When your pet receives a diagnosis of cancer it can be very upsetting. Today we are shinning light on canine lymphoma. Lymphoma is a group of cancers that stem from the lymphocytes or type of white blood cells that help the immune system fight infection. There are more than 30 types of canine lymphoma however we are going to discuss the four most common types of canine lymphoma.
Multicentric Lymphoma- 80-85% percent of canines are diagnosed with multicentric lymphoma. This type of lymphoma is characterized by rapid enlargement of the lymph nodes they can be 3-10 times their normal size. It is not painful to your dog but they may experience lethargy, fever, anorexia, weakness and dehydration.
Alimentary Lymphoma – Only 10% of cases are diagnosed as Alimentary. This type of Lymphoma targets the intestines and symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, anorexia, diarrhea and weight loss.
Mediastinal – This type of lymphoma is very rare and causes lymph nodes that are located in the chest to become enlarged. It is a very invasive type of lymphoma that is characterized by what is known as T cell lymphocytes. Symptoms can include trouble breathing, masses and fluid build up in the chest, swelling in the face or front legs, increase thirst and urination.
Extranodal – This type of lymphoma affects specific organs like the skin, eyes, kidney,lungs or central nervous system. Symptoms for each organ include:
Skin - your pet may have raised nodules or scaly lesions present. If it is affecting the mouth you may notice these lesions on the gums, lips or roof of mouth.
Lungs - your pet will show signs of respiratory distress
Kidneys - your pet will show symptoms of renal failure
Eyes – your pet will most likely go blind
Central nervous system – Your pet may develop seizures
Bones – may cause your pet pain and be more susceptible to fractures
In order for your veterinary to diagnose lymphoma a sample from the affected organ must be taken. The sample is then evaluated through what is known as a cytology or histopath. To determine the disease progression through the body your vet may also recommend blood test, ultrasound, radiology, sonogram or bone marrow aspiration.
Lymphoma treatments can vary but the most common treatments are chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Side effects involved with treatment can include mild vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite and decreased activity levels. There are also holistic options to help keep your pet comfortable whether you choose to do any of the above treatments or not. Your pets life expectancy can vary depending on the type of lymphoma that they are diagnosed with as well as on the aggressiveness, stage and choice of treatment. It is important to remember that there is a difference between remission meaning signs and symptoms have disappeared but could still be in the body and cure meaning elimination of the disease entirely.
Here at Newberry Animal Holistic and Wellness Center we are pleased to work with Dr.Alleman (a board certified clinical pathologist) who assists Dr. Spinosa in getting quick and accurate results on your pets diagnosis so that they can begin treatments as soon as possible. If you would like to discuss the condition with Dr. Spinosa, please call us today!