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Following previous accounts in OUR CATS of the development and treatment of Lymphosarcoma in the Siamese and Oriental breeds, we present an account by Sally Lillington (Kettlethorn Siamese and Orientals) about how her young Havana Oriental boy, HOSEA, developed the disease, and his subsequent treatment.

This is our story of our experience with the disease Lymphosarcoma.

I have bred Siamese and Oriental cats since 1997. I had previously used two particular stud cats for my two queens.

One of my Orientals had come into call, but the particular stud I had earmarked was already occupied with a visiting queen so I had to search around to find another suitable stud.

I found one that was not that far away from me (always a bonus so the queen suffers as least stress as possible), so booked her in and the mating duly took place.

Two months later in March 2002, she gave birth to two kittens, a Havana Oriental boy who we called Hosea and a Seal Tortie Siamese female. I kept both of these kittens.

Horrifying Diagnosis
Just over two years later in June 2004 my little Havana boy Hosea was having breathing difficulties. I took him immediately to be checked out at my vet. On examination it was found that his heart was being pushed over by a tumour. It was found to be Lymphosarcoma.

The vet was convinced it was caused by the FELV virus and wanted to test all 14 other of my cats.

I was in a state of severe shock at this as only two of my cats were vaccinated against the disease and the thought of any of them having FELV was pretty horrifying to say the least.

Breeder Not Interested

Thankfully Hosea was tested and found to be negative. He began chemotherapy treatment and responded very well. At this point I decided to write to the owner of the stud cat I had used to let her know about Hoseas’s cancer.

Sadly, I never received an acknowledgement of that letter, despite the fact she was a judge and breeder of over 20 years which I found very disappointing. I have had contact with another owner with a cat with Lymphosarcoma by the same stud cat but it did not seem to be doing as well as Hosea.

It is now two years and five months since the diagnosis and Hosea is doing fine. His cancer is in full remission. He enjoys life, plays, enjoys exploring the garden, catching the odd mouse and sitting by the log fire in the evenings. We know that his time will come but he has been a very happy little boy despite his illness.

He takes his tablets and chemotherapy like a star and when he does eventually go (we hope he is going to beat all records) he will be very, very sadly missed. Thankfully his sister has not developed the disease.

His DNA has been sent to Professor Lyons, at the California University in the hope it may help the Siamese and Oriental breed for the future.
Sally Lillington

* Contact Dr Leslie Lyons at felinegenome@ucdavis.edu for swabs (if you cannot get any here) and forms and information on swabbing at: http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu

Send swabs etc and donations to: Department of Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA