Chlorambucil for Cats

Chlorambucil, also known as the brand name label drug Leukeran, is one of the best ways of treating your pet's conditions involving the lymphatic system. This medicine has a wide variety of uses in both human and veterinary use. For cats, it is generally used to treat lymphatic leukemia and other cancerous conditions of the lymph nodes or lymphatic system. The medicine is extremely potent and should not be provided to your cat without first taking your cat to the vet and receiving a specialized prescription for this drug. Read on for a brief guideline on how to best provide this medicine to your cat.

Chlorambucil Overview

Chlorambucil is an example of an alkylating agent. It is both an immunosuppressive agent and an antineoplastic. It functions to eliminate problem cells from your pet's body (like those caused by cancer), and the mechanism by which it performs this task is through altering the DNA of those cells. The cells are then left unstable and will not be able to survive within your cat's body. Because of the way that it functions, this medicine is most useful at ridding your cat of unhealthy cellular growths in the blood and lymphatic systems both. It is not generally used for other types of cancer. The medicine is approved and designed for use in human beings only, but it can be provided to animals under the careful guidance of a veterinarian. Don't give your cat this drug without first receiving a prescription from the vet.

Using Chlorambucil for Your Pet

Chlorambucil is provided in tablets that are coated in sugar and which measure 2 milligrams each. This is the human sized dose of the medicine; cats receive a significantly smaller dose. Generally, vets will recommend providing your cat with a dose of this medicine at about .05 milligrams up to .1 milligrams per pound. This medicine is designed to be provided to your cat once per day. A cutting device and scale will be helpful in making sure that you provide your cat with the exact amount of medicine that he needs.

Side Effects and Risks of Chlorambucil

Chlorambucil can have dramatic and serious effects on your cat's body. Therefore, it's crucial that you monitor your pet closely throughout the entirety of his treatment with this medicine. One of the biggest potential side effects is that the drug suppresses bone marrow function, so it should not be given to any cat with existing bone damage or instability.

The other most common side effects of chlorambucil include the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Imbalance of kidney and liver enzymes
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Loss of hair or delayed regrowth process for shaved hair

Because of the serious nature of many of the side effects that routinely occur when your cat is taking chlorambucil, you must watch him carefully. At the first sign of any of these or other side effects, take your pet in to the vet for a thorough examination.