November 7 is National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day. It’s a day dedicated to educate and create awareness about lymphoma in dogs.
What is canine lymphoma?
Canine lymphoma is a blood-borne cancer of lymphocytes found in dogs. It is also one of the most treatable. Majority of dogs diagnosed with lymphoma do not show signs of having the disease. Lymphoma is also usually found in middle-aged and senior dogs.
In 2011, the disease struck Reveille, the beloved dog of dog agility trainer and competitor Terry Simons. Terry did all he could to prolong the life of Reveille. His search for information on treatments to prolong his pet’s life drove him to establish CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research). The National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day was instituted in memory of Reveille.
Signs to watch out for
The disease doesn’t manifest at first glance, so petting your dog to feel if his or her lymph nodes are swollen is one way to check. Early detection of swollen lymph nodes can help in your pet’s treatment. The lymph nodes can be found under your dog’s chin, in front of his or her shoulders, and behind the knees. As always, if you’re not sure of what you’ve felt, always seek a veterinarian to check it out.
The American Kennel Club shared in an article that “veterinarians get a definite diagnosis by taking a sample of the affected organ. The most common diagnostic tool is something called a fine-needle aspiration, where a sample of a dog’s lymph nodes or organs is extracted for evaluation via cytology exam or histopathologic tissue evaluation. Some vets recommend “staging tests” after diagnosis of lymphoma. These tests will determine how far has the disease progressed in your dog’s body. Ask your vet what staging tests will be done on your dog if diagnosed with the disease.
The most effective treatment for canine lymphoma is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy depends on the type of lymphoma your dog has. There are cases where radiation therapy or surgery may be recommended by the vet.
Don’t worry about having your dog undergo chemotherapy. Unlike us, chemo does not usually make the dog sick and lose hair, “with the exception of (but not limited to) these breeds: poodles, old English sheepdogs, and the Bichon Frise,” according to the American Kennel Club.
Being proactive when it comes to your pet’s health is one way to prevent the disease. Regular checkups with the vet are advised. As always, give your dog the right balanced diet just to be on the safe side. We also have vegetarian dog food for hypersensitive dogs, Zen Vegetarian. Check out other Addiction dry dog food products.
Addiction Foods pet foods are available from your local store.
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