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Pet Health & Wellness

Coffee Cat Q&A

Mediaplanet chatted with Coffee, a resilient furry friend who beat Kidney Cancer is and currently battling Nasal Lymphoma. Coffee’s owners are adamant on raising awareness on pet health and keeping a positive mindset for their pets wellbeing.

Coffee was diagnosed with kidney lymphoma when he was just over a year old. We noticed an abnormality while brushing him, which prompted us to take Coffee to the vet for an examination. To our surprise, Coffee’s kidneys were enlarged, and a cytology test confirmed lymphoma. After reviewing our options, we decided to pursue the CHOP protocol, a type of chemotherapy treatment plan. The program lasted 25 weeks, and we were grateful that Coffee only experienced nausea after his first two treatments. Mild hair loss was the only other side effect he encountered. Though he did experience some appetite loss, an appetite stimulant helped alleviate it. After 25 weeks, Coffee entered remission, but we understood the need for ongoing monitoring. Since then, Coffee has been on a kidney diet, and we bring him in for a physical exam and bloodwork every six months. When it comes to cancer and pet illnesses, early detection is critical!

In January, we noticed Coffee exhibiting signs of restlessness, pacing, a change in his meow, and a slight crookedness in his walk. Concerned, we promptly took him to the vet, suspecting a recurrence of his kidney cancer. However, test results revealed no cancer on his kidneys, and his bloodwork returned normal. Despite exhaustive tests including x-rays, ultrasound, and blood clot screenings, all results were negative, leading us to pursue neurology. Coffee was referred to a hospital with a neurologist for an MRI, despite the anesthesia posing a high risk due to his history as a kidney cancer survivor. The MRI uncovered a nasal mass pressing on his brain, confirmed by a positive biopsy for nasal lymphoma. Transitioning back to his oncologist, we initiated radiation treatment at VCA California Veterinary Specialist, which Coffee tolerated well, experiencing only sneezing and slight discoloration at the site a week after treatment. With his initial symptoms resolved, we’re now preparing for chemotherapy to address the mass’s impact on his brain. Despite the challenges, we’re optimistic about Coffee’s recovery.

What advice would you give to a person experiencing pet illness?

The very first thing, take a deep breath and stay calm. Reach out to your trusted veterinarian as soon as you notice anything off. While your pet’s feeling under the weather, it’s important to be their comfort zone—snuggles, a calm environment, and maybe their favorite treats. Stick to your routines, try to stay calm, it helps them feel secure. Following your vet’s advice to the letter is key, from meds to check-ups. Keep a close eye on your pet’s mood and symptoms, and report changes with your vet as soon as possible. Remember, it’s okay to lean on friends, family, or even online communities for support—they’ve got your back! Trust yourself, and your vet, to make the best choices for your fur baby. And don’t forget to take care of you, too!

What adjustments have you found to enhance Coffee’s quality of life when going through treatment?

To enhance Coffee’s quality of life during treatments, we made several adjustments. First, we placed more water fountains around the house to encourage hydration. Additionally, we added extra meal stations to make food more accessible, hoping it would stimulate his appetite. We’ve been mindful to treat him the same as before, believing he can sense our energy. Creating a safe, quiet environment for Coffee to rest has been a priority. When giving him medication, we accompany it with plenty of treats, which has made him eagerly anticipate medication time. Introducing new toys to Coffee has been beneficial as well, encouraging playtime and providing enrichment.

Can you share Coffee’s journey as a cancer survivor and how it has impacted both of your lives?

Coffee Cat’s journey as a cancer survivor has deeply impacted both of our lives in profound ways. Initially, the diagnosis brought about fear and uncertainty, but it also strengthened our bond with Coffee and taught us resilience. Witnessing Coffee’s courage and determination throughout his treatments inspired us to remain hopeful and supportive, even during the most challenging moments. His journey has reinforced the importance of cherishing every moment and appreciating the small joys in life. It has also deepened our understanding of the significance of veterinary care and the power of medical advancements in treating pets with serious illnesses. Coffee’s resilience and determination to overcome obstacles serve as a constant reminder to embrace life’s challenges with courage and optimism. Overall, his journey has brought us closer together as a family and instilled within us a profound sense of gratitude for each day we share with him.

How did you support your Coffee throughout the treatment process?

Throughout Coffee Cat’s treatment process, we were there for him every step of the way. We talked a lot with his vets to make sure we understood his treatments and how to help him feel better. At home, we made sure he felt loved and safe, giving him lots of cuddles and sticking to our daily routines to keep things predictable for him. We watched him closely for any changes in how he acted or felt, and we let his vets know right away if something seemed off. We made sure he took his medications and had his treatments as the vets recommended, always trying to make it as easy and pleasant for him as we could, with lots of treats and encouragement. Overall, we stayed patient and caring, knowing that it was a tough time for him and for us, but we were determined to help him get better no matter what.

How has Coffee’s story inspired you and others in the pet community?

Coffee Cat’s story has been a tremendous source of inspiration within the pet community, especially through his active presence on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook. His resilience and positive attitude have touched the hearts of many, offering hope and encouragement to pet parents facing similar challenges. We’ve been humbled by the outpouring of support and messages from people who have found solace in Coffee’s journey, reaching out for advice and companionship during difficult times with their own furry friends. Knowing that Coffee’s story has made a positive impact on others fills us with joy and reinforces the importance of sharing our experiences and supporting one another within the pet community.

Follow along on Coffee’s journey.

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