Canine Lymphoma Symptoms

This article looks at canine lymphoma symptoms. Canine lymphoma, also known as canine lymphosarcoma or LSA, is the most common malignant cancer to strike dogs, affecting an estimated 10 percent of all dogs. Treatment usually involves some form of chemotherapy.

Since it's not possible to ask one's dog if he or she isn't feeling well, it becomes the responsibility of the owner to look for possible canine lymphoma symptoms and signs and bring these to the attention of their vet. The sooner the lymphoma is treated, the better the prognosis.

Canine Lymphoma Symptoms

The primary canine lymphoma symptoms is the same as it is in humans: swollen lymph nodes. Owners can check the lymph nodes in front of their shoulders, under the dog's neck, or even behind the knee. However, even if these nodal areas are not swollen, it is possible that nodes that can't be reached are swollen and indicative of lymphoma.

Other more generalized canine lymphoma symptoms include:

  • - Loss of appetite
  • - Unexplained weight loss
  • - General lethargy
  • - Vomiting
  • - Diarrhea
  • - Frequent urination
  • - Frequent trips to the water disk
  • - Respiratory problems, namely problems breathing

If the canine lymphoma is cutaneous (meaning it is affecting the skin), one might expect to see itchiness, flaky skin, ulcers on the skin, or even lumps at the affected sites.

Any one of these canine lymphoma symptoms, taken alone, can be indicative of a variety of issues, but owners are nonetheless urged to bring them to the attention of their vet.

Factors Affecting Canine Lymphoma Symptoms or Signs

Since canine lymphoma is staged according to spread of disease (similar to—but not the same as—the staging system used in humans), canine lymphoma symptoms are likely to follow suit. Thus, a dog in early-stage disease may not be as symptomatic as a dog in later-stage disease. Since canine lymphoma is most likely to strike dogs that are either middle-aged or older, owners should become more vigilant about lymphoma as their dogs age.

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