should be noted that I chose not to treat George, he was 14 yrs old,
& a friend of ours who recently adopted another one of the Kennewick
Eskimo puppy mill dogs (where George was from) also had a dog Buddy who
had it & he died from the first treatment, as seemed to be the case
with several other dogs. George being as old as he was & given the
life he had been subjected to seemed like it would be more torture to
put him through Chemo. I am a cancer survivor & I went through Chemo
& Radiation treatments & I swear if I had to do it again I
would opt out & leave this world peacefully, I couldn't do this to
George, I love him too much. What we did do was administer anti-biotics
& occasionally prednisone when the lymphs got large or swollen &
he was on Omega 3 fish oils as well as daily tramadol for pain. The one
thing that started to occur rather frequently was his 3rd eye lids
would get inflamed & swollen. He was still active & though he
was losing weight he was still eating & didn't appear to be in pain,
he had a few bad days but the good ones were more often than not. I was
told that when he was brought into the shelter he refused to walk, the
one thing with cancer is stress, the seizure of them all caused him so
much stress that they had to kill him 5 days later. The old man & I
had an "agreement" when it was time he would let me know but he was not
that bad off so my best guesstimate was that we still had at least
another 1 or 2 months. I will never regret my decision to keep him with
me & not just put him down, he grew up in a puppy mill & finally
had love, care & a real life, I wanted to make sure he was as
happy as he could be for as long as he could be. He was my boy, I loved
him, & I knew there was a day when I would have to say good bye but I
wanted it to be with some dignity & grace, being held & loved
when it was time for him to pass over, instead he died alone &
Canine Lymphoma: Dogs’ Life Expectancy
Lymphoma in dogs is an aggressive cancer that can metastasize very quickly. If the dog receives treatment and responds well to it, he may live up to one year after the lymphoma is detected. The cancer involves the lymphatic system and spreads at an alarming rate. Surgery is usually not an option, so the prognosis is poor.
Lymphoma in Dogs
Lymphoma may occur as a malignant growth, located in different parts of the body. The cancer will involve the lymphatic system (the lymph nodes). The lymphatic cells may be present in different areas of the body including the skin, stomach, liver or spleen. Lymphoma can start on the skin, bone marrow or an internal organ. The cells will multiply rapidly, affecting neighboring cells and organs, if the condition is not detected and controlled. An early detection of lymphoma and a suitable treatment are decisive in establishing the dog's life expectancy.
Dog Lymphoma Treatment
Ideally, the lymphoma could be removed through a surgical procedure. However, the cancerous lymphatic cells may be affecting other areas of the body and the surgeon cannot possibly remove all affected lymphatic cells. Typically, surgery is only possible if the cancer is detected very early and is located in a specific area. This is not common, as the dog may not display any symptoms during the early stages of the disease.
The second choice in lymphoma treatment is chemotherapy, which will not eliminate or reduce the number of cancerous cells, but will stop these from spreading and affecting new zones in the dog's body. Chemotherapy may be combined with different pain medication or anti-inflammatory drugs. Chemotherapy may also be used in conjunction with radiation therapy, which is an efficient pain treatment but will not increase the dog's chances of survival.
Canine Lymphoma Life Expectancy
The life expectancy for a dog with lymphoma may depend on several factors including:
- The stage of the cancer
- How early the cancer was detected
- Type of treatment administered
- Response to treatment
Canine lymphoma is a forceful cancer and may be fully treated only if surgery is possible. Even if the surgery can be performed, the dog may have other cancerous cells in the body, which will develop further. In the best case scenario, lymphoma can be operated on and the dog can live a normal life after that, while the cancerous cells will never return.
If surgery is not possible and the dog receives chemo drugs, the best prognosis for the dog is to live up to one year, provided the cancer is not metastasized. If the dog doesn't receive chemotherapy, but rather steroid therapy with prednisone, the dog may live up to six months, but typically will die within two months. If the cancer is already metastasized, the dog has low chances of survival and may live up to four weeks.
also see Lung Cancer in Dogs: An Overview
also see Identifiable Dog Lymphoma Symptoms
Read more: Canine Lymphoma: Dogs' Life Expectancy