Lymphoma in Dogs: Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Lymphoma is a common cancer in people and dogs. Most of us have heard of lymphoma. 84% of dog DNA has human counterparts, so we develop and suffer many of the same diseases, even cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death: 47% of all dogs. As one of the most common cancer in dogs, it’s important for dog owners to know its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.


What Is Lymphoma?

Lymphocytes can be found anywhere in the body and lymphocytes are an important part of both the dog and human’s immune system. Lymphoma, may develop in one specific area, or spread throughout the body, is a cancer that develops in the lymph nodes and lymphatic system. Lymphoma is common among middle-aged and older dogs, and some breeds are vulnerable to this cancer.


Types of Lymphoma

The type of symptoms that develop depend on the location and stage of lymphoma. And there are 4 most common types of lymphoma in dogs:


  1. Multicentric lymphoma. This isthe most common form of lymphoma. Nearly 80-85% of lymphoma in dogs is multicentric. In this type, lymph nodes will be widely affected and mainly embody as the rapid enlargement of them.
  2. Alimentary lymphoma.Alimentary lymphoma is the second most common type of lymphoma. This lymphoma mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract.
  3. Mediastinal lymphoma.Caused by malignant T lymphocytes, Lymphoid organs in the chest are affected in this rare type of lymphoma.
  4. Extranodal lymphoma.This type of lymphoma is rare, but usually targets a specific organ outside of the lymphatic system, including the skin, eyes, kidney, lung, or nervous system.


Symptoms of Lymphoma in Dogs

There are quite a number of of lymph nodes throughout the body but only a few are easily touched by a vet. Here are some common symptoms of lymphoma:

  1. Submandibular – liesbeneath the back of the jaw
  2. Prescapular – liesin front of the shoulder area
  3. Axillary –liesin the armpits
  4. Inguinal – liesin the groin
  5. Popliteal – liesbehind the knees

Other symptoms typically depend on the location of the cancer. 


Diagnosis of Lymphoma in Dogs

  1. Get a complete physical exam of the dog.
  2. Once the is a suspected, veterinarians will take a sample of the affected organ to evaluate the specific cancer.
  3. Staging test would be a suggest if lymphoma is confirmed to determine the stage of lymphoma and help find an appropriate treatment.


Treatment of Lymphoma in Dogs

The most effective treatment therapy of lymphoma in dogs is chemotherapy. The exact treatment protocol taken by a vet will vary depending on the type of cancer and the stage of the cancer. Since lymphoma is a curable disease in many case and most dogs will experience mild side effects from chemotherapy and will be taken good care of during this period, it’s better to take the vet’s suggest and provide the dog with good nutrition.


As for those dogs can not be cured and recovered from lymphoma, a remission treatment will be necessary. Some dogs can live with lymphoma and can spend years. So see the vet and find the available treatment will make this possible.


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