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Lymphosarcoma (Lymphoma)

By: Dr. Kimberly Cronin

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  • Promptly seek veterinary care if your animal develops signs of vague signs illness (e.g., loss of appetite, lethargy, unexplained weight loss) or abnormal swellings under the skin of the neck, shoulders, armpits or thighs.

  • Cats with lymphosarcoma may have poor appetites due either to the cancer itself or the effects of chemotherapy. Cats with poor appetites should be encouraged to eat and offered a variety of different foods. Some medications can be prescribed to try and increase appetite.

  • Cats with lymphosarcoma may develop vomiting and diarrhea due to the effects of chemotherapy. Antacids and anti-nausea drugs may be used to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Dietary modification and antibiotics may be used in cats that develop diarrhea. A bland diet such as boiled chicken or hamburger and rice may be helpful.

  • The white blood cell count may decrease after chemotherapy and increase the risk of secondary bacterial infection. Signs to watch for include lethargy and loss of appetite. A rectal thermometer can be used to monitor the cat's temperature at home. A temperature of greater than 102.5°F in an animal that is lethargic is cause for concern. Seek veterinary care promptly if you think your pet has an infection. Hospitalization to provide fluid therapy and intravenous administration of antibiotics may be necessary. Your veterinarian will monitor your pet's white blood cell count during chemotherapy and may adjust drug dosage or schedule based on the white blood cell count.

  • Cats should be tested for FeLV and FIV infection when first acquired. Cats should be kept indoors to minimize the risk of being exposed to these viruses. Outdoor cats can be vaccinated against FeLV, but the vaccine is not completely protective.


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