June 10, 2019 5 min read 0 Comments
Lymphoma can be a devastating disease and can go undetected until it's too late. The availability of testing these days has made it more commonly diagnosed, but no one really knows where it comes from. In this article, we will discuss some things to do and how to recognize the signs your dog may have Lymphoma.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects white blood cells. This type of cancer typically invades systems responsible for the immune system such as lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow.
Lymphoma cells can easily travel around the body looking for another organ to attack. There are many things that can be done to help slow down the spread of these cells or even make them decrease in numbers. Seeing your local veterinarian to help you with treatment options for your dog is always recommended. While not everyone can afford chemotherapy there are many different options on treatment you and your veterinarian can discuss. The goal is to prolong your dog's life while still maintaining high-quality health and happiness.
If you think that your dog has lymphoma, the first thing that you will see is swollen lymph nodes. These swellings are usually not painful to the touch. Your dog has external lymph nodes under his chin, mid neck, armpits, groin area, and behind his knees. If you notice any swelling in these locations, take your dog to a veterinarian to have them check for possible lymphoma or even a different type of cancer.
There are also lymph nodes inside the body. If you notice any gastrointestinal signs such as vomiting or diarrhea this can be a sign of GI lymphoma. Lymphoma of the lungs can cause difficulty breathing or coughing. Just because your pet may be showing any of these symptoms it is important not to jump to conclusions as there are many different reasons why they have occurred and usually cancer is not as common. Your dog's veterinarian can certainly determine through testing what the issue may be.
While the exact cause of lymphoma is unknown some people think that it can be due to bacteria, viruses, or some kind of chemical exposure. Evidence shows that Lymphoma does have a genetic component to it. There are certain breeds of dogs that are more prone to Lymphoma such as Boxers, Golden Retrievers. The possibility of these genes likely stems from overbreeding and inbreeding to try to maintain pure bloodlines.
Most dogs who have lymphoma will respond to chemotherapy. The lymphatic system circulates throughout the body thus making it impossible to just remove the one enlarged nodule as it can affect everything. On a positive note the fact that the lymphatic system is linked together throughout the entire body it responds well to treatments like chemotherapy. Just as cancer can move throughout the body so can the treatment which helps lessen or even stop the spread of cancer to other systems.
While most people who think of chemotherapy think of that person they know or what they have seen on TV of people who are sick all the time and losing their hair. Dogs do not have the same response to chemotherapy as people. Dogs are not given extremely high dosages of the medications as people get. Veterinarian's goals are to prolong life with good quality. While sometimes a dog may get sick and feel lethargic most the time they actually seem to feel much better after treatment. Sometimes veterinarians will see vomiting or diarrhea with dogs undergoing chemotherapy and will prescribe medicine to help get them through these unfortunate side-effects. If a dog is sick on the day that they are scheduled for chemotherapy usually the veterinarian will skip that dosage or reschedule them for a later date when they feel much better. Again, the point is to make them feel better, not worse. The goal isn't to cure cancer but to simply stop the spread of it and prolong the animal's life.
Many people look for other options to help their dog once they get a cancer diagnosis. There are many things that you can give your dog to help shrink the tumor or even help with the side effects of the disease or chemotherapy.
CBD or cannabidiol has recently shown to help pets fight disease such as cancer, skin problems, help with arthritis and increase appetite. CBD is derived from the hemp plant and contains little to no THC. THC is the psychotropic part of the plant. CBD would be a great supplement to give your dog even if they are not fighting cancer as it still promotes overall health benefits.
CBD is a great supplement to give to your dog who has lymphoma. If they are undergoing chemotherapy, CBD will help decrease nausea and make them want to eat a little more which will help keep their energy up thus making them feel better while undergoing treatment.
When looking for CBD oil making sure that the products have been tested by a 3rd party and ensure that they actually contain what they say they contain. The CBD oil that you purchase should say where the hemp is grown and how it is processed. Make sure that this is sourced by a reputable place and contains exactly what it should.
There are several different options when giving your dog CBD oil. Some are oral oils, flavored oils, or infused treats or capsules. While some dogs do not like the taste of the oils even the flavored ones they usually all love the treats. Some dogs are very picky or cannot tolerate treats. The capsules are an easy way to hide the oils and make it easier for you to give your dog CBD supplements.
In the unfortunate event that your dog has been diagnosed with lymphoma, it is important to stay positive and know that there are options. Whether he or she is treated with chemotherapy or other drugs CBD oil can still be used in conjunction with just about all of them. It is recommended to discuss the use of CBD supplementation with your dog's veterinarian so they can ensure that there will be no drug interactions that could make your dog feel bad. Remember the goal is to make your dog feel better so you can enjoy their company for as long as possible while still keeping them happy and healthy.