Chemotherapy for Cats

Feebee cat in blue chair

While cancer in cats is not as common as it in dogs, it is still one of the leading causes of death in older cats. According to the Animal Cancer Foundation, 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States along. And because cats are masters at masking illness, it is often harder to detect.

Cancer used to be a death sentence for cats, but recent advances in feline cancer research have made treatment possible in many cases. Just like with human cancers, early detection is key to successful treatment.

Treatment options for cats are almost as varied as treatment options for human cancers, and will depend on the type of cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment for any lumps or growths that need to be removed. In some cases, surgery can be curative. Other cancers may require chemotherapy or radiation.

How chemotherapy works

Chemotherapy uses drugs with the objective to kill cancer cells with the least possible amount of damage to normal, healthy cells. In human medicine, the goal of chemotherapy is to achieve a cure. In cats, chemotherapy is aimed at controlling the disease and achieving a period of remission for the cat. Chemotherapy is typically used for cancers that affect multiple sites. Lymphoma is the most common form of feline cancer that is treated with chemotherapy. The drugs used in veterinary chemotherapy are frequently the same drugs used in human medicine.

Most cats tolerate chemotherapy well

Most cats tolerate chemotherapy well. Some cats may experience side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea or poor appetite, but these side effects are usually mild and can be managed with supportive care. Only a very small number of cats on chemotherapy will require hospitalization due to the side effects of chemotherapy. Unlike humans, cats will not lose all their hair. Most cats will lose their whiskers, and shaved hair will be slow to grow back, but substantial hair loss is uncommon.

Support your cat’s immune system

It is important to support your cat’s immune system while she is undergoing chemotherapy. One of the foundations of a healthy immune system is diet. Typically, veterinarians recommend a high protein, low carb, moderate fat diet for pets with cancer. A high quality grain-free canned diet will probably be your best choice for your feline cancer patient.

Even though I’m a proponent of raw feeding, I’m on the fence as to whether raw diets are appropriate for cats with cancer. On the one hand, there are numerous anecdotal reports of miracle cures when pets with cancer were fed a raw diet, on the other hand, I don’t know whether feeding a raw diet to an immunocompromised pet is necessarily a good idea. Check with a veterinarian who is familiar with raw feeding whether a raw diet is appropriate for your cat while she is undergoing chemotherapy.

Supplements and herbs

Supplements and herbs can provide immune system support during treatment. Probiotics not only help maintain a healthy gut flora, but also boost the immune system. Anti-oxidants and increased amounts of omega-3-fatty acids may also be indicated. Check with your veterinarian to determine which supplements are indicated for your cat.

Supportive therapies such as acupuncture, Reiki or other forms of energy healing can support your cat through her treatment. These therapies will not interfere with conventional medical treatment.

How will you know whether chemotherapy was successful?

A cat in remission doesn’t look any different from a cancer-free cat. Typically, a successful remission means that lymphnodes will go down to normal size, and if there were any signs of illness that were related to the cancer, they will disappear. Remission can last anywhere from weeks to months, and for some lucky cats, even several years.

My personal experience with feline cancer

My first cat, Feebee, was diagnosed with intestinal lymphoma when he was 15 years old. He tolerated his chemotherapy protocol of a combination of Vincristine injections and oral Cytoxan and prednisone well. He would be a little subdued for about 24 hours following treatment. His appetite wasn’t that great during that period, and he slept a lot more than usual, but the rest of the time, his quality of life was good.

After seven months, he stopped responding to the chemotherapy. My vet gave me the option of continuing with more aggressive drugs with the potential for more severe side effects. I elected euthanasia. My little man confirmed that I made the right decision: he died in my arms while my vet was on the way to my house.

Being faced with a cancer diagnosis is a devastating blow for cat parents. Making a decision about treatment is as individual as the affected cat and her human. There are no hard and fast rules. The ultimate goal of any decision is to provide good quality of life for the cat for as long as possible.

Have any of your cats undergone chemotherapy? What was your experience?

Photo ©Ingrid King

New Dr. Goodpet banner

 

515 Comments on Chemotherapy for Cats

  1. Sarah
    April 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm (3 days ago)

    Hello, just wondering if anyone has experience with concurrent cancer and kidney disease. My 15 year old Bela (male) has kidney disease that we have been managing with diet and supplements, but he has now been diagnosed with malignant melanoma. Surgery is not an option, but chemotherapy might be, according to our vet. Does anyone have a cat with similar experience? I know he’s had a good long life, but no amount of time will ever be “enough” with my sweet boy.

    Reply
    • Jeanette
      May 1, 2016 at 4:15 am (2 days ago)

      Hi Sarah – I hesitate to answer because I don’t have experience in the exact situation you describe but I don’t want you to think you’re alone here. My cat Boofy has low-grade lymphoma and is on round 2 of oral chemotherapy. Her last blood test was normal, however blood sugar was at the top of the normal range and she’s showing some glucose in her urine. My understanding is the steroid (prednisolone) that is given in conjunction with the chemo can bring on Type II diabetes – but I remember the vet saying that the kidneys are for some reason unable to clear the glucose – I’ve cared for elderly cats through CRF and I was freaked out when he told me that but he quickly let me know it wasn’t a kidney failure scenario, just a failure to clear the glucose.

      No this doesn’t answer your question and probably isn’t giving you comfort you so desperately want/need right now. I’m only relating this to you so you might have more questions when next you see your vet.

      Reply
  2. dovemck
    April 12, 2016 at 4:24 am (3 weeks ago)

    Boofy St Marie – We started oral chemo this week and – fortunately – it’s been a bit of a non-event.

    Boof had exploratory surgery/biopsies and a couple of teeth out about 10 days ago and the day before chemo/steroids started I noticed she was getting into her food. It seemed like her mouth had healed and was feeling better.

    The regime we’re on is 1 1/2 prednisolone tablets morning and night until further notice.

    Chlorambucil / Leukerin – two tablets at the same time for four days and then a three week break (only prednisone). Repeat until told to stop.

    For the week she’s on Chlorambucil – gloves handling the drug, litter boxes and any messes (there haven’t been any – at least not from this cat :-)). She’s also not supposed to sleep with us which has been a shock to both her and us. She tends to be an up close and personal sleeper, so if she takes the chemo drug for four days and I still use gloves for another three days, it seems to me the biological half-life of the drug is about 3 days.

    I hate to do it, but I’m going out of town for four days for a wedding and we’ve decided it’s a bit much for a friend to take care her (they’re dog people – stick a pill in a hot dog…how hard can it be?) so she’ll be boarded at the vets – they’ll remove her stitches whilst incarcerated and she’ll be free to snuggle in bed when she comes home again. I’ll find out when I pick her up when we have to have blood tests. She’ll probably get another B12 shot whilst she’s there – they feel the intestinal villi which extracts the nutrients from food has likely been damaged over time from IBD and the cancer and apparently it’s the only way (besides an injection) that she can get this important vitamin.

    Most days she eats by herself and doesn’t need constant attention. She’s still eating Fancy Feast for now (Cat crack) but I’m going to have to get her on something more appropriate. She’s happy, bright, purring, attentive and lovely. She’s grooming normally – really, unless you were told she’s on chemo, you would have no way of knowing. No personality changes, no pain, hiding or puking. This is such good news and I feel much better going this route knowing it’s not a misery for her.

    So that’s what’s happening!

    Reply
  3. dovemck
    April 7, 2016 at 2:38 am (4 weeks ago)

    Boofy St Marie – small cell, low grade alimentary lymphoma, 13 1/2 years old. Boofy has always been a big girl and was on a diet for years. In that time we worked out she had a grain sensitivity (cheap food – diarrhea) and as a medium hair, dipping her bum into a sink to clean up everyday wasn’t a good plan, so we kept her on ‘better quality’ dry foods at the proportions the vet recommended for weight loss (Hills, Science Diet, Royal Kanin) but she never really lost the weight. Only other problem she had was some coughing which was diagnosed as asthma and when she has problems with coughing we use an inhaler and it comes under control pretty quick.

    I finally gave up the dry food regime a couple of years ago and put her on a raw diet (grocery store brand – readily available here in Australia) which she LOVED and the weight was coming off slowly. Last Nov – Dec, she and our other cat started turning their noses up on the raw meat. Rules had changed here in Aus and manufacturers can now use even more preservatives. I switched to a low-preservative kangaroo mince which she was happy with for a couple of months and then went off it. That’s when I noticed the Queen of Fluff had finally lost all the excess weight. Yeah, right.

    She was limping around the house for a few days (she has loose kneecaps too) and took her to the vet and mentioned she needed some dental work too – they did some blood work and her liver enzymes were outta this world, ~100X normal. Heavy antibiotics for two weeks, another blood test and the enzymes were down, but still quite high. This time WBC showed some granulation. I think they made assumptions that I couldn’t afford their services and suggested prednisone and it would all be over with by next Christmas.

    I found a vet closer to home that had in-house ultrasound and basic blood lab. These vets couldn’t be more caring and concerned. I love them. We decided since the Boof was otherwise acting normally, bright and healthy we decided to go exploratory surgery, biopsies and some dental work all in one hit. They found a lump in her liver and biopsied it, but it wasn’t cancerous just inflamed. Her bowels were normal, not thickened but the lymph nodes draining the bowels were inflamed and that biopsy came back positive – as stated above – small cell, low grade lymphoma.

    We’ll be starting oral chorambucil and prednisone tomorrow. We’re all hoping for a great response since ‘things looked so good in there’ and other than not wanting to eat much, hasn’t had vomiting, diarrhea or any personality changes.

    I know it’s the best of the worst outcomes, but I’m so very sad that this incredibly special furry friend won’t live to be 20+ like my previous cats. So Boofy and I join you fellow warriors and survivors as we start this last scary journey in our lives. Here’s to hoping we’re the 70% that get a full remission. Here’s hoping when we come out of remission we catch it early and kick it again.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 7, 2016 at 5:33 am (4 weeks ago)

      All my best to you and Boofy! Please keep us posted on how she’s doing.

      Reply
    • Nora
      April 7, 2016 at 1:17 pm (4 weeks ago)

      My best wishes to Boofy and you. My Ben is still responding well to the Chemo. He’s going on 8 months in remission.

      Reply
    • Michelle
      April 7, 2016 at 10:02 pm (4 weeks ago)

      Yes, best wishes! Small cell cancer responds well to treatment. I got an additional year with my girl Kallie, thanks to modern and expensive medicine. She had small cell lymphoma and did well with chlorambucil and prednisilone. It was an amazing and mostly joyful journey, well worth every penny and every tear, even though she died of a different kind of cancer. I wish you the same (except death by a different kind of cancer )

      Reply
  4. Caio
    March 27, 2016 at 12:26 am (1 month ago)

    My dear 10 year old tellow Brazilian Shor Haired “Milton” got intestinal adenocarcinoma and we removed with success with no metastais, the vet adviced us to make the chemotherapy after cause it was his best option, we tought about 1 month and let him recover from the operation to remove a piece of his intestin. When i toke him to chemotherapy he came back all swelled and totally bummed like he was tolding “you people killed me”. It´was horrible, he kept swelling and after we toke of 1 liter of water from his belly we discovered the cancer came back and metastised to his whole belly.
    I REGRET everyday that i put my dear trought chemotherapy when he was very good and playing with me, he died in 6 days after the chemotherapy. They gave him a poison called Doxorubucin, never give this to your cats! Now my dear 9 year old is having a hard time to brieth, we tried all treatments and now the vet told he can have cancer too (sinus cancer). I just lost my dear cat for cancer and now this, i dont have even the courage to make the biopsy to check what he haves, i m traumatizzed even of the simple exam to check if he really haves cancer. I cannot stand anymore this situation, i dont know what to do, i love my boys, they´re my life and know i only have one of them and seeing him sick it´s being hard. Maybe i can find the courage to put him trough chemotherapy? Maybe we get luck this time? I dont know, he hates to leave his sacred house… i dont want to put him to suffering to die a few days later when he could just laying down on his bed… but and if the chemo goes ok? I think i will die when he goes too… it´s being too hard, i feel guilty!

