Heart and Carotid Artery Tumors in Cats
It is suspected that chronic lack of oxygen (hypoxemia) may be associated with chemodectoma development.
After performing a thorough physical exam on your cat and taking a complete medical history from you, your veterinarian will order a chemical blood profile, complete blood count, urinalysis, and electrolyte panel. The results of these tests will give some indication of the whether the cancer has spread in the body. If hemorrhaging is occurring, anemia may be present, and if metastasis is taking place, higher than normal liver enzymes may be present in the bloodstream.
Chest X-rays will be used to identify the location of the mass and to check for cancer spread to the lungs or spine. A heart ultrasound will also be performed, and if heart impairment is suspected, an electrocardiogram (EKG) may be used to measure the heart’s ability to conduct electrical signals. If possible, a tissue sample will be taken from the mass for biopsy. This will provide a definite diagnosis.
Unfortunately, the prognosis for cats with either of these types of tumors is grim. It is often very difficult to remove these tumors because of their placement, and they will continue to grow until functioning of the surrounding vessels or organs is impaired to the point of cardiac arrest or organ failure. Cancer treating therapies, such as radiotherapy, can sometimes be used along with surgery to slow down the spread of these cancers.
Living and Management
Your cat will need to be reevaluated by your veterinarian at least every three months for chest X-rays, as well as a physical exam to monitor for recurrence or spread of the cancer.
The growth of pathogens away from the original site of the disease
Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads
Anything pertaining to the blood vessel system in the body
A gland that aids in both digestive and insulin functions
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
The windpipe; it carries air from the bronchi to the mouth
Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes
The condition of being drowsy, listless, or weak
A large blood vessel that transports blood out of the heart.
The name of the main artery that starts in the left ventricle of an animal's four chamber heart.
Not being able to cause harm; the opposite of malignant.
The division of something one time.
A record of the activity of the myocardium
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
A condition of the blood in which normal red blood cell counts or hemoglobin are lacking.
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