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Canine Lymphoma Symptoms

Canine Lymphoma Symptoms

Canine lymphoma is common in dogs and its symptoms differ according to the affected area. This article explains the canine lymphoma symptoms and its treatment.
DogAppy Staff
Canine lymphoma is mostly observed in middle-aged golden retrievers. This is a type of dog cancer and its cause is not known. Before listing the canine lymphoma symptoms, a little information about its stages is given below.


There are different grades of this condition depending on the location of the affected area. There are mainly four location types, namely, multicentric, mediastinal, gastrointestinal, and extranodal. Most of the time, dogs contract multicentric lymphoma, wherein the liver, bone marrow, or the spleen are affected. While in mediastinal lymphoma, the thorax and thymus of the dog are affected. As the name suggests, gastrointestinal lymphoma affects the dog's stomach and intestines. Kidneys, central nervous system, heart, or eyes may be affected due to extranodal lymphoma.


Different canine lymphoma symptoms are observed depending on the breed of dog. The ones cited below are the most commonly-observed ones.
  • One of the most common symptoms which is observed in almost 80% of the animals affected by canine lymphoma is the development of lumps on the body. Most of the time, these lumps are painless and develop on the neck, behind the knees, under the groin, and on the front paw. They may spread to the internal organs like the liver, pancreas, or the bone marrow. These are hard to touch and round in shape.
  • In the advanced stages, inflammation will be experienced by your dog in the part which is affected by lumps.
  • Symptoms like fever, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite are also common during the later stages of this condition. Another lymphoma symptom is vomiting, which is observed with a reduction in the weight of your dog. The weight loss will be rapid and the dog may appear disinterested in meals.
  • It also affects the skin, causing lesions, redness, plaques, and nodules on it. The dog might also be troubled with itching. One of the signs of lymphoma in dogs is hair loss.
  • In later stages, the dog develops shortness of breath along with muffled heart sounds, hypercalcemia, and fluid accumulation in the lungs. Inflammation of the thymus is also observed in the later stages.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes also indicate canine lymphoma.
  • It causes dogs to drink water more often and thus also urinate frequently.

Take your dog to a veterinary doctor who will examine it to check if it is affected by canine lymphoma. The dog is mostly subjected to two tests, viz. urinalysis, where its urine is tested, and a blood panel test. The treatment for this condition depends on the location of the tumor and the stage that your dog is at. Chemotherapy is the most suggested treatment for canine lymphoma. Prednisone is also suggested by many veterinary doctors. In very rare cases, the dog might be affected with the side effects of chemotherapy which include fatigue, loss of appetite, digestive problems, decreased white blood cell count, blood in the urine, etc. For complete cure, the dog should be treated thoroughly for a period of 4 to 6 months.

Without proper treatment, canine lymphoma can be fatal. Hence, make sure that you take your dog to the veterinary doctor as soon as possible if you observe any of the above-mentioned canine lymphoma symptoms. If proper care is taken, all kinds of dog health problems will stay away from your canine.