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Case Studies Home > GI Lymphoma > Bella
Sex / Breed: DSH - female
Type Of Cancer: Intestinal
Other Health Problems: Possible IBD

Bella's Story
by Pamela

Bella is a 10 1/2 yr. indoor only, cat. I rescued her as a 3wk old and had to bottle feed her for weeks and literally became her mommy in every sense of the word. She is my first cat ever.
Early Sept. She stated having explosive diarrhea in her litter box, off and on for 2 days. Took her to the vet and they did all the normal blood work up and exam. Everything looked normal. Was told to watch her. She had normal stool for a few more days, then the diarrhea. Still maintained a healthy, normal appetite. When the diarrhea came back the vet gave me Metronitadozle??? Which I tried pill pockets and only worked for 2 days and then refused to take it. She would start to throw up on a semi-regular basis. Some food, then some with white, clear foam. This was off /on. Again, she still had a normal appetite. She started this ordeal weighing 10.6. on Sept. 15th.

Then almost a couple of weeks after her first bouts of diarrhea, it started to turn bloody/mucas. This was a Friday afternoon, so the vet was closing. They said still not to worry, that this is classic feline colitis/ibd. To keep trying to get the Metronitadzol in her. The next day the enitre litter box was covered in blood (this was a sat.) I took her in asap dropped her off and they did a x-ray w/barrium. Normal. Since she is so hard to pill, they had the metronitedazol transformed into an ear gel. This helped for 2 days, then back to passing nothing but blood clots all over the house. However, her kidney function remained normal. Her appetite did start to go away. I had to hospitalize her for four days while they observed her. She ate great at the vet, however, still had the bloody, mucas diarrhea. They started pilling her again with metronitadzol for 10 days. I also started on these holistic drops from pet well being.com for diarrhea and a daily probiotic.

Once back home, her diarrhea got thicker and w/no blood. The ran another blood test, which was normal, except for the EOS levels, showing IBD, parasitic, allergy category. So they had me bring her back for a DEPO/steriod shot, 5-days of a powerful de-wormer & anti-botic shot. She immediately turned a corner and got better. Had normal stool and no vomiting for almost a month, then Thanksgiving weekend, her diarrhea started again and some vomit. The Monday after, she received her second Depo shot. Again, immediately got better, diarrhea cleared up for almost 2 weeks. Again, she has had a normal appetite through out.

Then 2nd week of Dec, I woke up to vomit everywhere and lots of blood in litter box. She was frozen, staring into space, wouldn't even touch a treat. Went to vet asap, they did blood work and gave her fluids, also sent me home with an appetite stimulate for every 3 days. The vet called next day and said her pancreas ezymes were really high and she was concerned. To only give her a bland diet and not treats for 3 days. Longer story fast forward, she got better for a few days, but the next week, shut down again. No appetite, passing nothing but blood in/out of litterbox. Due to constant rotating vets (I only liked one, but she worked 2 days a week) I changed her vet asap, got her records, and the new vet immediately gave her an ultra sound, this was the start of the third week of Dec. The U/S showed all organs normal, but severe thickening of intestinal loops of small intestine. She was upfront and said it is more likely lymphoma than IBD. Due to her not eating again, she hospitalized her and gave her another Depo on my request. I knew she would start eating again. She said our options are a new blood test, which is not 100per. definitive, but could show cancer levels if present or exploratory surgery. Since we were so devastated by all this, we opted first for the blood test. It was going into a weekend, so it took 3 days to come back. She called us on 12-20 in the evening an said her numbers where so high and off the chart for cancer. She immediately got us referred to our teaching hospital here in Knoxville, TN. UT Vet medical center. Her care was transferred on 12-22 to the oncology dept. That day they gave her another U/S, which were the same results, just clearer (better machine), they also looked in her chest, lungs. Again, all organs healthy, no tumors, but severe thickening to intestine wall, I had to leave her. We left her because they were going to do a needle biopsy. They called me and said due to the depo shot being given to her the week before any biopsy would prove inconclusive. It would take up to 4-6 weeks to get out of her system. Since the thickening of her intestine wall was so severe, they opted to start her on the chemo pill cholorabumcil. They said they were 90 per. sure and didn't think she should wait weeks for the depo to clear her system.

As of today 1/2/2012, she is very weak. She has been on the chemo pill since 12/22/11. She had follow up this past Thurs. 12/29/11. Due to under-staffing @ the hosp. I had to drop her off for just blood work/count an exam for 10 hours. Despite getting a great blood work up/count and exam, (they said she had tons of energy), I brought her home in the pm and every since she has been weak and her appetite has diminished slowly every day. I called the hospital on Sat. spoke to the student on her case. She said to give her the appetite stim. pill along with her chemo on Sun. 1/1/12. She did eat some human tuna and after being pilled she ate some canned food and more human tuna. All long she has drank a lot of water and passed normal urine. My friend, who is a vet tech, helped me pill her yesterday. Also, read her blood count and thought it looked great. She thinks the chemo side effects are kicking in and it does say she can get appetite loss. Around 11pm last night 1/1 she threw up for the first time in 2 weeks and had really bad liquid diarrhea, no blood. She woke me up this morning 1/2 @ 6am to eating some canned food, then meowing for more food @ 10am. Which she ate pretty good amount. She is still having small amounts of diarrhea. Still seems weak, but alert. She keeps making this quiet, coughing noise and looks like she is having a hard time swallowing. Although, when she drinks water it seems to clear up. Her next appt. is this Thurs. 1/5/12. I'm asking them to start daily prednisone, another b12 shot, and some raglan for nausea. I may get her in sooner if she her appetite goes away completely. My friend gave me a syringe and I have a can of hills a/d , if i need to start assist feeding her. I'm really scared. I feel the need to watch her every minute. The hosp is open 24/7 with an oncologist on at night. So I know I can take her there if I feel it gets too dire. So hoping with the appetite stim she took yesterday, she'll continue eating til Thurs. They didn't want to start her on daily pred. last week, due to the depo shot still in the system, however, it's effects have clearly worn off.

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Added 03/02/2012
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