Description: A very common disease that causes immune system cancer. It attacks the lymph nodes and causes of it are still unknown. There are speculations that is may be environmentally-related, possibly from herbicides and magnetic fields. Lymphoma or lymphosarcoma is a type of cancer that afflicts some breeds more than other breeds. This disease makes the body form abnormal lymphocytes, which are a type of white blood cell. Because white blood cells can be found throughout the body, this cancer can show up almost anywhere. Lymphoma is a very treatable form of cancer, with an excellent success rate in dogs receiving chemotherapy.
What to Watch For: Signs include, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, and diarrhea. Watch for swollen glands (ask your veterinary team, and they will show you where to look), or labored breathing at home and be sure to call your veterinarian if you notice any unusual signs.
Diagnosis: This cancer can be diagnosed by x-rays and ultrasound, however which testing method depends on the location of the tumors. Luckily, lymphoma is one of the few types of cancer that can often be found with a blood test, so your vet may recommend a complete blood count twice yearly.
Treatment: Treatment involves chemotherapy and a combination of oral and injectable medications. Treatment can be costly, however, and is a lifelong commitment.
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Breeds prone to Lymphoma include: