Deciding when to euthanize a cat with bladder cancer depends on various factors, such as the age of your pet, symptoms exhibited, and whether any treatment options are available.
Cat bladder cancer when to euthanize
Treatment for bladder cancer typically begins with chemotherapy drugs and medications to relieve pain and inflammation, but some cases are too advanced for treatment. When this is the case, your vet will recommend euthanization so that your cat doesn’t suffer needlessly. Euthanasia is also a good option when treatment options have been exhausted and the cancer is spreading throughout a cat’s body.
When a cat develops bladder cancer, it’s almost always in the setting of other significant health problems. Since the disease is so painful and so terminal, it’s important to simply get it over with and euthanize the cat rather than prolong her suffering.
By closely monitoring your cat’s condition, you can gauge whether he is feeling better or worse as time passes. If his symptoms worsen, there may be something more serious at work and it may be time to consider euthanasia.
Euthanasia is a topic that many pet owners are uncomfortable with. It can be helpful to understand the reason for the procedure and why your veterinarian feels that it is in your pet’s best interest.
How do vets diagnose bladder cancer in cats?
When a cat has bladder cancer, the disease often progresses from seemingly benign symptoms to severe ones. As the condition worsens, affected cats start to show signs of pain and discomfort that can cause them to urinate outside of their litter boxes.
The urine may be blood-tinged or may contain pus, and the cat may develop a strange odor not normally associated with her. If your cat is experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, you should consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action before it’s too late.
Bladder cancer occurs when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. The cells can form a tumor that grows into surrounding tissues and organs. If the tumor begins to invade or compress the urethra (the tube that drains urine from the body), it can be a sign that the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Cancerous tumors in a cat’s bladder can commonly be removed during surgery, although in some cases the growths are too large or widespread for removal. When this happens, your vet will recommend radiation therapy as an alternative treatment option. Radiation therapy involves exposing cancerous cells to beams of high-energy light that destroy tumor cells while leaving healthy tissue intact.
How long does a cat with bladder cancer live?
Cats with early stage TCC can live for up to 6 months with no treatment at all, but medical management (medication and fluids) can increase survival rate to 8 months or more. Surgery followed by chemotherapy can be used in this situation as well, with some cats living up to 2 years before the cancer recurs.
The time to euthanize will come if the disease has spread to other organs, or if the tumor gets so large that it takes over the cat’s body and causes severe pain. Cats suffering from these conditions will lose their appetite and begin vomiting. The cat may also become depressed and lethargic.
How is bladder cancer usually treated?
When it comes to treating cancer in cats, a good starting point is a chemotherapy.
Chemotherapy involves giving the cat medication that will slow down the growth of cancer cells but may not kill them. The goal is to make the tumor smaller so that it can be removed with surgery more easily. These medications are usually very effective in shrinking tumors, allowing them to be removed by surgery in most cases.
The removal of the bladder tumor is called cystectomy and is usually performed as an outpatient procedure using general anesthesia. It requires a large incision in the abdomen and removal of the bladder, ureters, and part of the urethra. In some cases where bladder cancer has not spread outside of the bladder, cystectomy may be an option to treat this condition without chemotherapy.
If your cat has been diagnosed with cancer, you should consider what stage the disease is at when making treatment decisions. Cats with early-stage TCC can often be treated successfully with surgery; however, cats with advanced TCC will likely require chemotherapy.
How do I know if my cat is suffering?
Euthanasia is a tool used to prevent undue suffering in our animal companions. Some people are reluctant to have this discussion as they feel it is more humane to let the cat die naturally. However, if your pet is suffering, euthanasia may be warranted.
There is no one easy answer on how to determine if a cat with bladder cancer should be put down; however, there are some common symptoms that warrant particular attention:
- Lethargy, depression and weight loss.
- Hiding in a corner or behind furniture.
- Loss of appetite and decreased water intake.
- Difficulty grooming and changes in skin texture.
- Abnormal breathing sounds, including wheezing and gurgling.
- Increased disorientation.
- Giving up on litter box usage and soiling the house.
- A reluctance to move or play.