    All my hearts to all the people here that feels impotent like me in front of this devilsh ill, i hate cancer, cancer i hate you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 27, 2016 at 5:02 am (1 month ago)

      I’m so sorry Milton had such a horrific reaction the chemotherapy drug he was given, and so sorry that your other kitty is so sick. Only you can know what’s right for your cat. Sometimes, not treating is the right choice – but if he has a hard time breathing, he is suffering. I urge you to discuss your options with your vet.

      Reply
  5. Nadia Lancy
    March 24, 2016 at 5:52 pm (1 month ago)

    Hello Ingrid, I lost my beloved cat a year ago and now am dealing with a new cancer diagnosis in my rescue Turkish Angora, Eloise. She suddenly developed a large tumor in her left paw, in the middle of the paw pad. The vet did her best to remove it but it was extremely deep. The biopsy was inconclusive. Three pathologists were unable to determine what type of cancer it was. So now I am waiting for a staining test. For now, Eloise is doing fine, aside from tiredness which I assume is related to the tumor removal. I understand that the most likely verdict is lymphoma and chemo will only give me a year. I am really struggling to make a decision. She’s a gorgeous cat, a real princess. The cost of chemo is really high and it seems that it would buy me little time. Thank you for any thoughts you may have.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 25, 2016 at 4:59 am (1 month ago)

      I’m so sorry about Eloise’s diagnosis, Nadia. It’s such a difficult decision. A prognosis of one year is actually pretty good for lymphoma (although I know it doesn’t sound like it.) So much goes into this decision: finances, would Eloise tolerate frequent vet visits, etc. I’d be happy to schedule a consultation to talk this through with you if you’d like.

      Reply
      • Nadia
        March 25, 2016 at 6:37 am (1 month ago)

        That would be great. I am still waiting for the results of the staining test. So I’ll check back in then and we can schedule something. Thank you!

        Reply
        • Nadia Lancy
          March 26, 2016 at 10:24 am (1 month ago)

          Received the good news that Eloise didn’t have lymphoma yesterday. She has sarcoma or merkel cell and will have surgery to amputate her leg in a couple weeks. Any advice re: Amputation would be appreciated!

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            March 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm (1 month ago)

            The good news is that cats usually tend to handle amputation well, Nadia. It’s often far more traumatic for the owner than for the cat. Email me if you’d like to schedule a consultation.

  6. Angela
    March 18, 2016 at 9:31 am (2 months ago)

    Hello!

    I am glad to have found this site, and thanks for all those who have posted.

    My 9 year old male cat Bebe was diagnosed with intermediate cell lymphoma 17 days ago: He had an enlarged lymph node, and his spleen and possibly liver were enlarged on ultra sound. A biopsy of his lymph node confirmed that he had intermediate cell lymphoma.

    I have not seen (yet) any posts on cats with intermediate, multi-centric lymphoma, and I am wondering if others have had experience with this or know where to get more information (other than of course our oncologist).

    Bebe had his second chemo treatment yesterday, after getting his first one last week. The vet reported that his enlarged lymph node is already normal after the one treatment, so that is good, but not sure what that means for his long term prognosis or survival. But we are grateful for that!

    Good luck to all and thanks for any tips!

    Reply
  7. Jennie
    March 14, 2016 at 2:29 pm (2 months ago)

    My little calico was diagnosed with “likely lymphoma” back in the summer. She had an ultrasound and it was inconclusive but showed a lot of inflammation. At the time, they weren’t sure if it was that or IBD. I didn’t really want to surgically biopsy her (high risk and high cost + other tests). It was hard to know what to do to be honest. At 13, she’s had a lovely long life. Anyways, I opted for just using prednisolone (monthly injection from vet) and cerenia(oral) to treat any intermittent vomiting issues, and that’s worked out well. I figure as long as she still has a good quality of life and is still eating and drinking, and acting normally, that I’ll just take it in stride. And when the time comes that she does not, then I will let go. Its hard, I’ve had her since she was a kitten. I sometimes wonder if I did the right thing.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 14, 2016 at 3:19 pm (2 months ago)

      I know it’s hard, Jennie. It sounds like she’s doing really well. All my best to both of you.

      Reply
  8. Kristin Bentley
    February 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm (2 months ago)

    My 11 year old beautiful tabby, Moony has been diagnosed with cancer. We took her to the vet a little over a month ago where they did an aspirate and blood sample. At the time we were told it wasn’t cancerous. I started saving money and was able to get her to a vet for surgery this morning. However, I received a call saying that the tumor could not be removed because it was embedded in the abdominal tissue and if they removed the tumor she would not wake up from the surgery. So now I am faced with the difficult decision of chemo or euthanasia. From what I’ve read and researched kitty chemore has a slim success rate if any. I just don’t know what to do…

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 29, 2016 at 1:46 pm (2 months ago)

      I’m so sorry, Kristin. Depending on the type of cancer, some cats do really well with chemo, but it’s a very individual decision.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        February 29, 2016 at 5:40 pm (2 months ago)

        Does this mean the recent vomiting subsided?

        Reply
    • Nora
      February 29, 2016 at 4:55 pm (2 months ago)

      My 11 year old Tabby Ben was diagnosed with cancer of the stomach wall last August. He had lost a lot of weight, but has been in full remission since the 2nd treatment. It’s been 6 months now and he is still cancer free. The cost is really hurting, but every time I see him playing I am glad that I can, at the very least, buy him more time.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        February 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm (2 months ago)

        I’m sorry you’re in that position. There’s a lot to consider and it’s very emotional. Though the vet may not have mentioned it. you have the option to let go of your cat slowly, through hospice. ngrid recently blogged about it. I think the title is “Palliative Care.”

        Reply
  9. Nora
    February 16, 2016 at 8:48 am (3 months ago)

    My 11 year old tabby Ben was diagnosed with stomach cancer last August. This types of cancer causes the stomach wall to thicken. Ben lost a significant amount of weight before we started Chemo. But thankfully Ben went into complete remission after 2 treatments. He has been doing very well until the last two weeks. Suddenly he has been vomiting almost after every meal, and not eating as well as he should. I am hoping that the issue is just the nausea. The vet gives him a steroid shot every 6 weeks (every other treatment) for nausea. But, he has not vomited like this in the past. Plus, he has been more subdued in the last two weeks. I try to prepare myself but I just don’t know what I will do if the cancer comes back. I’m told that it’s not really and “if” but “when”. I feel like I can’t put him to sleep, and I just don’t want to watch him starve to death. How can I deal with this? What can I do that is best for Ben?

    Reply
    • Michelle
      February 16, 2016 at 8:55 pm (3 months ago)

      I’m so sorry. Ben may respond well to a different protocol. So ask the vet what the next treatment would be. I also recommend you see if there’s a way to keep him comfortable if he stops eating. My experience was : My girl did well for a year then got a more aggressive form of cancer. You
      After my cat lost a pound in a week and a half from not eating, my vet said she was suffering (though she was not acting that way) and made a strong case as to why I should let her go. I didn’t want feeding tubes for her, so I had her euthanized.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        February 16, 2016 at 10:38 pm (3 months ago)

        I wanted to add, my cat had small cell GI lymphoma. She wasn’t a good candidate for the next phase of treatment, when she got the aggressive cancer.

        Reply
  10. Cathy
    December 26, 2015 at 12:45 pm (4 months ago)

    On Wednesday, our most beloved 13-year old Parky was confirmed small cell intestinal lymphoma. It was the most catastrophic and unacceptable. He was hospitalized 3 weeks ago due to pancreatitis and gastric distention (released twice since he ate again, however ileus relapse restarted inappetance, white foamy salivation, and regurgitation and hospitalized again). The persistent liquid and gas retention in his stomach (ileus), mostly due to lack of motility in his intestine, and despite continual use of motility drugs, has prevented his discovery. Ultrasounds reveal no tumor/mass or mechanical obstruction, thus no cause can be find to explain the ileus. Doctors finally suggested GI endoscopy with biopsy that confirmed the lymphoma. On Thursday, he started 1st chemotherapy 24-hour IV using cytosar, with prednisone already started before the diagnosis. The oncologist has suggested L-Asparaginase and vincristine however due to fear of side effect of pancreatitis, and ileus respectively, chose cytosar.
    Despite the low-grade to indolent prognosis, his ileus made him extremely bony and weak and subject to high risk of kidney failure in the past two days, probably due to (and with) serious electrolytes imbalance, among other factors.
    If the chemotherapy helps, when will be the earliest date to see a response in your experience? When will be the earliest possible time when we can see an improvement? Appreciate any comments if his issues sound even remotely familiar to you? Doctors said to wait 48 hours and if the condition deteriorates (instead of improves or remains stable), he should be let go. However he was eating and drinking in our visit last night, and looked calm (despite 3 vomits since the start of chemo) during our visit last night and it is extremely hard for us to let him go. He has been extremely positive and resilient during the whole course with a strong will to live …

    Reply
    • Michelle
      December 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm (4 months ago)

      I’m so sorry for your kitty’s situation. I don’t have experience with that protocol. Best wishes to both of you.

      Reply
  11. Lisa Baker
    December 18, 2015 at 3:45 pm (5 months ago)

    I just found this site and some of the comments make me hopeful I adopted a beautiful 15.3 pound cat Pete from a rescue group to be a companion to Charlie who had just lost his mate. But 2 months after joining the family he had lost 2 pounds and was…what I call projectile vomiting. A week later, he would not get off the bed…My vet of over 30 years spent weeks to find out what was wrong and finally we decided to do exploratory surgery. I was shocked when the call came telling me that he had cancer in lymph node of his small intestine. By this time Pete was down to 11 pounds. I had just lost my 15 year old Burmese to a stroke so my world started to crumble once again.
    Two weeks ago we started chemo treatments, along with daily prednisone and nausea meds. Also started him on AD canned food to get his digestive system working which he did not like so I fed him with a syringe. At first I was excited because he started eating again & spending time with Charlie.. but now he is refusing to eat or drink and he won’t get off the back of the sofa except to visit the litterbox. Our next Chemo treatment is Monday; I’ve invested so much love & money and I’m desperately hopeful that we just need more time. Through it all this beautiful boy of mine continues to Purr and put his head in my lap and his brother Charlie never leaves his side. I wish my feline children could talk and tell me what THEY want. I need him to stay with me, but I’m wrestling with knowing when exactly it’s time to give up the fight.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 18, 2015 at 5:34 pm (5 months ago)

      All my best to you and Pete, Lisa. I know it’s so hard.

      Reply
    • Michelle
      December 18, 2015 at 6:36 pm (5 months ago)

      I’m so sorry. Sounds like you’re grieving the loss of the Burmese and the new cat’s illness. The treating vet will be able to tell you the cat’s prognosis. I hope it’s normal for the early treatment stage with that protocol. I hope someonewho went through a similar situation will post soon. I gave my cat chemo every three days, so I can’t speak from experience. I assume the cat acts sick again because the first round of chemo wore off.

      Reply
  12. Sharon
    December 16, 2015 at 12:53 am (5 months ago)

    My thirteen year old orange tiger, Mork, was diagnosed last month with gastric lymphoma at MSU Vet Hospital. He has a mass in his stomach which apparently is pretty rare. The oncologist there recommended the Madison Wisconsin Protocol. There is little available regarding gastric lymphoma as it is more rare than intestinal lymphoma. MSU could only administer treatments at 8am and 10am. Luckily, I found a nice doctor in Ann Arbor who will work with my schedule to treat Mork. There have some bumps in the first few treatments, but I’m determined to help Mork. The only symptom I had to go off of was frequent vomiting. Mork seems fine in every other way. Is there anyone else who has had experience with gastric lymphoma? Also, I am so happy to have found this page! It has helped me to read about others’ experiences with helping their cat through chemotherapy. So far Mork has tolerated the Vincristine pretty well. The biggest hurdle is the cost of the treatment. The mass frightens me. The oncologist said it is in a tricky place, and therefore is surgery is not a good option.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 16, 2015 at 6:58 am (5 months ago)

      I’m sorry about Mork’s (love the name!) diagnosis, Sharon – all my best to both of you!

