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"Poppy" - Cat with Adenocarcinoma

phoyto of Poppy



Cats needing a home seem to know the correct address to go to! So it was no surprise to me to learn that Mrs Sulley had adopted yet another "lost soul" previously living at the vicarage.

For the past 3 years "Poppy" has lived the "good life" enjoying all the things from which cats take great pleasure. Recently, however, her appetite had become reduced and it was apparent that she had lost some weight.

Initial blood tests failed to demonstrate an obvious cause. A marginally low albumen level was the only clue whilst all other biochemical parameters were normal. In itself this result is not diagnostic but can suggest that proteins are being lost from the gastrointestinal tract.

Further investigation 2 weeks later finally demonstrated a small mass or lump palpable in the abdominal cavity. Needle biopsies of this lump finally revealed the presence of a specific type of bowel cancer known as adenocarcinoma.

In cats, this cancer is poorly responsive to chemotherapy and radical surgery. Knowing what type of cancer we are dealing with allows us to decide the treatment option which is most likely to benefit the patient. More aggressive treatment is only indicated where there is a realistic chance of making the patient feel better.

In this instance the treatment option is straightforward. Supportive treatment with steroids and in some cases antibiotics can bring about a marked improvement for several months and is the result we are hoping for. Quality not quantity becomes the priority. If there is one thing that can be assured is the standard of living for cats and "Poppy" in particular in the Sulley household for the next few months.

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

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