What to Know About Canine Lymphoma

Cancer, Dogs

Canine lymphoma is a common type of cancer in dogs. Cancer is a scary word, but lymphoma is actually one of the more treatable forms of the disease.

What is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymph nodes. The most common form of canine lymphoma is called multicentric lymphosarcoma because it arises at multiple sites at the same time: the peripheral lymph nodes, liver, and spleen.

What Kind of Dogs Get Lymphoma?

It is seen in middle-aged dogs of all breeds. Typically the dog has mild lethargy and is not acting his/her usual self. They will also have symmetrically enlarged lumps (submandibular lymph nodes) near the angle of the jaw.

Diagnosing Lymphoma

Often bloodwork is normal. Diagnosis requires taking a small tissue sample from the lump(s) and performing cytology. EMRVC has in-house cytology equipment, so we can give you an answer promptly. If your pet tests positive, we will conduct further testing. These will include abdominal ultrasound & x-rays (to check the internal organs), and will help us determine exactly which type of lymphoma (B or T cell) your pet has.

Treating Lymphoma

Chemotherapy can be started immediately in most cases. Here at EMRVC we use a 19 week protocol developed at the University of Wisconsin that involves weekly to biweekly outpatient treatments and is gentle on the patient. The goal is to shrink the enlarged lymph nodes, liver and spleen without causing any illness from the chemotherapy drugs and to maintain a good quality of life for the patient.

Most dogs respond well and stay in remission for 6 to 12 months, maybe longer! We can’t cure lymphoma (not yet), but we can slow it down and give your dog more precious time with you.

The doctors and staff at EMRVC are experienced with chemotherapy and with caring for these special patients! If you have any questions, contact usto schedule an appointment today.

Essex Middle River Veterinary Center provides medical and surgical care for cats and dogs at our animal hospital and veterinary clinic in Essex, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore. Our services include preventive wellness care exams, vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care. Our state-of-the-art veterinary offices are conveniently located near I-695 where we see pets from Towson, Honeygo, White Marsh, and other neighboring Baltimore areas.

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