      Reply
    • Julia
      December 16, 2015 at 3:33 pm (5 months ago)

      Dear Sharon, I’m so sorry to hear about your Mork. It is such painful news to cope with and my heart goes out to you. My cat Rascal, who will be 13 on Christmas Day, is on his fifth week of chemo for intestinal lymphoma and I can report the tumour has strunk in size. Before we started treatment the tumour was 10cm long (4 inches). His protocol for chemo is specific to how is white blood cell count is going each week. Five weeks on and he has put on weight and was only sick once since the first week of treatment. His good days more than out number the bad and he is active, hungry and still loves to play :). I wish you and Mork all the very best

      Reply
    • Nikki
      December 17, 2015 at 12:45 am (5 months ago)

      I am very glad I stumbled across this site. My 6 year old, 18 lb fluff of love ball was put on a diet by her vet back in June. She has always had a football belly but they wanted her down around 13 lbs. I found her at a construction site before her eyes were even open. She has always been a very picky eater, aside from her food she will only eat spinach and lick wheat thins (?) She did start loosing weight, I thought it was because we left less food down and gave her brother canned food (because she won’t touch that and he never stops talking if he doesn’t have it) All of a sudden, she lost alot of weight rapidly and was always dry heaveing so I took her in. Her blood work was as healthy as it could be, they did an exam and sent us home to record her eating habits. We took her back and they did an xray which revealed a metallic object in her stomach. They said to schedule an ultrasound with an internal specialist which revealed a small mass around the object as well but he felt the two were related and that she may have stopped eating so she wouldn’t dry heave trying to get those out. He recommended a few more tests to be done by her vet and that I should have them remove the object as it was a simple procedure at a fraction of the cost but that he would follow her case closley. Fast forward 3 days to Friday, we were at her normal vet to get the thyroid and additional xrays and schedule surgery. However, our vet said he was not confident doing the surgery and recommended we go back to the internal medicine dr or find an emergancy care facility with more experience with soft tissue. Saturday morning we woke up to a differeng cat so I drove an hour to an emergency vet that came highly recommended. Since she was “stable” she was put in the list for emergancy surgery when they had an opening. We got a call at 2am Monday morning while they had her on the table. She had a nickel and a dime in her stomach – shocker #1 because I can’t even get her to eat…well anything. Then he proceeds to tell us the mass is unrelated and about the size of a plum, inoperable and he was certain it was cancer. Option 1) he just put her down then and we cluld pick up her remains or 2) he closed her up and we take her home and make her comfortable but to prepare ourselves. I went with Nikki’s option number 3, remove the coins and biopsy. The biopsy came back 4 days after her surgery confirming the doctors cancer theory -gastrointestinal Lymphoma but it was isolated to the stomach and otherwise in awesome health. She has been home for 13 days now, just on prednisone alone and is gaining more of an appitite everyday and will eat without tuna juice but not alot so we put it with every other meal. I just put her first dose of chlorambucil which is a compound tuna flavored liquid, hoping it will be easier than the pills. I luckily get to leave her be until the 28th when we go in for herj first blood work follow up. Until then, she is snuggling away and back to purring so loud you would think it hurts. I thought I made the wrong decision and that I was going to make her suffer and yes, the vet stay and surgery was awful but they said her eating coins was her way of telling us she was sick and her eyes are bright and cheerful again and that is all I wanted to see instead of her never waking up from that slab of an operating table. Thank you all for your tips, support of each other and sharing of stories. You give me a glimps of hope and affirmation that I made the right decision by giving her a second chance. I wish you all the best with your little four (or three, I can’t leave out my Dexter) legged friends.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        December 17, 2015 at 7:08 am (5 months ago)

        Wow, that’s quite an amazing story, Nikki. I’m glad she’s doing so well after her surgery and despite the diagnosis. You sure made the right decision!

        Reply
      • Julia
        December 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm (5 months ago)

        Hi Nikki, this is an amazing story and very like what happened with our Rascal. The indications that he was not well was when we discovered he was eating small stones as well as weight loss and poor appetite. When he was x-rayed it revealed 3 stones and “an area of concern” in his intestine than lead to a scan, biopsy and ultimately the worse news, gastrointestinal lymphoma. As previously posted, he is five weeks into treatment and had just a blood test yesterday which leads on to some very exciting news for us! Our vet examined him and reported the tumour has struck again and he has put on even more weight. He is up to 6.4kg from 6kg when this all began! We are delighted. He has just small patch chemo next week and in the New Year he will have a scan to verify the size of the tumour. So our family are going into Christmas with very happy hearts and hope for the future. The treatment has been worth it and I wish you all the very best.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          December 18, 2015 at 7:04 am (5 months ago)

          I’m assuming you meant “the tumor has shrunk,” not struck, Julia. 🙂 That’s wonderful news!

          Reply
          • Rose
            March 20, 2016 at 8:45 pm (1 month ago)

            Hi, Sharon. You are not alone. Our buddy Scone (age 12, gray tabby), was just diagnosed with Lymphoma of the Stomach. They found a mass the size of 1 cm. This was found initially through an X-Ray, and then we took him to the ER right away for an ultrasound. We aren’t sure yet if it’s small or large-cell Lymphoma, but our next step is chemo as well. We still need a visit with the oncologist to determine treatment. In the meantime, I’ve been reading about a lot of alternative holistic treatments. This may be an option for you? Many people are having success with NHV Es Clear. This story gave me some hope: http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/2013/06/from-incurable-to-cancer-free-in-one-year-how-nate-the-cat-survived-high-grade-lymphoma/

    • Sylvia Sheaffer
      January 6, 2016 at 2:50 pm (4 months ago)

      Hi Sharon: I also have a cat (10 yrs. old) who was diagnosed with a mid abdominal mass. Carlin has been on a protocol of Vincristine, Cytoxen, and L-Asparaginase for 9 weeks and the mass is not shrinking. The Vet. changed his protocol last Thursday to Lomustine For the 9 weeks, the vet. was treating for B-cell lymphoma and the vet. told me Carlin was non-responsive, so now the Lomustine is supposedly treating T-cell lymphoma. Apparently, per the vet. you don’t use Vincristine and Cytoxen to treat B-cell lymphoma. I am just praying that Carlin will be responsive to this new treatment. You can email me at anytime: Also, let me know how YOU are doing. I’m a complete mess. email: sjs1524@verizon.net

      Reply
  13. Angela
    November 21, 2015 at 9:52 am (5 months ago)

    Hi all. After perusing the comments on this topic, I was wondering if anyone has experience with metronomic chemotherapy for their cat? Our 8 yr old indoor female kitty was diagnosed with a vaccine-associated feline injection site sarcoma recently. The tumor was excised (not completely), but because of its location on her flank, surgery is unlikely to get the 5cm margins necessary (a “regular” amputation won’t do it; she’d need part of her pelvis removed and her body well resectioned, which is more than we will put her through for such an aggressive and likely-to-recur cancer). Radiation therapy is not an option that will work in our situation. Therefore, with heavy hearts, we are leaning towards palliative care and making her life the best it can be for the rest of her time. However, one option brought up by her oncologist, given our feelings against surgery & RT, is metronomic chemo. It hasn’t been studied much in cats, but there’s evidence it’s helpful in slowing tumor regrowth in dogs. As such, the literature out there is limited, and while we are game to try anything that will keep her quality of life great, I’m curious if others have used it for their kitties’ health… Thanks in advance to any input!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 21, 2015 at 10:17 am (5 months ago)

      I attended a lecture on this topic by a local veterinary oncologist a while back, and this “less is more” approach certainly makes a lot of sense to me. You’ve probably already come across this reference, it explains the concept really well: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/jintile/2013/sept/understanding-metronomic-chemotherapy-cancer-treatment-for-pets-30899# If your oncologist is willing to do it, I’d give it a try. Keep us posted, and all my best to your kitty!

      Reply
      • Mia
        January 26, 2016 at 11:23 pm (3 months ago)

        Hi there, I just came across this site and have already found it more helpful than anywhere else on the net. So thank you! My boy of 12 and a half years recently developed an extremely rare hermangiosarcoma which developed from an injection site. It’s Mega rare as it isn’t in the skin, or internal organs but it’s pretty deep in the muscle tissue. Shortly after developing one between his shoulder blades, he developed a 2nd on the front of his neck. We have just been given anti-cancer drugs to start him on (it sounds like it could be this metronomic chemotherapy). It’s a very low dosage to be administered every day. I’ve been Umming and aahing the past few days as to whether we should put him through the chemo. A fortnight ago, he had a funny turn and spent 48 hours really under the weather like he had a bug or something. I’d pretty much come to the conclusion at the time, that his time to pass was close, I slept by his side for 2 nights, then suddenly he perked right back up again. He’s been back to his normal self (despite the mass on his neck) ever since. The mass on the front if his neck does continue to swell and pretty rapidly, I guess my main concern is what if the drugs make him feel crappy when he’s happy right now? X

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          January 27, 2016 at 6:09 am (3 months ago)

          I’m sorry about your kitty, Mia. One of the things all of us who have cared for cats with cancer have learned is that you’ll have to take it one day at a time. How cats do will depend on the type of cancer, the type of drugs and protocol used, other concurrent health issues, and more. I know it’s hard, but you’ll have to take it one day at a time. As your boy has already shown you, cats often rally after they have a bad day or two. I wish I had a better answer for you. All my best to you and your boy.

          Reply
          • Anthony G
            January 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm (3 months ago)

            Lets try this again.Been reading this site for about six weeks now since my 10 year old sweetie Fluffy was diagnosed with large cell in the intestine.Vet started vincristine/cyclophosphamide/doxyrubicin for 2 series at one week apart.After the first vincristine her mass shrank by about 50%.Next visit,another half of that.By her 5th week before cyclo,he said it was gone.We were cautiously ecstatic.Last week on the trip for the second doxy,he found it back at 1 cm.We almost dropped right there in the office.We go for a recheck this Friday prior to starting her on a biweekly.He may try a different drug in the protocol as we believe the cyclophosphamide is ineffective.Praying for the best.

          • Ingrid
            January 27, 2016 at 3:55 pm (3 months ago)

            I’m so sorry, Anthony. Dealing with a kitty with cancer is such a rollercoaster ride. I hope the new protocol will work for Fluffy.

      • Michelle
        January 27, 2016 at 9:42 pm (3 months ago)

        Hi Mia, I’m sorry about your kitty. Usually chemo side effects are minimal. If it gets too distressing for your cat, you can quit at anytime. You have the option to : Treat, check, treat (my words). Meaning, do one treatment, assess if it’s worth it, and if so do another. Take care!

        Reply
        • Mia
          January 29, 2016 at 5:01 am (3 months ago)

          Thanks Michelle & Ingrid. I started Jonny Woo on his treatment on Wednesday. We’re starting him off on it every other day as opposed to evry day to see how he gets on so he’s due another dosage today. About 50 minutes ago, however he was sick for the first time. I read on here that it’s usually after a couple of days of startng treatment if they do have nausea. It was like dark green cement and he gave out a good 3 loud whines before it came out of him, (something he’s never done before) Tbless him. Is this kind of a normal type of consistency with vomit for cats on chemo? I’m going to give his clinician a call today to let him know to see the best course of action with regards to the nausea. I’ve also been reading up on hemp oil for soothing side effects (Including post you put up Ingrid. Thanks:)) Anyone else had any experience (good or bad) with using it on their kitties? Bar the sickness today and the large mass on his neck , Jonny has been in great spirit. Purring lots and jumping up on the couch to sit/lie with me. He has been sleeping a lot but he’s always done that his whole life ha. 🙂 Thanks all xxx

          Reply
          • Mia
            January 29, 2016 at 5:14 am (3 months ago)

            Oooh! I’ve just noticed a comment about someone’s kitty eating litter. I caught JW doing that a couple of days ago! So have just researched it & read that Cancer can cause anemia which can make kitties munch on litter (strange little things). That might explain the cement like vomit! I’ll mention to his clinician when I call him today.

