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Cat: Orion

Type of Lymphoma:
Intestinal lymphosarcoma - high grade/large cell/lymphoblastic

FeLV Status:

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Orion's Case Study  

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Story: Orion is a 10 year-old, DMH male who was diagnosed with high grade intestinal lymphosarcoma in July 2005. For several months leading up to this, Orion had been appearing to lose weight and became less interested in food; since these changes were so subtle to begin with, I attributed it to his being finicky with the food and being more active. Since he had always been a large cat (12.0 to 13.0 lbs.), I figured the weight loss wasn't such a bad thing until he started having loose stools/diarrhea in early June 2005. I brought him to his regular vet and found that his weight was down to 10.5 lbs. Blood tests were run and found to be normal. I was told to return in one month if he didn't improve.

I waited about one week and found no improvement and scheduled another appointment, this time with my vet's partner. This vet had told me that Orion could either have heart disease or cancer and immediately set out to run all the necessary tests. A chest xray showed that his heart was normal. Needle biopsy results on 6/30 diagnosed high grade intestinal lymphoma. Ultrasound results on 7/1 definitely diagnosed a large (4 cm) tumor in the area adjoing the large and small intestine (ileocecal); there was also some local mesenteric lymph node involvement but no evidence of involvement in other organs. The cancer was estimated to be stage II. Orion was referred to a local vet specialist/oncologist and started on the Wisconsin-Madison chemotherapy protocol on July 5, 2005 with daily prednisone (10 mg).

Outcome: Updated January 2007 - Orion has now been in remission for 18 months and is better than ever. He had his follow-up ultrasound this month in which there was no evidence of tumor, thickened intestine or enlarged lymph nodes. His weight is now getting closer to his typical 12 lbs. He is back to his normal kitty-self and one would never know how sick he was. He has been on a maintenance dose of 2mg Leukeran every other day and continues on a daily capsule of Acetylator mixed in his food. He goes into the vet oncologist every two months for a check up. His regular vet is amazed at well Orion has done.

Outcome: Updated as of March 2006 - Orion has completed 6 monthly maintenance chemo treatments which alternated vincristine and cytoxan. Now that he is approaching almost 8 months in remission, his vet specialist wants to stop the prednisone and start him on Leukeran 2mg EOD as his new maintenance plan. Orion continues to eat well and behave like his normal self. He is putting weight back on and has gone from a low of 9.5 to ll lbs so far. Since his GI system has been "ravaged" by this disease and the chemo, I have started Orion on a product called Acetylator which combines digestive enzymes, acidophilus and glucosamine; the product claims to support good GI health.

Outcome: Orion was found to be in complete remission 2-3 weeks following the start of chemotherapy. He tolerated the chemo very well and proceeded through the 9 weeks of induction with last dose on September 20, 2005. He went onto a 3-4 week maintenance protocol where he currently is now. He just completed his fifth maintenance chemo and has been on 5 mg prednisone EOD since early November. Orion is now almost into six months of complete/partial remission and continues to act, play and eat like normal kitty!

- By Karen Orion's Mom -
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 Chemo Protocol Used 

The Wisconsin-Madison Protocol was being used, you can find more about this combination of chemo drugs in the document below listed in alphabetical order [under Chemo Drugs] Chemo & Protocols [pdf].

 Holistic Remedies Used 

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