Lymphoma in very young cat

Landon&Lucasmom

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Hi. I have 1.5 year old bengal he is a health boy, no diarrhea, doesn't throw up and a wonderful eater. Yesterday morning I could tell he didn't feel well, he was lethargic, wouldn't get off our bed, gagged when I offered him food and was drooling. I stayed home from work and took him to the vet. Our vet did labs which showed slightly elevated WBC and neutrophils. The xray showed an area of concern for a foreign body, so we were sent for an ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed a mildy enlarged mesenteric lymph node and a small area of thickening in his small intestine. He stayed overnight and they have him on antibiotics and he will be released today with medication and a special food. He hasn't ate in over 24 hours and hasn't pooped either. They keep calling him aggressive and they have to sedate him when they handle him because he will growl and might bite. I was extremely concerned about the lymph node enlargement but they don't seemed too concerned and think its either from inflammation or an infection. They said if he does not start eating or throws up to bring him back for exploratory surgery including biopsies to rule out IBD or SCL. Can lymphoma present so suddenly? Can a cat have IBD that just shows up one day? I don't want to put him through such invasive surgery if he doesn't need it.
 

daftcat75

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Yeah, that doesn't sound right to have IBD or SCL show up suddenly without any presenting symptoms. Could he have possibly eaten something he shouldn't have that angered his gut on the way through? Because of the elevated WBCs, I'm inclined to think infection. Still, I would expect some vomiting or stool issues.

He's likely not going to be a fan of the special food. Few cats are. It's better to feed him what he will eat than to starve him into eating something he won't. That won't work anyway. Cats are stubborn and will fast rather than settle.

I'm not a vet. Please talk these options over with your vet:

a. You can treat it like an infection which would be a course of antibiotics.
b. You can treat it like inflammation which would be a course of steroids.
c. You can probably do both.
d. You might need medications to restart his eating which will probably be an appetite stimulant. I recommend mirtazapine because you'll half or quarter it into a tiny crumb that you can hide in a treat. Or you can get the transdermal version that you rub in his ear. He may also need anti-nausea medicine like Cerenia.
e. Has the vet ruled out pancreatitis? This is not in the standard blood panel so he may not have thought to include it. I went to two other vets before the third one thought to test my Krista for it Ask for the fPLI test while they still have him to take blood.

If he does a course of steroids, that's probably all the appetite stimulation he'll need. However, don't use steroids in place of appetite stimulants. You'll want to use the steroids only as long as you need them to control the inflammation and then taper him off of them. Because he is so young, if you do decide on steroids, I would ask your vet for a short-term plan, then a tapering off of them (they can't be stopped suddenly), and finally a wash-out period without any steroids before going back for another ultrasound to re-evaluate. You don't want a cat so young to be left on steroids indefinitely.

The good thing about him being so young and this occurring so suddenly is that he's probably in much better shape than most cats who have IBD/lymphoma. Those are often much older and have been presenting their symptoms for some time. These older cats are often poor candidates for surgical biopsy. Your boy is in much better shape to come through it without any incident.

Ask your vet to line up a few treatment options, and a plan on which to try and when to re-evaluate. If your vet can't do this, I would take him to a vet who can. You may even want to consider an internal medicine specialist.
 
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Landon&Lucasmom

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Yeah, that doesn't sound right to have IBD or SCL show up suddenly without any presenting symptoms. Could he have possibly eaten something he shouldn't have that angered his gut on the way through? Because of the elevated WBCs, I'm inclined to think infection. Still, I would expect some vomiting or stool issues.

He's likely not going to be a fan of the special food. Few cats are. It's better to feed him what he will eat than to starve him into eating something he won't. That won't work anyway. Cats are stubborn and will fast rather than settle.

