Lymphoma: One of the most common cancer in dogs

Kenia the dog

Lymphoma is one of the most common cancer in dogs. Here are the signs to look out for.

Weeks ago, Kenia was very down, with no appetite and very enlarged lymph nodes. After exploring her and performing some tests at the Anicura Marina Baixa Veterinary Hospital, she was diagnosed with lymphoma. The diagnosis was made with a needle aspiration of those nodes and a lymph node biopsy provides more information about that patient’s lymphoma (histologic type and T-cell vs B-cells), which sometimes affects prognosis.  It is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in dogs. It develops from specific cells of the immune system, called lymphocytes, that circulate in the blood. For that reason, lymphoma is generally considered a systemic disease) and should be treated with systemic therapy.

Lymphoma can respond wonderfully to treatment, but for veterinary patients, it is not curable. In most cases, chemotherapy is the recommended treatment. Dogs tolerate chemotherapy much better than people do. Without treatment, the average lifespan of a dog with lymphoma is very short, usually 1 to 2 months. However, with treatment, about 85% of dogs with lymph node involvement will go into remission to the point that lymphoma can no longer be detected in the lymph nodes. The goal of chemotherapy is to maintain a good quality of life for the patient throughout treatment.

Kenia, after the first chemotherapy session, regained his appetite and the desire to walk with his other dog companions.


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