My sweet Bert

My sweet kitty Bert has had some health issues lately and we’ve gotten to know our veterinarian pretty well since he’s made many trips for care in the last few months.

The vet performed some exploratory surgery on his bottom lip and chin 10 days ago and sent some tissue samples off to UGA for examination. We got the word on Thursday that the tissue was malignant carcinoma.

When the vet operated on him, he removed all of the suspicious tissue that he could see, so we are hopeful that he got it all and that Bert will live several more years. Bert is not as handsome now as he is in this picture above, but he is still just as sweet as ever. <3

Here’s a picture of what his lip and chin looked like before surgery.

UPDATE: 2/22/2018

Got really terrible confirmation today when I took Bert in for a final check up from his cancer surgery…..I noticed on Sunday night that his mouth didn’t look right and woke up Monday morning crying with the realization that the cancer was back. The vet confirmed it in today’s visit.

So now I must explore some options…..If anyone who reads this has had a pet with cancer, I would love to hear about your experience.

I will be taking Bert in for an oncology consult with a cancer expert, hopefully, next week and will go from there…..

Needless to say I am sick about this latest development. Right now, Bert is happy, eating well, and feeling pretty good, so it’s really hard to think about what is going to happen to him in the future. I just can’t bear to think about watching this beautiful, happy boy succumb to cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018

I scheduled an appointment with a cancer specialist for Bert for this coming Thursday, but over the weekend, the tumor on his lip grew quite a lot.

Last week, when I discussed options for Bert with the veterinarian, I was given 3 options: a more invasive surgery, chemotherapy, and to do nothing. I had hoped to explore the veracity of chemo and then make a decision, but, given how fast the tumor is growing, I am concerned that the window for a surgical solution is closing rapidly, so I called the vet yesterday morning and told him that I thought we should pursue the surgical option as soon as possible.

So this morning I dropped Bert off at the vet’s office and sometime today he will be operated on again. This time the vet will remove part of his lower jaw (partial mandibulectomy) in the hopes of removing the cancer.

UPDATE: 2/27/2018 Post Surgery

The vet called me after surgery to let me know that Bert was okay.  He texted me a few pictures.

UPDATE: 2/28/2018

Bert got through surgery okay, but stayed overnight at the vet’s office. He is home now and appears to be hungry, but is having some difficulty eating. He has to learn a new technique for eating….

UPDATE: 3/01/201

Bert is struggling to eat, but he seems to be doing okay. His tongue hangs out of his mouth and he doesn’t have much of a lower jaw so when he tries to eat his tongue gets in the way. I have been syringing water & watered down food into him. It’s a very messy business and stressful for both of us.

So far, I think I’ve managed to get his meds in him and keep him hydrated, but haven’t gotten much food in him.

Tonight we wrapped him in a towel & Mark held him tightly. I was able to put some soft food on my finger & get it in his mouth. That was a little encouraging & tomorrow we will try to get more food into him.

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