Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day is November 7th. Canine lymphoma is one of the most common cancers often found in dogs. In fact, as many as 20 percent of canine cancer cases could be lymphoma-related. A local vet discusses canine lymphoma below.
Lymphoma is most often seen in dogs that are middle-aged or older, though any dog can be affected. It does, however, seem to be more prevalent in certain dog breeds. Bull Mastiffs, Saint Bernards, Golden Retrievers, Boxers, Basset Hounds, Scottish and Airedale Terriers, and Bulldogs may be predisposed. Lymphoma can attack any organ in Fido’s body, though it’s usually found in spots that work with the immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, or liver.
Lymphoma is quite a complex condition with over 30 different types, all of which affect dogs’ bodies in different ways. The symptoms can also vary widely depending on which organs are affected and how far the cancer has progressed. Some of the more common symptoms include lack of appetite; weight loss; trouble breathing; diarrhea; vomiting; increased water intake; fever; and swelling, particularly around the neck, throat, and knee joints. Some dogs don’t experience any of these symptoms at all. In some cases, an owner may notice a strange lump, bump, or lesion. Of course, these things can point to many different health issues in our canine pals, all of which would warrant a call to the veterinary clinic to schedule an appointment ASAP. As with many other health issues in dogs, early diagnosis and treatment are always beneficial. With canine lymphoma, by addressing the issue early on, you increase the chances that treatment will send the cancer into remission and/or extend Fido’s life.
And now, here is some good news. Lymphoma can be treatable. Actually, it’s one of the more treatable types of canine cancers. Modern veterinary medicine continues to make some truly wonderful advances in this area. For treatment options, chemotherapy is currently the most common treatment. Your vet may also recommend alternative treatments, such as holistic options; surgery and/or radiation; and/or newer treatments. Of course, treatment options are always offered on a case-by-case basis, once a full diagnosis has been made. Your vet will be better able to offer specific options after Fido’s tests and lab results have come back.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us today!