Follow-up on my cat Molly - she may have lymphoma (she had pancreatitis)

Molly and Abby

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So, follow up on Molly's "pancreatitis" (my post on 07-04-21). She had an abdominal ultrasound today & the vet recommends a needle biopsy on her lymph nodes. I am waiting for them to get back to me on the price.

She may have lymphoma. She just turned 9 years old.

Now what? What do I do best for my darling bed-buddy?
 
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Molly and Abby

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Question - I always have Molly tested & vaccinated for feline leukemia. So, if she does have lymphoma, how could she have gotten it?
 

mrsgreenjeens

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lymphoma and feline leukemia are two completely different things. There have been many cats here on TheCatSite who have had lymphoma, but there are two different types of lymphoma...large cell and small cell. The treatment for small cell is pretty easy and cats usually do quite well with it. The treatment for large cell sometimes requires surgery with follow-up chemo, which cats usually handle a LOT better than humans do. First things first though, and that's to get a diagnosis, or treat it as small cell and see what happens if you don't want to go the route of treating it of it's large cell. Talk frankly with your Vet before you start anything and discuss all your options.

In the meantime, here is the query I did on Lymphoma to pull up threads about it if you'd like to pick some and read them:
Search Results for Query: lymphoma
 
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Molly and Abby

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lymphoma and feline leukemia are two completely different things. There have been many cats here on TheCatSite who have had lymphoma, but there are two different types of lymphoma...large cell and small cell. The treatment for small cell is pretty easy and cats usually do quite well with it. The treatment for large cell sometimes requires surgery with follow-up chemo, which cats usually handle a LOT better than humans do. First things first though, and that's to get a diagnosis, or treat it as small cell and see what happens if you don't want to go the route of treating it of it's large cell. Talk frankly with your Vet before you start anything and discuss all your options.

In the meantime, here is the query I did on Lymphoma to pull up threads about it if you'd like to pick some and read them:
Search Results for Query: lymphoma
Oh, thank you so very much! I am so overwhelmed with worry - I have 2 sick cats right now (sick with different things)
 

Kareywood

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I had a cat live (with treatment) for 5 years with small cell lymphoma. She died in March, just 2 months shy of her 18th birthday. Treatment was pretty easy on her
 

fionasmom

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Once you have a little better idea of what is going on, there is a lot of help you can get here as was stated. Chelsea has been on chlorambucil for a while now and it is tolerated much better than humans do with chemo.

Lymphoma

This article is fairly comprehensive about lymphoma in general in cats.
 
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Molly and Abby

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Once you have a little better idea of what is going on, there is a lot of help you can get here as was stated. Chelsea has been on chlorambucil for a while now and it is tolerated much better than humans do with chemo.

Lymphoma

This article is fairly comprehensive about lymphoma in general in cats.
Thank you so much.
 

daftcat75

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Is Molly losing weight? If she is maintaining her weight and can gain weight, then it's unlikely that she has lymphoma. However, IBD can progress to lymphoma. As one highly respected site put it,

A sequel to chronic IBD can be intestinal lymphoma. These tumours may occur because of the notorious habit of cats to develop tumours at sites of chronic inflammation.
Source: StackPath

That page is very meaty. It has a lot of depth to it. I've been reading and re-reading it for at least three years now and still getting something new out of subsequent readings.

A more accessible site (though vastly more information):
IBDKitties – Helping Save Lives…One Paw at a Time

Whether it's IBD or small cell lymphoma (if it was large cell, that would have been distinguishable from IBD and small cell on the ultrasound), the treatments are very similar. Identify and eliminate dietary triggers for chronic inflammation. Oral steroids may be needed to control the inflammation. Chemotherapy may be added if lymphoma is suspected. It's often less risk to just try the drug than it is to diagnose the disease. A surgical biopsy is often recommended to differentiate between IBD and small cell lymphoma. There's a decent chance that the needle biopsy will come back inconclusive. If Molly isn't losing weight, I wouldn't put her through a surgical biopsy. And if she is losing weight, I wouldn't put her through it either. The surgery comes with a recovery period that may cause her to lose more weight that she may not be able to gain back.

But the first and foremost, the most effective treatment for IBD (and lymphoma) is to identify those inflammation triggers and eliminate them. Obsessively and religiously! My Krista's lymphoma remission was incomplete for months because I was wrapping her steroid pill in a fish flake, a trigger of hers. I thought the medicine would be more powerful than the small amount of trigger. I called it our "devil's bargain." The vet couldn't say one way or another about it. His answer was always, "well, we could try more pred (steroids)." It wasn't until a severe ear infection (likely caused by the repeated exposure to her trigger food) and the surgery to relieve it forced me to change her to transdermal prednisilone. Her complete remission happened virtually overnight. Months of "poop nonsense" finally firmed up into perfect poops for the last month of her life. Sadly, the steroids and lymphoma had weakened her little body and a bladder infection the next month would prove too much for her.

