Diagnosing the Cause is Important & usually simple

Question:

My baby Roo is a little tabby cat we found abandoned in a park. She had little lumps just under her chin on her neck, approximately where humans would have lymph nodes. Her Feline AIDS test came back negative. When the lumps hadn’t gone away another vet prescribed antibiotics and said wait and see. The antibiotics reduced the size of the lumps, but they are still there. Other that this, she appears to be in good health. She is currently about 6 months old. This kitty is the sweetest, most loving animal I’ve ever owned. I would be devastated if anything happened to her.

 

Dr. Nichol:

There’s an important reason for those swellings on Roo’s neck. It’s time to stop guessing. Ask your veterinarian to check her other lymph nodes too. Swollen nodes in just one part of the body suggests local infection or inflammation. If all of them are enlarged she may have cancer.

 

The feline AIDS test was important. Have her tested for feline leukemia too and ask for a fine needle aspirate of one of the swellings. It’s quick procedure and can be done while you wait. A syringe is used to take a tiny scrap of tissue from a mass. A slide is made and sent to a pathologist for a microscopic diagnosis. If it’s an infection or inflammatory disease it ought to be manageable. Cancer, although unlikely in a youngster, may also be treatable. This could be serious; don’t wait. Little Roo sounds like a keeper.