Image source: Maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/
Lymphoma is a type of cancer where the normal functioning of a particular type of White Blood Cell (WBC) called lymphocyte is disrupted. The lymphocyte plays an important role in protecting your cat’s immune system from harmful foreign bodies. Naturally, lymphocytes need to grow rapidly in order to give maximum protection to the body. But sometimes the numbers increase to a point where they form a clump known as a tumor. The tumor attracts the nearby blood vessels in order to grow and in turn interrupts normal functioning in the body.
Lymphocyte is the most common type of cancer in felines. The following symptoms are the best way to tell whether your cat has lymphoma or not.
- Interruption of normal functions
The most common symptoms of any kind of cancer or disease will be the interruption of normal functions in the body. Symptoms like abnormal breathing, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite are common in cats suffering from lymphoma. Lymphoma can affect almost any part of the body be it chest, digestive system or limbs. Initial symptoms also include fuzzy hair coat and lack of energy.
- Signs of lump or tumor
As time passes and if you notice a bulge on the skin, it is likely that your cat is harboring a tumor in its body. More than you, your veterinarian may be more qualified to make a better observation. The lumps occur due to swollen lymph nodes and are confirmed signs of cancer. However, lymphomas can be benign which means they won’t be life threatening. But it is always better to consult a vet before making conclusions.
- Blood test
It is often hard to differentiate cancer from other diseases based on physical examination. Therefore, a proper blood test is required to reveal the identity of the disease. Blood tests that include blood cell counts and albumin levels can give some insight into the type of disease your cat is suffering from. However, blood tests sometimes give results that can be misleading. It is important to ask for a vet’s advice before proceeding for any physical or blood test.
Lymphomas are the most common types of cancer found in cats and it is, therefore, important to understand the symptoms in case your cat shows any. Physical symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea are common and can also be associated with other diseases as well. The formation of the tumor is more confirmative but then again, a tumor or a lump may not always be harmful. Blood tests are best but sometimes even they can be misleading too. It’s best to talk with a vet first before taking any further step.