My cat is 10 years old. For many months, he has lost a lot of weight to the point that I can feel his protruding bones whenever I pet him. IF he drinks water it is VERY very minimal so I've been giving him Cat Milk. He eats some hard food but basically swallows it so eating is an issue. His appetite ahs increased beyond belief to the point where he begs for food. Took him to the vet. He has gum disease but unrelated to what is making him lose so much weight. Did all the blood, urine, stool tests and kidney, liver, etc are all functioning normal. Finally, we did an ultrasound. It showed no mass (whew!) but did show a portion of his small intestine "thickened" and lymph node (as the vet said-was slightly reactive, meaning not greatly enlarged but not normal size either. IBS? Lymphoma? Do we do surgery to find out exactly what it is? or just blindly treat him with prednisone. Most likely lymphoma...your thoughts?
Hello, thanks for your question today! I am Dr. Drew, and I am a licensed veterinarian. I'll be happy to help you in any way I can.
An increased appetite, with weight loss, is most likely to point to Hyperthyroidism, which you did not mention ruling out based on prior bloodwork.
I'd want to run some blood tests to check thyroid levels before starting treatment with steroids that might not be of any benefit.
Most patients with IBS or IBD or Lymphoma will NOT have a ravenous appetite as you describe.
I was working and couldn't respond timely. hello?
they ruled out thyroid, diabetes.
All of that was already checked. No sign of intestinal disease but there are for lymphoma.
when they do surgery and say biopsy, how do you know it's meant for intestinal and not lymph node?
interesting because the vet said they would do a biopsy but didn't mention that 2 would be needed.
so when she goes in, isn't the exposure going to affect what is going on and spread like wildfire?
in this case the stress wouldn't be much so surgery may not worsen things. Over all though....if this is lymphoma and we already know that it is SLIGHTLY "reactive" bigger than normal....from the ultrasounds, seems may not be so far along then opening him up to get the biopsy chances low for it to really stress him out where he would be declining. Right now he is normal....playful, behaving okay etc...my fear is if we do surgery that all of that will change and he will start declining.
proceed, meaning proceed with the surgery?
After all of the info I gave you...I originally was conflicted with whether to not do surgery and just treat him with prednisone OR do surgery and find out what's wrong...you feel it would be best to do the surgery. Prednisone would only do so much so it may not be the best route so better to do the surgery right?
AWESOME. That's what I've been really conflicted about. Now, I have to discuss with my vet about getting more tissue samples and biopsies correct? What would you do....get tissue samples in like 3 areas of the "thickened" part and biopsy of the lymph node?
are they all considered biopsies? she would have to get 4 biopsies?
Perfect. Thanks! Am I allowed to ask you questions after I go home and discuss things with my husband? or is this it?
Ok. Great! How do I do that? log in?
ok. then let me ask more questions now. would chemo harm him like it does people?
My vet said that it doesn't. That with cats that's not the case.
well, she said it's not as intensive as it is with people. It REALLY takes a toll on us but not as much with cats.
but if he goes through nausea and vomits etc I wouldn't want him to go through all of that pain either
I just asked:
what are the chances of him going through such pain as nausea and vomiting?
ok. great. thanks! Have a nice day!
I'm sure there would be but once I get home, I won't be allowed to continue because the chat would be ended. Thank you for all of your help :-)
yes, that would be very nice of you.
Great! And now that you responded and I am replying from home I can continue asking you questions. I talked to my husband...question is if I go the route with giving him prednisone, how long after can I consider surgery as an option? Also, I've been told that if I decide to just give him prednisone then doing surgery later would not be good because the body has already been changing his insides reacting to the meds. What do you think?
But I was under the impression that even with chemo, he would be given prednisone any way....
Ohhhhh....I didn't know that! So what if he takes prednisone and lukeran and no surgery...then? Is surgery a good option later?
That didn't answer my question regarding prednisone and other drugs at the same time. You said prednisone alone can alter cancer cells but what if lukeran is given too? You said prednisone with other drugs would resist other drugs.
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no, it hasn't been answered. I have the records for my cat if it would help to send them. Let me know how.
Hello, Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Since the professionals log in at different times, it is very difficult to predict when one will come on with your particular area of expertise. I will also foward this to customer service for assistance with your request to send records, they will respond to you via email Best,
ok. I will wait then.
These are ALL the records on my cat from the vet. Please review it and all of the questions and responses in this string.
Anxiously waiting for a response.
I am worried if I'm making the right decision of doing the surgery. After reading all of this I hope you can give me a better idea of his condition and explain it to me in layman terms.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX and basically confirmed everything that my vet and Dr. Drew said. However, I'm a little concerned of how Chemo would affect him if it turns out to be lymphoma AND would I have to give him prescription food or continue with the food I've been giving him. I really don't want him to suffer and fear that the surgery is going to take a toll on him and drain him...will he be suffering if I go this route? If so, like how much?
THANK YOU!!! Please let DR.DREW know that I'm very thankful for his responses. I think I may have annoyed him so he left my conversation :-( But, he should get an excellent just like I gave you :-)
Great! Thanks! I feel more secure knowing 3 vets gave the same advice! I feel so good right now...doubts gone all thanks to you and Dr.Drew. Can't thank you enough :-)