I have a 7 year old cat with a history of inflammatory bowel disease that has been controlled for the past 4 years by diet alone (novel protein). Other than that, she has been relatively healthy, with her only illness in the past 2 years being a cold. Within the past month, she has had an episode of vomiting that I believe may have been caused by pipes in her water fountain that needed cleaning. Although she is an indoor cat, she is a hunter who often eats spiders and centipedes, which enter the house from time to time. Occasionally, she sits outside in a screened in porch. We have rodents in our forest-like yard in New Jersey, which include ground hogs, squirrels, voles, and rabbits. There are some animals which have burrowed under this porch, which I believe may be bunnies. Yesterday, I discovered 2 notty masses in the submandibular area on the right side. Last week, my husband used the same brand of cat food but substituted chicken for rabbit, which created some vomiting and loose stools. I changed the food back to rabbit on Saturday, and her stools immediately started to reform and she was doing much better and springing back to normal. Then, suddenly these masses appeared, she became listless, lost her appetite. This was far more concerning to me than the IBS symptomatology which had been fast responding to diet. The vet has ruled out a dental abscess, but she saw some protrusion and redness in the throat corresponding to the submandibular area. She has taken cytology, but I do not believe that she has taken any cultures. She gave an antibiotic of convenia in case it is an infection. I believe with the rapid onset of the symptoms that this may be some kind of infection or bite if it is not something cytological? Do you have any hypotheses or experiences with this sort of strange symptoms?
Type of Animal: Domestic Short Hair Cat
Dr. is doing blood work and cytology. Gave convenia injectible, as well as metacam and cerenia (injectable).
Hi there.I have a few questions for you:1. Can you tell me how her IBD was diagnosed (i.e. via intestinal biopsy?)2. When was the diagnosis made?3. Has she lost any weight recently?4. How was the dental abscess ruled out?
1. She had some kind of needle biopsy where they had found some enlarged lymph nodes in her mesenteric area. She also had very high eosinophilic counts at that time. Her symptoms went completely away on the novel protein diet.2. IBD dx in 20073. I don't know about her weight. She has been regularly about 12.5 lbs historically. She looks like she may have lost some weight but only VERY recently, within about the past day or two. I don't know her present official weight without asking the vet. 4. The doctor told me that it doesn't appear to be a dental abscess, but I cannot tell you how she ruled that out.
Also, within the past month, I found a wasp in her water bowl. I checked her body for any sign of swelling at that time for a few days and did not find anything. I regularly stroke her under her neck, and this swelling was not there at all yesterday morning and was quite large by yesterday night. Two lumps that together were more than the size of a large almond.
Got it, thank you.The immediate concern is that the swelling/mass is a lymph node; the location is right and the situation could be supportive of lymph node enlargement. In some cases, IBD may turn into intestinal lymphoma (cancer), unfortunately, and one of the presentations is accompanied by enlarged lymph nodes. An enlarged lymph node, of course, doesn't have to mean cancer; one of the most common reasons for an enlarged node is lymphoid hyperplasia, or normal response to antigenic stimulation or a response to inflammation and infection. A lymph node enlargement in that area could be due to dental disease, not necessarily a tooth root abscess.If not a lymph node, it could be an enlarged salivary gland (parotid gland); there are various reasons for this, such as a salivary mucocele, for example, which is the result of inflammation caused by leakage of saliva within the gland. A solitary tumor of a different kind is a possibility too.I think that the cytology is probably going to give you the answer. The lethargy and lack of appetite may be due to pain or fever... I would wait until the results of the cytology to make further decisions.Hope this helps! Please don't hesitate to ask more questions if you have any!PS. An insect sting/bite is a possibility but not very likely... The cytology should help with that as well.
Thanks for your response but I have an additional question that I do not know if it came through, which is if it is cancer is this in typical presentations treatable? Also, the cat seems presently preoccupied with the water bowl and cleaning her neck area. Is this ok?
If the lymph node is enlarged because of cancer, which is typically lymphoma, it is treatable, but rarely curable. Lymphoma has various forms and different forms have different responses to treatment. Here is a link to some information on lymphoma in cats: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1446. Hope this clarifies!
DVM degree from Ontario Veterinary College, diplomate of American Academy of Pain Management