Causes of Lymph Cancer in Dogs

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Lymph Cancer in dogs or Lymphoma is one of the most prevalent cancers among the canine population. This cancer can affect any dog at any age. But, there are some dog breeds that are of high risk for this disease.

Lymph cancer in dogs, accounts for more than 30% of all cancers in dogs. Lymphoma is an infectious cancer, which begins in the lymphoid system of the canine. This system is part of the body's immune system that would help the dog's body to combat illnesses that is being spread by viruses and bacteria.

The lymphoid tissues are spread among many parts of the dog's body, such as the lymph nodes, liver, gastrointestinal track, spleen and the skin. There are specific names given to lymph cancers in dogs according to the organ, where the cancer first begins.

For example: Cutaneous is the name given to the cancer form that occurs in the dog's skin and Multicentric is the cancer form that is occurring in the lymph nodes of the dog.

There are numerous causes of lymph cancer in canines:

Environmental factors are at the forefront of the causes of this malignant cancer. Exposure to pesticides are one of the main reasons for this disease. Especially Herbicide 2-3D is considered one of the main culprits in this regard.

Most of these cancers have been spreading due to the lawn cultivating services, using pesticides to cultivate a grassy lawn in most suburb homes. Most of the pets, living in such houses has been more prone to this cancer than other dogs.

A study has shown that the dogs living in houses, where pesticides were applied on the lawns were 70% more at risk of lymph cancer. It is also revealed that dogs in houses, where the owners applied insecticides inside the houses were suffering with lymph cancer too.

Studies have also shown that certain breeds are at a higher risk of getting infected with lymphoma than the other breeds. This has led the scientists to believe that a gene also could be responsible for dog lymphoma, but this theory is not fully proven yet.

Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers and Scottish Terriers are more prone to being infected with lymph cancer than other breeds.

Where to Look

The most common symptoms of lymph cancer in dogs are the swollen lymph nodes that could be felt under the neck, in front of the shoulders and behind the knees of the dog.

Other common symptoms include, diarrhea, vomiting, lethargy, weight loss and difficulty in breathing. Sometimes redness and flakiness of the skin also could be visible.

Treatment for Lymph Cancer in Dogs

The most common treatment for this cancer is chemotherapy. It consists of oral and injectable drugs given frequently. The frequency of the chemotherapy treatment would depend on the veterinarian and the financial resources of the dog owner.

There are several different chemotherapy protocols that need to be followed, in order to completely cure the dog of this cancer. Most of the dogs with lymphoma have been cured with chemotherapy and have improved their quality of life in the process.