Treating Lymphoma In Dogs

When your beloved dog develops lymphoma, you will want to learn more about options available for treatment.

When dogs do develop lymphoma, it is typically referred to as canine lymphosarcoma, or canine LSA. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon (it should be noted that one's understanding of lymphoma in humans does not really help with one's understanding of lymphosarcoma in dogs, as they do not directly correlate).

Chemotherapy

The most frequently used treatment option involves the use of chemotherapy. While this may be alarming to some dog owners, the reality is that dogs do quite well with chemotherapy, and do not seem to endure the same infamous side effects that are associated with this treatment in humans.

Dogs can receive single-agent chemotherapy or combination chemotherapy—-your vet will determine which is best for your dog.

Single-agent drugs include:

Combination regimens include:

  • COP (cyclophosphamide, vincristine, prednisone)
  • Prednisone plus cyclophosphamide
  • Prednisone, vincristine, cyclophosphamide, and doxorubicin
  • Chlorambucil, L-asparaginase, prednisone, and vincristine

Dog owners should be aware of the reality that while chemotherapy can produce complete response rates in as many as nine out of ten dogs with canine LSA, most of these responses are temporary, and relapse is all too common. In fact, the cure rate using chemotherapy is under 5 percent. However, chemotherapy can extend a dog's life by a year or more and do so without making him or her miserable during that time.

A recent advancement in canine lymphoma treatment involves the use of a bone marrow transplant. While not all dogs are candidates for this procedure, and it is not commonly performed, the cure rates against lymphoma using a bone marrow transplant are reported to hover at around 30 percent or so.

Sources

  • Caninecancer.com, Canine Lymphoma
  • Khanna C. "A New Option for the treatment of canine lymphoma." Animal Cancer Institute LLC
  • Thamm DH VMD. "Advances in Treatment for Canine Lymphoma." Animal Emergency Center.
  • North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, Canine Bone Marrow Transplant.

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