Splenomegaly or enlarged spleen in cats is a medical condition, which may happen in all cat breeds –in any genders. Furthermore, it is not directly in relation to the spleen, instead – a symptom of some other condition or disease. Get to learn more about this feline condition –give this article a read.
Enlarged Spleen in Cats: What is this feline condition?
The spleen, as you may know, is a lengthened organ, which is on the left-most side of the cat’s stomach. Even though the organ is not that vital for living, a spleen that’s enlarged might be an indication of a way more chronic or serious disease, which may need a vet care.
An enlarged spleen in cats or splenomegaly, is an indication of another disease or condition. Furthermore, the enlargement of the spleen is because of the inflammation that happens of the intrusion of the abnormal cells consequently from the causal condition. The main or causal condition, which is causing the spleen’s enlargement is commonly known as the purpose of the spleen, just like synthesizing antibodies or filtering blood in the body of the cat. Moreover, the spleen of the cat might either uniformly enlarge over the whole organ or asymmetrically enlarge.
Causes of Splenomegaly in Cats
There are a range of causes of enlarged spleen in cats –these include the following:
- Fungal infections like histoplasmosis
- Splenic torsion
- Autoimmune disorders like systemic lupus
- Bacterial infection
- Cancer like feline leukemia virus and multiple myeloma
- Infectious disorders like feline infectious peritonitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Heart failure
- Abdominal injury because of trauma
Symptoms of Splenomegaly in Cats
Due to the fact that spleen is responsible for the filtering and storing of blood, removing foreign bodies and old cells from the bloodstream, and helping the immunity to function appropriately, which cat might experience a range of symptoms, which warrant an investigation to test the main cause of the enlargement of the spleen.
Here are some of the more common symptoms of splenomegaly in cats:
- Abdominal sensitivity or pain
- Swollen abdomen
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
Prognosis of Splenomegaly in Cats
The vet may examine the cat. He or she will feel for any enlarged lymph nodes, as well as an enlarged abdomen. In some instances, splenomegaly may be extends into the abdominal skin and perceptible using a visual exam. Furthermore, vet may also want to know about the complete medical history of the cat, all the symptoms the cat’s experiencing, as well as when the symptoms first started.
A biochemical blood profile, CBC, and a urinalysis may be taken by the vet. Further, these examinations may be beneficial for the vet may determine the causal condition that’s causing the enlargement of the spleen. In addition, the tests may also show how some other organs, just like the liver and kidneys, get affected by the main condition. Moreover, the blood tests may commonly show the signs of splenomegaly as well, these include a high white blood cell count, anemia, as well as abnormal cells, which are producing the inflammation.
Moreover, diagnostic exams, just like an ultrasound and x-ray, may also be done. All of these examinations may allow the vet to see the spleen, as well as the adjacent organs for whatever abnormalities. A very fine needle aspiration might be performed as well. For the duration of this test, the vet may insert a fine needle in the spleen, taking out a blood sample for advance analysis. In some rare happenstances, an exploratory surgical procedure might be needed if a prognosis is not found with the use of some other exams.
Treatments for Splenomegaly in Cats
The treatment for enlarged spleen in cats may depend on curing the main condition, which is causing the causal inflammation.
In instances of splenic trauma or torsion, the vet might need to get rid all or part of the spleen of the cat. This may be done in the vet hospital under overall anesthesia. For the period of the surgery, the vet might make a slight incision in the abdomen of the cat. The whole spleen or the affected part of the spleen might be removed, as well as the blood vessels attached to it might be tied and clamped. Further, the site of the incision might then be closed. The surgical procedure may also be essential to eliminate any masses or tumors, which have developed because of cancer.
Corticosteroids might be prescribed by your veterinarian to reduce any inflammation on the spleen, as well as the other organs. In case the enlargement is because of a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Additionally, autoimmune main causes may be cured with immunosuppressant that work in suppressing the immune system’s reaction. Cancer might be treated using chemotherapy that may work in killing the cancer cells in the body of the cat. The cats that are austerely anemic might need to take some iron supplements. The medications in treating fungal infections might also be recommended.