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Mouth Cancer (Chondrosarcoma) in Cats



Your cat will need to have drastic surgery performed to get as much of the tumor out as possible. Often half of the jaw (most often the upper jaw) is removed. This works well and may even achieve remission if the tumor is removed before it has spread. Your veterinarian may also advise radiation therapy for your cat, but this is highly dependent on the nature and behavior of the tumor and on your cat's overall health. Chemotherapy may be toxic for some animals and should be avoided.


Oral pain medication will need to be administered to the cat to help manage its pain, both before and after surgery.


Living and Management


After surgery, you should expect your cat to feel sore. Your veterinarian will give you pain medication for your cat to help minimize discomfort, and you will need to set up a place in the house where your cat can rest comfortably and quietly, away from other pets, active children, and busy entryways. Setting the cat litter box and food dishes close by will enable your cat to continue to care for itself normally, without exerting itself unduly. Use pain medications with caution and follow all directions carefully; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication.


The location of the surgery will require a special diet. After surgery, you should feed your cat soft foods only, or in some cases foods that are liquefied and fed by tube. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on what will be best for your cat.


Follow-up visits with your veterinarian will be scheduled for rechecking the progress of healing at the site, as well as for testing for recurrence of the cancer. In some case, the cancer will spread from the lymph nodes to other parts of the body.


In many cases, cats are able to adjust to the changed form of their mouth and face. Patience and affection will be important for helping your cat to transition. Your cat's final prognosis and life expectation will be based on the severity of the tumor's spread into the body. 



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