Like us humans, dogs are also susceptible to getting different diseases like cancer, and one of the most significant and most common is lymphoma in dogs.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, although there are less than 70,000 dogs in the country that are getting diagnosed with lymphoma every year, it still accounts for 24% of new cancers in dogs.
Lymphoma in Dogs, also known as Canine Lymphosarcoma, is a type of cancer that commonly occurs in organs responsible for the immune system.
It is considered a systematic disease. It affects the whole body because it develops in cells that are in the blood (known as lymphocytes).
In this article, let's dig a little deeper on what are the common types and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
We also listed down the possible treatments for lymphoma, and what can we do as dog parents in case of this unfortunate event.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Causes
Dogs are also exposed to the same environment as us. And what might be causing cancer in humans can be the same for dogs, too.
However, Lymphoma has no known cause as of yet.
Many studies and research were conducted to determine if lymphoma in dogs could be caused by viruses, bacteria, chemical exposures, or even strong magnetic fields, but none of them really came through.
As of now, what's constantly observed is having a low immune system is a risk factor in getting lymphoma (not only for dogs but humans too!).
But the connection between the low immune system and lymphoma hasn't been clearly established yet.
Lymphoma in Dogs: Types
Studies suggest that there are 30 types of canine lymphoma and that they vary in behavior depending on the affected organ.
However, they are categorized into 4 types of lymphoma in dogs:
Lymphoma in Dogs: Symptoms
Depending on the affected area, there are different signs and symptoms of lymphoma in dogs.
Multicentric LymphomaSwollen lymph nodes in dogs are the most noticeable sign of Multicentric Lymphoma.
Although it's generally not painful for them, the rapid growth of lymph nodes can be quite disturbing and worrisome.
They can grow from 3 to 10 times their normal size. They would also feel like a moving hard, rubbery lump under the skin.
At times, they may cause our dogs' loss of appetite and energy. You may also observe edema or swelling in the legs and/or face.
Alimentary Lymphoma mainly affects our dog's gastrointestinal organs. Because of this, some symptoms you'll probably observe are vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
Their diarrhea can be quite watery, dark in color, and foul-smelling.
Now I know it's hard to notice if your dog has an aching tummy (if only they can speak!)
But if you see them restless, in a scrunched-up position, and don't like getting touched in the abdomen area, then that could be abdominal pain.
Because it's in the chest area, Mediastinal Lymphoma may cause difficulty in breathing in our dogs.
Also some of the most noticeable signs are constant coughing and their intolerance to physical activities.
Dogs with this type of lymphoma may also get swelling in the face and in their front legs.
You'll also notice them frequently thirsty and always urinating.
Since Extranodal Lymphoma targets different organs, you may want to keep a look out for different symptoms.
Lymphoma on the skin may appear as either lesions or rashes, while lymphoma on the eyes may start as blindness.
Sudden seizures may be caused by lymphoma in their central nervous system, and unexplained fractures may be caused by lymphoma on their bones.
Whatever unusual symptoms you may be observing in your dog, consulting your vet is always, always the best thing to do.