A message from Anna Maria Gardner DVM MA. MB MRCVS
from Pet Synergy in relation to Feline Bladder Cancer
“There are several types of bladder cancer in felines, which are rare but unfortunately like many other cancers, they seem to becoming more common. The rareness of this type of cancer in felines may be due to a difference in tryptophan metabolism which leads to lower urinary concentrations of tryptophan metabolites, which contribute to bladder cancer. The average age of developing bladder cancer in felines is age nine. The cause of any cancer is complex, and multi factorial, and includes exposure to toxins, in the environment, diet and water, as well as chronic inflammation and genetic pre-disposition. Its not always easy to say what caused a particular cancer to develop, and it is usually not just one thing but usually several factors. As animals age too cells start to deteriorate and the body is not always able to control the abnormal cell growth which then develop into tumors of various types.
The most common form of bladder cancer in felines is Transitional Cell Carcinoma, others are adenocarcinomas, fibrosarcomas, leiomyosarcomas, rhabdomyosarcomas, hemangiosarcomas, and occasionally osteosarcomas . Transitional cell carcinomas are very invasive and metastasize to the lymph nodes and lungs.
Symptoms of bladder cancer include problems urinating, blood in the urine, chronic urinary infections, abdominal pain, and general malaise. They are usually diagnosed with an x-ray or ultrasound, and possible a biopsy for a definitive diagnosis. Treatment is often surgical, and this can be very successful depending on the location and extent of the tumor. Chemotherapy is sometimes used too. Holistic treatment can also help either slow things down, or prevent recurrence after surgery, and anti-oxidants, vitamins, homeopathic remedies and Chinese and western herbs are definitely worth incorporating into the treatment plan.”