Different types of Lymphoma

Mediastinal form (occurs in the space between the pleural sacs/lungs)


Alimentary form (occurs in the gastrointestinal tract, abdomen, liver)

  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Black or tarry stool
  • Fresh blood in stool


Multicentric form (occurs in the lymph nodes)

  • Swollen lymph nodes (i.e., jaw, under arms, groin)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Depression


Solitary form (can occur in any location)

  • Symptoms depend upon location


Renal Form (occurs in the kidneys)



The incidence of lymphoma is believed to be associated with exposure to feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Cats that have been infected with either of these viruses have a significantly higher rate of lymphomas than the general cat population.



You will need to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat’s health and onset of symptoms. The history and details you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are being primarily affected. Knowing a starting point can make diagnosis that much easier to pinpoint. Once the initial history has been taken, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination on your cat. Routine laboratory testing includes a complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis.

The blood test results may show anemia, or the presence of an abnormally high number of lymphoblasts in the peripheral blood, a condition called lymphoblastosis. Lymphoblasts are immature cells which differentiate to form mature lymphocytes; they are normally present in the bone marrow, but if they proliferate uncontrollably they may  migrate to the peripheral blood, resulting in the abnormal condition called lymphoblastosis.

Biochemistry profiling may show an abnormally high creatinine, serum urea nitrogen, liver enzymes, and calcium levels. The urinalysis may reveal abnormally high levels of pigment bilirubin and proteins in the urine. Affected cats are also tested for the feline leukemia virus (FeLV), which is frequently associated with lymphomas. Your veterinarian will also use diagnostic imaging to locate the tumor(s), conducting X-rays of various body regions, especially the region that appears to be affected. A biopsy of the bone marrow will help in confirming the diagnosis conclusively.

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