Cat with IBD and lymphoma

msbridgetteanne

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Hi everyone! I've been looking at this site a lot lately, since we've been on quite a rollercoaster with our almost 10 year old boy Fili since mid-December. He was diagnosed with triaditis brought on by IBD, which we didn't know he had. Got the unfortunate news yesterday that he also has lymphoma.

He's been recovering well and been in really good spirits, so we've decided to go ahead and treat the lymphoma. (It was classified as "emerging" small cell lymphoma. I forgot to ask what the emerging part means, or if it's significant.)

Right now he's finishing antibiotics for an infection he caused at his feeding tube insertion site. He had the tube out yesterday, since he'd been eating completely on his own for weeks now, and we were just using it for medication. Once he's done with the antibiotic, he's going to start the prednisolone, and a couple weeks after that, the chemotherapy. The reasoning behind the delay is the specialist wanting to know, if he has any kind of reaction, which medication is causing it.

I guess I'm just looking for stories or experiences from people who have gone the treatment route for their babies. I've read studies and seen the survival rates. I've heard what the specialist had to say. (She says she's seen a lot more cats surviving longer these days, but I know not to get my hopes up too high.) Now I'd like some anecdotes, I suppose.

What was your experience like? Do you regret going through with treatment?

I'm afraid of regretting it later, but when I look at him and see he doesn't currently seem to be suffering, and knowing what fighter he is (had stomatitis when we adopted him at a year old, needed a full mouth extraction, broke his leg at 2...), I feel like I have to try. He seems happy, playful, and his appetite is great. I want him to maintain that for as long as possible.

Anyway... Thank you for listening, and thank you for being a source of comfort and information while we navigated this whole thing.
 

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Margot Lane

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Personally, I’d say go for it, esp if he’s relatively OK. I’m 10 months in w/ the exact same experience and my guy is 14! He is definitely living a full life, even on pred and chemo. He gets B12 shots once a month and after great effort his diarrhea has solidified on a diet of Farmina’s pumpkin and quail. Tho not a youngster, he recently caught 2 mice triumphantly and bunny kicked a mini catnip stocking recently just like a little kid. If you ‘feel” that he is doing OK & your wallet can handle it, I say go for it. For me -and I think for a lot of people- the key has been finding a novel protein that -with time and patience- solidifies runny poop. In some ways this has brought us closer together, since each day matters…we really enjoy our time together. I believe Fili will let you know when he’s had enough, but judging from what you’ve told us, I don’t think that time is now. Make sure to stock up on the wet-only catfood that works for you, as deliveries can take time these days. Zorro also gets a once a day probiotic which seems to help w/ digestion, and I weigh him regularly on a baby scale. If you follow daft cat’s advice on other threads you’ll gain a lot of wisdom. The biggest surprise to me is how well he accepts chemo: no fur falls out, all whiskers intact: it doesn’t seem to weaken him, the way it does w/ people. Good luck, and keep us posted. It certainly helps tremendously to have others going through this process.
 

FeebysOwner

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HI. While there are members on this site who have dealt with this same situation - and hopefully more like the post above will respond soon - there is another forum you might be interested in joining (for free) that specifically deals with/discusses small cell lymphoma.
[email protected] | Home
 

fionasmom

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My Chelsea was on chlorambucil and did well. Her time frame was wonky as we knew that she more than likely had GI lymphoma ( I did not allow any biopsies) but, as an indoor only semi feral, she was incredibly hard to handle and had FHS as well. So I did not jump right into trying to pill and treat her repeatedly....my point being that we came to this later. Her vet agreed to allow the use of chlorambucil and she lived for about a year and a half. Animals do not react to chemotherapeutic drugs like humans do and she tolerated it well. I have an elderly dog who has been on a chemotherapeutic drug for almost 7 years, twice a day, and he takes it like we take aspirin. I would continue with whatever treatment you see fit for your boy.

I have always attempted treatment for any condition with any of my animals and have never regretted trying.

Your baby is just adorable. I love orange boys.
 

