Treatment of Canine Lymphoma Through Chemotherapy

Lymphoma canine treatment involves chemotherapy. Here are some details about the treatment of canine lymphoma via chemotherapy.

Lymphoma in Dogs

Canine lymphoma is a systemic illness, making it difficult to treat. Surgery and radiation are inconvenient and ineffective, so chemotherapy is considered the only treatment option.

Chemotherapy Treatment for Canine Lymphoma

There are a number of chemotherapy protocols for the treatment of canine lymphoma. Treatment usually involves a combination of injections and oral drugs administered on a weekly basis. Commonly used drugs include:

  • cyclophosphamide
  • vincristine
  • doxorubicin
  • prednisone

Treatment protocols will vary depending on your veterinarian's specific training and your dog's needs. A veterinary oncologist, who specializes in animal cancers, can help form a treatment protocol for your dog.

Treatment Unlikely to Completely Cure Lymphoma

The prognosis for canine lymphoma, even with chemotherapy treatment, is so poor that many owners choose not to put their dogs through treatment. Untreated dogs live an average of four to six weeks.

Dogs who are treated with chemotherapy can have an over 50% chance of surviving another year, but this depends on the dog's condition-this success rate doesn't apply to dog's with "Class V" lymphoma (where the cancer involves the bone marrow), for example. Sometimes owners will get their dog further chemotherapy treatment when the cancer comes back. However, the cancer cells that managed to survive treatments continue to get stronger, so owners have to consider how much repeated chemotherapy will cost, and whether or not any possible prolonged worry and/or sadness is worth it.

Though remission is very common, many dogs tolerate chemotherapy quite well, and can enjoy a good quality of life during the treatment period.