Dogs with Lymphoma: Advice For Dog Owners

Dogs with lymphoma, a cancerous state in the white blood cells or lymphocytes, require special attention from trained veterinary professionals. Lymphomas are tumors in the lymph nodes that usually grow in a dog’s liver or spleen. However, these growths have also been known to attack a dog’s digestive tract as well.

Certain breeds are more prone to develop cancerous lymphomas than others. Golden retrievers, for example, are the most susceptible to this type of canine cancer.

Symptoms of advancement include the difficulty in breathing, vomiting, tiredness, diarrhea, anemia, skin lesions and lack of appetite. Dogs that have been diagnosed with this disease commonly live between 9 and 12 months after detection with treatment. If left untreated, however, that number decreases to no more than six weeks, so it is crucial that these dogs be treated as soon as possible.

3 Ways to Treat Dogs with Lymphoma

 Dog lymphoma can be treated in 3 basic medical technology advancements. These are chemotherapy, blood stem cell transplant and prednisone therapy.

1. Chemotherapy

A basic process used to treat dog lymphoma is chemotherapy. This is done for at least 12 months, using single agent or multi-agent protocol. Single agent protocol uses one chemotherapy drug. The first remission period lasts for about seven months. This protocol is less expensive and less toxic.

Multi-agent protocol combines oral treatment and injections. This protocol is associated with longer remission and is more expensive than the single agent protocol. However, this method is highly effective than the single-agent protocol.

These chemotherapy protocols and duration are based on such factors as the overall dog’s health condition when treatment started, the stage of lymphoma, the tumor’s primary location and changes that might occur in its organ function. Chemotherapy includes such common side effects as hair loss or slow hair growth, nausea, diarrhea, appetite loss, tiredness and vomiting.

2. Prednisone Therapy

This is another way used to treat dogs with lymphoma. Prednisone or corticosteroid therapy is opted for in some cases where chemotherapy may not be suitable. This is equally effective but more expensive than chemotherapy. This even allows dogs to move, eat and even feel better while under therapy.  

3. Blood stem cell transplant

This is simply a transplant of undamaged stem cell from the bone marrow. The transplant is done after a total body radiation to ensure total elimination of cancer cells. This method gives a higher survival rate yet the most expensive one.

Deciding which method should be used depends on your vet’s advice since he has the authority to give what’s best for dogs with lymphoma. For more savings and great dog’s health benefits and total comfort, why not consider a pet insurance plan that fits well for a great dog care?
 

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