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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 17923
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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I have a 16 year old cat and am very confused. We took him

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I have a 16 year old cat and am very confused. We took him to the vet today because he has lost weight. He has been ok in himself, eating fine, using the tray fine. Vet examined him and ran a blood test. We were expecting that he might have hyperthyroidism. Vet found a small mass in his abdomen when he examined him and said it was likely to be a lymphoma. When the blood tests came back he had some raised white cells but otherwise everything else is doing fine. Does this mean he has lymphoma or not?
, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that L has lost weight even with a normal appetite and seeming to feel fine otherwise and a mass was found in his abdomen on physical examination.
A slight increase in the number of white blood cells simply means that there is some sort of inflammatory or stress inducing process going on with your fellow, that is not indicative of any particular disease process. If your fellow had lymphoma involving his bone marrow too then we may see increased numbers of abnormal lymphocytes, but that is not something we get lucky enough to find very often. It is worth looking for, but even if he doesn't have abnormal types of lymphocytes that doesn't mean he doesn't have lymphoma.
Did your veterinarian take radiographs of his chest and abdomen or perform an abdominal ultrasound to try and determine where the mass is located and to see if there are signs of tumor spread (metastases)? If not those tests should be done
Lymphoma can cause tumors in the abdominal lymph nodes, intestines, kidneys, spleen, or liver.
The best way to help with a diagnosis is an ultrasound of the abdomen and ultrasound guided aspirates or biopsies of the mass and any organs that don't look normal.
If the mass is located in his intestines then the two most common types of intestinal tumors in cats are lymphoma and adenocarcinoma. If the tumor is solitary, with no signs of metastases then surgery to remove the tumor, and chemotherapy can buy him a very good quality of life period of time depending upon the aggressiveness of the tumor. We can get an idea of the type of tumor, and possibly how aggressive it is, with an aspirate but until a surgical biopsy is done we won't have a definitive diagnosis or a good ability to plan long term treatment.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr Kara, Sorry I forgot to say that the vet has given my cat some antibiotics and advised us to try and feed him up. No suggestions about x rays or scans.


No worries, as that information wouldn't really change my recommendations.
I don't know that antibiotics are necessarily indicated unless his white blood cell count was very high. They probably won't hurt him unless they are interfering with his appetite.
I would agree that feeding him a high calorie food in multiple small meals a day is recommended to try and support him and stop further weight loss. Hills a/d or Maximum Calorie Iams cat food would be my recommendations.
If he were may patient I would want to know what we are treating, so radiographs and an abdominal ultrasound would be my recommendations.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dr Kara,

Thank you, ***** ***** given some excellent pointers.


You are very welcome, please let me know if you have any further questions.