Lymphoma in cats: signs, causes and treatment
Lymphoma in cats is a common concern for cat breeders in modern time. First off, what is lymphoma in cats?
An unchecked increase in the number of lymphocytes in the immune system can lead to a cancerous condition known as lymphoma. Protecting the cat against harmful substances and foreign objects is the main duty of lymphocytes.
While it can affect any area of the lymphatic system, the cancer is most frequently discovered in the gastrointestinal tract.
Though lymphoma can strike cats at any age, most felines who are diagnosed with it are in their middle or elder years. There isn’t a specific breed that is predisposed to lymphoma, although cats with leukaemia or the immunodeficiency virus are more likely to have the disease.
Read Also: Bone Cancer in Cats
Signs of lymphoma in cats
Depending on where it is in the body, lymphoma in cats has different symptoms. The liver, spleen, and lymph nodes are just a few of the human organs where lymphoma can develop. A list of a few likely symptoms is provided below. As soon as you spot a problem, take your pet to the vet. They comprise:
- Enlarged or swollen lymph nodes;
- Weight loss associated with loss of appetite;
- Lethargy or weakness;
- Insomnia or restlessness;
- Muscle atrophy;
Severe cases could involve:
- Excessive meowing;
- Laboured breathing.
Lymphoma in its most severe and untreated forms can be fatal. Therefore, if you observe any of the aforementioned problems, take your cat to the veterinarian.
Causes of Lymphoma in cats
A type of white blood cell called a lymphocyte starts to multiply quickly and uncontrollably, which is what causes lymphoma. These cells create antibodies that aid in the treatment of illness.
The kidneys, chest, gastrointestinal system, nose, spine, and skin are just a few of the bodily areas that lymphocytes pass through as they move via a network of blood arteries. The lymphatic system is this network’s scientific name.
Cats with a history of leukaemia or the immunodeficiency virus are also at risk for developing lymphoma, though it is unclear how these conditions are related. Furthermore, it has been observed that cats who reside in households where a smoker is a frequent smoker are also more likely to get gastrointestinal lymphoma.
In the case of lymphoma in cats, which affects the skin, symptoms may include redness, flakiness, or persistent itching. Different types of cancer will manifest differently. An abdominal mass or swelling may develop if it affects the digestive system.
treatment of lymphoma in cats
For cats with lymphoma, chemotherapy is seen to be the most beneficial course of action. Several different chemotherapeutic medications kinds are used in this process. The best opportunity for ill cats to enter the remission stage is chemotherapy.
Surgery is another option for treating lymphoma, especially when the disease has spread to the gastrointestinal tract, where it may be necessary to do surgery to remove a physical mass. Cats that are unable to get chemotherapy might also receive radiation therapy.
What’s next after surgery?
It’s the recuperating process, I suppose. Chemotherapy won’t cause your cat to pass away, but it may cause a number of unpleasant side effects, including fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite. Your wager would probably recommend some palliative care to assist lessen the negative effects.
Your pet needs a lot of rest following therapy. In order to prevent irritation, don’t allow your pet to contact the surgical site if it had surgery. Regarding your pet’s healing, strictly adhere to the advice of your veterinarian.
Last but not least, lymphoma cannot be cured but can only be controlled with early discovery, prompt intervention, and prompt therapy. If your cat receives feline leukaemia and immunodeficiency virus vaccine, its risk of acquiring lymphoma will also be decreased.
Cats with lymphoma typically have a dismal prognosis since lymphoma is a very aggressive illness. Because of this, it is essential to recognize and treat illnesses as soon as possible in order to maximize your cat’s quality of life. Every six months, a vet should do a blood test on cats older than seven years as a prophylactic measure.