Paraneoplastic syndrome in cats, what does it mean? Let’s find out, together, what happens to the cat affected by a syndrome and how to intervene in this regard.
Our cat does not always enjoy good health. There are some diseases that can put a strain on the physical and mental resistance of the animal and the worst cases, unfortunately, are tumors. Furthermore, in the feline suffering from a tumor, various symptoms related to the pathology that struck him may appear, which are a consequence of his serious condition. Let’s talk today about the paraneoplastic syndrome in the cat.
Paraneoplastic syndrome in cats: what is it
This is a difficult condition in which cats and even dogs with a tumor can find themselves, usually mistaken for a problem not related to the tumor itself. Let’s try to understand what is indicated with paraneoplastic syndrome in a furry friend.
There is not only one but more paraneoplastic syndromes that can occur in the feline and this does not necessarily happen at the same time and in the same way.
In reality, the paraneoplastic syndrome in the cat is the set of disorders or problems that are a consequence of the presence of a tumor but, at the same time, are not associated with its size and localization in the animal.
It is very important to know that a paraneoplastic syndrome can occur in the hairy before, during or after the tumor and they all present in different forms and with very serious symptoms. Its presence in the cat can help to verify the evolution of the tumor and to understand what may be the most suitable treatment.
The feline and the most common syndromes
There are some very common paraneoplastic syndromes in the feline (and also in the dog). Let’s see together what they are and what is the symptomatology that distinguishes them.
Different paraneoplastic syndromes can occur in the cat, which have various and serious causes and symptoms . Let’s read better what they are:
- Anorexia in cats (Cachexia) : mainly caused by tumor metastasis, by complications as a consequence of the therapy or by alterations of the metabolism in the animal. Typical symptoms of this condition are poor appetite, severe weight loss, muscle reduction, peripheral edema, hepatosplenomegaly, and lymphadenomegaly.
- Anemia in cats : which also implies aplasia, haemorrhage, reduction of red blood cells, iron and vitamin deficiency. Its symptoms and signs are general weakening of the furry, lethargy, paleness of the mucous membranes, rapid heartbeat in the cat .
- Fever : it is associated with liver tumors, leukemia, lymphoma or multiple myeloma.
- Endocrine paraneoplastic syndromes : they involve an excessive production of antidiuretic hormone, with consequent symptoms such as vomiting, epileptic seizures and even coma; Ectopic Cushing’s syndrome and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, with pancreatic cancer.
- Dermatological paraneoplastic syndromes : they are quite rare and include alopecia, skin erythema, hyperkeratosis, exfoliative dermatitis, nodular dermatofibrosis and skin necrosis.
- Neurological paraneoplastic syndromes : which are caused by immunological phenomena.
- Paraneoplastic myositis: this is also very rare and can occur in the presence of leukemia and tonsillar carcinoma.
Other paraneoplastic syndromes of the cat
There are other serious paraneoplastic syndromes that can affect the feline, such as:
- Gastrointestinal ulcers : which are formed following the release of histamine by tumors such as gastrinoma and mast cell tumor.
- Myasthenia gravis: as a result of the formation of antibodies from the tumor. This presents some symptoms such as muscle weakness, megaesophagus in cats , dysphagia.
- Erythrocytosis : occurs due to an increase in red blood cells, in the presence of kidney, liver or ovarian tumors, lymphoma, intestinal leiomyosarcoma. Typical symptoms are cat diarrhea , anorexia, vomiting, thrombosis, bleeding.
- Peripheral polyneuropathy: occurs with the presence of multiple myeloma, melanoma, metastatic breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia in cats , liver cancer. The symptoms that occur are wasting muscle , progressive ataxia, paralysis , loss of sensitivity to pain.