Symptoms Of Lymphatic Disease In Dogs. Lymphoma is cancer in which lymphocytes, known as white blood cells, become malignant and shaped. Lymphocytes are immune elements that play an important role in your dog’s defense against diseases in normal times. Lymphocytes are found in different parts of the body. The lymph nodes connected to each other by vascular networks are called. They exist in the body in a mixed system. This system is responsible for recognizing foreign proteins and infectious agents in the body. It is also responsible for destroying harmful ones with direct current.
There is no point in the body where lymphocytes are not organized for this task. Therefore, they can form lesions almost anywhere, even in the case of cancer. Primary lymphoid organs such as lymph nodes, liver, spleen, and bone marrow may be involved in the lymphatic system. Apart from these, every organ for defense purposes such as the eyes, skin, digestive system can also be involved.
Symptoms Of Lymphatic Disease In Dogs
Lymphoma is one of the most common cancer types we encounter in the clinical setting, with an incidence of almost 1/8 among canine cancers when compared to other cancers. When considering canine lymphoma, there are more than 30 types that behave completely differently from each other. Some progress very rapidly and become life-threatening within weeks if left untreated, while others progress very slowly, are very easy to keep under control, and survival for years is possible. In the literature, it is accepted that complete recovery is possible in 5% of lymphomas, especially in those with local involvement.
The disease, which is accepted as the multicentric form of canine lymphoma, starts with malignancy in the primary lymphoid organs and involves lymph node, spleen, liver and bone marrow; It is very similar to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in humans, both histopathologically and considering its response to chemotherapy protocols. For this reason, the success achieved against two cancers is in harmony with each other, so our chances of success in canine lymphoma increase in direct proportion to that in humans.
As a human living with lymphoma in your dog, I am sure you are wondering about the mechanism that causes it. Unfortunately, the exact reason for this – as with other cancers – has not been revealed, but chronic diseases, viruses and chemical agents that will overload your dog’s defense system are thought to play a role in the disease.
Lymphoma can be observed in all dog breeds at any age. However, the incidence is higher in animals over 6 years of age and older. Although the Rottweiler is the breed in which we most often encounter lymphoma, Golden, Labrador and Scottish Terrier are also breeds at risk according to the literature.
How are lymphomas classified?
Lymphomas should initially be classified according to the organ they involve.
- Multicentric Lymphoma: It begins with the involvement of primary lymphoid organs, such as lymph nodes, spleen, and liver. If left untreated, it can quickly affect different points such as the bone marrow and nervous system. It can be life-threatening and can lead to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphoma is the most common form of lymphoma that comes to mind. It also has the most distinctive treatment protocols and prognosis.
- Gastrointestinal Lymphoma: Although it is mostly seen in cats, its rate is quite high in dogs as well. This malignancy, which occurs in the stomach, intestines, liver, and lymph nodes that take part in their defense, is the lymphoma form in which we are more successful in treatment and survival than the multicentric form if we put aside the difficulties in diagnosis.
- Mediastinal Lymphoma: It begins with the involvement of the thymus gland in the chest cavity. It also makes it difficult to breathe. Therefore, it is a form of lymphoma with clinically more severe symptoms. Calcium increase is important in mediastinal lymphomas. It shows that we are dealing with T lymphoma histopathologically. This form is also called thymic lymphoma.
- Cutaneous Lymphoma: This form, which occurs on the skin, is the most overlooked or misdiagnosed form clinically. If the histopathology of cutaneous lymphomas is the T-cell origin, our chance of success is very low. In such cases, chemotherapy protocols change.
- Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma: It is the form in which the disease begins in the bone marrow. Bone marrow sample is required for diagnosis.
Symptoms Of Lymphatic Disease In Dogs
Although lymphoma is less common, it can be seen in: Such as kidneys, nervous system, nasal cavity, mouth and subcutaneous tissue… It can be seen in almost any part of the body. When a single lesion is detected in these areas, radiotherapy is applied. Complete recovery is possible with techniques such as radiotherapy if the histopathological origin is appropriate.