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Cat 8yrs IBD or Lymphoma - biopsy advise

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Raych1975, May 17, 2020.


  1. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Hello all, just joined. I have an 8 yr old who had a scan on friday saying she has thickening of lower intestines but they cant be sure if IBD or Lymphoma. Next step would be full thickness biopsy but one vet said he wouldn't recommend it, another vet said yes. My beautiful girl is in very good health other than this and i have researched and researched, the risk of post op or during op risks during biopsy sounds horrific which is really putting me off- but the positive research re chemo and cats if it low grade lymphoma is brilliant. The only way of knowing if ibd or cancer is the biopsy. I am so torn in what to do. Has anyone had their cats go through an intestinal full thickness biopsy?
     
  2. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Poor cat, lymphoma is horrible :(
    Could they not just give chemo anyway and see if there is any improvement? I've heard that chemo in cats is much better tolerated than it sometimes is in humans. You are lucky to catch lymphoma early as we didn't with my 2, so I say ask for the chemo.
     
  3. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for the reply treaclesmum. I asked if they would give chemo without biopsy and they said no as they need a diagnosis to know what protocol she would need. I did expect they would say no.
    We are assuming it low grade as she hasn’t got major symptoms but as we all know, cats are good at disguising things. I wouldn’t know for sure what grade it is unless biopsy, this is my dilema. I kind of think let nature take it course and go for steroid only to keep her as ok as she can , which may be 1-2 months. I want her to stay as a cat, chasing bees and butterflies and sunbathing like she has been today. I don’t want her to resent and dread seeing me if she then associates me with nasty chemo pills, blood tests etc, assuming she pulled through horrid biopsy surgery. BUT, vet has said if it lymphone low grade , chemo could really make her feel better and extend life and also said chemo could be stopped at any time if she wasnt coping. Its such a hard emotive decision and i just want to do what is best for my best friend, i’m broken with thinking about it, let alone the thought of her not being here, as well as how her sister will cope without her...
     
  4. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Do you mind me asking, did you give any steroids etc to your two? Did it all happen very quickly?, i just trying to prepare myself
     
  5. Treaclesmum

    Treaclesmum PetForums VIP

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    Hi, with my cats it all happened very quickly, by the time we knew they were ill, it was too late for treatment. But this was 20 years ago so hopefully treatment options have improved since then. My cats were mother and son so I suspect the cause was genetic. They were 13 and 14 though so in your case it may well not be cancer.

    In your case, I would go for the steroids and hope these will give her a good quality of life
     
  6. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Hi Thank you for taking the time to reply and advise
     
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  7. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    Chemo is generally better tolerated in cats than in humans.

    I would have a chat with the vet to understand what Chemo involves whether it would likely be oral or IV and whether you think your cat would tolerate it and have a good quality of life. If the answer is no then that gives you your answer whether to have the biopsy done as there is no point in having it done if chemo wouldn’t be given. If you think she can tolerate the vet visits and blood draws for chemo then the biopsy will be much more stressful for you than it will be for her.

    I have had frank discussions with out vet over the years about treatment and whether it’s the right thing for that cat.

    If it was my cats with Loki I wouldn’t hesitate for him to have the biopsy done. He loves the vets and thinks it’s a great day out. Newton on the other hand panics in the car/vets pretty much everywhere that is not the garden. I wouldn’t put him through having a biopsy is as he wouldn’t have treatment that involved vet visits as he would only chew his leg or develop another urinary blockage.
    It isn’t that I love Loki more than Newton (and they have the same health insurance cover) it’s in my opinion (and my vets) what’s best for the cat.
     
