Sunday, August 23, 2015

Remembering Beignet

Four years ago today, Truffle's little brother, Beignet left to go to the bridge to join Sweet Praline (who had left for the bridge just four months earlier because of cancer). Beignet was Truffle's only litter mate and he was scheduled to come live with Mom Paula and Truffle, but he developed a Vaccine Associated Fibrosarcoma (VAS) from his vaccination and died on the operating table while the vet was removing the tumor.

A Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcoma (VAS) AKA Feline post-vaccinal sarcomas or FISS is a type of malignant tumor found in cats (rarely found in dogs and ferrets), which has been linked to certain vaccines containing aluminum adjuvant. According to Wikipedia, "The incidence of VAS is 1 in 10,000 vaccinated cats and has been found to be dose-dependent. The time from vaccination to tumor formation varies from three months to eleven years." What was so unusual in the case of Beignet was that he developed the tumor within a couple of weeks from his vaccine and his vaccination was adjuvant-free.  He was 10-weeks old when the tumor was discovered.  Mom Terri immediately took him to the vet when the lump developed, thinking it was just a bump from the kittens rough-housing.  The vet believed the same thing, but Mom Terri insisted on sending the mass off to be analyzed. The initial surgery to remove the lump occurred August 17, 2011.  Mom Paula was able to travel  down to Mt. Pleasant, SC to visit Truffle and Beignet that weekend on August 20, 2011.  
A Sunday Selfie (sponsored by The Cat on My Head
of Mom Paula and Beignet from August 2011

Even though Beignet had a large incision on his side from the surgery, he was doing great. He was playing with Truffle and his half-siblings from another litter.  Everyone believe he was going to be okay.  Unfortunately, Mom Terri contacted Mom Paula on August 22, 2011 to let her know that the biopsy came back as cancer.  As soon as a VAS tumor is diagnosed, treatment is through aggressive surgery.  The vet must remove the tumor with wide margins in order to ensure complete removal of the cancer.  The prognosis isn't always good because the tumor may reoccur.  The day of the surgery, the vet assured Terri that Beignet would be okay and that he could still come to live with Mom Paula. Unfortunately, little Beignet died on the operating table during the surgery.  We believe the reason this occurred was because he was so tiny and had to stay under the anesthesia so long for the complete removal of the tumor.  Mom Terri contacted the company that produced the vaccines and also some feline pathologists that specialized in cancer research to study why this occurred because it's so rare, especially the quickness the tumor appeared and in such a young kitten.  There was no "medical" reason they could determine why this happened. Even our current vet(s) are very surprised that this occurred.  Mom Paula took the results of the pathology report to the vets to keep on record so we could monitor Truffle closely.
Beignet being petting by Mom Paula, August 20, 2011
It's so hard to believe he was gone three days later.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners have developed new vaccine protocols that limit the type and frequency of vaccinations given to cats.  They've specifically recommended that the vaccine for feline leukemia virus should only be given to kittens and high-risk cats. The Felinerhinotracheitis/panleukopenia/calicivirus vaccines should be given to kittens, one year later, and then every three years.  Preference is for a non-adjuvanted rabies vaccine that is given yearly over the adjuvanted three-year rabies vaccine products. Veterinarians are also giving vaccines in the back legs instead of the shoulder blades like they used to in order to make removal of a VAS easier, if one forms.  Getting a rabies shot is required by law in South Carolina.  Even though we are indoor-only kitties, we get the rabies vaccine because South Carolina does have a large number of identified cases of wild animals with rabies.

We didn't mean to make this post so long, but we did want to educate you on what actually happened to Beignet and how rare it is for a VAS to occur.  We know that Beignet is at the bridge with Sweet Praline and that she is taking good care of him.

Four days later, Brulee was born...


Note from Mom Paula:  even though Beignet never came to live with me, he had a special place in my heart.  I was able to visit with him three different times during his short life.  He was going to be my first little mancat, but God had other plans.  Terri and I had already discussed that I just couldn't bring Beignet home with me after the cancer diagnosis because of the prognosis of it returning and the medical commitment that was needed.  I'd just lost Sweet Praline to cancer 4 months earlier and I just couldn't handle it again so soon. Terri promised me that Beignet had a home with her as long as he lived.  We both loved that little man cat.  

The pain is still there, just like the pain from Sweet Praline, but life does move on and in order for me to heal, I must also move forward.  But, I will always remember with a great love and a little sadness for my loss.  God sent me Truffle and then Brulee.  They are the light of my world now.   

35 comments:

  1. My human remembers how sad it was when you lost Beignet. I'm getting a rabies booster this upcoming week - my human brought me home a year ago this weekend, so my one-year boosters have all been coming due.

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  2. How sad about poor little Beignet. He wuz a cutie.

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  3. Cancer is a nasty, unforgiving disease! So sorry the little, handsome fellow did not make it.

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  4. We remember sweet Beignet. It's so sad his life ended before it really began. Cancer sucks. Purrs to all of you on this memorial day.

