Tigger and "Is it IBD or lymphoma?" Part 3: Treatment and Outcome
Given the diagnosis of lymphoma, Tigger was started on an aggressive dose of the steroid prednisolone. There are lots of chemotherapy protocols out there but lymphoma is an interesting cancer in that, in the low grade form, it is highly responsive to immunosuppressive therapy. At high doses, steroids can suppress the immune system. In addition to prednisolone, the chemotherapy agent chlorambucil was considered but given that Tigger is very good at spitting out pills (and this is one drug we do not want anyone exposed to in the environment), we chose not to start her on this drug.
Follow-up ultrasound several weeks after starting the prednisolone showed that her intestines were no longer thickened.
Tigger comes into the clinic more often for routine weight checks and to monitor her tolerance to steroids. So far she is doing very well and there have been no further incidences of vomiting blood. We continue to take every day as it comes. Of final note, although this case was academically interesting as it took several steps to finally yield a diagnosis of lymphoma, the decision to go into surgery with my own cat was no less frightening for me and it was not a decision that was undertaken lightly. Ultimately, I am glad that was the decision as I know how aggressive to be with my treatment plan.