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ydono July 11th, 2012 08:25 PM

Cancer or Not? Leukeran or not?
Hi. We previously posted about our Cat (Dana - 12 yrs old) who had was diagnoses with kidney issues. The vet has since decided that perhaps her real problem is cancer (since the cre and bun levels were not all that high). The vet is also thinking, though, that the bloodwork numbers that indicate cancer are not that high either.

Our cat's symptoms is weight loss (5 lbs in 2 years). She is quite thin right now and has muscle loss and weak hind legs. She doesn't eat too much unless we do "room service" - then she eats it all up really fast. ("Room Service" is when we bring it to her and she sits up and gobbles it.) She was also getting lethargic, sleeping in different places than usual, anti-social.

Vet has gone with a diagnosis of slow growing "gut disease" (lymphoma) and has prescribed 2 mg of Leukeran 2x a week and 1 1/2 pred daily. She is now really, really lethargic and stares off. Sometimes she gets bursts of energy. She will still eat a good amount - sometimes on her own - sometimes via "room service". We cut her back to 1 pred daily - but she is still out of it.

We're not liking the side effects of the drugs - especially when we're not really sure it is cancer. Has anyone had a similar situation where the numbers aren't really high enough to indicate cancer or kidney disease - yet their cat is having these symptoms?

Also, has anyone else used Leukeran and then had it be successful - with your cat now in remission? Was your cat lethargic the whole time? Our vet indicated that she would be on the drugs the rest of her life and that there are NO side affects. We can't be the first to see this in our cat....

Any thoughts or feedback would be most appreciated.

hazelrunpack July 11th, 2012 11:07 PM

I've got no experience with cancer in cats, but have you considered seeing a specialist? I'd be uncomfortable treating for cancer when there really hasn't been a diagnosis.

I hope you get some answers soon, ydono. Best wishes for you and Dana! :goodvibes:

growler~GateKeeper July 12th, 2012 12:31 AM

I'd be asking for some diagnostic tests ie ultrasound to check to see if there is actually a mass, before treating for "possible cancer" :2cents:

Do you have a copy of the blood test results?
What are the blood work numbers with the reference ranges for the Creatinine, BUN, phosphorus, amylase, lipase, ALT, Bilirubin and anything that is out of range either high or low?

ydono July 12th, 2012 04:47 PM

I can certainly understand what your saying. We went through this same thing a year ago with our other cat. We ended up putting him through ultrasound (which wasn't pleasant for him) and that didn't tell the story. So then they did the scoping and biopsy. That obviously wasn't pleasant. They STILL weren't sure. Unfortunately he died within the month and had spent his last days going through unconfortable procedures and when he died - still not sure why.

So we swore we would never do that again. Our vet said the meds would not have any side affects but we're not finding that to be quite true.

Anyway, I was just wondring if anybody else had a similar situation where the numbers are not fully indicative of cancer, thyroid or kidney and found out it was something else......

We're getting a second opinion from a vet from a different state that we use to see who saved Dana once before when other vets were stumped......

Mom2Kitty July 13th, 2012 12:02 AM

I just finished up chemo with my cat Kitty. She had mast cell cancer in her intestines and spleen. Kitty got 2 kinds of chemo: an IV chemo called Vinblastine and a pill form called CCNU. Kitty had very few side effects. No side effects with the pill form at all. She would get her chemo every other Wednesday and 4-5 days after the first vinblastine she acted like she felt bad. She vomited once, she didn't have much of an appetite, and she just wanted to sit in her chair all day. This only lasted about a day and a half. I took her to the vet and her blood test showed that her blood count was low. She took some antibiotics and was fine. After that, she stayed on antibiotics throughout chemo and the vinblastine was weakened a little and we had no more problems.

Kitty also has had probably 4-5 ultrasounds since we started down this road. She is so wiggly that they have to mildly sedate her to do it (she also has to have mild sedation to get the IV chemo). She has not acted like it bothered her.

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