          • Michelle
            January 29, 2016 at 9:05 pm (3 months ago)

            Good job! Ha, ha..I’ve never seen cement vomit before, but it makes perfect sense if he ate litter. And, the yowl makes sense because I’m sure it hurts to throw that up! Hope Jonny Woo is good now and you found resolution. Haven’t used hemp before.

    • Angela
      January 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm (3 months ago)

      Thank you for your input on the circumstances we were dealing with at the time, Ingrid! And Mia, I am so very sorry to hear about your little one. It’s so truly hard…

      I did want to update you on our status 2 months in to metronomic chemotherapy. Our little girl is getting 4.4 mg of cytoxin (cyclophosphamide) every day and 0.16 mL of metacam every other day. She’s had bloodwork done twice now to assess how her body is handling the meds (at 4 and 8 weeks), and I’m happy to say that her system is handling everything perfectly! She hasn’t had any side effects, either – no vomiting, diarrhea, appetite, energy, or anything new at all. We also met with a veterinary nutritionist and made a few slight adjustments to her food (since there really is no science in cats for cancer diets [everything is really extrapolated from dog studies] there wasn’t a lot of hard, scientific data to base her diet on, so we’re focusing on making sure she gets enough nutrients and – because she is super food-oriented – that meal times are enjoyable and fun for her). Unfortunately, we did find a small, new mass on her flank near where the original tumor was excised, but it’s not clear yet whether it’s tumor regrowth or scar tissue. Because we opted against going surgery and/or radiation therapy, we are going to continue monitoring the spot and giving her meds and all the love we can.

      All my best to everyone here – I know it’s difficult circumstances that have brought folks to this page. Thank you, Ingrid, for keeping this conversation string alive and informed.

      Reply
      • Mia
        January 31, 2016 at 8:24 pm (3 months ago)

        Hi Angela, that is the same treatment our Jonny Woo is on. He is on it every other day with 0.4 of the metacam also. He’s been fine on the treatment since the cement vomit incident so I figure it was the litter he’d eaten that made him sick not the meds. I’ve ordered some chicken liver to arrive tomorrow as we are constantly having to prevent him from eating more litter at the moment! We’ve changed brand of litter as the previous one he ate was the clumping one! No wonder he whined before that came out! His clinician wasn’t in on Friday so I’m expecting a call with him tomorrow then I will be able to discuss putting him on a suitable diet for his needs. I’m focusing on the thought of him feeling better and perking up in general once his dietary needs have been adjusted. He’s quite wobbly on his feet at the moment which I’m assuming is being caused from the possible/highly likely anaemia. I wish all the best news possible with your kitty and that the lump is scar tissue.

        Thanks all. This thread has been so helpful and awesome (though it would be even more awesome for our kitties to never be able to develop this illness & therefore have us not need this thread), I’m so appreciative of all of you who have shared your experiences. Love to all our fur babies XxxxX

        Reply
        • Mia
          February 8, 2016 at 7:16 am (3 months ago)

          Hi again all,
          Just wanted to say, thanks so much for all your helpful posts and support on here recently. Yesterday my beautiful ginger boy crossed over into pure positive energy. As sad as it is with how much I miss his physical presence right now, I’m so appreciative and thankful to have had my life blessed by having him in it. I’m not seeing this as a loss, rather a gain. A gain of an amazing 12 & half years with my Jonny Woo. 🙂 Thanks so much again and love to all of you and your kitties xxxxxx

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            February 8, 2016 at 12:47 pm (3 months ago)

            I’m so sorry, Mia.

        • Michelle
          February 9, 2016 at 11:14 am (3 months ago)

          I’m sorry, too, that Jonny Woo passed. You gave him a chance. Hang in there and take care.

          Reply
  14. Julia
    November 18, 2015 at 4:09 pm (6 months ago)

    Hi everyone, I’m from New Zealand and I can’t find any websites in my country that share these experiences so I am very grateful for this. My male cat Rascal has been diagnosed with small/medium cell lymphoma and is at the vet now for blood samples to come back to commence chemotherapy today. It all started a mere four weeks ago when we noticed him eating finely crushed gravel so we took him into the vet for a check up. This lead to an x-ray on the spot that revealed a “concerning mass” in his intestine. He went onto have a scan and then a biopsy which confirmed our worse fears. It was such a shock as he was not sick and displayed no other symptoms other than the odd vomit. He has been in reasonable spirits even to the extend of catching two birds in the last week, perhaps reverting to instinct to try and fix himself? However he was quite bad two days ago, not eating and pacing around the house and outside. As today is his first day for chemotherapy I would be grateful to share my experiences of how he reacts and your support while we give him this chance. He as not at all happy at being left at the vet this morning and it is heart breaking. My lovely boy is nearly 13 years old with his birthday on Christmas Day. I’ll update early next week when I know what protocol of drugs the Vet will be using and how he is going. Thanks for your time.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 18, 2015 at 6:14 pm (6 months ago)

      All my best to Rascal, and to you, Julia. I know it’s hard, but as you’ve seen from some of the comments on this post, many cats do really well with chemo.

      Reply
      • Julia
        November 18, 2015 at 6:18 pm (6 months ago)

        Many thanks Ingrid

        Reply
  15. Roberta
    November 6, 2015 at 11:40 am (6 months ago)

    My 12 year old kitty has been diagnosed with cutaneous lymphocytosis. Lymphocytes were found in his skin and some lymph nodes around his intestines were inflamed, but not cancerous. He was immediately put on Prednisolone and Leukeran – for life! He waxes and wains as far as eating. Originally he ate his Prednisolone in a Pill Pocket without any problem: gobbled it up. Then, one day – NO more. Won’t eat it out of anything: rolled up deli turkey, cat food meatball, treats… nothing. So now I have to “pill” him everyday with the Prednisolone and every other day with the chemo.

    Does anyone have a trick to getting your cat to eat the Prednisolone? I would think coating it in something to hide the smell would work, but it may dissolve too. The daily “pilling” is making him a bit fearful of me and tat negates the good-quality of life that remains for him which is the whole point of chemo. Any suggestions would be very appreciated – and thank you!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 6, 2015 at 11:50 am (6 months ago)

      Finding a balance between pilling a cat and not destroying the bond can be very challenging. This article explores that particular aspect of caring for a sick cat: http://consciouscat.net/2011/04/04/when-cats-refuse-to-take-pills/

      Try putting both the Pred and the Leukeran inside a gel capsule. That way, you only have to give one medication, and the capsules tend to slide down more easily than pills alone. You can also try coating the capsule with butter to make it go down even easier. There’s even a company that makes turkey and chicken flavored gel caps: https://www.capsuline.com/

      Reply
      • Roberta
        November 6, 2015 at 12:52 pm (6 months ago)

        Thank you – I think I will try these capsules for the Pred. I use butter on the chemo which I think helps but is quite entertaining should it fall out of the pill gun and then I have to pick it up with gloved hands. I swear kitty is giggling.

        My husband and I have already starting talking about at what point to do we stop treatment. This isn’t our 1st round of kitty-chemo but that doesn’t make it any easier. Thank you for your suggestions.

        Reply
        • Nora
          November 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm (6 months ago)

          My Vet gives my cat Ben a steroid shot every 6 weeks that eliminated my need to give him a Pred pill. The steroid takes care of the nausea and boosts his appetite. He has gained all his weight back and is in full remission (stomach wall, site of cancer) is now normal.

          Reply
          • Roberta
            November 6, 2015 at 3:21 pm (6 months ago)

            That’s excellent for both you and Ben. I may ask my vet about this option. Thank you for the info.

    • Nora
      November 6, 2015 at 1:19 pm (6 months ago)

      In August my 11 year old cat Ben was diagnosed with large cell lymphona. I started chemo at first 1 per week then after 1 month its every 3 weeks. Ben is currently in remission, with his stomach wall (where the cancer was found) is not perfectly normal. I have high hopes that Ben will be with me for some time.

      Reply
    • Phil
      November 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm (5 months ago)

      My difficult -to-mess-with cat is just starting on the medication route.Like your cat, Roberta, Gideon, started off accepting Pill Pockets, but now eats everything around them. I tried daubing it with Marmite, which he licks off, leaving the Pill Pockert unharmed! Then I remembered something a Dutch friend had sent me a couple of years ago, and, lo and behold, we`ve been successfully medicating all week. It`s called EasyPill, and I got it online from Pet Drugs Online. You form it round the pill. I put it in The Dreamie Place (Giddy was addicted to Dreamied for quite a long time) and he just eats it! Miracle of miracles!

      Reply
      • Roberta
        November 24, 2015 at 4:29 pm (5 months ago)

        Thanks very much for this info. I can’t find this available in the US but I’ll call the vet. Possibly they can get it for me. My best to Gideon’s health.

        Reply
  16. Debra
    September 29, 2015 at 8:50 pm (7 months ago)

    My 11 yr old Penny was just diagnosed with lymphoma. She went in for a repeat urine collection and they did a sono to look for the bladder. What they found was a small mass, which was not there about two months back when she had her teeth cleaned. We did a biopsy yesterday and our vet called with the results. Lymphoma. I did suspect it because the mass grew in size. Still small but slightly bigger. The vet first mentioned surgery since it is a localized mass, with resection of the tumor, intestinal wall on which the tumor rested, and surrounding lymph nodes. He called me back less than two hours later to say he consulted with the oncologist, whose opinion is to start Penny on chemo and forgo surgery since she is asymptomatic and the tumor is not obstructive. That said, she had two bouts of diarhea, which the vet said could be due to the biopsy or the start of her symptoms. Due to scheduling, we are first consulting with the oncologist next week to set up a plan of treatment. That’s where we stand. Is there a difference in the chemo whether it is injected or administered orally? The receptionist mentioned dropping off Penny every 2 weeks or 4 weeks for a full day of treatment but I thought she would be medicated at home. Does that sound right to anyone? I’m hoping we caught this early. To everyone on this thread, you are all wonderful and so so helpful. My thoughts and prayers are with every kitty family here.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      September 30, 2015 at 6:06 am (7 months ago)

      It depends on the chemo protocol used whether it’s an injection, oral medication, or a combination of both. You’ll know more once you talk to the oncologist. All my best to you and Penny.

      Reply
      • Debra
        October 8, 2015 at 6:16 pm (7 months ago)

        Thank you, Ingrid, for the advice and wishes. We met with the oncologist. To help alleviate the stress, I was able to meet with, and discuss Penny’s case, without taking Penny in. Her recent exam and work up, along with the sonos and biopsy, were sufficient. He said that neither Leukeran nor Cyclophosphamide would help treat the cancer she has. He did agree with me re: starting her on Prednisolone and I agreed to more lab work but the protocol he suggests, weekly injections and then tapering off to every three weeks is the issue. It’s not the cost, rather it’s the stress and utter fear Penny is subjected to when I have to take her to the vet. Twice now, she has lost control of her bladder and urinated all over herself, me and everything in between. She hides when we do bring her back home and won’t let anyone go near her for days thereafter. She won’t eat and only hides under the bed. Do I want to subject her to this? I’m not sure. I want her to have as best a quality of life that she can and being afraid is not enjoying life. Plus, she would need close monitoring with labs and sonos, poss Xrays. I asked him about having her on Pred and he said it would make her comfortable and help with inflammation but it only buys her a small amount of time. And that’s where we stand. Weighing thr options. Have her undergo chemo and subject her to the stress and fear of weekly vet visits or make her as comfortable at home as we can and enjoy whatever time we have left with her. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          October 9, 2015 at 5:38 am (7 months ago)

          I’m sorry, Debra, I know this is hard. You’re doing the right thing by making Penny’s comfort your first priority. I’ve always felt that if a treatment destroys the bond between cat and human, it’s not the right choice for that particular cat. Only you can make this decision, but it feels to me like you’re going about it the right way. All my best to you and Penny!

