Tuesday, 23 April 2024

Lymphoma in cats? It doesn't have to be a sentence!

2 April 2021

What is lymphoma in a cat?

Lymphoma is a malignant tumor that can attack the body of a cat. In Latin, the disease is called Lymphoma. It is also known as lymphosarcoma.

A neoplasm of the hematopoietic tissue is one of the most common types of this disease. It affects approximately 90% of all cases of lymphoma in cats.

There is no standard for the age at which a cat can develop lymphoma. The most common age of onset is between 2 and 5 years of age and in older cats over 6 years of age. However, the disease can attack any cat, regardless of age.

As far as breeds are concerned, the highest probability of getting lymphoma is in oriental breeds - especially in Siamese cats. However, similarly in this case, there is no strict rule and every breed is vulnerable to it.

Lymphoma in cats - symptoms, morphology

In order for the doctor to be able to confidently determine the disease in the cat, it is necessary to make a thorough diagnosis and look at the symptoms. At the very beginning, blood and urine tests of the animal are performed. If all the results confirm the concerns, it is necessary to perform additional tests to give an accurate diagnosis.

The doctor performs first of all biopsy of the lymph nodes, which in the case of lymphoma are often enlarged. Cytological tests are performed on the samples taken. However, these may not give 100 percent reliable results. Histopathological examinations are much more reliable in this respect. They are carried out on tissue samples taken from the body of the cat. They can not only confirm whether there is lymphoma in the body of an individual, but also assess the level of the disease and its malignancy.

Lymphoma in the cat - treatment

Collection of material from the cat's body for examination or other diagnostic tests can be done in different ways, depending on the likely location of the lymphoma. If lymphoma of the nasal cavity is suspected, x-rays and MRI are most commonly used. Biopsy is the option usually used for lymphoma of the skin. With lymphoma of the lungs or trachea, on the other hand, bronchoscopy is used.

Gastrointestinal lymphoma in the cat

Different methods of examination are used for gastrointestinal lymphoma. Often this is gastroscopy or a colonoscopy; however, these tests may not be accurate enough and may not provide enough material for testing. A better method is biopsy - usually either a percutaneous fine-needle aspiration biopsy or a thick-needle aspiration biopsy. In some cases, samples of material from areas affected by lymphoma are taken by diagnostic laparotomy.

how to treat lymphoma in a cat

Mediastinal lymphoma in the cat

Lymphoma of the mediastinum is diagnosed with a chest x-ray. Samples of chest fluid may also be taken and cytologic studies performed. For renal lymphoma, an ultrasound is performed with a simultaneous fine needle aspiration biopsy. For the nervous form of lymphoma, cerebrospinal fluid samples are taken. Magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and melographic examination are also performed.

There is a great risk of lymphoma in cats that have been infected with the leukemia virus. Lymphomas are mainly found in the mediastinum, eyeballs, gastrointestinal tract or spinal cord. Awareness of the owner and quick reaction to any symptoms of the disease is very important here. This can be seen in the statistics. Nowadays there are less cases of lymphoma caused by leukemia virus. It's all thanks to growing knowledge on the subject, thanks to which pet owners can better react to such threats.

The feline immunodeficiency virus is another factor that influences the risk of lymphoma. Any other condition that lowers the body's overall immunity may also be relevant.

Inflammation of the mucous membranes and intestines over a long period of time is not well known. It is suspected, however, that they are also strongly related.

Some cat breeds have a strong genetic predisposition to such diseases. Oriental breeds mainly belong to this group.

A significant risk of disease is caused by tobacco smoke. Owners should remember this and protect their pets from its influence.

Symptoms of lymphoma can vary greatly depending on its form. In the case of intestinal lymphoma, these include diarrhea, constipation, weight loss and weakness. The mediastinal form of lymphoma usually causes problems in the respiratory system, such as coughing and shortness of breath.

Lymphoma of the kidneys

The kidneys are where about 1/3 of all lymphoma cases begin. It is from this organ that the disease often spreads to other areas.

Another form is lymphoma in the intranasal form. Here too, shortness of breath and intense coughing occur; excessive sneezing also occurs.

Lymphoma of the eye causes a deformation and change in the shape of the eyeball. Exophthalmos in at least one eye occurs. The size and shape of the pupil also changes.