Robin1959

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Personally, I’d say go for it, esp if he’s relatively OK. I’m 10 months in w/ the exact same experience and my guy is 14! He is definitely living a full life, even on pred and chemo. He gets B12 shots once a month and after great effort his diarrhea has solidified on a diet of Farmina’s pumpkin and quail. Tho not a youngster, he recently caught 2 mice triumphantly and bunny kicked a mini catnip stocking recently just like a little kid. If you ‘feel” that he is doing OK & your wallet can handle it, I say go for it. For me -and I think for a lot of people- the key has been finding a novel protein that -with time and patience- solidifies runny poop. In some ways this has brought us closer together, since each day matters…we really enjoy our time together. I believe Fili will let you know when he’s had enough, but judging from what you’ve told us, I don’t think that time is now. Make sure to stock up on the wet-only catfood that works for you, as deliveries can take time these days. Zorro also gets a once a day probiotic which seems to help w/ digestion, and I weigh him regularly on a baby scale. If you follow daft cat’s advice on other threads you’ll gain a lot of wisdom. The biggest surprise to me is how well he accepts chemo: no fur falls out, all whiskers intact: it doesn’t seem to weaken him, the way it does w/ people. Good luck, and keep us posted. It certainly helps tremendously to have others going through this process.
 

Robin1959

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Hi Margot, I'm in a similar boat. My darling Gwynnie was just diagnosed with "suspected lymphoma, IBD as a differential" and they are wanting me to go on 10mg of prednisolone per day for 3 weeks to see if she improves. She's actually eating a lot, and using her litter box fine (though her poop may smell slightly weird though firm/ish) but there was some weight loss. My question, after all that, is: does 10mg sound like a lot?? Can you tell me how much your kitty is taking and did he get to titrate down after an initial high dose? Thanks so much for any input you might have. Also, I'm working some raw food into her diet, and only high quality limited ingredient for other meals. She wants to eat about 6x a day now. Again, many thanks. --Robin
 
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msbridgetteanne

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I forgot to keep this thread updated! Our boy is doing great on chemo so far. It's been almost 2 months. He's set to get blood work done this week, and his last labs were great. You wouldn't even know he was sick when looking at him. He's even more active and playful than he was before we knew anything was wrong!
 

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Margot Lane

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Hi Margot, I'm in a similar boat. My darling Gwynnie was just diagnosed with "suspected lymphoma, IBD as a differential" and they are wanting me to go on 10mg of prednisolone per day for 3 weeks to see if she improves. She's actually eating a lot, and using her litter box fine (though her poop may smell slightly weird though firm/ish) but there was some weight loss. My question, after all that, is: does 10mg sound like a lot?? Can you tell me how much your kitty is taking and did he get to titrate down after an initial high dose? Thanks so much for any input you might have. Also, I'm working some raw food into her diet, and only high quality limited ingredient for other meals. She wants to eat about 6x a day now. Again, many thanks. --Robin
I have asked my vet to be sure, as Zorro has been on 5mg for almost a year now, which according to other threads listed here is pretty high. i will say he is fine, beat back the lymphoma, poops regularly with no stink, and even his belly fur is making a comeback. i did try once tapering, which made us go back to square one. They vet repeatedly tells me “If it’s working for the cat, I tend not to mess with it.’
My cat is now 16 and every day is precious, tho he seems in fine fettle, as does yours! yes your cat will be very hungry in the beginning. it astounds me how well they do w/ the chemo. my vet says to wear glove when pilling him, and when cleaning the poop.
 
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Robin1959

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I have asked my vet to be sure, as Zorro has been on 5mg for almost a year now, which according to other threads listed here is pretty high. i will say he is fine, beat back the lymphoma, poops regularly with no stink, and even his belly fur is making a comeback. i did try once tapering, which made us go back to square one. They vet repeatedly tells me “If it’s working for the cat, I tend not to mess with it.’
My cat is now 16 and every day is precious, tho he seems in fine fettle. yes your cat will be very hungry in the beginning. They may offer you chemo pills if they have not already, …I am babbling here, does this help?
This does help. Thank you. My concern is the high dose of the prednisolone - and it sounds like you are only on 5mg - it scares me to go in with these drugs because she's basically doing ok. Even weighed her today and she has gained a 1/2 pound. So if we're so stable, why go in with these big guns of pred. Again, scares me that I'll just make her sick. But I guess I have to make peace with the steroids and try them. I have also read that they do KILL cancer cells, so that in itself is great -- if in fact she does have lymphoma and it's not just IBD.
 

Robin1959

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I forgot to keep this thread updated! Our boy is doing great on chemo so far. It's been almost 2 months. He's set to get blood work done this week, and his last labs were great. You wouldn't even know he was sick when looking at him. He's even more active and playful than he was before we knew anything was wrong!
That is such wonderful news. I am very happy for you, and he looks very happy and well!
 
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