Lymphoma in Dogs

dog lymph nodesBecause lymphoma is one of the most common cancers found in dogs, accounting for about 10-20% of all cancer in dogs, it is important to understand what lympohoma is and what the signs of lymphoma are.

Basically, lymphoma is a malignant cancer that involves lymph nodes and organs with lymphoid tissues, such as the liver, spleen, gastrointestinal tract and skin.

The causes of lymphoma is not known, but there is a growing speculation that environmental factors, such as pesticides may play a role.

A dog lymphoma study in 1991, looked at dogs with with malignant lymphoma, benign tumors and dogs with unrelated cancer. The owners completed surveys, and the scientists found that large increase in dogs with malignant lymphoma that lived in homes that were more likely to live in a home where chemical insecticides were used.

There is other speculation about magnetic fields causing lymphoma in dogs, but this is unproven. Another thought is that there is a genetic correlation since certain breeds of dogs are more prone to developing lymphoma (Rottweilers, Scottish Terriers and Golden Retrievers)

Signs of Lymphoma

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Labored breathing
  • Visible fatigue or lethargy
  • Excessive thirst and frequent urination
  • Pain and swelling in lymph node areas

Treatment for Dog Lymphoma

The goal when treating lymphoma in dogs is to achieve complete remission and to restore the dog’s quality of life for as long as possible.

Chemotherapy medications are the most common form of treatment.

Depending on the stage of cancer, the treatment options will vary.