If Molly's eating dry food now, your first job is to transition her to a canned food or commercial raw diet. There's just too many biologically inappropriate ingredients in dry food to figure out which one(s) might be causing the inflammation. You may eventually find that the easiest way to identify and eliminate food triggers is a homemade diet (raw or cooked.) There are plenty of resources on this site to help you get started with that too.
 
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Molly and Abby

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As I stated previously, it is NOT diet. It has been ruled out. So kindly, I would really appreciate it if I don't get that recommendation again. It hurts me deeply, insults my integrity as a cat parent & is not useful in this situation.

I feel like crying when I get recommendations that - "it's her diet" - It is as if no one is listening to me.

My plan is to listen to my vets & act accordingly. I hope you understand. I love my cat dearly & her well-being is my only concern.
 

daftcat75

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You're right. You did say it was a biopsy of the lymph nodes. Everything I gave you was for GI lymphoma. I apologize for the misunderstanding. I'm a little passionate about GI lymphoma because of the mistakes made and the regrets I have with Krista's treatment. The only piece of advice I can give you for non-GI lymphoma is that chemotherapy is much better tolerated by cats than humans. If chemo is an option, don't spurn it based on preconceptions of how it treats humans. Krista slept a little more on dosing days. I saw no other side effects in her. Side effects are often mild if they appear at all.
 
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Molly and Abby

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Thank you very much for the information. It is very much appreciated & I understand it was out of love for your darling Krista. She sounds like she was a dear & beloved companion.

The biopsy was delayed yesterday but is supposed to be completed today. (The vet hospital had a power outage & I had to haul her back in today which truly sucks).

So - I wait . . . my poor Molly.
 
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No word yet, but I will post an update when I have the info.
 
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Molly and Abby

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Always the way it goes.....please update us when you are able.
I heard from the vet's technician (vet is on vacation but the results are in). They don't know what is going on, but it doesn't appear to be lymphoma.

I asked vet tech if that is good news or bad news & she couldn't say.

The vet will be back on July 26 and will contact me then.

I wonder if Molly is reacting to the corona virus infection Punky has/had . . .
 
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Thank you so much for your kindness & support, fionasmom. It means a lot.
 
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Molly and Abby

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So update - yesterday, Molly had vomiting & explosive diarrhea & we returned to the emergency vet. She was given fluids, flagyl, appetite stimulant & anti-nausea meds & if she continued having diarrhea or vomiting the following, I was to return to the emergency vet - Molly would need to be hospitalized.

I was so worried that I kept her very close and she slept on me all night.

But I brought her back to the emergency vet and she was hospitalized as she was still experiencing diarrhea & wasn't eating this morning.

Hopefully, her hospital stay is short & she will be returning home healthy & on-the-mend. I know she is where she needs to be right now - but I sure do miss her!
 

fionasmom

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Can the ER vet get the results from your original vet who is on vacation? I am very sorry to hear that you both had to go through this. Yes, Molly does need round the clock medical care but hopefully she will be home soon.
 
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Molly and Abby

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Hi fionasmom: Yes, they can & quite easily. They are part of the same practice & in the same building - one part is emergency & one part is specialty. And they have been communicating with each other to coordinate Molly's care.

So Molly's got pancreatitis again but she was eating a little while ago (in the hospital). She didn't touch the z/d when I had her home (before I brought her back for hospitalization). The ER vet said all of the cats could eat z/d but none would touch it. Neither can nor dry nor dribbled with tuna juice - they refused it.

But Molly has eaten the Royal Canin rx canned food in the hospital (I forget the name) & the vet said my other adult cats can eat it too.

Not sure when I can bring her home. And not sure why she had this acute pancreatitis episode so soon after the less severe one two weeks ago.

I hope she heals completely but I am very scared for her.
 

fionasmom

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Nine is certainly not ancient for a cat, but I do have a very elderly GSD who is very prone to pancreatitis; in fact we are having another bout right now. It seems easy to trigger for some reason once they are prone to it.

I have never, in my life, had a cat eat the Science Diet prescription food, but did have more luck with the Royal Canin, so here is hoping that Molly will take to it.

Sending good thoughts for Molly to come home soon.
 
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