Lymphoma, also referred to as Lymphosarcoma is the most commonly treated form of cancer in dogs. Also called lymphoma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lymphosarcoma may be diagnosed after a routine veterinary exam even when pet owners think their dog is healthy. Though many times lymphosarcoma is noticed due to the lymph nodes under the jaw being enlarged, the disease can start in a number of places within the body and may also spread, or metastasize, to other areas.
If your veterinarian suspects that your dog suffers from lymphosarcoma, he or she will likely order a number of laboratory tests. Testing for lymphosarcoma in dogs can include:
* Lymph node cytology – A microscopic examination of cells taken from the lymph node;
* Blood testing – Microscopic evaluation of blood cells to check for the presence of disease;
* Abdominal radiographs – X-rays of the abdominal area;
* Abdominal ultrasound – Uses sound waves to show pictures of soft tissues within the body;
* Bone Marrow Analysis – Microscopic evaluation of the bone marrow.
Not all of the above testing may be necessary for your veterinarian to determine if your dog has lymphosarcoma. Several of the above tests may only be used to determine staging, or the severity, of lymphosarcoma in dogs. In addition to determining the stage of disease, the tests can offer valuable insight into the overall health of the dog so that a lymphosarcoma treatment plan may be developed.