          Reply
      • Millie
        December 2, 2015 at 6:49 pm (5 months ago)

        First of all, bless your heart Debra. We are going thru a similar situation. Our kitty had to have surgery due to obstruction in small intestines, which is GI tract small cell lymphoma. They resected the bowel but he needs to be put on Pred or combo of chemo and Pred. We made the decision not to treat our cat as if he were a human and that’s why we love them so much. We decided on Prednisolone only and will check into the injection versus pill. Cats don’t understand what’s going on. They don’t like change, so being dragged to the vet is not, in my opinion, doing them any favors. We, like you, aren’t making the decision based on cost but rather on the quality rather than quantity of his life. We chose quality, just enough time to pamper him like crazy and love him up before he goes to heaven to collect is “Angel wings.” We have had so many cats because we rescued and our decision-making was always based on quality of life. I hope this helps. I can tell you love Penny and will make the best decision for her. Wish you all the best and thanks fo being a compassionate human being.

        Reply
  17. Michelle
    September 22, 2015 at 4:50 pm (7 months ago)

    When summer started to wane, Kallie’s condition changed too. Mother Nature has been dropping hints and the calendar tells us fall starts tomorrow (in the northern hemisphere). Kallie entered a new season today. I am sad and at the same time relieved that I sent Kallie to the Rainbow Bridge today. Her ashes will be buried in the Denver Dumb Friends League’s beautiful memorial garden. For informational purposes, I’ll back-up to the beginning of Kallie’s end. I’ve been wanting to post it anyway. In late June, early July I noticed changes in Kallie, though subtle. She was constipated, not eating as much, wanted to snuggle more and stopped playing. She was stable, her mood was good, no diarrhea, no vomiting, so I waited until it was time for her next lymphoma check-up, which was in July. Because the oncologist left the place I was taking her, I finally got her into the oncologist I started with in early August. After the tests, she had no worries about the GI cancer, since weight was stable and her insides looked good. Though, the ultra-stenographer saw a little fluid in her chest. So, the oncologist drained it and sent it to the vet school cancer lab at Colorado State University. It took two weeks to get that back and the finding was “suspicious for cancer.” So, the lab did another test and ruled out lymphoma. The vet concluded it was an aggressive form of lung cancer. Long story short, I decided to do palliative care, because Kallie’s had heart disease and would be a poor risk for surgery. Mostly, her breathing was okay, just faster, though not dangerously fast. She “cruised” along for a few weeks, and she has been steadily declining. I knew the end was coming. I was waiting to “put her down” when she didn’t want to have anything to do with me. Even this morning, she was loyal and wanted to gang where I was. But, I put Kallie down sooner than I expected. This morning, I took her to the vet, assuming he’d drain the fluids and send us on our way. But, he gave me a convincing explanation of how bad she really was and how the fixes wouldn’t help much. Yes, the cancer came back with a vengeance. Just 10 days ago her intestines felt fine; today he said they were hard. So, the intestinal cancer came back. In a nutshell, Kallie did well on treatment for a year. What a year we had! I’ll come back later and address more of that, so someone who’s trying to decide if they should do treatment or not can weigh the pro’s and con’s. Contact me if you have questions about it, though. I will only speak on small cell GI lymphoma, since I don’t have experience with the others. My girl will always be in my heart. Whenever I start to miss her, all I have to do is think of her. Thank you Ingrid and everyone else for your posts and encouragement.

    Reply
    • Kaite
      September 28, 2015 at 1:54 am (7 months ago)

      I am so sorry to hear about Kallie, but glad that she had an extra good year. All the best to you.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        September 28, 2015 at 10:02 pm (7 months ago)

        Thank you, Kaite. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you and Sasha (may have spelled it wrong).

        Reply
  18. Maryah
    August 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm (8 months ago)

    Our 13 year-old kitty, Whiskers, was diagnosed about a month ago with large cell lymphoma. We started him quickly on the 4 drug chemo regimen, along with predisolone and some other as needed drugs for nauseau (which he never needed). The first 2 weeks were like a miracle — he gained weight, became energetic and playful, and just was totally himself. Then, after the 3rd treatment he got more lethargic and then a few days ago his breathing became very labored. We brought him in that night and they said his chest cavity had a lot of fluid again — they drained it, and we opted for treatment (I don’t remember what it was called) that I guess is an emergency drug — it targets lymphoma cells particularly well, but only works once or twice at best. We then opted to go ahead with the final drug in his regimen yesterday. He is home now. He ate voraciously last night, and his breathing seems good. But, for the first time in all of this he is just very sedentary. He just lies in the hallway and looks around. This is not like him at all. Does anyone know if this could be a temporary reaction to the chemo? If so, we will wait with him and see if he gets more himself — but if this is his quality of life we need to let him go and I don’t want him to suffer while we figure this out! We’ve been through this with two dogs in the last 6 years, and it is always so very hard — you do everything that you think will give them a reasonable chance of a longer, good life — but with both of our dogs it became clear when it was time to let them go. I just am so struggling this time.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 27, 2015 at 3:49 pm (8 months ago)

      I’ve seen many cats be a little more depressed for 24-48 hours following chemo, so it’s possible that that’s what’s going on with him, Maryah. I know it’s so hard. Here’s wishing that it’s only temporary and that he’ll rebound again!

      Reply
      • Jenny Astbury
        August 27, 2015 at 4:15 pm (8 months ago)

        I hope Whiskers improves! Gridlock spent lot of time under bed covers after early chemo for large cell lymphoma in June 2013 but is very happily still with us. Good luck with Whiskers! Ps. Gridlock is seventeen.

        Reply
  19. Danielle
    August 17, 2015 at 9:22 am (9 months ago)

    Hi my Sphynx cat Milo is 8 years old and has been diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. He starts first chemo treatment tomorrow but I’m so scared because he’s so skinny and bony 🙁 he’s eating and not throwing up but he has diarrhea. His uncle oliver (also a sphynx) is taking care of him too lol. He’s on prednisone every 24 hrs. He’s sleeping a lot. Have anyone’s cat been really skinny in the beginning before chemo?

    Reply
    • Lynette
      August 17, 2015 at 1:27 pm (9 months ago)

      Critters had his first dose of chemo last month and did well. He too is very skinny. He had a bit of nausea about the 3rd day but Pepcid (dose given by vet) helped. Critters has adeno carcinoma so the chemo might be different for your cat with lymphoma. In any event, animals seem to do well in chemo. You need to take care not to touch feces/urine for 72 hours after. I separated my kitties for that time period and used disposable gloves to handle waste. Then clean, sterilize box and start fresh litter. Best wishes

      Reply
      • Danielle
        August 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you 🙂

        Reply
      • Danielle
        August 17, 2015 at 4:00 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you!

        Reply
    • Jenny astbury
      August 19, 2015 at 3:39 pm (9 months ago)

      Gridlock was losing weight when diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in June 2013. After much chemo – vincristine and steroids only as we stopped the other chemo drug as made her I’ll. Gridlock remains well two years and two months on. We are very lucky but it can happen. Wishing you the best outcome for your cat.

      Reply
  20. Kelly
    August 13, 2015 at 12:10 am (9 months ago)

    My 6 year old cat, Tina, was recently diagnosed with large cell lymphoma. She is being treated with the UW-Madison protocol that many have mentioned (weekly chemo and daily prednisolone) and just received her second treatment today. It’s been rough since she has absolutely no appetite and was vomiting everything until the vet prescribed cerenia. Now vomiting is controlled but she is still refusing to eat and is now down to 6.7 lbs. On the plus side, the vet said it appears the mass in her abdomen has shrunk considerably in just 1 week. So I have hope that she will start feeling better soon!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 13, 2015 at 6:23 am (9 months ago)

      I’m glad the cerenia is helping, Kelly, and it’s great news that the chemo is working. All my best to Tina!

      Reply
  21. Lynette
    July 22, 2015 at 7:54 pm (9 months ago)

    Hello. We just learned our cat, Critters, has Intestinal Adenocarcinoma. The Oncologist says its rare. He is recommending Chemotherapy using the drug Carboplatin. While there is info regarding the side effects, I’m not sure how effective it will be. Moreover, I’m concerned about whether his urine/feces (toxicity) will harm my other two kittens. Any thoughts on that? I understand the precautions I have to take but I”m concerned about the other kittens too. Any help will be appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 23, 2015 at 6:12 am (9 months ago)

      I’m sorry about Critters’ diagnosis, Lynette. Your other two kittens should be prevented from ingest the urine/feces, something that’s highly unlikely to happen, but even if they were to do so, they’d have to ingest an awful lot for it to be a problem. Most chemotherapy drugs are metabolized out of the patients system in 72 hours. I would discuss this concern with your vet to see if there are any particular concerns with Carboplatin. All my best to you and Critters.

      Reply
      • lynette
        August 19, 2015 at 2:17 pm (9 months ago)

        Critters seems to be doing ok after his first dose of Chemo. He goes back for his second on Friday, 8/21, however, he has started to poop outside the litter box. Any thoughts on why?

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          August 19, 2015 at 2:40 pm (9 months ago)

          Is he constipated? It’s possible that defecating is uncomfortable for him.

          Reply
          • lynette@sbcglobal.net
            August 19, 2015 at 9:04 pm (9 months ago)

            I considered that so I gave him some laxatone. I hope that’s ok for his condition. He’s not eating much either.

          • Ingrid
            August 20, 2015 at 6:18 am (9 months ago)

            I’m not a big fan of laxatone. I would recommend canned pumpkin instead.

        • Robin Portman
          August 19, 2015 at 6:50 pm (9 months ago)

          Chemo made my cat constipated and His vet prescribed a stool softener a few times a week. I could always tell when he was having trouble going because he would go beside the box. Normally, he’s never gone outside the box.

          Reply
          • Lynette
            August 20, 2015 at 12:47 pm (9 months ago)

            Interesting. His surgery to remove the Tumor caused loose stools that could be like that forever. Now he’s constipated? It must be so because he had a firm stool, in the box, this morning.

          • Ingrid
            August 20, 2015 at 2:10 pm (9 months ago)

            The constipation could be caused by one of the chemo drugs.

  22. alle
    July 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm (10 months ago)

    I am so glad i found this site. My cat is newly diagnosed with small cell lymphoma. the muscle layer of the small bowel is thickened. we will have to find out if it is really lymphoma or not and bring him in to the vet to do that, but i am not sure if this is the way to go, subjecting him to biopsy, and then chemo treatment with lomustine, and prednisone at home. he also had renal disease, but not very progressed and needs hydration at home and cerenia and blood pressure meds. This will go on for quite a while with regular labs, for about 6 months. biopsy does not always get the area, and can come out positive or negative but not be right. do you just treat based on the abdominal
    ultrasound,or put him through all that with day hospitalization and lots of expense and not really know but pretty sure it is lymphoma and not IBD. I just spent about 5000 on his hospitalization and MRI, etc etc for the stroke he had.
    what did you people do when you first heard the bowel was thickened and probably small cell lymphoma?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 18, 2015 at 6:17 am (10 months ago)

      I’m sorry about your kitty, Alle. Some vets will treat just based on ultrasound findings, although, of course, there is no way to definitively diagnose lymphoma without biopsies.

      Reply
    • Kaite
      July 20, 2015 at 2:19 am (10 months ago)

      My cat had an ultrasound only, and the vet prescribed treatment for lymphoma. The vet didn’t really talk about biopsy as an option, and I’m not sure I would have chosen that option. Sascha was 17 years old at the time of diagnosis, so I think an operation would have been an unnecessary stress. He had also gradually lost a fair bit of weight over time and his symptoms had progressed to almost daily vomiting, along with sudden, explosive diarrhoea. He has been great since treatment, with vomiting and diarrhoea clearing up immediately. It’s now been nine months since his treatment started, so I am happy with the decision. I don’t know, maybe it is worth considering how young the cat is; his general health, and whether an operation would be something he could easily bounce back from. Also, I understand he would have to wait for some time after the operation until he has healed before medication can commence…

      Reply
      • Alle
        July 23, 2015 at 2:26 pm (9 months ago)

        Thank you for your replies. We started the chemo treatment today-I hope he tolerates it well. We did not do a biopsy and did it based on the ultrasound findings. He will stay there today for the day so they can observe him after treatment.
        apparently they do very well for this type of cancer.We are planning a 6 month course of chemo and prednisone.

