Dog's Health – Lymphosarcoma Cancer
Lymphosarcoma is one of the most common types of cancers seen. It is also referred to as lymphoma or non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In dogs, many different species develop Lymphosarcoma. Like any other cancer, this one can "metastasize", which means it can spread and affect other organs and tissues.Most dogs get a type of lymphosarcoma that originates the lymph nodes and usually the nodes under the jaw get swollen. Sometimes this is the only symptom your dog will have. But the jaw is not the only place where this disease can begin. Some forms of Lymphosarcoma begin in the bone marrow, the chest, abdomen, or even the skin.
It is difficult to detect the Lymphosarcoma because it can spread to many places in the body. So full analysis is essential to determine this disease and also establish the stage of disease. It is very important to determine the stage of the disease and decide the kind of treatment and the right dosage. Vets typically do the following tests in order to detect the stages:
* Cytology – checking the lymph node cells
* Blood work
* Abdominal radiographs
* Abdominal ultrasound
* Bone marrow analysis
Most of the times, the vets do just a few of the tests listed above. Even a few of the tests alone can determine the stage and if the dog can be submitted to the treatment.
DISEASE STAGES OF EVOLUTION
Lymphosarcoma has 4 stages.
In state I the cancer exists in just one lymph node. This stage is rarely diagnosed in pets.
In stage II the disease has spread to more than one node and has occupied a body region. In stage III the cancer is in the nodes but has spread in the body.
In stage IV the lymphosarcoma has reached the liver or the spleen. There is also a stage V and it reflects to all the stages above but with cancer spread to the bone marrow or the blood or any other organ.
The main stages have sub stages: "A" and "B".
"A" means the patient does not have the illness. "B" means the patient displays clinical symptoms like fluid in the lungs, vomiting or diarrhea.
Stage IIIA is the earliest detected and it can be treated.
MEANS OF TREATMENT
Many people have heard of chemotherapy. This means treatment with chemicals. The dog anti-cancer drugs, orally, intravenously, or subtutaneously. The good fact is that animals have a high tolerance to anti-cancer drugs, far better than humans. Also, side effects because of the treatment appear only in 5 cases out of 100.
Some of the most common questions a dog owner has: Is the dog going to lose the hair? Usually, they do not. But poodles and old English Sheepdogs are predisposed to lose their hair after chemotherapy. But do not worry. It will grow back. Keep in mind that Lymphosarcoma treatable but not curable.
Will the disease come back and how long will it last? This depends on the type of Lymphosarcoma the dog has. But with the latest medical advances, approximately 90% of dogs achieve a complete remission. The average remission is between 8 and 12 months.
What happens after the dog comes out of remission? It can be treated just like the first time. Also, the second and third remissions are treatable.
The whole cost of the treatment begins at about $ 500 and can go up to $ 2,000 in case of a large pet.