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Lymphosarcoma (Lymphoma)

By: Dr. Kimberly Cronin

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Diagnostic tests are needed to identify lymphosarcoma and exclude other diseases. These tests may include:

  • Complete blood count (hemogram or CBC) to identify anemia, low platelet count, or abnormal lymphocytes in the circulation.

  • Serum biochemistry to evaluate the general health of your pet and to determine the effect of lymphosarcoma on other organ systems. Hypercalcemia (high serum calcium concentration) may occur with lymphosarcoma and can be a clue to the presence of malignancy.

  • Urinalysis to evaluate kidney function and identify urinary tract infection.

  • Chest X-rays to evaluate for mediastinal lymphosarcoma or enlargement of lymph nodes in the chest.

  • Abdominal X-rays to evaluate for enlargement of the liver and spleen, which may be infiltrated with malignant lymphocytes.

  • Abdominal ultrasound to evaluate for enlargement of the liver, spleen, or lymph nodes in the abdominal cavity.

  • Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) tests.

  • Fine needle aspirate and microscopic analysis of an enlarged lymph node.

  • Biopsy of a lump or enlarged lymph node.

  • Endoscopy and biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Fine needle aspiration and microscopic analysis of bone marrow to evaluate for invasion of malignant lymphocytes into the bone marrow.


  • Chemotherapy (most common form of treatment)

  • Radiation therapy (for localized disease)

  • Surgery (for localized disease)

    Home Care

    Seek veterinary care promptly if you detect lumps below your pet's skin in the neck, shoulders, armpits, or back legs or if your pet has vague symptoms of illness such as loss of appetite, lethargy, and weight loss. Watch your pet for vomiting, diarrhea and development of infections.

    Preventive Care

    The best prevention is to avoid infection of cats with FeLV and FIV by limiting their exposure to other cats of unknown status. Also, smokers should consider quitting smoking or only smoking outside.

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