Spleen Problems in Cats


Spleen Problems in Cats


Spleen Removal in Cat

Question: Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. The vet will be running a thyroid test stat tomorrow. Also, the chemical blood profile showed elevated white blood cell count - is this indicative of the splenal tumor? Vet is also running a feline luk test, although Snowflake has been immunized against that.

I am still holding out hope that we might find something less scary than a splenal tumor. Is there a lot of risk of bleed out in the surgery for removal of such? Should there be blood on hand in case?


Answer: EL-

It is always worrisome to remove spleens, because they do have major blood supplies. However, I do not recall having a major problem while removing one, probably because the blood vessels are usually easy to find and mobile enough to make it reasonable to work with them. So if this has to be done, it will probably go well. It doesn't hurt to have blood on hand, if arranging for it doesn't delay the surgery too much. Blood doesn't keep well, so if your vet does order it from a blood bank as a precaution it would be fair to charge for it, even if it wasn't used.

Increases in white blood cell counts occur when infections are present, when inflammation is present, due to excitement in cats and in some white blood cell cancers. This is such a broad range of reasons that the meaning of increased white blood cell counts is not very specific -- it just indicates a need to look for a problem. The feline leukemia test is a very good idea, even in a vaccinated cat because it is a potential problem in almost any illness, but particularly one in which there is an abdominal tumor. Feline leukemia virus will cause lymphoma cancers in many cats that are infected with it.

Good luck with this.

Mike Richards, DVM 7/16/2000

Last edited 09/17/02


Michael Richards, D.V.M. co-owns a small animal general veterinary practice in rural tidewater Virginia. Dr. Richards graduated from Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979, and has been in private practice ever since. Dr. Richards has been the director of the PetCare Forum...