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Lymphoma in Cats




A cure is highly unlikely and there is no single treatment available to treat lymphomas. The major goal is to improve the quality of life for patients for as long as possible. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used, but you will need to consult a veterinary oncologist  to determine if your cat is a good candidate for this type of therapy. It will depend on the stage of the lymphoma (early or advanced), the age of the cat, and your cat's overall well-being, amongst other considerations. Again, depending on the type and stage of the lymphoma, surgery may be performed in some patients. This may be a viable solution for some types of intestinal obstructions and for the removal of masses. A surgical incision would also allow your veterinarian to collect a specimen of the tumor for laboratory evaluation.


Living and Management


Unfortunately there is no cure available for this disease. The only resolution in some cases is to provide extra care to improve the quality of life in affected animals. It is important to closely monitor your cat’s food and water intake while it is in the recovery phase. Prognosis of this disease is highly variable and depends on the initial treatment response, anatomic type of tumor, FeLV status, and tumor burden.


If chemotherapy is initiated, you may need to take your cat for regular evaluations. At each visit your veterinarian will conduct blood testing to determine the treatment response and also to check the status of any complications that are occurring due to the treatment that is in place so that adjustments can be made as needed. If chemotherapy drugs have been prescribed as a part of home treatment, be sure to follow the directions closely, as chemotherapy medications are highly toxic to human health. Basic precautions include wearing latex gloves before drug administration. If pain medications have been prescribed, use them with caution and follow all directions carefully, making sure that all members of the home are familiar with the medication schedule; one of the most preventable accidents with pets is overdose of medication. The survival time is highly variable, ranging from a few months to less than two years.


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