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Lymphoma in Cats

Lymphoma is a type of malignant cancer, involving particular types of cells, called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are found in many organs in the body including the gastrointestinal tract, lymph nodes (found all over the body), skin, liver, kidneys, spleen, nervous system, nose, bone marrow, etc. Basically everywhere in the body contains lymphocytes and so lymphoma is a tumor which can occur in any of these locations. Lymphoma is the most common type of tumour encountered in cats, and is seen relatively commonly.  Lymphoma is found to be responsible for around 90 percent of blood cancers and account for about 33 percent of all tumors in cats. Moreover, it is the most common cause of hypercalcemia (too much calcium in the blood) in cats.

Symptoms and Types

Symptoms are highly variable and depend upon the anatomical form of this tumor. Following are some forms of lymphoma along with the related symptoms in cats:

Mediastinal form (occurs in the space between the pleural sacs/lungs)

Alimentary form (occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, abdomen, liver)

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Fresh blood in stool

Multicentric form (occurs in the lymph nodes)

  • Swollen lymph nodes (i.e., jaw, under arms, groin)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Depression

Solitary form (can occur in any location)

  • Symptoms depend upon location

Renal Form (occurs in the kidneys)

Causes

The incidence of lymphoma is believed to be associated with exposure to feline leukemia virus and the feline immunodeficiency virus. Cats that have been infected with either of these viruses have a significantly higher rate of lymphomas than the general cat population.

Diagnosis

You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat’s health and onset of symptoms. The history and details you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being primarily affected. Knowing a starting point can make diagnosis that much easier to pinpoint. Once the initial history has been taken, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination on your cat. Routine laboratory testing includes a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis.

Your veterinarian will also use diagnostic imaging to locate the tumor(s), conducting X-rays of various body regions, especially the region that appears to be affected. A biopsy of the bone marrow will help in confirming the diagnosis conclusively.

Treatment

There is no single treatment available to treat lymphomas; often the choice is to utilize an integrative approach with the major goal being to improve the quality of life for patients for as long as possible. Much will depend on the stage of the lymphoma (early or advanced), the age of the cat, and your cat’s overall well-being, among other considerations.

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 nutritional and water intake while it is in the treatment and recovery phases. Prognosis of this disease is highly variable and depends on the initial treatment response, anatomic type of tumor, feline leukemia virus 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. Further supporting your cat’s immune system with additional nutritional support can often mitigate some of the side effects of treatment. Lots of love helps too! 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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Poly-MVA for Pets is a unique and patented nutriceutical form of nutritional support for animals, clinically shown to be effective by numerous veterinarians and pet owners alike. The unique nature of Poly-MVA for Pets makes it safe, effective and well-suited for your pet, so your beloved companion will feel better and experience a greater quality of life. Benefits include:

  •     Safely inhibits anaerobic cells while supporting healthy cells*
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  •     Exceptionally safe
  •     Enhances quality of life

Preliminary research and clinical observations indicate that nutritional support utilizing Poly-MVA for Pets in cats with lymphoma can improve survival time and quality of life. Visit the Customer Experiences page to read inspiring stories of pets, including some dealing with feline lymphoma, who have benefited from the support Poly-MVA for Pets can provide.

The clinical effects of Poly-MVA for Pets have been proven in studies with hundreds of animals as well as in veterinary oncology hospitals and health centers nationwide and has shown that the product is powerful enough for nutritional support during cancer therapy, yet safe and gentle enough to use with elderly pets in need of increased energy and vitality.