Friday, October 29, 2010

Our Furry Friends Can Suffer From Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Too

I have to admit that I never associated non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with canines before today, but I recently learned that dogs suffer from NHL just like humans do. In fact, the veterinary community has a pretty sophisticated grasp on NHL symptoms, progression and treatment for pooches. For example, according to Powerscout, symptoms of NHL in dogs include:

  • Generalized lymph node enlargement (swollen glands)
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss & loss of appetite
  • Increased drinking/urination
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Difficulty breathing
Diagnosis may be established after, "a thorough and full physical examination including, complete blood count, platelet count, biochemical profile, urinalysis & fine needle aspirate or excisional biopsy of the lymph node. Other tests may include chest and abdominal radiographs, abdominal ultrasound and ultrasound guided aspirates of the liver and spleen for cytologic evaluation, and bone marrow aspirate" (Powerscout).

Once the dog's cancer is identified, it is "staged," meaning the progression of the disease is determined. Then a treatment plan can be decided upon. Canines have many of the same treatment options as humans do, including chemotherapy.

Who knew that our furry friends risk the same battles with NHL as we do?

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