ALL PET CENTER    MID SOUTH ANIMAL PAIN & THERAPY CENTER     VILLAGE PET HOTEL & SPA

Serving All Your Pet Care Needs In Hot Springs Village      Telephone: (501) 625-3418  or  (501) 984-5045  

4147 Highway 7 North    Hot Springs Village, Arkansas 71909

 

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Cancer in Cats

 

Remember that any disease that affects the bone marrow system of your friend can result in an abnormal production of cells, in this case "lymphocytes". These cells are a product of the immune system of the body. They are involved in round the clock protection of the body . An excessive amount of  lymphocytes in the blood generally signals that an attack is on.

 

Under normal conditions the body routinely removes billions of unnatural cells every day. However, when there are a lot of unnatural cells being produced, one may slip through that the bodyís defenses cannot remove. That cell is called a cancer cell. A cancer is simply a cell that the body cannot eliminate in time to prevent damage. Since viruses and the disease symptoms they cause are quite common in our feline friends ,a condition called lymphocytosis can occur quite readily .

 

The word "lymphocytosis"  means many, many lymphocytes above the normal amount in the body. I have seen many feline friends develop this condition after a virus. Many of  these lymphocytosis conditions are resolved by a healthy immune system . I am sure that many of  these conditions go undetected because our feline friends donít always act sick. Generally , however, a prolonged attack of this kind results in an mass growing somewhere on the body. Most lymphoma is first discovered by the presence of an enlarged lymph node or a singular mass on the body, that is not painful. The mass must be biopsied to accurately diagnose this disease. The other normal symptoms of illness such as lethargy and inappetance are not diagnostic of this condition.  These could be normal Village behaviors for our pampered feline friends! 

 

Now that you understand that a challenge to the immune system produces the conditions for the cancer of the lymph system called lymphoma, you may remember that Feline Leukemia virus, Feline Immunodeficiency virus, and any other virus that attacks the immune system of your friend could result in lymphoma. So lymphoma is not generally considered a primary condition. Those unfortunate feline friends that are not routinely vaccinated against leukemia and FIP (feline infectious peritonitis) often develop lymphoma secondarily. So a simple vaccine program can reduce the possibility of this disease. Incidentally, I have seen that feline friends who test positive to feline leukemia virus , after two test of course, are generally positive for one or more of the other feline diseases. This is probably due to a weakened immune system.

 

Treatment: The drugs used to treat feline lymphoma are the same as those used for humans. The side effects and prognosis are just as guarded. Our feline friends do not seem to have as much trouble with vomiting. Please remember that your feline friend is aging about seven times faster than a human. So the long term predictions for successful feline lymphoma patients is 3-6 months.

 

Please give your friends a hug for me!

DR. BOB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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