Canine Lymphoma

Canine Lymphoma is the name given to a group of dog cancers that affect certain specific types of white blood cells called “Lymphocytes.”

Lymphocytes are cells that are present in both dogs and humans. They are derived from bone marrow, and are part of the normal immune functions that protect the body from infection.

Their job is to prevent spread of disease in the body, and to provide long term immunity against viruses and other foreign invaders in the body. For example, if you get an infection in your finger, lymph nodes in your arm work to prevent the spread of the infection to the rest of your body.

family with terrierCanine Lymphoma occurs due to a genetic mutation (or series of mutations) within a lymphocyte. These mutations cause the lymphocyte to become malignant and start replicating and dividing rapidly, to the point where they can overwhelm certain organs and body functions.

One problem that complicates the treatment of Canine Lymphoma is that, unfortunately, the cancer evolves over time – so the cancer cells at the beginning of the disease are not the same as those in the end. Because of this, over time, Canine Lymphoma can adapt to the treatments given and become drug resistant. That’s why, once a dog has fallen out of remission, it can often be harder to get him into remission a second or third time around.

What you should know about Canine Lymphoma

Cancer is the #1 cause of death in adult dogs today.

Based on current estimates, more than 25% of all dogs will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives – and 50% of all dogs over the age of 10 will die of cancer…

…and Canine Lymphoma is one of the most common types of dog cancer, accounting for between 10% and 20% of all dog cancer cases. And while Canine Lymphoma tends to be most common in certain breeds of dogs, and in dogs middle aged and older, Lymphoma can affect any breed of dog at any age.

This website provides information about Canine Lymphoma and the various treatment options available, whether your dog has already been diagnosed with Lymphoma, or if you fear your dog might be showing signs of the disease.

Canine Lymphoma is a “systemic” disease that affects the whole body.

Because of this, localized” dog cancer treatments (such as surgery or radiation) are usually not effective options for Canine Lymphoma care. Fortunately though, most Canine Lymphoma cases tend to be very responsive to conventional chemotherapy treatments under a variety of different protocols.

And while these chemotherapy treatments generally won’t totally cure Canine Lymphoma, they can be very effective to help dogs experience total “remission” from the disease, with little or no side effects. So while, if left untreated, Canine Lymphoma patients can die within a few short months, with proper care dogs can live happy, healthy, symptom free lives for periods of 12 to 18 months or more, depending on the type and stage of the cancer.

Additionally, there are a variety of alternative holistic treatments available (nutrition, supplements, homeopathy, etc.) to help dogs fight this disease. And while there’s less formal research to demonstrate the effectiveness of these holistic treatments, many holistic vets, like Dr. Ulbrich, believe from years of experience that holistic treatments can effectively slow or reverse the spread of the disease for periods as long as (and perhaps, in some cases, even longer) than conventional Canine Lymphoma treatments. Even dogs undergoing conventional chemotherapy treatments can often benefit from incorporating certain supplements and nutrition into their healing process, to ease the burden and extend the effectiveness of those conventional treatments themselves.

At present, there are no known cures for Canine Lymphoma, but…

…Lymphoma is one of the most treatable types of dog cancer by far, with a variety of treatments available that can greatly extend your dog’s life in a comfortable and productive way.

For more information about Canine Lymphoma treatments and care, please visit the pages in the navigation bar on the left column of this website, or visit the next pages below…
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Canine Lymphoma Support

For more Canine Lymphoma support – and for answers to questions about your dog’s cancer care – visit our member support forum at

Visit our Dog Cancer Care Canine Lymphoma Message Board

Note:  The information on this website is intended for research and informational purposes only. It is not to be used to diagnose or treat any disease, and should not be used as a substitute for proper veterinary consultation and care. Every dog and every cancer case is different, so if you fear that your dog has Canine Lymphoma, we encourage you to seek appropriate professional veterinary care as quickly as possible to determine the best course of action to treat your dog and his or her particular circumstances.