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Learn the Facts About Lymphoma in Cats

Lymphoma in cats is a cancer type originating in lymphocyte cells, which are integral to the immune system’s defense mechanisms. This cancer accounts for 90 percent of blood cancers and 33 percent of all tumors in cats, with incidences ranging significantly across ages and types.

Types of Feline Lymphoma

There are four primary types of lymphoma in cats: Mediastinal, Alimentary, Multicentric, and Solitary, with Alimentary (intestinal) lymphoma being the most prevalent.

General Signs and Symptoms

  • Depression and extreme lethargy
  • Marked weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Noticeable loss of appetite
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Diagnosing Lymphoma in Cats

Diagnosis involves a comprehensive health history, blood tests revealing anemia or lymphoblastosis, urinalysis, testing for FeLV and FIV, diagnostic imaging, and potentially a biopsy of the bone marrow.

Treatment Options

Chemotherapy, specifically the CVP protocol, is the preferred treatment for feline lymphoma. Side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, and anorexia are common but manageable. Surgery may also be necessary in cases of intestinal obstruction or perforation, followed by chemotherapy.

Survival Rate for Cats Diagnosed with Lymphoma

While there is no cure for lymphoma, treatment with steroids can extend a cat’s life expectancy to 6 months, with untreated cats surviving 4-6 weeks. Achieving remission and early diagnosis in clinically healthy cats can increase survival rates.

This guide underscores the importance of early detection and treatment for feline lymphoma, aiming to provide pet owners with essential information to manage this challenging condition.

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