National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
Each November, Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day provides pet owners with a gentle reminder about this all too common condition. Pet cancer awareness is an important tool to help pet owners and their veterinarians alike detect signs of trouble earlier to hopefully result in better outcomes.
Dog Cancer and Lymphoma
Cancer in general is one of the most common diagnoses and causes of mortality in our more senior pet population. It can affect any tissue or organ within the body, but some forms of cancer are diagnosed more often than others.
Canine lymphoma is the most common form of dog cancer that we see at Veterinary Oncology Services and Research Center, and statistically the most frequently diagnosed. It can affect any breed or age, but it is most common in middle-aged to older pets with golden retrievers being at higher risk.
Lymphoma, also referred to as lymphosarcoma (LSA) is a cancer of the white blood cells called lymphocytes. These cells normally provide an important function within the immune system. When they proliferate out of control, though, problems can ensue.
Canine lymphoma can manifest differently and there are many different types. Most often it results in the enlargement of one or more lymph nodes. It can also affect the liver, spleen, bone marrow, skin, or gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms can include:
- Enlarged lymph nodes (with or without other symptoms)
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
Diagnosis can often be obtained by biopsy. Once a diagnosis of lymphoma is evident, further testing called staging can help to better understand the nature and degree of disease. This is an important step to help form a treatment plan and prognosis.
Typically, chemotherapy is part of the treatment plan for a pet diagnosed with this type of cancer.
A Vet for Dogs With Cancer
Without treatment, a pet diagnosed with lymphoma typically only has months to live. When your dog is sick, you want to be sure that you are doing everything possible. That is where a cancer vet for dogs comes in.
A veterinary oncologist is going to be best equipped to give you the most current information about how to best treat your pet. While canine lymphoma is generally not curable, temporary remissions can be achievable with the right strategy
Our dogs are part of the family, and not treating cancer in a beloved family member is a hard pill to swallow. Our knowledgeable and caring staff have the expertise and skills necessary to help dogs with cancer with all the latest techniques.
While cancer is not entirely preventable at this point, you can also keep your pet as healthy as possible by keeping up on routine wellness exams at your family veterinarian, complying with annual screening recommendations, encouraging a healthy body weight, and keeping your pet active.
Canine lymphoma is not anything any of us want to deal with, but please know that should you need to, we are here as your resource and shoulder to lean on.