Guest Post by Carly. I’ve been a cat owner for as long as I can remember. My brown tabby, Seymour, is seventeen years old and has basically grown up with me. So when his kidneys failed a few months ago, I was devastated. I didn’t know what the side effects would be, or how long he would have to live. The veterinarian didn’t make it sound good, to be honest. There were several times that I drove him to the vet’s office, the poor thing crying in his carry-case the whole way, thinking that today would be the day. But it’s been eight months since then, and Seymour’s doing okay.
It ends up that the kidney failure was a result of the diabetic medication he was taking. He was diagnosed with diabetes and needed insulin shots twice a day. Only the insulin was more than his body could take. Since his kidneys failed we’ve had to take him off the insulin, and give him instead a nightly IV of fluids. Instead of regular food, he can only ingest baby food which must be heated up in the microwave so it’s easier for his body to absorb. My house is full of those little baby food jars, with names like Chick’n Stars and Thanksgiving Dinner. Instead of two meals a day, he eats at least five smaller meals.
Seymour’s birthday is coming up, he’ll be eighteen at the end of May. And while I’m so glad he’s made it through another year, I’m worrying more and more.
He was having trouble breathing the other day and I brought him into the vet, only to find that yet another problem had arisen with his health. After many tests, stressful phone calls, and lots of anxiety, we finally got a diagnosis. Seymour has mesothelioma.
And while I’ve spent months researching mesothelioma treatment, there is so little available for cats with the disease.
Before I got Seymour, from an ad in the Dogs & Cats section of my local paper, he was living in an apartment building a county away. It ends up that that building was made at a time before the harmful side effects of asbestos were known, when it was a primary material in construction. With a lot of research I’ve found that the building was under renovation at one point, and sheet-rock was exposed, with little protection for the lungs of residents (no less cats!). Most
people don’t realize that cats can contract mesothelioma, a rare cancer that’s caused by breathing in asbestos fibers.
While I know Seymour and I will keep on fighting, the mesothelioma life expectancy is incredibly short for humans and cats. If you think your cat (or yourself!) has been exposed to mesothelioma, you should get checked out by a doctor immediately.
About the author:
Carly is a cat-lover and an avid-blogger. She hopes that telling Seymour’s story can help other people learn about the countless health risks that cats are susceptible to. For general information about mesothelioma, look here.