Jump to section

What is Enlarged Spleen?

The spleen is an elongated organ that is on the left side of the stomach in cats. Though the organ isn't essential for living, an enlarged spleen may be a symptom of a more serious or chronic disease that will need veterinary care.

Splenomegaly, or an enlarged spleen, is a symptom of another condition or disease. The enlargement is due to inflammation, which occurs due to infiltration of abnormal cells as a result of the primary condition. The primary condition that is causing the enlargement is typically related to the function of the spleen, such as filtering blood or synthesizing antibodies in the cat's body. The cat's spleen may either enlarge uniformly over the entire organ or enlarge asymmetrically.

Enlarged Spleen Average Cost

From 558 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

Symptoms of Enlarged Spleen in Cats

Because the spleen is responsible for storing and filtering blood, removing old cells and foreign bodies from the bloodstream, and helping the immune system function properly, the cat may experience a variety of symptoms that warrant investigation in order to treat the primary cause of the enlargement. 

  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/sensitivity
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Fainting
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Enlarged Spleen in Cats

There are a variety of causes of splenomegaly in cats, which include: 

  • Abdominal injury due to trauma
  • Heart failure
  • Heartworms
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Infectious disorders, such as feline infectious peritonitis
  • Cancer, such as multiple myeloma and feline leukemia virus
  • Bacterial infection
  • Autoimmune disorders, such as systemic lupus
  • Splenic torsion (rotation or twisting of the spleen)
  • Fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Enlarged Spleen in Cats

The veterinarian will examine the cat, feeling for swollen lymph nodes and a swollen abdomen. In some cases, the enlarged spleen will be protruding through the abdominal skin and is noticeable with a visual examination. The veterinarian will need to know the cat's complete health history, all of the symptoms the cat is experiencing, and when symptoms first began.

A complete blood count, biochemical blood profile and a urinalysis will be taken. These tests will help the veterinarian determine the primary condition that is causing the spleen enlargement. The tests will also show how the other organs, such as the kidneys and liver, are being affected by the primary condition. The blood tests will typically also show signs of an enlarged spleen, which include a high white blood cell count, low hemoglobin levels (anemia) and abnormal cells that are causing the inflammation.

Diagnostic tests, such as an x-ray and ultrasound, will be performed. These tests will allow the veterinarian to view the spleen and the surrounding organs for any abnormalities. A fine needle aspiration may also be performed. During this test, the veterinarian will insert a thin needle into the spleen, drawing out a fluid sample for further analysis. In rare occasions, exploratory surgery may be necessary if a diagnosis isn't found with other tests.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Enlarged Spleen in Cats

Treatment of the enlarged spleen will depend on treating the primary condition that is causing the inflammation.

Medication

Corticosteroids may be prescribed by the veterinarian in order to reduce the inflammation in the spleen and other organs. If the enlargement is due to a bacterial infection, antibiotics will be prescribed. Autoimmune primary causes will be treated with immunosuppressants, which work to suppress the reaction of the immune system. Cancer may be treated with chemotherapy, which will work to kill the cancer cells in the cat's body. Cats who are severely anemic may need to take iron supplements. Medications to treat fungal infections may also be prescribed.

Surgery

In cases of splenic torsion or trauma, the veterinarian may need to remove all or part of the cat's spleen (splenectomy). This will be done in the hospital under general anesthesia. During surgery, the veterinarian will make a small incision in the cat's abdomen. The entire spleen or affected portion of the spleen will be removed and the blood vessels attached to the spleen will be clamped and tied. The incision site will then be closed. Surgery may also be necessary to remove any tumors or masses that have formed due to cancer.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Enlarged Spleen in Cats

The cat will need to continue to take medication as prescribed by the veterinarian in order to prevent the primary condition from worsening and causing the spleen to enlarge once more. Follow-up appointments to monitor labs and medication will be necessary. If the cat had surgery, it's important to care for the incision site at home to prevent infection from occurring. Keeping the cat calm and stopping strenuous activities is essential in proper recovery.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Enlarged Spleen Average Cost

From 558 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

arrow-up-icon

Top

Enlarged Spleen Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Shorthair tuxedo

dog-age-icon

Thirteen Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Spleen

She had an enlarged spleen and it was drained and she was given fluids and antibiotics to administer at home. She had a sonogram and multiple cysts removed from her pancreas and sent to be biopsied.

