How do cats do without a spleen?
January 1, 2012 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Catfilter: I'm looking for experiences from cat owners who have had cats with mast cells in their spleen. What's the survival time following a splenectomy ? (This is assuming lab results and the vet suggest that procedure.)

I've a 13+ y.o. male cat that started vomiting, lost his appetite (down two lbs since October), and is lethargic (even for a cat).

Took him to the vet the other day and the first prognosis is mast cells in his spleen. I'll get lab results tomorrow or Tuesday.

From what I've seen in the Intertubz, a splenectomy will give the little fellow a maximum of 19 months (!) but each of the reports is quoting the same study.

I'm trying to come to grips with determining if giving him this time will not trash his quality of life. And how painful might his end be if I decide to not get his spleen taken out?

Any/all responses gratefully accepted.
posted by Man with Lantern to Pets & Animals (5 answers total)
Best answer: I'm a vet, but I'm not your vet. This is not medical advice.

Much of the correct answer here will be dependent on the condition and the other relating disease processes in your cat. You may find it helpful to consult a veterinary oncologist or a veterinary internal medicine specialist.

When I was practicing general medicine, this is the handout I sent home with my clients after I had found mast cells in the spleen.

Feel free to memail me if you have any other questions.
posted by Nickel Pickle at 2:32 PM on January 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

It's not really the info you're looking for, but fyi: Our 14-year-old cat had mast cell cancer and we did not treat it, for a variety of reasons including his age and the cost. He lived another 18 months.
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:32 PM on January 1, 2012

Response by poster: Received a call from the vet today and confirmed that it's a mastocytoma. Taking him in for blood work and x-rays today and probably a splenectomy on Friday morning.

Thanks for your responses. I'll consider this closed as far as AskMeFi is concerned.

Thanks again.
posted by Man with Lantern at 8:42 AM on January 3, 2012

Response by poster: Just an update . . .

X-rays show that the lymph node cranial to the heart is enlarged so we did not go through with the blood work and are skipping the surgery.

Doc put the cat on steroids and a chemo-like treatment. We'll keep him comfortable and see how he does in the short term. At the first sign that he's slipping, we'll do the deed that no pet owner looks forward to and will say good-bye as best we can.
posted by Man with Lantern at 10:32 AM on January 4, 2012

Response by poster: For closure . . .

Two weeks ago we took my buddy to the vet where he passed over The Rainbow Bridge peacefully with the assistance of the vet (who he had a crush on, anyway). We'll miss him.
posted by Man with Lantern at 12:21 PM on January 31, 2012

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