        Reply
        • Kaite
          July 25, 2015 at 4:49 am (9 months ago)

          All the best! As my vet said, small cell lymphoma is actually good news in the scheme of cancer diagnoses. This has certainly been the case for Sascha.

          Reply
  23. Rob
    June 17, 2015 at 5:40 pm (11 months ago)

    We have 6 cats and one who has just started Leukeran. All of our cats have been grazers and I’m wondering how this drug is going to effect our feeding? Do we stop leaving bowels of food around and feed them say twice a day and remove the food after they have eaten?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 18, 2015 at 6:21 am (11 months ago)

      I’m not aware of any reasons why Leukeran would affect how you feed your cats, but I don’t recommend free choice feeding (or feeding dry food) in general. If you’re interested in reading more about this topic and why dry food and free choice feeding are not a good idea, you’ll find lots of information in the Feline Nutrition section on this site. This article sums up the basics: http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/22/the-best-food-for-your-cat/

      I will caveat this with the following: the most important thing for a cat going through cancer treatment is that he/she eats, so if you are going to make a change, make sure that your cat gets enough food. Ideally, a diet for cats with cancer high in protein and fat diet and low in carbohydrates (cancer cells feed on carbs, and dry foods are too high in carbs.) Dry foods are too high in carbs even for healthy cats.

      Reply
  24. Roxanne
    May 24, 2015 at 1:54 am (11 months ago)

    My baby boy, Tasuki (pronounced Tosky) was recently diagnosed with large cell alimentary lymphoma. He is 13 now and I rescued him when he was 5 weeks old. In 2013, Tasuki was diagnosed with diabetes. In April 2015, he was declared in remission and I couldn’t have been any happier. About a week or two after his remission he began acting very strange. He had horrible diarrhea, was barely eating and hiding in cabinets. The vet had felt a mass in his abdomen and told me to have an ultrasound done immediately. A biopsy was sent to the lab and came back as large cell lymphoma. His bloodwork proved him to be anemic and his x-rays were clear. The vet referred me to an oncologist and I decided to start him on the CHOP protocol. This includes cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine and prednisone. Tasuki goes in about once a week for the next 9 weeks with a one week break in between then every other week for a total of 25 weeks. He had his first chemo treatment 2 days ago and already looks so much better. He is peeing outside of the box, but still using the box for #2. Unfortunately, he keeps having accidents on his bed so he’s been getting a bath daily which he doesn’t seem to mind too much. He’s eating and drinking a lot. He’s always been a larger cat at one point weighing 17 lbs, but I believe he was at 15.8 lbs in January and was 12 lbs at the oncologist on Thursday. He’s sleeping a lot, but gets excited when I bring him treats. Keeping my fingers crossed that I have a miracle cat that can pull through!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 24, 2015 at 6:19 am (11 months ago)

      All my best to Tasuki, Roxanne. Keep us posted on how he is doing!

      Reply
    • Michelle
      May 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm (11 months ago)

      It’s encouraging because Tasuki is doing better after one treatment. I”ll keep my fingers crossed. Hang in there. I’m sorry your kitty has cancer.

      Reply
    • Roxanne
      May 30, 2015 at 10:18 pm (11 months ago)

      We had our second treatment of chemo on Thursday. Tasuki is still very lethargic, but still eating and drinking a lot. He doesn’t want to be moved at all from his bed, but I’ve placed a litter box next to where he sleeps and it seems to be working out very well. He doesn’t seem to be having any terrible side effects from the chemo aside from resting a lot. He is becoming more and more anemic – levels down to 13.9% from 17% the week prior. I’ve ordered Liqui-Tinic to try to help with his anemia. I was told if his levels get any lower he will require a blood transfusion. Since his diabetes is in remission, the doctor was concerned it may return due to the prednisolone causing increased drinking and urination. His blood glucose was 296 at the visit, but they suspect it was due to stressors. I checked his glucose later that night and it was back down to 140. I’m going to continue monitoring it. I’m also going to try the Canna Companion along with some other supplements.

      Reply
      • Robin
        May 30, 2015 at 11:29 pm (11 months ago)

        You might want to ask your vet about doing a fructosamine blood test. It gives an overview of a cats glucose levels for the prior few weeks. My cat had it monthly when he became diabetic from prednisolone. After being weaned off of the Pred, she still did the test monthly for several months to monitor him until she got normal readings for a 5-6 months. That let her know his diabetes was staying in remission.

        Reply
        • Roxanne
          May 30, 2015 at 11:52 pm (11 months ago)

          Thank you Robin, I will ask my vet about it when we go in for our next treatment.

          Reply
  25. Michelle
    May 17, 2015 at 10:10 pm (12 months ago)

    Hi Lesley,
    My girl Kallie has been in treatment for 10 months, with 2 mg Chlorambucil every third day and 7.5 mg prednisilone every other day. Kallie is doing well and enjoying her cat life. It’s been worth every penny and vet visit, though the beginning was hard. I met with two oncologists who said Kallie would need to be retested after a month of treatment, then 3 months, then 6 months, then 9 months then 12 months. It wasn’t like that at all. Kallie had to go every 4-6 weeks at first to get the dosing right. And, since Kallie has large lymph nodes (which are within normal limits) the vet thought she wasn’t in remission, so she was tested often. After seeing no change in those lymph nodes after two ultrasounds in 8 weeks, the vet determined that’s Kallie’s normal and she is in remission. Now, we see the oncologist every 3 months and I’m okay with that. I keep my fingers crossed that Kallie is one of the 10% that’s cured and I know there’s no guarantee.Whatever the outcome, I’m happy with the results. Knowing my time with her is limited, I’ve taken each day at a time and that’s rewarding. It seems like it’s been 20 months since treatment, not 10.

    Reply
    • Robin
      May 31, 2015 at 8:08 am (11 months ago)

      I’m happy to hear about your kitty stopping treatment and still being in remission. It’s been 5 months since my kitty was taken off of everything and is still in remission as well. You had mentioned that 10% get cured. I hadn’t found any statistics while reading up on it many months ago. I keep waiting for “the other shoe to drop” but am enjoying every day we have together.

      Reply
      • Michelle
        June 3, 2015 at 9:46 pm (11 months ago)

        Hi Robin, my kitty isn’t off her meds. I’m happy for you and your kitty! I hear what you’re saying about waiting for the other shoe to drop. I came across the 10% a few months ago. I couldn’t find it when I looked recently. Instead, I found an article that said 10% of dogs with GI lymphoma are “cured,” meaning they stay in remission without meds. I did read about Ollie the cat , who was owned by a vet tech that went into remission, was taken off it’s meds and died of kidney disease, not cancer!

        Reply
  26. Kaite
    May 15, 2015 at 6:33 am (12 months ago)

    Well, an update on my cat, Sascha. I posted on here in the early days of treatment. He is seven months into gastrointestinal lymphoma treatment and he is still doing very well! He is now 17 years and seven months. I know he can’t live forever, but I have been amazed how good the chemo/prednisone treatment has been for him, and how much quality of life it is giving him, even in his very senior years. I just wanted to say that there is hope!

    Reply
    • Jenny
      May 15, 2015 at 6:43 am (12 months ago)

      As I type, Gridlock is sunning herself in her hammock at the window. Griddles was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in June 2013. Had large tumour removed and has been on reducing amounts of chemotherapy (Vincristine plus steroid) ever since. Now very nearly two years on! Now on chemo every two months and steroids monthly. Next month will be her final chemo after which we will take her for monthly checks to her vet. Who knows what the future will hold? Every day is a gift. At the outset her prognosis was bleak – just a couple of months and Griddles has confounded all expectations. She has remained happy and well throughout. Sometimes her appetite is a little “down” but many 17 year old cats have reduced eating requirements and I give her a 1/4 of a Mirtazapine tablet when this happens. Hope along with Kaite’s posting, that this gives some of you hope!

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        May 15, 2015 at 5:12 pm (12 months ago)

        What a remarkable story, Jenny! Two years is amazing!

        Reply
    • Robin
      May 15, 2015 at 7:46 am (12 months ago)

      There is hope! Previously, I’d told about my kitty and what he went through 1.5 yrs ago. Final diagnosis was small cell lymphoma. After being on Chlorambucil for 13 months, he was doing so well that his Onclologist thought he should come off of it. This is his 5th month without any meds(except a stool softener 1-2x/week). A few days ago, he had an ultrasound and so far so good. There’s no sign that he’s coming out of remission. Until he was properly diagnosed and started eating again, he had a feeding tube and was given a variety of meds, appetite stimulants, etc at all hours of the day. At one point, I was only able to get 2.5 hrs of sleep because of his med/food schedule. It was all worth it. He goes back to the vet in 3-4 months for another ultrasound.

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 15, 2015 at 5:11 pm (12 months ago)

      That’s wonderful, Kaite! I’m so glad Sascha is doing so well.

      Reply
      • Kaite
        May 19, 2015 at 7:24 am (12 months ago)

        Thank you Ingrid. Lovely to hear about Kallie, Gridlock and Robin’s cat too (what is his name, Robin?). Cancer definitely does not appear to be a guaranteed death sentence, and knowing the possibility for sustained quality of life is so important in treatment decisions, I think.

        Jenny, wonderful to hear about 17 year old Gridlock too. That’s the other factor for consideration in all of this, when an elderly cat is involved. However, it seems like they can do just as well as the young ones, if the rest of their health is good. I did find a research article on lymphoma on the web, which found that age was not a factor in treatment outcomes for their sample. I think their cats ranged in age up to 20 years, which was nice to see!

        Reply
  27. lesley hause
    May 14, 2015 at 3:20 pm (12 months ago)

    so glad i found this site. we found lumps on biggy small’s lymph node and our vet diagnosed lymphoma. biggy is a rescue and was feral for many years. he is the most loving boy we have ever had. we are heartbroken and have a follow up appointment with the vet on monday. he doesn’t seem to be in any pain which is promising. i was worried about chemo, but after reading all these posts, i am encouraged that he may have a fighting chance.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm (12 months ago)

      All my best to Biggy, Lesley. I think you’ll find a lot of support here.

      Reply
      • lesley
        May 14, 2015 at 4:34 pm (12 months ago)

        thank you ingrid. i feel more confident about biggy’s options and how we might best help him. the losses and success stories on this blog are so heartfelt. we are thinking of all of you as well.

        Reply
  28. Jennifer
    May 5, 2015 at 7:12 pm (12 months ago)

    My Trixie is fading fast and not doing well with the Leukeran. She is 8 and started losing weight at the beginning of this year. Blood and urine tests in March were inconclusive, and an ultrasound showed some minor enlargement of the lymph nodes and some thickening of the intestines. She started on 1/2 ml of Prednisolone and A/D high calorie diet, but continued to lose weight. Last week the vet thought she felt a mass so she started on the Leukeran, 1/2 tablet 3x week, but she is not reacting well to it. She is only 4.5 lbs right now, and it just wipes her out. Today, after the 3rd dose of it, she has barely been able to walk, dizzy almost and very woozy, with no appetite. I am going to stop the Leukeran because it seems to be affecting her quality of life too much and makes her suffer. I can’t imagine putting her through more treatment. This has all been so fast, compared to another cat of mine who started with IBD and lasted several years with treatment. It just breaks my heart to lose her because she is the sweetest little thing.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 6, 2015 at 6:32 am (12 months ago)

      I’m so sorry, Jennifer.