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  5. It's so hard to believe it's been 4 years, but then again it seems like yesterday. We know sweet little Beignet knew you loved him.

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  6. Poor little guy, he was adorable. I am sorry he had to suffer with that.

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    1. Honestly, Terri said he didn't suffer. He was playing around like nothing was wrong. It was just so sad that it had to happen.

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  7. What a cute little guy. Thank you so much for sharing, I wasn't aware of this type of cancer. {{hugs}}

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  8. WE remember this like it was yesterday. We know it is still a very tender place within your heart and we are so sorry. It is just a mystery with no explanation.

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  9. I'm so sorry you loss Beignet so early. At least he was loved.

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  10. I remember little Beignet. It is very sad he had such a short life.

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  11. We didn't know little Beignet, we were not yet in the Cat Blogosphere. What a cute little guy he was ! We're sorry he had to cross the Bridge so early. Purrs

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  12. (((((hugs)))) we will always remember Beignet and how terrible it was when we all found out he had cancer. Interestingly, a sarcoma is what our Dad has and his is super duper rare too.

    Love,
    The Florida Furkids and Mom Sharon

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  13. Thank you so much for a very informative, sweet and poignant story. We are so sorry to learn of the loss of sweet little Beignet. Mom knew that kitties could get lumps from their shots but never understood why. Rhette has a small lump between his shoulder blades which she assumes is from his shots. Now she wonders if she should get it checked out. Love Dolly

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    1. It probably wouldn't hurt to have it checked

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  14. Beignet was such a perfect little angel. I'm very sorry he never got to have a long and happy life with you.
    xxoo
    Maggie

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  15. We remember this and were so heart broken for you- It was such a fear that it would be something bad and we could not believe Teri lost him so suddenly-

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  16. We, too, are sorry that Beignet was gone too soon. What a handsome little man cat. Like you've said, he's forever in your heart. We just know he knew he was loved. And we appreciate your reminder about the shots.

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  17. Such a very sad story! The length of time spent with a furry is no indication of how much they will be missed when they leave! Thank you for the info about the shots xxx

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  18. Hugs to you on this remembrance day. :)

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  19. Beignet was yours even if he never lived with you. He was a lovely spirit and a sweet cat.

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  20. This is so sad. I’m glad you did get to spend time with him and he’ll always be in your heart.

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  21. We remember Beignet when you were going through the process of getting
    him and Truffle. We were so sad when he got sick and did not make it.
    We shared your tears and we feel the sadness today.
    We send you and Truffle comforting purrs on this sad anniversary.
    He will always have a special place in our hearts.
    Purrs Georgia and Julie,
    Treasure and JJ
    and mom Nancy

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  22. We remember when Beignet went to the Bridge. We share in your sadness as you remember your special baby boy. Hugs to you, dear friends.

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  23. Mee-you Lady Paula what a touchin an sad story! Fank you fur sharin it so wee can leern 'bout fingss. Mee iss typin fur LadyMum because shee iss cryin....shee feels yur loss an says losin a heart kitty even if they not live with you iss just as sad...inn fact sadder because not a lot of memoreess....
    Mee had mee FRV-CP injection a few months ago....mee an mee siblinss Tyerrone an Tangerine gotted BERRY sick when wee was a month old...wee had to bee cared fur by 3 differint Ladiess an many Vetss an mee allmost died frum Rhino Virus an Panleukopenia....
    LadyMum did not know ;bout all these illnesses an shee has leerned ALOT inn thee 8 1/2 months wee have been together. Mee finks mee will have to have thee FRV-CP shot next year as a booster an then mee bee ok fur 3 yearss . Doc Becker xplained bout thee VAS to LadyMum so wee know shee iss a good Vet. Wee iss sorry fur yur loss an mee will say a purrayer fur you!
    Sinseerlee Siddhartha Henry =^,.^=

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  24. We're so sorry about Beignet. It's sad that he left this world at such a young age. It's a law here, too, that we get the rabies vaccine. Mommy hates it.

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  25. Lots of good info here...I'm so sorry this happened to your Beignet .
    Such a sweet photo.

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  26. That's so sad. Rest in peace, sweetie xx

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  27. That's so sad. Rest in peace, sweetie xx

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

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  28. Awe I never even knew about this from vaccines :( Beignet was precious!

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  29. Though Beignet never came home with you, we know he already had a firm hold on your heart and losing him was just as painful as losing Sweet Praline. Thanks for sharing Beignet with us today for Sunday Selfies and telling his story. Sending lots of purrs and hugs to Mom Paula. XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  30. Purrs as you remember your sweet Angel Beignet...

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  31. Has it really been so long? We remember this, and were so very sad.

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  32. Time certainly flies. I remember this like it was yesterday. Thanks for sharing all this information. I am happy your girls have given you joy. It's been so much fun watching them grow up and become a part of your life. Thanks for investing the time in your blog! I read it regularly. So many have given up blogging and I miss them.

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