In­testi­nal ade­no­car­ci­noma

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with Tim Craig BVSc, VE­TERI­NAR­IAN Tim Craig BVSc, ve­teri­nar­ian

MANY cats dis­play some vom­it­ing from time to time in their lives. Of­ten it is tran­sient, but in some cases it is repet­i­tive. It is hard to ex­actly de­fine how of­ten a cat can vomit with­out it be­ing con­sid­ered ab­nor­mal. Some would sug­gest that any amount of vom­it­ing that re­curs is not right. Cer­tainly if a cat is vom­it­ing ev­ery day or ev­ery sec­ond day, it is likely there is some­thing not quite right caus­ing this vom­it­ing. Cats of­ten suf­fer from in­testi­nal in­flam­ma­tion on a spec­trum from food in­tol­er­ance, through in­flam­ma­tory bowel dis­ease and some­times into can­cer­ous changes in the in­testines. A good start­ing point for cats that dis­play on­go­ing vom­it­ing is a diet change to a hy­poal­ler­genic diet. This can help in many sit­u­a­tions. How­ever, if the vom­it­ing per­sists a fur­ther work-up should be taken into con­sid­er­a­tion. Where a cat is los­ing weight, vom­it­ing and seems un­well, there is fur­ther con­cern that a more se­ri­ous prob­lem is at foot. In­testi­nal ade­no­car­ci­noma is a slow growing can­cer of the in­testi­nal wall that leads to nar­row­ing of the in­testi­nal tube. As the tube nar­rows the flow of food is af­fected and this can pre­cip­i­tate vom­it­ing. With time the nar­row­ness can be near com­plete and the cat’s abil­ity to eat is se­verely re­stricted and rapid weight loss can en­sue. This process can oc­cur over many months with more se­vere signs of pro­jec­tile vom­it­ing only de­vel­op­ing to­wards the end. This can­cer of­ten spreads to the lymph nodes near the in­testines and may spread fur­ther afield. Ul­tra­sounds of the ab­domen may pick up the in­testi­nal ab­nor­mal­ity as well as lo­cal lymph node en­large­ments. Sur­gi­cal ex­ci­sion of the pri­mary mass and re­join­ing of the in­testi­nal seg­ments is use­ful even in the face of metas­ta­sis al­ready hav­ing oc­curred, as this is a rea­son­ably slow growing tu­mour. If your cat is vom­it­ing with any reg­u­lar­ity, a vet­eri­nary as­sess­ment is a good idea.

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