Lymphoma in felines is also referred to as feline lymphosarcoma. This form of cancer affects one of the immune system’s most vital cells, the lymphocytes. These cells are found in various parts of the body, so a variety of organs can be affected which include the kidneys, skin, gastrointestinal system, as well as bone marrow to name a few.
Felines infected with the leukemia virus are known to develop feline lymphoma sometimes. Typically, this happens with younger felines. Older cats can also develop the condition. However, cancer is not normally brought by the leukemia virus with them.
Lymphoma according to the research is accountable for almost 90% of blood cancers and also account for approximately 33% of tumors in felines. Moreover, it’s the most common cause of feline hypercalcemia.
Types and Symptoms
Signs are extremely variable and depend on the anatomical type of this tumor. Below are some types of lymphoma together with the associated symptoms in felines:
Mediastinal form: Happens in the area between the lungs and pleural sacs
- Open mouth breathing
- Weight loss
Alimentary form (happens in the liver, abdomen and gastrointestinal tract)
- Tarry stool
- Fresh blood present in the stool
Multicentric form (happens in lymph nodes)
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
Solitary form (this happen in various locations)
- The signs depend upon the location
- Renal Form (happens in kidneys)
- Loss of appetite
- Increased urination and thirst
What are the Causes?
The occurrence of this kind of cancer is thought to be related to exposure to FeLV or Feline Leukemia Virus as well as the FIV or Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. Felines which have been infected with any of these viruses have a considerably higher rate of lymphoma over the general feline population.
You’ll need to give your vet a detailed background of your feline’s wellbeing and start of signs. The history and information you give might provide your vet clues as to which body organs are being affected. Understanding a starting point can make diagnosis easier to locate. If the early background has been taken, your vet will carry out a full physical test on your feline. Routine lab testing includes a comprehensive blood count, profile, biochemistry as well as urinalysis.
The results of the blood examination might show anemia or the existence of an abnormally high number of lymphoblasts in peripheral blood or also known as lymphoblastosis. These are immature cells that distinguish to form full-grown lymphocytes; they usually are present in the bone marrow. However, once they reproduce wildly, they may travel to the peripheral blood, leading to the lymphoblastosis.
The treatment for this type of cancer in the cat is, and there’s no single cure available to cure the condition. The main objective is to enhance his lifestyle. Radiotherapy and chemo can be administered. However, you’ll have to consult vet oncologists to know if your feline is a good candidate for this kind of therapy. However, it depends on the phase of the condition cat age, overall health, among other consideration.