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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Oncologist ....My Cat is 8 years old and has lymphoma ( in

Customer Question

Oncologist for cats ....My Cat is 8 years old and has lymphoma ( in digestive teack, I somehow think of it as in stomach area) The vet corresponded with a doctor away, probably oncologist, and got prescription of Luekeran every 3rd day, and predninsolone .5 ml each day. She did super well for the first two months ( or 22 pills) but when I took her for a checkup, my vet found she has very low bold cell counts and told me to cut back on the 2 medications. I cut back the leukeran to one every 4th day and prednisolone to .35ml, still every day. I don't know what to do as she is not wanting to eat and is getting lethargic. This is the first time my vet has had a cat on chemotherapy, so she doesn't seem to know what to do either. What can I do to get my cat on the best track. Thank you so much. Barbara In Manitoba
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 2 years ago.

Hi there - I'm Dr. Sara. I'm sorry to hear that you're having such a rough time with your kitty. I know that it can be scary and frustrating when they are sick and not responding to medications.

Lymphoma is a very common cancer diagnosis in kitties and it sounds like your vet has gone beyond what would be considered average treatment. Many vets aren't experienced with leukeran or other cancer medicines besides prednisone, so I applaud your vet for giving it a try.

Unfortunately even with those two medications, it's not uncommon at all for lymphoma to progress. The idea with treating cancers in pets is to maximize their quality of life for as long as possible without making them sick with the medicines. Two months is actually a fairly long time for many cats diagnosed with GI lymphoma.

It can be tricky at this point to determine whether the medicine (specifically the leukeran) is causing his blood cell counts to be low or whether it's a sign of his progressing disease. Lymphoma can spread to the bone marrow and cause abnormalities with the red and white blood cell counts.

Unless you're interested in pursuing more aggressive chemo treatments with a bigger hospital that has a board certified oncologist, I'm afraid that there may be nothing else that can be done for him other than attempting to manage his symptoms - for instance by treating vomiting with antinausea medicines or inappetance with appetite stimulants. If these things aren't working, it may be time to consider humane euthanasia, especially if his quality of life is not good.

I'm so sorry that you've got to go through this and potentially make that tough decision. Please let me know if I can answer any other specific questions!

~Dr. Sara

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 2 years ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Doc Sara