Canine Lymphoma Chemotherapy. Lymphoma cancer or Canine Lymphosarcoma is treatable but not yet curable in dogs. The earliest lymphoma is detected in many dogs is what vets call Stage IIIA; note that all stages may be treated.
Chemotherapy means “chemical” treatment and refers to drug therapy. Anti-cancer “chemotherapy” drugs may be administered intravenously (through a vein), subcutaneously (under the skin), or even orally (ingested through the mouth) depending on the drug chosen.
Animals undergoing chemotherapy tend to tolerate these drugs much better than humans, with the incidence of serious side effects being far less. The most commonly reported side effects in pets as a result of canine chemotherapy are:
- Loss of appetite
Common Questions About Chemotherapy for Canine Lymphosarcoma
* Will my dog lose his hair if he has chemotherapy for lymphosarcoma?
Certain breeds of dog are more likely to experience hair loss as a result of chemotherapy, including Poodles and Old English Sheepdogs. Other breeds may lose their whiskers but have no great loss of hair. Regardless, hair that was lost usually regrows once the chemotherapy has ended.
* What are the chances of remission and how long will it last?
The answer to this question is quite variable, as several factors can affect the final outcome. For example, the initial staging at diagnosis and the type of lymphosarcoma both must be taken into consideration when determining the odds of remission. Many dogs achieve remission. The average length of remission is between eight to twelve months.
* What happens if my pet comes out of remission and the cancer returns?
If the cancer returns, your pet can be retreated at that time. Treatment protocols may be the same as the original treatment, or your veterinary cancer specialist called an oncologist may prescribe different protocols. Second and third remissions are possible.
* How much does lymphosarcoma treatment cost?
Treatment costs can vary widely from practice to practice. Typically costs start at around $500 and they sky is the limit for large dogs. One way to reduce potential costs is to locate a veterinary hospital that participates in funded clinical trials.
* Should we be feeding a special diet, or giving vitamins while our dog has chemotherapy?
A good diet and balanced multi-vitamin mineral supplement are standard in most cases.