General Overview Of Canine Lymphoma

Canine lymphoma (also called lymphosarcoma) is the most common type of cancer to affect dogs. Lymphoma is defined as the occurrence of malignant tumors in a dog's organs, usually in the lymph nodes, liver, or spleen. Lymphoma can also be present in the digestive tract, as well as in the eyes and skin.

The first documented case of canine Lymphoma was in a nine-year old crossbred dog, in the late 1980's. It was identified in the dog's prostate, and treatment was attempted with cytotoxic drugs. Since not much was known about this condition, the dog did not survive. With today's technology and veterinary medicine, there is a fairly high remission rate with Canine Lymphoma.

Lymphoma can affect any type of dog, but there are several breeds that are more prone to develop this type of cancer. The most commonly affected breeds include Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Poodles, German Shepherds, Boxers, Scottish Terriers, Beagles and Basset Hounds.

Some of these breeds have an incredibly high rate of lymphoma, which is usually documented as an inherited breed-based trait.
For example, one in every eight Golden Retrievers will develop this condition.

The life expectancy of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma is between 9 and 12 months. While this may seem discouraging, it is possible to send a dog's lymphoma into remission with constant medical care, and regular chemotherapy.
With proper care, the survival rate of a dog diagnosed with lymphoma can be raised to 50%. With intensive chemotherapy, the average chance of remission is from 60-90%. Without treatment, most dogs will only survive for an average of two months.

Canine Lymphoma can be present wherever there is lymph tissue in your dog's body. It can travel quickly, especially if your dog is under significant stress. Lymphoma causes death in the same way that many other cancers do: by inducing organ failure.

The cancerous tumors begin to infiltrate important organs in your dog's system, and the damaged organ eventually fails. Some types of lymphoma that occur in the digestive tract, will prevent a dog from digesting food. This can cause death by starvation, since it is difficult to treat gastrointestinal lymphoma.

Though lymphoma may sound like a fatal condition, it actually has a much higher remission rate than some other cancers that can affect dogs. With a prompt diagnosis, as well as an intensive treatment plan, the chances of survival are moderately good.

Next Article: Symptoms Of Lymphoma In Dogs

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