Treating paraneoplastic hypercalcemia in dogs and cats - Veterinary Medicine
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Treating paraneoplastic hypercalcemia in dogs and cats
Various tumor-related factors may lead to elevated calcium concentrations that can greatly contribute to a cancer patient's morbidity. Here's how to help alleviate the suffering associated with this common paraneoplastic syndrome.


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Canine T-cell lymphoma

The most common cause of hypercalcemia of malignancy in dogs

Dogs with hypercalcemia-associated lymphoma are considered to have clinical substage B disease and more likely have a T-cell immunophenotype, both known negative prognostic variables for remission duration and survival time.1-7 These malignant cells have the potential to secrete PTHrP.8-14

Lymphoma (T-cell) is the most common underlying cause of severe hypercalcemia in dogs and should be considered a top differential diagnosis for any dog presenting with this finding on a serum chemistry profile. Palpable lymph nodes (Figure A) or skin masses should be aspirated or biopsied for cytologic or histologic evaluation, respectively. A cranial mediastinal mass can be identified on plain thoracic radiographs, which should be part of a hypercalcemia workup (Figures B-E).


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