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Lymphoma in dogs requires immediate attention

by veterinary_clinic_traverse_city 18. May 2016 02:25

Lymphocyte cells are small white blood cells that play a key role in a dog’s ability to fight against germs and disease.  

Lymphoma is a cancer that originates in these cells and creates an unregulated growth that can affect the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and bone marrow.  It can also affect other areas of a dog’s body as well.  If left untreated, dogs can pass away in as little as two to four weeks. 

“Although there is no cure for dog lymphoma, many treatments can extend a dog’s quality and length of life,” according to Dr. Eric Peck, who has been practicing veterinary medicine in the greater Traverse City area for more than 20 years. 

Dogs with lymphoma can present many symptoms, because the disease is aggressive, it’s important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible when any of these occur: 

  • A rapid weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Conjunctivitis or eye infections
  • Enlarged lymph nodes under the jaw, chest armpits or groin
  • Increased water consumption and urination

Although all breeds are susceptible to lymphoma, it is especially prevalent in Golden Retrievers, St. Bernards, Basset Hounds, Scottish Terriers, Boxers and Bulldogs. 

The most effective treatment for dogs with lymphoma is chemotherapy.  These drugs, when combined with a steroid such as prednisone can extend a dog’s life for up to a year or more, depending on the type of lymphoma and how early the disease was diagnosed. 

Located in Williamsburg and serving Traverse City, Elk Rapids, Acme, Kalkaska and nearby communities, Northern Michigan Veterinary Hospital is a fully equipped regional facility serving the routine and emergency needs of pet owners since 2009.

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