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  8. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you so much for the message.
    The problem i have is the vet won’t go into too much detail of chemo protocols, cost, whats involved etc until they know what she has, the only way is by having biopsy.
    I’m going round in circles with the vet so i decided to contact a couple of specialist centres myself who did say whilst it wasnt guaranteed, there could be chance that dine needle aspiration could be done which is soooo much better than full on surgery.
    I went back to my vet arned with this and she still didnt offer it, she said she would do full scan herself as it transpires the vet who did scan on friday who said she had thickening of intestines, now said he only did a quick xray of intestines!, so half a job!! When i told vet i’d spoken with a specialist and what they ssid, she said oh yes, i guess so. At this point i’m losing my head with this practice, on top of the fact they sent me to anothet vet on friday for full dental checks as their ‘equipment wasnt modern’!! so i requested to be sent direct to the specialist, not wasting anymore time or money faffing around trying to establish anything.
    my cat was quite poorly yesterday and honestly thought it was her last night but this morning she is full of herself and miawing. She is going this morning to specialist for full tummy scan, nothing else can be done yet until steroid injection out of her system. She seems desperate for food this morning but cant give her any due to scan, typical.

    I honestly have never felt so anxious, helpless and scared.
     
  9. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    I have another cat who if this was happening to, i wouldn't be considering any biopsy as like your other one, she is scared of own shadow so no way would i put her through it. My poorly one however is normally a fiesty little diva who quite likes travelling etc which is why i been considering chemo, have to say i’m leaning towards palliative care, let nature take its course and let her be a cat whilst keeping our close bond, rather than her resenting me shoving pills down her, or attempting to..
     
  10. denflo

    denflo PetForums Senior

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    Dennis had the same type of lymphoma at 13yrs old. His was definitively diagnosed with a fine needle aspirate after scans and an xray. If your vet will do this then really, I wouldn't hesitate to tell them to go ahead. Dennis had his done at a specialist vet as they would be the ones who decide on the correct chemo protocol based on their findings. Den was fine with part of the chemo but the part I had to administer at home every other week made him really poorly for a few days but I think it probably depends upon the individual, your cat may be absolutely fine with it.
     
  11. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Hello denflo thank you for the reply.
    My girl went to specialists today and under ultrascan guidance they took FNA of spleen, liver and lymph nodes. They can’t get intestine using FNA as the area that shows changes is too deep for needle. Just waiting for results and i have zillions of questions. Think i’ve gone into the silent stunned calm phase at mo
    Do you mind me asking what grade your boys lymphoma was?, how long did u do chemo for? Would you ever do it again if in same situation? No problem if you rather not say.
     
  12. denflo

    denflo PetForums Senior

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    No problem at all - I don't know what grade Den's was, however I think it was quite advanced, certainly sounds more so than your cat's - he had vomiting and diarrhoea and was generally unwell. He was initially on two lots of chemo, he had vincristin every week which was administered at the vet's and was meant to be on cyclophosphamide every other week but as it made him quite poorly I only gave that to him twice. He continued with the vin alone for 8 weeks, but it stopped working so I opted for palliative care. Would I do it again? I think it depends on the cat and the stage of cancer. Den was fine with going to the vet and loved the attention from them, Flo hated it so I probably wouldn't have put her through it. The chemo itself is usually tolerated very well as the dose given is not very high in comparison with that for humans as the goal is to control it rather than cure it. You could always give it a go and see how your cat reacts, you can always stop if it is too stressful or having side effects.
     
  13. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you got the information
    If it is confirmed lymphoma and it was my other cat , i wouldn’t be considering chemo, purely because of how timid she is and scared of everything. Honey is calm and doesnt seem too fussed about anything. The vet yesterday say she was really chilled and quite happy. My own vet said same as you, it could be started and if too much for honey or me, it could be stopped. Vet also said i need to consider the finance but wont give me any idea of what it could be,
    Honey has good and bad days, it hard trying to get food she will eat at mo as she gone very fussy
     
  14. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Lockdown isn’t helping as can’t chat properly face to face and be shown how to pill a cat! I have anti sickness and antacid tablets to give her today, god knows how. It stressing me out just thinking about it
     
  15. denflo

    denflo PetForums Senior

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    I really do feel for you, it's awful knowing they are poorly and feeling so helpless. Can you wrap the pills in food if you are unable to put them straight into her mouth? Flo was a nightmare to pill, I managed it a few times but it was quite stressful, I found easy pill putty to be a God send, she loved it and took it with no questions! Might be worth a a try. I really cant remember how much Dennis' treatment was, he was insured so it wasn't a problem, I suppose it would depend upon which protocol is used as well, I wouldn't want to guess now and frighten you or give you false hope in terms of cost. Best thing to do is take a step at a time, especially as at the moment, you don't really know what it is you are dealing with. Keeping everything crossed for you, let us know how you get on with results etc.
     
