Canine Lymphoma Treatment Cost

Cancer of the organs and/or skin in dogs is known and canine lymphoma, and treatment is very similar to treatment regimens for cancer in humans. According to veterinary researchers, canine lymphoma can strike any breed of dog, but the breeds most likely to suffer from this disease are Beagles, Golden Retrievers, Pit Bulls, Bassett Hounds, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Poodles, Scottish Terriers and Boxers. Treatment options and costs are the same no matter what the breed of your dog is.

What Canine Lymphoma Is

As the name implies, canine lymphoma is a disease that affects your dog’s lymph tissues. So, any organ or area in your dog’s body that contains lymph tissues can be affected.

This includes:

  • the stomach
  • lymph nodes
  • liver
  • prostate
  • spleen
  • skin

Canine lymphoma is defined as the presence of malignant tumors in the above listed organs of your dog. Typical untreated life expectancy of a dog with lymphoma is usually nine to twelve months. However, it isn’t very difficult to force canine lymphoma into remission, allowing a much longer and happier life for you and your dog together. Like human forms of cancer, canine lymphoma travels (metastasizes) quickly and causes death in the same manner, it causes the internal organs to fail and shut down, at which time death occurs. Just like in humans, stress can increase the rapidity of the spread of lymphoma in dogs.

Symptoms of Canine Lymphoma

Symptoms are similar to those found in humans. One of the first, but hardest to detect symptoms is the formation of lumps in the armpits, on the neck or back or abdominal area. These can be hard to detect because of thick fur. Vomiting will most likely be the first symptom you actually notice because the lumps are so hard to spot through fur. Just like in humans, your dog may begin to exhibit a diminished appetite, which may eventually degenerate into a total lack of interest in food. Weight loss will accompany this lack of interest in food. Another difficult to detect symptom is a fever that won’t go away.

Home Diagnosis of Canine Lymphoma

Diagnosis is accomplished the same way as in humans. Your vet will perform a visual exam and determine whether or not your dog’s lymph nodes are enlarged. A urine and blood test will then be performed. Once these tests are performed and cancer is suspected, a biopsy of your dog’s lymph nodes will be performed to verify the presence of lymphoma.

Lymphoma Treatment Regimens

Treatment programs mimic those for humans. Chemotherapy is one of the most effective forms of treatment. Your dog may be given medicine to boost its immune system. In certain cases where the cancer is caught at an early stage, surgery may be performed to remove the tumor. This will normally be done in conjunction with chemotherapy. Proper nutrition is imperative. Carbohydrates need to be cut to zero and foods high in Omega -3 fatty acids are required.

Costs Involved with Lymphoma Treatment

The initial visit and tests, along with setting up the treatment plan with your vet will probably cost around $200.  If surgery is used, that will cost around $1,500. Chemotherapy can cost in the area of $2,000 for three to six months of treatment. Radiation therapy, if used, can cost between $2,000 and $6,000. These costs can be significantly defrayed by purchasing a canine health insurance policy before your dog is diagnosed with cancer.

Canine lymphoma, if caught at an early stage, has a very high rate of remission and treatment success.