A recent question was mailed to me:
“My Cat Bells who is 10 has developed cancer. The vet has recently diagnosed her with Lymphoma. She has been constantly feeling breathless most of the time. She was pretty weak and lethargic for a few months. We got her checked and it has resulted in Mediastinal Lymphoma. We have tried every treatment that we could. But she is not responding to any of them. She stays hidden most of the time and does not like to be pet. She has stopped every activity that she used to enjoy. When to euthanize a cat with Lymphoma? I cannot decide and am shaken by the thought of it.”
My reply made me realize that I should write about it to help others as well. When to euthanize a cat with Lymphoma? Let us walk through the topic.
What Is Feline Lymphoma?
Lymphoma is a cancer that is malignant. As the name suggests, it develops in Lymphocytes. Lymphocytes or WBCs are the chief builders of our immunity system. Hence Lymphoma directly affects the immune system of a cat. It can affect the spleen, lymph nodes, and even the bone marrow of a cat. Feline Leukemia is one of the major causes of Lymphoma. The first precautionary step towards Lymphoma in cats can be to get your cat vaccinated for Leukemia. There are 30+ types of Lymphoma in cats. The most common three have been described below:
- Intestinal: When cancer hits the gastrointestinal tract, it is called intestinal Lymphoma. It is the most common type of Lymphoma developed in cats. Around 60% of Lymphoma developed in cats is of this kind.
- Mediastinal: the chest Lymphoid organs are targeted in this kind of Lymphoma in cats. Leukemia is one of the largest factors behind this type of Lymphoma in cats.
- Renal: when cancer affects the kidney, Renal cancer is developed. It can even lead to kidney failure and your cat might not be able to survive much after. You can be considering euthanizing your cat with Lymphoma in this case.
Symptoms Of Lymphoma In Cats:
The symptoms of Lymphoma depend on the stage your cat is in. during the initial stages, your cat might not show any symptoms. This makes it tough to diagnose it. Early detection of Lymphoma in cats is important to avoid euthanization. Since in the later stages, it becomes incurable and the chances of survival for your cat are low. This may leave you dealing with the question of euthanization of your cat with Lymphoma. Hence, here are some common symptoms listed below:
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Diarrhea and vomiting.
- Loss of appetite followed by weakness and frequent fainting.
- Constant and excess meowing.
These are some of the most common symptoms of Lymphoma in cats. If you notice any, get your cat checked as soon as possible.
When To Euthanize A Cat With Lymphoma?
This question purely depends on the owner of the cat. I can understand the confusion and panic. It is the question of life. You cannot just take any decision that you want to. There are various aspects to be kept in mind before coming to a conclusion. When to euthanize a cat with Lymphoma is a very volatile issue. Let me jot down the points that may help you:
Is your cat not responding to the treatments?
This issue arises mostly during the later stages of cancer. Your cat has to go through a lot of treatments including chemotherapy. If the condition of your cat is not improving and it does not have the courage to fight anymore, you can consider euthanization of your cat with severe Lymphoma.
Have your Medical options been exhausted?
You have tried every treatment that you could. But the condition of your cat is not improving. It has fought a long battle and is completely in pain. In this stage of Lymphoma, you can consider euthanization of your cat.
What is the quality of life of your cat?
If after the treatments have started, the quality of life of your cat is deteriorating. It is in constant pain, it is not responding to the treatments, and has lost the will to live. Put yourself in the situation. What would you want to do if you were your cat? Would you want to keep suffering or to go to sleep peacefully? The answer to this question is the answer to your original question.
It is to be noted that the above said things should only be considered after consulting your vet. If your vet advises you to go for the euthanization of your cat with Lymphoma only then you should be thinking about it.
Cancer is tough and the battle for it is tougher. The decision of euthanization of a cat with Lymphoma is a haunting one. May God help you!