I'm not a vet. Please talk these options over with your vet:

a. You can treat it like an infection which would be a course of antibiotics.
b. You can treat it like inflammation which would be a course of steroids.
c. You can probably do both.
d. You might need medications to restart his eating which will probably be an appetite stimulant. I recommend mirtazapine because you'll half or quarter it into a tiny crumb that you can hide in a treat. Or you can get the transdermal version that you rub in his ear. He may also need anti-nausea medicine like Cerenia.
e. Has the vet ruled out pancreatitis? This is not in the standard blood panel so he may not have thought to include it. I went to two other vets before the third one thought to test my Krista for it Ask for the fPLI test while they still have him to take blood.

If he does a course of steroids, that's probably all the appetite stimulation he'll need. However, don't use steroids in place of appetite stimulants. You'll want to use the steroids only as long as you need them to control the inflammation and then taper him off of them. Because he is so young, if you do decide on steroids, I would ask your vet for a short-term plan, then a tapering off of them (they can't be stopped suddenly), and finally a wash-out period without any steroids before going back for another ultrasound to re-evaluate. You don't want a cat so young to be left on steroids indefinitely.

The good thing about him being so young and this occurring so suddenly is that he's probably in much better shape than most cats who have IBD/lymphoma. Those are often much older and have been presenting their symptoms for some time. These older cats are often poor candidates for surgical biopsy. Your boy is in much better shape to come through it without any incident.

Ask your vet to line up a few treatment options, and a plan on which to try and when to re-evaluate. If your vet can't do this, I would take him to a vet who can. You may even want to consider an internal medicine specialist.
Thank you for your reply. Yes they did the pancreatitis snap test and it was negative. I will discuss these options with the vet when I get him tonight. He doesn't really get into anything and the only vice he has is qtip. He pulls the cotton off but doesn't eat it.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Yeah, presenting that quickly would be unusual...however, Bengal. They are insanely tough cats. There are a few members here who have Bengals. Hey, Silver Crazy Silver Crazy , do you know how likely this might be? Or could you ask your FB group about it?
 

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Some bengals have very touchy stomachs with some foods but this would have shown up sooner and would have been lots of diarrhea.
I will ask the question but sounds like he has eaten something to me too. Houseplants?? Bengals like sharks..have to taste test everything.
 
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Landon&Lucasmom

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Some bengals have very touchy stomachs with some foods but this would have shown up sooner and would have been lots of diarrhea.
I will ask the question but sounds like he has eaten something to me too. Houseplants?? Bengals like sharks..have to taste test everything.
We don't have any house plants and out of my three bengals he is my most calm. He really doesn't get into anything. I am more concerned about the enlarged node in his abdomen that they found on ultrasound. He did come home last night and he went straight to eating and acting normal. Hopefully this was an infection of some kind, but my other two boys are perfectly fine.
 

Silver Crazy

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We don't have any house plants and out of my three bengals he is my most calm. He really doesn't get into anything. I am more concerned about the enlarged node in his abdomen that they found on ultrasound. He did come home last night and he went straight to eating and acting normal. Hopefully this was an infection of some kind, but my other two boys are perfectly fine.
Really great he is eating again, thats great news. Wonder if infection was all it was..see how it goes and go back to vet for another check on the node in a week or 2 maybe otherwise be nagging on your mind..
You got 3 Bengals??..too cool..please do some pics..love to see them. ( From thoroughly Bengal addicted human..lol )

FB friend came back..Gastric lymphoma mainly occurs in older cats, 10 years plus so be very unusual your young one could have it.
 
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Landon&Lucasmom

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Really great he is eating again, thats great news. Wonder if infection was all it was..see how it goes and go back to vet for another check on the node in a week or 2 maybe otherwise be nagging on your mind..
You got 3 Bengals??..too cool..please do some pics..love to see them. ( From thoroughly Bengal addicted human..lol )

FB friend came back..Gastric lymphoma mainly occurs in older cats, 10 years plus so be very unusual your young one could have it.
Thank you for your replies! Here are my three boys, Lucas, Levi and Landon. The big boy in the second pic is Landon the one who was sick. As you can see he is a big healthy boy.
 

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