The Fluorescent Cat
When a pet is said to be ‘off-colour’, this isn’t taken literally… except in this case.
This cat was brought to us by a concerned owner when she noticed that her cat was hardly eating and had vomited up a few hairballs over the past few days.
After a thorough history, the cat was lifted out of his cage for a physical examination. It was immediately noticed that this cat had a more complicated problem than most… He was turning bright yellow!
During the remainder of the physical examination he was also noted to have a high temperature (39.4 degrees Celsius), and a large hard mass in his abdomen. This is highly suggestive of a tumour, but to be sure, more information was needed.
Blood tests and x-rays were performed which showed that his liver was diseased and that he had a large tumour in his abdomen.
When an animal turns yellow, it is caused by the accumulation of a pigment called ‘bilirubin’ in the skin and tissues. Bilirubin is normally found in red blood cells, is processed through the liver when the red blood cells are broken down, and excreted in the bile.
When this process is disrupted in anyway (too much red blood cell breakdown, liver disease or bile duct blockage), the bilirubin levels increase in the blood, and accumulate in the skin and tissues – turning the patient fluorescent!!!