Facts about Lymphoma in Dogs
Today is National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day. Although less than 1% of dogs are diagnosed with lymphoma in the US each year, it represents 7-14% of all cancers diagnosed in dogs.
There are over 30 types of lymphomas that have been identified in dogs, but they all have one thing in common. They all affect the Lymphocytes. Because of this, Lymphoma is a systemic disease. Although the most common types can be treated if identified early, much like a chronic illness, Lymphoma is incurable.
Lymphoma is most commonly diagnosed in middle age and older dogs. These dog breeds are also at a higher risk for Lymphoma: Golden Retrievers, Boxer Dogs, Bullmastiffs, Basset Hounds, Saint Bernards, Scottish Terriers, Airedale Terriers, and Bulldogs.
Lymphomas may affect any organ in the body, but most commonly originate in lymph nodes, before spreading to other organs such as the spleen, liver, and bone marrow.
The cause of Lymphoma is unknown and therefore prevention is tricky. We recommend getting a base like blood work whenever you get your dog, whether she is a puppy are an adult rescue. We also recommend annual blood work so that you can identify changes quickly. Since lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system it is important to rub your dog all over on a regular basis and make note of any changes in the skin and under it. If you feel any new lumps or bumps, see a doctor as soon as possible. Early detection is the key to successful treatment.
Here are some links with lots of important information you may need if your dog is diagnosed with Lymphoma.