When a cat’s miaow suddenly lost its thunder, his perceptive owner instinctively knew something was wrong.

A droopy ear and intermittent gulping helped convince Charlie Hart that her 12-year-old pet needed attention – after all, she is client care manager at a top vets in Surrey.

However, even with her experience in the veterinary world, Charlie didn’t think the symptoms were a sign that her cat, named Thunder, had a form of cancer.

Charlie, who works for Linnaeus-owned Cathcart and Winn Vets in Farnham, was told the sad news by veterinary surgeon colleague Angus Donaldson.

Angus explained: “Thunder had no obvious abnormalities when he was initially examined so some anti-inflammatories were trailed in case Thunder had some sensitivity in the throat.

“When there was no improvement, it was decided to perform endoscopy to explore the throat with a tiny camera.

“With Thunder under general anaesthetic we could pass and direct the camera safely into his throat and also explore the area that links his nasal passages to his throat (nasopharynx).

“There was clear evidence of some changes visible in the nasopharynx that appeared as multiple small lumps. Samples were taken using a grabbing tool working through the endoscope and submitted to the laboratory for analysis.

“Sadly, analysis of the samples confirmed the presence of lymphoma, a form of cancer.”

Charlie admitted she found the discovery hard to process, saying: “Thunder’s miaow had changed and he kept gulping, but they just seemed such minor things.

“I was really shocked when I was told he had lymphoma. Angus and I discussed his biopsy results and what options would be best for him.

“Angus was very thorough in his consultation, whilst being very understanding that Thunder could be a challenging cat for treatment, so a realistic treatment plan was vital to minimise his stress.

“We went through all the options and decided the best step was for Thunder to be referred to our colleagues at fellow Linnaeus practice, referral hospital Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester, so they could go through all chemotherapy options.

“Thunder is being looked after by Laura Holm, an advanced practitioner in small animal medicine and part of Anderson Moores’ oncology team, and I know he’s receiving the best care possible.

“Obviously, I’m hoping Thunder will do well with his treatment plan set by Laura Holm and become more comfortable, but I also want to highlight his symptoms to alert other cat owners to the signs in this case.

“The signs may seem insignificant, and in other pets may well have been, but my advice is don’t hesitate if you have concerns – go to your vets and have your cat examined as soon as possible.”

Cathcart and Winn’s Farnham vet practice is based in Hale Road, with its Aldershot practice in Victoria Road, Aldershot. For more information, visit https://www.cathcartandwinn.com/.

Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists in Winchester offers specialist care in anaesthesia and analgesia, cardiology, dentistry, dermatology, diagnostic imaging, emergency and critical care, feline hyperthyroid clinic, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery.

For more information, visit www.andersonmoores.com or search for Anderson Mores Veterinary Specialists on social media.

Back to news