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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16888
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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15 yr old munchkin doesn't eat much and has a marble sized

Customer Question

15 yr old munchkin doesn't eat much and has a marble sized lump on each side of his neck
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the cat's name?
Customer: Merlin
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Merlin?
Customer: ways vomited He has frequently vomited after eating in the past but now it seems more frequent and he's very thin
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry to hear that Merlin has nonpainful, marble sized swellings under his jaw on each side of his neck, loss of appetite and weight loss.
Are the areas of swelling the one marked mandibular lymph node in the diagram in the link below (I know this is a dog but the location should be the same)?
http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ8ng4GVINlQdMAWcrPYQBkrHlXhYQKPUL-CX7vdg7NZnHaqTgj
When we see swelling in that area my first thoughts are an allergic reaction, abscess formation from a puncture wound or foreign body or a blocked salivary gland. Lymphoma (a cancer of the lymphatic system) is possible as well unfortunately. Other possibilities are a local infection (such as dental disease), a fractured tooth or an oral mass in the mouth that is causing lymph node enlargement.
Can you check the areas marked on the diagram to see if any other lymph nodes may be enlarged? Since he has more than one lymph node enlarged then a systemic fungal, protozoal or bacterial infection or lymphoma become more likely causes. Fungal infections like Valley Fever found in the southwest part of the United States is one possibility, as are immunosuppressive viruses like Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency virus.
If this came about very suddenly you can try Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for cats) at a dose of 1mg to 2mg per pound or one half of a 25mg capsule per 8 to 15 pound cat orally every 8 hours for at least 72 hours.

If the swelling is increasing even with this therapy, he is having difficulty breathing, running a fever, or not eating and drinking at all he should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible on an emergency basis.
Your veterinarian can aspirate the swellings and look at the collected material under a microscope to look for signs of infection or cancer. If that isn't helpful then they may need a biopsy. They will likely also want to test him for immunosuppressive viruses as they will affect his prognosis and treatment plan.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 month ago.

Hello, I wanted to make sure that you didn't have any further questions for me, and I'd like to know how things turned out for your kitty. If you could give me an update that would be great, thank you, ***** *****