      Reply
    • Robin
      May 6, 2015 at 8:36 am (12 months ago)

      If there in an Oncologist you could take your kitty to, it could make a big difference. My kitty was diagnosed with small cell a year and a half ago and his regular vet tried treating him with Pred and Leukeran (twice a week). It didn’t help and things were deteriorating still. When I brought him to an Oncologist, she put him on the pulse regime…a higher dose of Leukeran twice a month, and he had a complete turnaround. Initially, for the first few months, his regular vet talked me into letting him put a feeding tube in so I could feed him through it and he didn’t starve to death until things improved. If you don’t have an Oncologist in your area, maybe your vet would consult with one on the phone. After being on the new regime for only a few weeks, there was improvement and he went into complete remission and is still doing well. Hope things get better for you and your kitty.

      Reply
    • Tamara
      May 6, 2015 at 9:35 am (12 months ago)

      I am so sorry Jennifer. It is truly heart breaking. I hope her going off of the Leukeran allows her to have a better quality of life.

      Reply
    • Johnny
      May 6, 2015 at 2:24 pm (12 months ago)

      You might want to read my post about our cat Sooner. He was put on some different meds about 2 months ago and is doing better and has gained some weight. We went with the first option after he had been on Leukeran for quiet a while. Hope your cat gets better. Johnny

      Reply
    • Susan
      May 8, 2015 at 1:48 am (12 months ago)

      I’m so sorry Jennifer. I lost my sweet Baby, who was 11 years old to Lymphoma this past December. He did well on the same regimen as your Trixie from July until early December last year and then went downhill very quickly. It’s so heartbreaking and terrible to see our beloved cat children suffering from this terrible disease. I wish you and Trixie all the best and hope she doesn’t suffer any longer.

      Reply
  29. Zoe
    April 13, 2015 at 5:24 am (1 year ago)

    My 15 year old cat Dillon was diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in January and has since undergone surgery to try to remove the tumour (found to be not possible) and then chemo for five weeks. The chemo protocol was weekly doses of vincristine and cyclophosomide at the vets plus 7.5mg daily of prednisolone as well as mirtazapine to stimulate his appetite and cerenia to combat sickness. After 5 weeks the vet said that she thought the tumour had actually grown (she estimated this by touch not by xray or CT), that was almost two weeks ago. Dillon is continually losing weight as his appetite is now so small, we try every type of food and cook fish and chicken for him to try to find something he will take a few mouthfuls of. In the last couple of days he has started to suffer from diahorrea as well but is still alert and mobile. We now don’t know where to go with him. We are due back at the vets this week as he would be due his next chemo next week and she wants to examine him before then. I am so worried that she is going to say that his tumour has grown again and that there is nothing she can do for him. Has anyone experienced a chemo protocol that didn’t work and then found another combination of drugs was successful? I don’t know if I’m grasping at straws here and should let him go instead of putting him through more treatment but I really want to make sure we have done everything possible for him and given him a fighting chance

    Reply
    • lu
      April 20, 2015 at 6:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Zoe, I’m so sorry that the current protocol doesn’t seem to be working. Before anything else, I think your vet should confirm their suspicions with an ultrasound or X-ray, at least. If your kitty is brave, not in terrible pain, and seems not ready to go just yet (ie, still interested in his favorite things), I would say try another protocol, if possible. My little dude’s situation is also inoperable, so we’re trying lomustine every 3-4 weeks, along with a daily dose of 0.3ml of 15mg/ml prednisolone. For him, this course may be our only shot, mostly because other treatments require too frequent of extremely stressful vet visits – he wouldn’t stand for it for very long! Ultimately, I think each would prefer to decide what happens to him or her. Best of luck to you guys. ❤️

      Reply
      • Zoe
        April 21, 2015 at 7:16 am (1 year ago)

        Hi Lu, thank you for your response. Unfortunately Dillon passed away last Wednesday. He died peacefully in my husband’s arms so whilst we are devastated and miss him terribly he passed away in the best possible circumstances. Good luck with your little guy, I hope he manages to keep fighting

        Reply
        • Lu
          April 21, 2015 at 1:52 pm (1 year ago)

          I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁 God bless you guys.

          Reply
        • Ingrid
          April 21, 2015 at 2:05 pm (1 year ago)

          I’m so sorry, Zoe.

          Reply
  30. johnny
    March 7, 2015 at 2:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Sooner has been on Leukran and prednisolone since August 2013
    for his small cell GI lymphoma. He recently had a checkup at Kansas State
    Vet Hospital. Since Sooner is showing increased thickness in various
    sections of his small intestine and he continues to lose weight. He weighs
    about 7 lbs. now. In August 2013 he weighed a little over 8 lbs. The
    oncologist would like to switch him to lomustine every 3 weeks and
    denamarin.We are not sure if this is a good move. Also, the other options is cyclophosphamide every 2 weeks. I would like to know what you think about this approach and if anyone else has had this medicine. Thanks, Johnny

    Reply
  31. Laura
    March 4, 2015 at 7:15 pm (1 year ago)

    Kathy, my heart goes out to you. Please read Rainbow Bridge. I find it emotional but comforting.

    Reply
    • Kathy
      March 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you, Laura!

      Reply
  32. Kathy
    March 4, 2015 at 3:51 pm (1 year ago)

    Following up on my prior posts about Maddie. He finished his first 4-week course on chemo but did not achieve remission. The oncologist gave him Lomustine (sp?) this week, but I am coming to terms with euthanizing him in the next day or two. He is putting all of the time, which I know can be a sign of pain, and is not himself. I’m absolutely heartbroken, but coming here and reading all of your stories was very helpful. It’s nice to know that there are others out there facing things like this, even though I wouldn’t wish it on anyone!

    Reply
    • jenny astbury
      March 4, 2015 at 4:41 pm (1 year ago)

      So sorry that it hasnt worked out for Maddie. Thinking of you .

      Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m so sorry, Kathy.

      Reply
      • Jeanette
        March 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm (1 year ago)

        Kathy, I’m so sorry about your Maddie. Sadly we had to help our Chai to her tenth life on Feb 21. She had small cell GI lymphoma and survived 18 months before it spread to her eyes and most likely her brain. I feel for you and I understand your heartbreak. It’s the hardest thing we ever have to do for our beloved furkids and they certainly take a piece of our heart and soul with them to the Rainbow Bridge.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          March 4, 2015 at 11:13 pm (1 year ago)

          I’m so sorry about Chai, Jeanette.

          Reply
          • Jeanette
            March 4, 2015 at 11:28 pm (1 year ago)

            Thank you Ingrid – it has been difficult to lose two kitties to cancer in less than a year.

          • Michelle
            March 5, 2015 at 12:05 am (1 year ago)

            My heart breaks for you.

    • Robin
      March 4, 2015 at 7:51 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s just so heartbreaking. 🙁

      Reply
    • Michelle
      March 5, 2015 at 12:03 am (1 year ago)

      Kathy, I’m sorry. You did your best for Maddie and gave treatment a good shot.

      Reply
    • Tamara
      March 5, 2015 at 5:42 pm (1 year ago)

      Kathy, I am so sorry to hear about Maddie. My heart breaks for you.

      Reply
  33. Lyn
    February 13, 2015 at 12:01 am (1 year ago)

    My 16 year old Yuki was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma in dec last year. She has been on Leukeran 1 tablet every 3 days and was on 1 and a half prednisolone tabs every day to begin with. However she was desperate for food and asking to be fed all the time. Her predict was cut to 1 tablet/day and she settled down well. Diahorrea cleared up and we had no vomiting. She put on a little weight. At last vet check her pred was decreased to 1 tab every other day. One week later she was vomiting and had diahorrea worse than before she was diagnosed. I took her to a local vet who gave her a cortisone injection as she’d vomited her pred vup the night before. She has lost her appetite and is getting thinner. Diahorrea is just as bad. Don’t know if she’s no longer responding to the leukeran or if the decrease in pred upset the balance we had going. Very disappointing given that she had no visible side effects since commencing her treatment.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 13, 2015 at 7:14 am (1 year ago)

      It does sounds like Yuki may have come out of remission, Lyn. I’m sorry, I know this is so hard.

      Reply
      • Lyn
        February 14, 2015 at 11:29 pm (1 year ago)

        Two days later…Yuki is eating again, not vomiting and diahorrea has subsided with intermittent formed stools. Cleaning herself and back into her usual habits. Hope the return to 1 tab/day prednisolone is the reason and that she’s with us for a bit longer.

        Reply
        • Michelle
          February 15, 2015 at 12:06 am (1 year ago)

          I’m glad to hear that. I was hoping that changing the dose would work.

          Reply
        • Ingrid
          February 15, 2015 at 7:24 am (1 year ago)

          That’s wonderful news, Lyn!

          Reply
        • Julie
          March 21, 2015 at 10:41 am (1 year ago)

          Our 16 yr old male cat is doing IV chemo along with 5mg prednisone, weekly, for 2 mos. He will continue the same for 2 mos. He is responding well. He did have a $3,000 bout of pancreatitis thrown in along the way, which was devastating. We have put him on digestive enzymes plus probiotics. We are using NWC Naturals brand, but there are several brands out there. I think that if you can return good bacteria to your cat’s gut, it helps keep him/her better able to combat the assault of chemo. Like doctors for humans, vets aren’t necessarily interested in natural remedies. I asked the oncologist about what I wanted to use, and he said that he saw no problem with it. They don’t tell you that pancreatitis is common in cats undergoing chemo. Surprise! Good luck to all of us.

          Reply
          • Ingrid
            March 21, 2015 at 11:06 am (1 year ago)

            I agree that probiotic support is a great way to support the immune system during chemo (or at any other time for that matter – I recommend a daily probiotic supplement for all cats.) My go to product is the Dr. Goodpet Feline Digestive Enzymes product. It’s a combination of enzymes and probiotics: http://amzn.to/YRaNcE

            All my best to your cat as he goes through treatment, Julie!

  34. Tamara
    February 3, 2015 at 11:38 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. I appreciate all of your input. Today he gets a lower body ultrasound and we will take it from there. Has anyone on this forum opted to not do the chemo? and If yes, what was the outcome?

    Reply
    • Glenda
      February 5, 2015 at 11:50 pm (1 year ago)

      I’d also like to know about those opting out of chemo. My 11 year old boy, Chance, was diagnosed today and I’m not sure I want to put him through chemo just to have him deal with being sick again later 🙁

      Reply
      • Robin
        February 6, 2015 at 9:52 am (1 year ago)

        My kitty has had small cell lumphoma for over a year. He got 3 chemo pills every 2 weeks(I put all 3 pills in a gel cap so it was one dose) and didn’t really have to “deal” with much at all other than living a normal, happy, thriving life. The only other meds he got was an anti nausea pill the day of and day after getting the chemo pills as a precaution just in case (he never did vomit) and twice a week he got and still gets a little bit of a laxative mixed into pure chicken baby food. His Oncologist stopped his chemo at the end of Dec and is hoping he’ll stay in remission. If not, he’ll get back on the chemo again and there’s a 95% chance he’ll go back in remission. Considering he’s been a happy cat that you couldn’t tell from one not fighting cancer, it’s been well worth it. Early on, it took about 4-6 weeks to get the right dose, etc, so sometimes it takes a little adjusting by the vet to get the right response.

        Reply
      • Kaite
        February 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm (1 year ago)

        I would not be afraid of chemo at all. I put my 17 year old cat on chemo about 4 months ago, and he is now thriving. He looks better and is chubbier now than he was 1.5 years ago, which was well before his lymphoma diagnosis. He became slowly and progressively skinnier between the ages of 15 and 17 years, and now he is a lovely plump cat again. He looks like he is 10 years old, and he has had no side effects from chemo. In fact, his vomiting and diarrhoea cleared up immediately. Not putting a cat on chemo will mean that kitty will deteriorate much sooner, whereas a cat has a chance to live a long time, with good quality of life, if he/she has chemo. I never expected to see my boy look so good again, and that’s at the age of 17.5 years. I think the only exception would be if the cat is suffering and has other health issues that impact.

        Reply
        • Robin
          February 8, 2015 at 8:08 pm (1 year ago)

          Well said, Kaite!