Sept. 25, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is feeling better. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 23, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Domestic shortair cat

dog-age-icon

2 yrs

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

Dr can’t determine if spleen is enlarged?

Sept. 24, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. I hope that your pet is okay. Without more information, and a clearer image, it is difficult for me to comment on your cats spleen, unfortunately. If they are still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment that might be needed.

Oct. 24, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Elvis

dog-breed-icon

Bombay

dog-age-icon

5 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Pain
Lethargy

My kitten is 5 month old. Blood results say red blood cells are high at 10.06.The Neutrophils is low 22, lymphocytes are high 68 and Eosino is low,8. The SGOT/AST is high 59.30. and SGPT IS HIGH AT 102. The creatinine is low at .60. the vet gave him liver med but he isn't eating at all. should I force feed him? Also what's wrong with him

Aug. 27, 2018

Elvis' Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Without being able to assess Elvis or know more about his situation, I don't have any way to say what might be going on with him, other than his liver is irritated. This may have been caused by a toxin or something that he ate, or it may be a problem with his liver. If he isn't eating, you will need to force feed him, as cats can't go for more than 2-3 days without eating. Since I don't know very much about what is going on with him, it would be best to follow up with your veterinarian, as they know more about his condition and what might be helpful.

Aug. 27, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Pierre

dog-breed-icon

Ragdoll

dog-age-icon

1 Year

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Spleen

Hi my cat had an episode of FLUTD. During his X-ray the vet saw what could potentially be an enlarged spleen. My cat was sedated for the X-ray, and had been on prasozin and buprenorphine previous to the X-rays. His blood work and urinalysis came back normal, but my vet is recommending an ultrasound, with another round of sedation. Could the enlarged spleen have been from the FLUTD or from the sedative administered prior to the X-ray?

July 17, 2018

Pierre's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

The splenomegaly and the FLUTD isn’t related, however some anaesthetic drugs may affect spleen volume. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23106455 www.vin.com/apputil/content/defaultadv1.aspx?id=3859207

July 17, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Alice

dog-breed-icon

Calico

dog-age-icon

5 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Irritable
Difficulty Urinating
Meowing A Lot
Constant Visits To Litter Box

My cat may have a UTI. We just toom another cat of ours in for a similar issue so money to take our Alice to a vet is non-existent right now. It appears that she can urinate a little bit. I've also noticed an upper part of her, completely to the side, chest area there is a soft swollen area. She doesn't like for it to be touched. My cat is still playing and mostly herself. Do you think my cat is going to die because of this? I'm so anxious and have been up all night worrying about my other baby now. Then other cat mentioned previously went in for similar symposium but the vet said that it was more than likely allergies. He gave my cat an antibiotic shot and a dexamethasone shot.He didn't receive a urinalysis because the doctor couldn't find any blockage and the cat appeared to have a normal bladder. I really need help. I know she needs to go to the vet regardless but what can I do until I get the money? Sorry for the plethora of inquiries I'm just desperate.

