- Health Library
- PetMD U
Animals can normally be treated on an outpatient basis. However, if your cat has low levels of red blood cells, platelets (the cells responsible for clotting), or other blood clotting factors, your cat should be hospitalized and given blood transfusions to prevent excessive bleeding. If your cat has been diagnosed with leukemia, your veterinarian will also prescribe a chemotherapeutic medicine to halt the growth of malignant cells. You will need to wear gloves when you give this medication to your cat.
If your cat is diagnosed with leukemia, you will need to keep it isolated from other animals. Your cat’s system will lack an immune response (immunocompromised) as a result of both the cancer and the therapy. In the process of destroying fast growing cancerous cells, chemotherapy will also destroy white blood cells responsible for fighting invasion, making your cat prone to infection. Even a simple cold can quickly become a fatal case of pneumonia. Red blood cells can also be affected; one possible side affect of a low red blood cell count is anemia. And blood platelets, the cells responsible for coagulation (clotting), can be affected as well. A low platelet count can result in bruising and excessive bleeding. Animals suffering from this disorder are prone to hemorrhage from lack of platelets. Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor your cat’s peripheral blood count and bone marrow status. Unfortunately, the prognosis for acute lymphoblastic leukemia is grave.
A cell that aids in clotting
The prediction of a disease’s outcome in advance
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
A small hemorrhage
An increase in the number of bad white blood cells
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
Extreme loss of blood
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.
Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads