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Today is Vinny is two weeks post-amputation! He had his first visit to the medical oncologist yesterday morning, along with his first chemotherapy treatment in the afternoon. He went home with a purple heart of bravery, awarded by the wonderful hospital staff. 🙂

Purple Heart for Bravery!

Purple Heart for Bravery!

Meeting with the medical oncology doctor was great. She was so helpful with every question I had. She said of all the personality types of cats who get cancer, with his laid back attitude and easy going nature, Vinny was a great candidate to undergo these treatments. He was just chilling out while we were talking about his treatment, and impressed the doctor by jumping up on top of his crate a few times. He’s also got a great appetite and is never picky, which is also a great asset going through this. The doctor assured me that they make sure the chemo patients will be cared for and entertained the entire time of their stay. They want them to have a good experience, so they don’t grow to hate their visits. This was comforting.

Before his treatment, he had a urinalysis and complete blood work, which were both normal. He also had an ultrasound, which showed the same slightly enlarged lymph node that his CT scan showed two weeks ago. His surgical oncologist told me that he was pretty sure it was just enlarged as an effect of being sick from the original tumor, and proably not a new cancer growth. Something we will keep a close eye on. He also had a grade 1 heart murmur, which could be nothing at all, or could be something. Another thing to keep a close eye on.

Vinny had an IV treatment of doxorubicin, and will complete 5 more of these treatments, each three weeks apart. He will have blood work and urinalysis each visit, and an ultrasound on his 3rd visit, and every 3 months after that. When I picked up Vinny after his treatments, the veterinary technician said that Vinny did really well and he was entertaining them all for a while. She gave him a catnip pillow after his treatment and he just loved it was was going wild, and it was one of the best reactions they’ve ever seen. She was also amazed that he was mowing down treats right out of their hands before and after his treatments. Often cats are too stressed out in the hospital to eat. When I picked him up he did not seem at all stressed out at all. He ate dinner right when he got home, and hasn’t had any obvious side effects since then. The doctor said that if they have any side effects, its usually 3-7 days after treatment.


The doctors are still unable to give any kind of definitive prognosis. This type of cancer is a high grade type, aggressive and unpredictable. Since it’s so rare in cats, it’s hard to predict how it could go. They said of the few cats they’ve seen with it, some lasted for years, and some only a few months. One small study I read online was encouraging; it says with combined treatments, outlook is good. Also, I have some confidence in the fact that I never ignored the mass or his health at any point, and did every treatment and procedure that has been recommended by our regular doctor, and the doctors at the cancer centre. Besides lots of love and a healthy diet, there is not much more I can do.

After discussions with the medical oncology doctor, I’ve decided to put both my cats on a pure canned food diet, and cut out the dry food. It’s Royal Canin Vetrinary Formula Calorie Control. They’ve been eating it for a while for their weight loss program, and they like it. It’s a fine line now where he (and she) needs to lose weight, to take some stress off his three legs and his internal organs, but also he needs lots of nutrients and quality ingredients to fight the cancer. This food is perfect for that. He’s also been on Cosequin glucosamine supplements for a few weeks now, as a preventative measure against potential future arthritic and joint issues. And today I am introducing Carlson pure cod liver oil to his diet, to boost his omega-3 intake, which will help his immunity and organ functions.

A few other things I have been giving him are organic virgin coconut oil and cooked eggs. He just loves coconut oil, and I know it has beneficial and healing properties, so it’s a win-win for him. And of course we know that eggs are an amazing superfood, with tonnes of nutrients, so I think he can benefit from this too.

The best part is that I don’t think he even knows he is sick. He is doing remarkably well. He is eating well, drinking more water than usual (with my encouragement), and back to his exercise regime. He is social and happy. His fur also seems softer than ever. He’s playing like a silly little kitten right now beside me with the new catnip toys I bought for him today. I have lots of hope for my Vinny boy. 🙂

Playing with his new catnip toy!

Playing with his new catnip toy!

6 Responses to “Purple Heart For Bravery”

  1. rica55 says:

    What!? Jilly never got presents at chemo! What a lucky boy!!!!! Sounds like he handled session 1 like a champ! Jill got doxorubicin so if you have any questions at all let me know!!

  2. Melinda P says:

    Wonderful news! I’m so glad everything went well. Maybe he can give Kender some lessons…I don’t think she’ll be nearly so laid back! 🙂

  3. sebastian says:

    How lucky you are to have such a chill cat! And did I mention he’s gorgeous? Seriously, that’s a great picture of him. Love the whiskers.

    Keep up the good work Vinny!!

  4. kazann says:

    Hey Vinny, you are a cutie! He sounds social and relaxed like my Mona except Mona doesn’t accept changes in her food too easily and will not eat any food where I try to hide glucosamine. Is Vinny fussy with medication or will he eat anything?

  5. KJ & Vinny says:

    Thanks everyone for your support! 🙂

    @Kazann – Vinny is really good eater and tolerates changes very well. I’ve been able to sneak the glucosamine into his wet dinner no problem. I’ve also successfully mixed his Metacam into it, and Miralax, as well as the cod liver oil.

    I tried once to open a capsule of Tramadol and mix it in… that was a terrible idea as he definitely did not go for that. It tasted so awful he was foaming at the mouth for a little bit – poor guy. I’ve also tried to sneak in halved pills a while back, and he just ate around them.

    My other cat is definitely more fussy about changes and will not tolerate things mixed into her food, so I can definitely understand your situation. Overall, I’ve been pretty lucky with Vinny’s eating habits and tolerating meds & supplements, but I can’t get away with everything. 🙂 haha

  6. tinav323 says:

    Vinny is such a handsome boy! And that purple heart is too cute.

    I’m glad to hear he is so laid back and willing to pretty much go with the flow. I really hope everything goes well, and I look forward to hearing more about his progress. I just want to give him a big hug. He looks so fluffy!

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