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Case of a kitten with a mysterious pleural effusion

This case is such a bummer, but a really good one to show how malignancies can affect animals of any age. 


A 1 year old castrated male cat presented to his vet for being a bit less playful at home. On exam, he was noted to have an increased respiratory rate. Thoracic radiographs were taken, and what they found wasn’t good…


Pleural effusion and a mediastinal mass. 


They did thoracocentesis and submitted the pleural effusion for cytology, which is what we’re looking at here.🔬

There is a population of intermediate to large sized lymphocytes (their nuclei are measuring 2-2.5 times the diameter of an RBC which is one way to measure size), and unfortunately, that’s diagnostic for lymphoma. 


The mediastinal mass was also aspirated, and unsurprisingly, was lymphoma as well. At the same time the fluid was submitted to the lab, they also submitted retroviral testing, and he was FeLV+. This all fits, since most young cats with mediastinal lymphoma are FeLV+.


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