  16. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Spoke to vet tonight.. so, on the areas they tested, no signs of lymphoma at all, brilliant news. This does not mean it not present in the intestines However, but they can’t test there without full biopsy. Bloods slightly raised but fits in with the inflammation seen.
    Vet said if all the tests they did , showed up any sign of lymphoma then they would offer full biopsy but only if owner wAs going down chemo route. But as honeys test results were overall ok, having biopsy ‘just to exclude lymphoma’ wouldnt be recommended (not that i would do that anyway). So it all indicates it IBD which he said we can try to manage with daily steroid pills and diet. He did point out that if the previous vet hadnt said she got cancer, give her 2 weeks on steroids, then pts, that we would not be having a conversation of cancer biopsies and it had messed with me mentally/emotionally. i’m well aware that the news could have been awful tonight but i just cant shift the thought she may have it. I hope in time i will relax. Lockdown not helping as i would normally be out all day so i wouldnt know what my cats do/dont do daily.
    next thing to sort is diet for IBD, with one cat with no health issues . Lots of people on here say wet food or raw for ibd but vet said dry hypoallergenic. Sorry for essay!
     
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  17. denflo

    denflo PetForums Senior

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    Well, that sounds much more positive, I think you've got to go with the ibd diagnosis and see how things go when you have worked out diet and she's settled on steroids for a while, you cant continue to worry about 'what ifs' or you will drive yourself crazy. I've not got any experience of ibd in cats (she says, touching wood) so cant offer much advice on that, there's a sticky thread on here and I'm sure others will be along to help too. Fingers crossed you see an improvement soon x
     
  18. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Bit of an update.. vet thinks this is Triaditis as her pancreas and liver are also changed. Treatment same as in IBD, steroids, diet and possible ant acids/b12 injections

    Re diet, i don’t want to get overwhelmed with opinions on here, everyone has different views and every cat is different and i have to listen to the specialist as pointless in spending thousands on referral.

    i used to feed james wellbeloved dry and for a treat, wet gourmet, i realise now they both rubbish! The gourmet is the only wet either cat eats.

    The specialist is adament he wants her a hypo or single source dry and wet is also fine once a day. So can anyone reccomend a dry one?, she hates purina vet hypo and just bought RC vet sensitive dry and wet, she not keen on the wet at all and the other wont even consider it
     
  19. lillytheunicorn

    lillytheunicorn PetForums Senior

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    I am pleased that you found a vet who would work with you and your girl.

    If you do give wet food you need to feed a Novel protein, as she won’t have previously reacted to it. Kangaroo is often used. There is a good thread here to read https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads/elimination-diets.509821/

    the hypoallergenic diets hydrolyse they protein making it so small the body shouldn’t react to it
    I have used Virbac hypoallergenic with Blue which is a dried food.
    Hills z/d is another hypoallergenic food which does come in wet and dried.

    RC sensitivity isn’t hypoallergenic I am afraid but is a more easily digestible but may contain protein that your girl reacts to.

    You also can’t give treats either certainly until she is stable then you can gradually introduce foods back.
     
  20. Raych1975

    Raych1975 PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for quick reply! Yes i should have said, i know RC sensitivity isn’t hypo but it was the ‘blandest’ thing i could get hands on easy ish and quick.
    Putting aside the ‘novel’ protein for a minute, one thing i’m not Sure on is whats the difference between single source protein and hydrologised protein? For example, I have found various single source protein in wet qnd dryI’m new to learning about this!
     
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