July 13, 2018

Alice's Owner

answer-icon

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Whilst I understand that money can be tight, without examining Alice I cannot know specifically where the swelling is originating from (inside the abdomen or above the abdominal wall), the consistency among other things. Without examining her all I can advise is to keep her hydrated and eating, try to visit a charity clinic or other organisation to get her seen sooner. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 13, 2018

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

little girl

dog-breed-icon

moggy

dog-age-icon

9 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Tired, Skinny

My cat went into the vets as she went abit skinny and tired. She was eating, drinking and going to the toilet fine. The vets done her bloods and said the bloods were fine but she does have some sort of infection so they put her on antibiotics they also said she had anemia too and they put her on steroids. They done a scan on her and said her spleen is englarged and said its possible she has a tumour. They said they can operate on the spleen as it would be high risk due to the anemia. But what I don't understand is why cant they needle it and test the fluid to check its deffo a tumour / cancer? I have to take her back in for a check up and re blood test. Any advice would be much appreciated thank you

dog-name-icon

Paris

dog-breed-icon

Shorthair

dog-age-icon

10 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Spleen

My 10 year old cat began havingg seizures. At a check up to reup her seizure meds it was discovered her spleen was very enlarged. Palpable the vet said. So much so that she stopped the visit and asked that I take my cat to a specialist as she was pretty sure cancer was to blame. Had other reasons to believe so. Called the specialist and the testing was extremely expensive and would also almost certainly cause a seizure. Also said if it is cancer, a splenectomy would not be an option due to kitty's small size. Didn't take her in. That was 5 months ago. Since then stopped meds and have not had another seizure. Kitty has good days more than bad as far as lethargy, appetite, digestion issues, etc. If cancer is to blame, what will the progression be? What should we expect?

dog-name-icon

Triton

dog-breed-icon

Siamese

dog-age-icon

8 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating
Enlarged Spleen

My 8 year old siamese started acting like he needed to hack up a hairball but nothing would come up. He would eat but throw up the food every time. Then he stopped eating altogether. Even his wet food which he LOVES and begs for. Vet did blood work and x-rays, all blood levels were good: thyroid, cell counts, sugar, etc. No fever. No sign of infection. She did say x-ray showed signs of enlarged spleen. She gave him fluids, B12, and anti nausea shot. Hes ate a tiny bit of wet food and kept it down. If all his levels are good and no sign of infection, what is it? Would an enlarged spleen cause him to not want to eat? Why?

dog-name-icon

Sammy

dog-breed-icon

Siamese mix with polydactyl paws

dog-age-icon

13 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Enlarged Spleen

My cat has always had issues with chewing wires, shoes, handbags, belts etc and occasional vomiting from the time he was a kitten. Around Thanksgiving this year, we noticed increased vomiting. We went through all his toys and found a few with loose stuffing that we threw away. No changes in diet. Then he started eating things he could find and throwing them up. Paper towels, pieces of paper, cardboard, excessive wire chewing, etc. We actually hid all our wires but it was as if he was looking for them. We called our vet and got him in right when he stopped eating cat food and begging nonstop for anything we were eating, which we fed him to help him eat. We also gave him bottled water his entire life and had to switch to well water since he started going into all the sinks in the house to drink it instead of the cold fresh water he had in his dish. We noticed he felt a little lighter and his coat was dull and he was sleeping all the time. The vet ran bloodwork and a urine sample and all is good. However, on an X-ray and ultrasound, he has a very large spleen. His spleen is taking up his entire abdomen. There are some spots in the spleen and near the spleen that are questionable. Right now, we put him on steroids. Not sure what else to do. We are hoping the steroids will reduce the size of the spleen but understand that there could be another underlying condition and therefore are only prolonging the inevitable. Any advice is appreciated. We were told that they coukd operate to remove the spleen but there could be more going on that we can’t see and the surgery may not help at all and make things much worse.

dog-name-icon

Loki

dog-breed-icon

domestic short hair

dog-age-icon

8 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Anorexia , Lethargy, Fever Dehydrat

I have an 8 month old cat normal labs and xrays with the exception of an enlarged spleen. He has lethargy and a fever of unknown origin 105 degrees. This happened before he got fluids and antibiotics at 4 months old and snapped right back into good health. He is currently in the hospital with the same symptoms plus anorexia. He is vaccinated and negative for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus. He is also moderately dehydrated. Any thoughts?

Enlarged Spleen Average Cost

From 558 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

How can we help your pet?