Lymphoma in Pets

Lymphoma is the most common cancer seen in small animal veterinary medicine.

Lymphoma is the most common cancer seen in small animal veterinary medicine, and can affect the lymphoid tissue of many possible organs. By far the most common area of involvement is the peripheral lymph nodes of the body, but lymphoma may also spread and  involve internal areas, as well as even the skin. Causes of lymphoma are believed be genetic in origin; however, environmental factors, including overexposure and sensitivity to chemicals, pesticides, and even over-vaccination are all believed to play roles in increased development of lymphoma.

Clinical signs will vary depending upon the location of the cancer, but with peripheral lymphoma(the most common type), symptoms include firm swellings around the body, especially under the neck, as well as nonspecific symptoms of illness such as lethargy, loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting/diarrhea and/or coughing or difficulty breathing.  While tentative diagnosis of lymphoma is often made by needle aspiration of affected lymph nodes, definitive diagnosis usually requires an excisional tissue biopsy.

Treatment of lymphoma usually involves a sequential chemotherapy protocol, which will vary depending upon severity and location of the lymphoma.  Prognosis for remission is usually very good, with some animals achieving cancer free periods for 1-2 years; however, the prognosis for cure is very guarded.

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  1. My beloved pet, a 3 year old Chihuahua passed away after her very first chemo injection. They told me it was because her cancer cells were dying so fast that they caused her potassium to go sky high. I paid over $5,000.00 dollars trying to save her. This disease is horrible.

  2. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 23, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss. You obviously loved your canine companion very much. She will always live on in our minds and memories.

  3. My 14.5 year old mix-breed was diagnosed with Stage-3 Canine Lymphoma 20-months ago. She was on the Wisconsin Madison Protocol for 19-weeks, went through remission for 5-months before relapsing and jumping up a stage. She’s currently on a Rescue Protocol now.

    The road has been long as it has been hard, and we thought that we would lose her a few weeks ago – when we also found a growth on her spleen; her immunity was at zero and her platelet count was under 30K, but she’s still fighting, so much so that our vet called her a Miracle dog the other day.

    On good days, she runs and plays like she was a dog half her age. On bad days, …well, bad days are extremely difficult. She’s still slightly anaemic and her lymphocytes are still low.

    She has a good diet of primarily stir fried beef with olive oil and some turmeric with spinach, asparagus and some carrots added at times. Some days she may get cottage cheese or quinoa with minced lamb. She also gets a teaspoon of salmon oil a day as well as (since a month ago) Azmira ImmunoStimm R, Azmira Blood & Lymph and Kala Health Digestix.

    Exercise-wise, she gets three walks a day between 15 to 40 minutes per walk on normal days.

    Although she is hanging in there and doing ok, I’m desperate for her to put on some weight and to maintain it and a good immune system. Any advice on this or anything else really, would be so very appreciated.

  4. Oh, and she always has a bowl of Origin Senior left out for her should she ever get hungry between meals. She also gets yoghurt at night before bedtime.

  5. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Try also adding supplements K9 immunity, as well as transfer factor. See website

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianApril 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Thats fine. Try Wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds.

  7. Thanks Dr. Dym,

    I really do appreciate the pointers.

  8. Dr Dym,

    Just one question if I might ….which Wysong Epigen would you recommend – the normal one or the 90?

    Much Thanks,

  9. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 1, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Either epigen product is fine.

  10. Thanks Dr Dym,

    That’s great. I’m way out in Asia, and Wysong products are pretty hard to come by. I’ve found the regular Epigen in Hong Kong but haven’t had any luck finding the 90 just yet.

  11. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    See if 1800petmeds will ship it to you.

  12. Can you give K9 Immunity plus with Prednisone?

  13. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 28, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Yes should not be a problem giving this supplement with prednisone.

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