an awful disease. Antonio- I’m sorry that you are still struggling after losing Lola to SCC. You obviously had a very special relationship with her and loved her with all your heart. She will be watching over you and wouldn’t want you to be sad when you think of her, but smile as you remember the happy moments you shared xxx

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Re: SCC/Stomatitis update-new diagnosis:parotid gland tumour

Post by Antonio » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:52 am

Kittycatcrazy+2 wrote:I miss being woken up by the feeling of her breathe on my cheek and the tickle of her whiskers on my face, which was her way of telling me she wanted me to get up-if I closed my eyes, she would then tap my face...she never meowed, or at least hers was a silent meow. I have many happy memories, though I also have regrets, mainly about putting her through 2 dentals and having most of her teeth removed in the last months of her life.
We all have regrets for what we did or didn't to and for our kitties.
But just focus on the happy memories you have, these will be what will keep you up in the future. I've been told "don't let her death be more important than her life", and this is what I'm passing on to you.
Though I'm telling you this, I'm not able to do it myself yet. Maybe one day it will come easily.
Antonio- I’m sorry that you are still struggling after losing Lola to SCC. You obviously had a very special relationship with her and loved her with all your heart. She will be watching over you and wouldn’t want you to be sad when you think of her, but smile as you remember the happy moments you shared xxx
Yes, we did have a very special and strong bond, one of those things that happen once in a lifetime if your'e lucky. To me she was much more important than myself, I had devoted my last 18 years to her, I always put her first, I renounced lots of things in order to give her the best. In her last months I only slept 4 hours a night and ate once a day, I was wasting myself away to cure her SCC.
And I would have done that for all my life.
I would do everything I did all over.
I'm dead inside :(

Hugs to you and Lulu.

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