What You Need To Know About Feline Intestinal Lymphoma: VLOG 98

What You Need To Know About Feline Intestinal Lymphoma: VLOG 98


– There’s low grade or small cell lymphoma and then there is high grade
or large cell lymphoma. And they’re really quite distinct
in how cats will present. (upbeat music) Welcome back to the
cats quick notes version where I’m breaking this up and giving you, a little mini series on
everything you need to know about cat lymphoma. This is the second in the series, so if you missed number
one, be sure to go back, I’ll put a link below to vlog number 97. In this one, we’re gonna be talking about the most common form of lymphoma, gastrointestinal lymphoma. Let’s dive in but stay tuned if you wanna know about
things like nasal lymphoma or renal lymphoma, we’re
gonna about those as well. So let’s hop in, let’s talk about gastrointestinal
lymphoma in cats. Okay, number three we’re
gonna be talking about gastrointestinal lymphoma. And I think there’s two things that I really want you to know about that, is that there’s two distinct forms, there’s low grade or small cell lymphoma and then there’s high grade
or large cell lymphoma. And they are really quite
distinct in how cats will present. Both forms of the disease will
cause cats to lose weight, have vomiting, diarrhea and then some degree
of changes in appetite, so they may completely not
eat or they maybe picky or not wanna eat the same food but it can usually vomiting,
diarrhea, weight loss and then changes in appetite to anorexia. You can have one of those
or you can have all of those and still end up with a
diagnosis of lymphoma. Cats that have the low grade lymphoma, the small cell lymphoma, it’s usually more of a chronic disease that is developing over months, usually with what like
three to six months, so it is a much more slowly
developing disease process. Cats with high grade lymphoma, those cats tend to get sicker, quicker, and usually that is a
rapidly progressing cancer and those cats are getting
sick over days to weeks. We’re making the diagnosis
much more quickly and we are starting a more aggressive injectable chemotherapy much more quicker. So what I think is confusing
for a lot of pet owners is usually when you start
googling about lymphoma, if your cat has small
cell low grade lymphoma and you start reading the stuff
about high grade lymphoma, which is the more common
form, it gets confusing because we use different
chemotherapy protocols and the prognosis is different. So, I really just wanna
make that distinction that a high grade and a low
grade lymphomas are different. You know, one is a more
slowly developing disease, the other one is much
more quickly developing and sometimes it’s more challenging to confirm the diagnosis in cats with small cell low grade lymphoma. It’s often very difficult to distinguish from
inflammatory bowel disease. Those kitties often need biopsies, usually surgical biopsies
or endoscopic biopsies. And cats with a high grade lymphoma, we do ultrasounds and often we can do cytology ultrasound guided aspirants. So, they’re not the same beast, even though they’re all called lymphoma. So I think that’s a really
important thing to understand when we’re talking about
gastrointestinal lymphoma. The other thing and I think and there are studies to
back this up, is you know, I think one of the things
that is frustrating, is all too often we think
that vomiting is normal and I think that a lot of pet
owners, often make excuses that we say, the cat just eats too fast or that he’s always done this or they have a sensitive stomach. Maybe their cat is just a nervous eater and that’s why they’re vomiting or they have a long haired coat and they’re just vomiting up hairballs. But vomiting is not normal. And, you know, there are
studies that look at cats that have vomiting and I looked
at cats that had vomiting more than two times per
month for three months, or small bowel diarrhea,
or weight loss of a pound in the last six months. And those cats went on
and had some abnormalities on their ultrasound, and then went on and had surgical biopsies. And this was a study
that came out in 2013, and they looked at 100 cats
and 99 of those hundred cats with chronic signs of vomiting,
diarrhea or weight loss, that I described, in
an abnormal ultrasound that went on and had surgery. 99 of those hundred cats either had inflammatory
bowel disease or lymphoma. Most of those cats at the
small cell low grade lymphoma, a few did have high
grade lymphoma as well. But it really just goes to emphasize that vomiting is not normal. Weight loss is not not normal. Diarrhea is not normal. And it’s one of those things
where I think it’s important that we weigh our cats regularly. We get them in to and sometimes actually like circle on a calendar, how many times a month they’re vomiting because I think that can really highlight that it’s not as normal as we think. So again, and that study was greater than two times per month
for three months minimum and that was one of the
triggers to get an ultrasound and look for thickened intestines. So, again, you’re gonna
talk to your oncologist or your veterinarian about the high grade versus the low grade. But I just wanted to make
that important distinction, that there are two different entities, high grade lymphomas typically treated with an IV chemotherapy. There are some oral forms,
I’m gonna do my next vlog on the chemotherapy treatment
options but low grade lymphoma is usually managed with
steroids and oral chemotherapy. So, again, they’re very distinct even though they’re called lymphoma and I know that can be very confusing. The other thing I want
you to know about lymphoma is there are other
locations that we see it. It’s not just the GI tract. So what are some of the
other locations that we see? So we often see it in this,
the nasal sinus cavity and believe it or not,
that’s one of the best places that your cat can have it. Why is that? Because those cats typically
have the best prognosis. We can see it in the kidneys. We can see it in the liver. We can see it in the
central nervous system, so like the spinal cord,
occasionally the brain as well. So again, there are
these white blood cells circulating throughout
the body, so potentially, we can see it anywhere in the body, but gastrointestinal tract
is the most common place. But, the prognosis has been
associated with the location so that is going to be one
of the important things. So it’s not just the
gastrointestinal tract, like I said, there are other locations as
well and often multiple places. And I should mention when I talk about the gastrointestinal tract,
it often will involve those lymph nodes that are, you know, near the GI tract as well in the abdomen. Sometimes those cats will have
liver and spleen involvement and that will still be considered
part of the GI lymphoma. There are some cats that
will just have liver lymphoma and that is distinct. Some cats will just have kidney lymphoma and interesting those
kitties with kidney lymphoma often will then progress and go into the central nervous system. So a lot of you know unique things that you’re gonna wanna
talk to your oncologist or your veterinarian about. I always put links on where you can find a
veterinary specialist, because I do think it is
worthwhile to try to talk to them or always talk to your veterinarian and see if they can guide you, you know, with that referral and getting
that information as well. So that was the third and the fourth thing in my little mini series on cat lymphoma. Be sure to join me next week
where we’ll live talking about the prognosis or,
you know, when you walk in, you really wanna know how is my cat going to do with lymphoma. So we’re gonna be talking
about the prognosis for cats that get treated, and cats
that don’t get treated, and some of the prognostic factors, which are some of the things
that we can do to help you predict how your cat may do
before they start treatment, and then as you’re
going through treatment. So those are the predictive factors. So be sure to join me next week. Thanks so much for watching. Please don’t forget to subscribe and share this video with someone that you think may benefit
from the information. I so appreciate you joining and I look forward to seeing
you in our next video. (upbeat music)

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