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