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Cat: Mischief [Mitch]
male, American Shorthair [rescue stray]

Type of Lymphoma:
Tumor situated on Spinal Cord

FeLV Status:

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Mischief's Case Study  

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Story: In December of 2007 we noticed that Mitch seemed very sensitive to cold. He was an indoor cat but we would find him under the blankets or curled up on the heat vent. Normally a graceful cat, Mitch started missing landings and tripping up the stairs. Our local vet suggested that Mitch might be suffering from arthritis but x-rays of the spine & joints proved unremarkable. His condition worsened over the next 2 weeks as he began to lose function in his hind quarters. Ultrasound showed no tumors in major organs but a CAT scan revealed a single tumor situated on the spinal cord. Location of the tumor made biopsy risky and removal impossible.

A precise diagnosis could not be made without a biopsy so we decided to treat for the most common form of cancer to see if he responded. Mitch was prescribed oral prednisone and chemotherapy in the form of the CHOP protocol. He responded very well and regained 95 % of his original function. Mitch tolerated chemo extremely well. He experienced no nausea or appetite loss for the first round. The second round of chemo started in July of 2008. In the Fall we noticed that his appetite was affected. An appetite stimulant was prescribed and his weight stabilized. In early December of 2008 we noticed that he seemed more fatigued after treatments and he did experience some minor nausea.

A cardiac consult was scheduled for December 29th. He was being treated with beta-blockers for a pre-existing heart condition. Mitch received his final chemotherapy treatment on Dec 19, 2008. Mitch reacted badly to his last treatment. He has extreme nausea and lethargy. The following day he was treated at the local vet with subcutaneous fluids and an injection of anti-nausea medicine. According to the local vet his heart and lungs were functioning within his normal range. Mitch's condition did not seem to improve or deteriorate that evening but he was alert and did not seem to be in distress.

He slept on the bed with my husband that night (Carl was Mitch's favorite human) I slept in the spare room to give Mitch my side of the bed. My husband found Mitch unresponsive at 4 AM. Mitchie died in my arms as we raced to the emergency veterinary hopital. Advances in veterinary oncology gave us one last golden year with this extraordinary feline. Yes, it was absolutely worth it.

Outcome: Mitch died of respiratory failure on Dec 21, 2008. Probably a result of a cardiac incident. Human parents are heartbroken.

- By Diana Mischief's Mom -
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