Many dog owners are concerned about dog cancer since cancer poses a serious health risk to dogs. About fifty percent of the deaths of dogs are caused by cancer. Approximately twenty-five percent of all dog deaths are cancer related.
The cause of dog lymphoma has not been determined. The symptoms of canine lymphoma vary depending on what parts of the dog's body are being affected by the cancer.
If only the lymph nodes are being affected by dog lymphoma, the dog may develop abnormal swelling. Dog lymphoma affecting the lymph nodes often causes the lymph nodes to harden which can be felt as lumps. The dog with only lymph nodes damaged by the cancer may not experience other dog cancer symptoms.
Canine lymphoma affecting other areas of the body may cause loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and weight loss. Shortness of breath, lumps on the skin, or bumps in or near the mouth can also be caused by dog lymphoma.
A veterinarian may do blood tests or biopsies to diagnose lymphoma. Ultrasound or x-rays may also be used to diagnose dog lymphoma. The severity of the lymphoma may be classified by how many lymph nodes have been affected by the cancer.
Canine lymphoma is classified in five different stages. In this classification system, stage I canine lymphoma is the least severe. Stage one describes lymphoma in dogs that is only affecting a single lymph node. If the dog lymphoma has spread to the bone marrow, multiple lymph nodes, and at least one organ, it is referred to as stage V dog lymphoma.
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment for lymphoma in dogs. During chemotherapy treatment, the dog may receive weekly injections of chemotherapy drugs such as doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide.
Dog lymphoma is a life-threatening type of dog cancer. A dog that has been diagnosed with dog lymphoma and is not receive treatment typically lifts four to six weeks after diagnosis.
The dog life may be extended up to a year after diagnosis with chemotherapy treatment. Rarely, a dog may live over a year after diagnosis if it receives chemotherapy for dog lymphoma.
The dog owner should not feel guilty about the dog's medical condition. Some dog owners may be concerned that they may have done something to cause dog lymphoma. Though the causes of lymphoma in dogs are not well understood, dog lymphoma is not caused by the actions of dog owners.