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Cat: Yuki
male, DSH

Type of Lymphoma:
Intestinal with one lymph node involvement

FeLV Status:

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Yuki's Case Study  

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Story: My baby Yuki started throwing up in December 2009. Having gotten a real Christmas tree that year and being unable to stop him from drinking the water, I chalked the emesis up to the tree water. The vomiting was still going on when I took him and his brother for their yearly in April 2010 where he weighed in at 11lbs. The vet thought is was a possible ulcer and prescribed famotidine and a stomach coating med. I called a month later when the med was getting low, telling him that he was still vomiting but it had decreased. He said that the med should have stopped it completely within the first 2 weeks. The only thing he could think of was to pace Yuki because maybe he was eating too fast. Throughout all this, Yuki's appetite was still voracious.

One day I noticed that he was unable to chew his dry food or treats and realized that he had lost a lot of weight. I called the vet and took him in that day. He weighed 10 lbs. losing a full pound in a month! We did a CBC and I insisted on an abdominal X-ray. The bloodwork was sent out to a pathologist which showed that his WBC wasn't normal. The Xray showed a mass near his stomach that was pushing on it. The vet announced with the lab work, symptoms and the Xray that his diagnosis was likely lymphoma. We scheduled an US/aspiration which confirmed that it was a cancerous mass within the stomach walls where the stomach connects to the intestines (inoperable) and that one lymph node was 3x larger. I was devastated having just been through chemo treatment with my brothers dog who had lymphoma.

After consulting with colleagues at Washington State University, we started the Wiconsin regimen May 27, 2010 with daily prednisolone and cerenia as needed. His appetite has decreased dramatically dropping his weight from 10 to 8lbs. He has little interest in playing or food and is now not swallowing his saliva. The vet says its psychological because of the past vomiting. He does tolerate gavage feedings and always perks up after. His CBCs have been normal so far! Hoping for the best!!

Outcome: Updated July 23, 2010 - Yuki's ultrasound showed that his stomach tumor had grown, the lymph node was not reduced and that the cancer had spread to his liver and gallbladder. After battling with cancer and chemo treatments for 3 months, it was time to let him go. He purred all the way to the end, finally resting his head on mommy's shoulder. He lived a good life full of love, snuggles and playing. I am devastated that this was the ultimate outcome but sometimes we can't win. I love you Yuki very much and always will, you were my baby. Brother Pouncer loves and misses you also!

Outcome: Updated July 21, 2010 - Yuki had a nasogastric feeding tube placed today. He looks pathetic with it and a cone but I know he needs it. I've had to make his food as the tube is too small to fit A/D in. So far I've given him 70ml of food which he's kept down. Our goal is for him to be taking minimum 124ml/day. Friday is his US which I'm nervous about. Hoping it will be promising!

Outcome: July 15-Yuki had been taking small amounts of food from a spoon but is now walking away when it is offered. I've tried sardines, tuna, salmon, Friskies and A/D, but nothing is peeking his interest. I've read that a lot of people have tried Fancy Feast so that is my next option. He is continuing to get and tolerating gavage feedings at the vet. He had a CBC last week that showed that his lymphocytes were elevated and that he had a "left shift" which indicates infection. He was not symptomatic but the vet gave him high dose antibiotics to be sure. Talking with the pathologist who says that Yuki is an interesting and confusing case, she suggested an US. So hopefully next week he'll get that and I'll have good news. Unless the news is extremely horrible, I do plan on having a feeding tube placed to help with feedings and meds. Nothing feels worse than having your cat run away from you scared that you're going to give him meds. As a Neonatal Intensive Care RN, I feel more than comfortable feeding him through the tube!

- By Jillian Yuki's Mom -

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