          Reply
    • Luna
      March 23, 2015 at 2:34 pm (1 year ago)

      Our cat had large cell lymphoma and we didn’t put him through chemo.
      His quality of life had decreased and he wasn’t enjouying life. His spleen and liver were enlarged.
      We let him go before he got too miserable. It was the hardest choice of our lives.

      Reply
      • Ingrid
        March 23, 2015 at 3:15 pm (1 year ago)

        I’m so sorry, Luna.

        Reply
        • Kaite
          March 24, 2015 at 5:05 am (1 year ago)

          I would definitely do the same if/when my boy is not experiencing good quality of life. It is the kindest thing. I am sorry for your loss.

          Reply
  35. Jenny
    February 3, 2015 at 9:09 am (1 year ago)

    My little cat Gridlock is still doing well since being diagnosed with large cell lymphoma in June 2013. Like Tamara, I was turned off by the idea of chemo but my vet explained that animals are given much lesser doses than humans – since it would be unethical to cause them discomfort. Gridlock started off with two weekly and then monthly chemo – we dropped one drug which caused her white blood cell count to drop – and she simply had vincristine and a steroid. We are now down to two monthly chemos with monthly steroid injections and the likelihood that we will stop chemo altogether at the two year mark.

    I would say to Tamara go with it – If it isn’t going to help this will rapidly become apparent.

    Reply
  36. Tamara
    February 2, 2015 at 8:43 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi everyone,
    My sympathies to all of you who have or are dealing with your cat and cancer. Our sweet 7 year old male Lynx Siamese was diagnosed with hemangioma sarcoma about 3 weeks ago. Our vet did an excellent job of removing the tumor. She also did radiology photos of his upper body and fortunately all is clear. Today we saw the Oncologist for the first time . We bring him back to the Oncologist tomorrow for a ultrasound of his lower body. We are hoping for the best but are very turned off to the idea of Chemo. For those of you that have or are experiencing your cat going through Chemo, what are your thoughts? Has anyone else had a cat with this type of cancer? If your cat has or is undergoing cancer, Do you feel chemo has helped or hurt your cat more? We are very nervous and any help or advice is appreciated.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 3, 2015 at 6:57 am (1 year ago)

      I think you’ll find lots of support here, Tamara. My own cat, who had intestinal lymphoma, went through chemo and lived for seven months with very good quality of life after diagnosis. This was fifteen years ago, and chemotherapy drugs have come even further since then. All my best to you and your kitty.

      Reply
    • Robin
      February 3, 2015 at 7:14 am (1 year ago)

      My cat had lymphoma…a different type of cancer…and did very well with chemo. After taking some time to get the dose/ frequency right, he had a complete turnaround and has been in complete remission for about a year. He looks and acts like a normal, thriving kitty. Most animals do not have the side effects you think of when you hear the word chemo. It’s not the same as what you hear about the side effects people usually get from chemo. It’s a lot easier.

      Reply
    • Mia
      January 27, 2016 at 7:00 am (3 months ago)

      Hi Tamara,
      I posted earlier somewhere else in this thread. My boy of 12 and a half yrs has also recentky been diagnosed with Hermangiosarcoma which developed from injection sites. I too have been questioning whether to put him on chemo. Because he has 2 sites and because of where they are situated (In 25 years, the specialist said he’s only ever seen 1 other case and that was in a dog!) our vet advised that surgery would most likely not benefit him, so we have been prescribed a new very low dosage of anti-cancer drug. As my boy is now, he is pretty much normal in himself except the one site on his neck has swelled substantially. As with hermangiosarcoma, it’s spread by blood vessels, it’s mainly fluid and constantly weeps as he keeps scratching & knocking a tiny scab off! I’m thinking we’re just going to go ahead and try the drugs from today to see if it shrinks it. What sort of hermangiosarcoma is it that your boy has and what route have you decided to take? I’ve found it very challenging to find any information on my boy’s predicament. It’s not spleen, skin or in his organs but rather quite deep in the muscle….He does like to make an impact with his individuality that he does! The little monkey. ha

      Reply
  37. Laura
    January 28, 2015 at 4:21 pm (1 year ago)

    Kathy,
    I certainly don’t know all the answers, but our vet prescribed Prednisone and Cerenia for our Ling Ling. A specific brand of probiotics seemed to assist with her GI tract, and we administered probiotics daily. We tried the Famotidine but it did not prove useful in her case. All cats are different. Our goal was to make her last four months the best we could. We gave her anything and everything we remotely thought she wanted to eat. There was a period when she was eat only raw hamburger meat. Other days, she loved baby food meat, specifically chicken. Toward the end, we gave her Gatorade to made sure she was hydrated. I know it is very early to even consider such, but I want to share. At the very end, we asked our vet to come to our home which reduced stress for her and us. It was the most humane gift we could give her.

    Reply
  38. Kathy
    January 28, 2015 at 3:45 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you for your replies. This is heartbreaking for me and I’m doing the best I can to make him comfortable and happy. He started chemo on Monday and seemed to be eating a little better, but then today he’s very tired and hasn’t eaten anything except a piece of lunch meat. He is also on Sucralfate to coat his stomach ulcers before food/meds, Prednisolone, Famotidine (sp?). This morning he vomited a small amount of liquid so I gave him Cerenia for the nausea. When he didn’t improve over the course of the day, I checked his temperature rectally to see if it was high due to an infection. It came in at 99.0, so I’ll check it again this evening. He’s definitely not himself and has spent the entire day sleeping on a small shelf in our bedroom.

    Reply
    • Robin
      January 30, 2015 at 10:09 am (1 year ago)

      What type of “lunch meat” did you give him? Most of the processed meats from the deli counter have onion and/or garlic added for flavoring, Cats cannot have onion or garlic. It’s very bad for them.

      Reply
  39. Laura
    January 26, 2015 at 6:01 pm (1 year ago)

    Kathy,
    I am so sorry. I will pray that Roach bounces back and does great. We lost our Ling Ling in July, and we still cry. I believe she was misdiagnosed for a long time, and we took her to numerous vets having every test administered that the vet thought was relevant. Cats have such a presence without trying, and our hearts certainly get “wrapped around.”

    Reply
  40. Kathy
    January 25, 2015 at 8:40 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you all for pouring your hearts out on here. We got a diagnosis of large cell lymphoma in our 15 yo male cat, Maddie, just yesterday. We set up a consultation with a veterinary oncologist for tomorrow and are hopeful he is a candidate for chemo, but we’ll see. I adopted him as an 8-week old kitten in college and I am absolutely devastated. I am sorry for all of your losses and struggles.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 26, 2015 at 7:23 am (1 year ago)

      I’m sorry about Maddie, Kathy. I know it’s devastating to receive a cancer diagnosis. Please keep us posted on how she’s doing.

      Reply
    • Chari
      January 26, 2015 at 5:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Kathy,
      Please keep us updated as to what they are recommending and what is happening. I also have the same situation but Roach is 14 yrs old. I never thought this would ever happen, and I thought I did everything to make the environment and his food high quality. I am also devastated and everyday I cry at some point. I am going to the doctor today to get the Vitamin B injectable the Vet recommended me to give him once a week. When he was first diagnosed on Dec 8/14 I chose not to administer the injection myself and would take him to the doctor every 2 weeks. But now that his condition is worsening, I am willing to do it.

      Reply
  41. Michelle
    January 23, 2015 at 6:00 pm (1 year ago)

    Chari, I believe what I know will help, though Kallie’s situation isn’t exactly the same. Prednisolone reduces the inflammation in the intestines and stomach. Traditionally, it’s used with chemo for maximum effect. Kallie’s white blood cells were off after a month of Luekeran, every other day 2 mg, so the vet changed the regimen to 2 mg every third day. That did the trick. Based on that, I am not sure why the vet is completely stopping the chemo. However, I wonder if the vet wants to detox the cat then check his blood in 2 weeks to ensure the white blood cells are normal. I recommend you talk to the vet .

    Reply
  42. Chari
    January 23, 2015 at 5:34 pm (1 year ago)

    I am not sure what to do. My spouse took Roach in for this first blood test since starting Leukeran 2 mg 3X per week and found his white blood cell count was low. I didn’t speak with the vet but the vet told my spouse to take him off Leukeran for 2 weeks then bring him back. He is taking 10 mg of Prednisolone every day and Remeron x2 a week, and Pepcid AC every day. So what now? I know the Prednisolone does not destroy cancer cells so I don’t know why the doctor wants me to bring him back in 2 weeks. Has anyone had this experience?

    Reply
  43. Laura
    January 22, 2015 at 10:49 am (1 year ago)

    Thank you. Agree. Not the clay litter I worry about but the silica (glass) from the clumper.

    Reply
  44. Laura Peck
    January 21, 2015 at 11:18 pm (1 year ago)

    I have always been concerned about the chemicals. I read the book, Cat Daddy, and he stated that clumping litter could cause cancer because it contained silica. This resurrected my concerns. I mix the clumping litter with regular litter, but the dust remains on the cat’s fur. When they bathe, they ingest the dust/chemicals. It is great for clean-up and odor control, but if there is documented evidence that it can or does cause cancer, I will make whatever changes are necessary.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 22, 2015 at 7:28 am (1 year ago)

      I don’t think there’s any documented evidence that definitively ties clay litter to cancer, but there are certainly concerns about the effect it can have on health. Here’s some more information on how you can limit exposure to toxins for your cats: http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/05/detox-your-cat/

      Reply
  45. Laura Peck
    January 21, 2015 at 10:47 pm (1 year ago)

    I would like to know if the editor has a list of “best” feline vets, particularly surgeons, in the US. We have had 2 cats who subsequently died from stomach cancer, and I want to be prepared to travel if/when it ever happens again. I would also like to know the link, if any, between clumping litter and cancer in cats.

    Reply
    • Chari
      January 21, 2015 at 11:06 pm (1 year ago)

      It’s funny you say that because when my cat was diagnosed with stomach lymphoma on Dec 8/14 I tried to think about what in my environment could have caused it. The only thing I could think of was either his food, or his clumping litter that I have always used. My spouse wrote to ‘arm and hammer’ as this is the brand of litter we use. We did receive a fast response saying they do many toxicology tests before anything goes to market. I left it at that. My cat who has cancer just turned 14 yrs old, but the thing is I have a 20 yr old cat who has never had cancer, and I’ve had the 20 yr old since he was 1 yrs. The only difference between the 2 cats is that the one who has cancer has only ever preferred to eat dry food, while my 20 yr old mostly likes wet. Could it be the dry food? I don’t know that we’ll ever know….

      Reply
      • Robin
        January 22, 2015 at 5:39 am (1 year ago)

        I inherited 2 cats 3 1/2 yrs ago when they were almost 11 yrs old and one of them was diagnosed with small cell last year. The house they had been at for their first 11 yrs had chain smokers in it. I could rarely visit because of the smoke/smell. Not only did these cats get a good dose of second hand smoke, when they cleaned their fur, they were also swallowing the carcinogens. They tested negative for feline Leukemia which can be a cause of lymphoma so his vet says the exposure to the smokey environment he was in caused it. So far, his sister is fine.

        Reply
        • Ingrid
          January 22, 2015 at 7:23 am (1 year ago)

          When I worked in veterinary clinics, clients who were smokers would often quit smoking after the vet explained the health risks of second hand smoke for their cats. I always found it interesting that they wouldn’t quit for their human family members, but when it came to putting their pets at risk, they did!

          Reply
      • Ingrid
        January 22, 2015 at 7:26 am (1 year ago)

        There are so many things that can cause cancer, it’s really impossible to pin it down to any one thing. The best we can all do is to eliminate as many things as we can that we have control over, but then there’s still the issue of genetic make up as well as things in the environment that we can’t control.

        Reply
    • Ingrid
      January 22, 2015 at 7:30 am (1 year ago)

      Much as I would love to have a database like that, I think it would be impossible to compile that information, Laura. Your best bet for finding a good feline vet is the American Association of Feline Practitioners’ website. For specialists such as oncologists, clinics affiliated with veterinary schools will usually be up to date on the latest information.

      Reply

Leave a comment

First time visitors: please read our Comment Guidelines.