National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
What is Canine Lymphoma?
Canine lymphoma is similar to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in humans. It’s so similar that veterinarians and human doctors use almost the same chemotherapy protocols to treat lymphoma in their patients.
Lymphoma is a scientific term to describe a group of cancers that stem from the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that helps the immune system fight off infection. They are highly concentrated in organs that play a role in the immune system. Lymphoma can affect any organ in the body. However, the following organs tend to be where most lymphoma cancers occur:
- lymph nodes
- bone marrow
Types of Canine Lymphoma
The most common types of lymphoma in dogs include the following:
This type of lymphoma is by far the most common of these types, which affects the lymph nodes.
Also, in most cases, the most obvious clinical manifestation is the rapid enlargement of the lymph nodes.
Alimentary lymphoma is the second most common form of lymphoma.
This type of canine lymphoma targets the intestines, which is where most of the symptoms occur.
With this type of lymphoma, either or both the thymus and the mediastinal lymph nodes in the area of the chest become enlarged.
This disease occurs due to high-grade malignant T lymphocytes.
Extranodal lymphoma in dogs targets a specific organ, such as the skin, eyes, kidneys, lungs or central nervous system.
Cutaneous lymphoma is the most common type of extranodal, which affects the skin.
Causes of Lymphoma in Dogs
Currently, scientists do not know what causes lymphoma in dogs. However, there’s hope that advanced genetic studies will eventually help identify any underlying genetic and chromosomal causes and predispositions.
What we do know is that dogs share our environment. Therefore, they receive exposure to many of the same cancer-causing environmental factors as we are. These include toxic substances such as phenoxyacetic acid herbicides and magnetic field exposure.
Symptoms of Lymphoma in Dogs
Symptoms of multicentric lymphoma include the following:
- swollen lymph nodes
Symptoms of alimentary lymphoma include the following:
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
Symptoms of mediastinal lymphoma include the following:
- difficulty breathing
- presence of a large mass within the chest
- accumulation of fluid within the chest (pleural effusion)
- swelling of the face or front legs
- increased thirst
- increased urination
Symptoms of extranodal lymphoma will depend on the organ it is affecting. Symptoms can include the following:
- Extranodal lymphoma in the skin: raised nodules or more generally dispersed scaly lesions
- Extranodal lymphoma in the lungs: respiratory distress
- Extranodal lymphoma in the kidneys: renal failure
- Extranodal lymphoma in the eyes: blindness
- Extranodal lymphoma in the central nervous system: seizures
- Extranodal lymphoma in the bones: pain or fractures
Treatment for Canine Lymphoma
Chemotherapy is the the most effective treatment option for canine lymphoma. However, the type of chemotherapy will vary depending on the type of cancer.
In addition, some cases may even require radiation therapy or surgery.
This is just the basics of canine lymphoma to help increase your knowledge during National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day. Contact us here at All Pets with the link below for more information or to schedule an appointment with us today!