Cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs over the age of 2, with 25 percent of deaths attributed to cancer¹.

What is canine lymphoma?

Lymphoma, the most common cancer in dogs, occurs in the white blood cells of the immune system.  The signs of canine lymphoma can include:

  • tumours,
  • lethargy,
  • weight loss; and
  • loss of appetite.
Canine lymphoma

Canine lymphoma. Photo: mike-burke/unsplash

“Approximately one in four dogs and one in five cats will develop cancer in their lifetime. But thanks to more pet cancer awareness, improved preventative care and early diagnosis, we are better able to fight pet cancer,” said leading veterinary cancer specialist Dr Frimberger.

“The key to a good prognosis with canine lymphoma is early diagnosis and this particular form of cancer is very rapidly progressive, so it’s important to act quickly,” she said.

National Pet Cancer Awareness Month is a reminder to pet owners to regularly inspect your pet for any lumps or bumps, and pay attention to sudden changes in appearance and behaviour.

“I always recommend keeping pet insurance so that if you do need to make any major treatment decisions, you can focus solely on your pet’s best interest rather than having to worry about costs. And, if you are concerned about anything, contact your veterinarian for an assessment,” said Dr Frimberger.

Find a veterinary oncologist for canine lymphoma

While in many situations your family veterinarian is the best person to care for your pet, there are times when a referral is appropriate.

The Veterinary Oncology Consultants can help you find an oncologist for your pet with cancer in several major metropolitan areas in Australia and worldwide. Please ask your veterinarian to contact the Veterinary Oncology Consultants for advice.

Diets for canine lymphoma

Pets have different dietary requirements than people do, and it’s important not simply feed your pet human food. High quality commercially prepared pet foods are nutritionally balanced for pets, so are a simpler option than trying to home-cook a balanced diet. Hill’s Prescription Diet n/d is optimized for dogs with most types of cancer, and for dogs that enjoy it, is probably the simplest best choice. If you prefer to home-cook for your dog, try the “Ogilvie Canine Cancer Homemade Diet“.

Remember, it is more important that your pet eats than it is for your pet to eat a specific cancer diet; if your pet refuses to eat the prescribed diet, discuss alternatives with your veterinarian rather than have your pet have a suboptimal caloric intake.

Finally, a word of caution about seemingly magical supplements offered in magazines, health food stores, and on the internet.

Canine lymphoma sources

Veterinary Oncology Consultants

¹ American Humane Association