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Lymphoma in Cats and Dogs

Posted February 17, 2017

Lymphoma is one of the most common types of cancer in both cats and dogs. It is generally seen in middle aged to older cats and dogs. Dog breeds such as Bull Mastiffs, Boxers, St. Bernards and Basset Hounds seem to be at higher risk, as well as cats with the Feline Leukemia Virus. Unfortunately, the cause of lymphoma in cats and dogs is not known, however studies are investigating several possible causes such as viruses, bacteria, chemical exposure, and exposure to tobacco smoke.

So, what exactly is Lymphoma?

Lymphoma is a group of cancers (there are multiple types of lymphoma) that affect the white blood cells. These white blood cells are called Lymphocytes and they function as part of the immune system to protect the body from infection.  Lymphoma usually originates in lymphoid tissues, like that in the lymph nodes (can affect the entire lymphatic system), spleen, and bone marrow, but can occur in any tissue in the body.

What signs should I look for?

Symptoms of Lymphoma in pets can vary depending on the type of lymphoma, location in the body and the stage of the tumor. Common symptoms across all types can include:

  • Weight loss
  • Poor or lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Enlarged lymph nodes around face, neck or backs of legs
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unusual lumps or bumps

What should I do if I see any of these symptoms?

The first thing that any pet parent will want to do is take their pet to the vet for a complete physical examination to determine the cause of any symptoms seen. If lumps or bumps are found or if Lymphoma is suspected, your vet will perform more specific testing to confirm diagnosis (biopsy of tumor, x-rays, bloodwork, ultrasound, etc.).

What is the prognosis for my cat or dog?

Unfortunately, prognosis is heavily influenced by the type of lymphoma and the tumor stage and will differ from pet to pet. Pets with lower grade lymphomas tend to live longer than those with higher grade lymphomas. Life expectancies of pets receiving treatment can range anywhere from 6 months to 2+ years. If the Lymphoma is left untreated, life expectancy is much lower (4-6 weeks). Other factors that could affect prognosis are age of the pet, health of the pet and stress experienced by the pet.

How is Lymphoma treated?

Since most Lymphomas are not detected until they are stage 3 or higher, vets often recommend chemotherapy, surgery to remove the tumor, and/or radiation therapy. Herbal remedies can provide support for pets with Lymphoma and can be used in conjunction with chemotherapy or without. Your vet may also make dietary changes (e.g high protein, low carb) where appropriate.

What herbal supplements for pets do you recommend?

NHV ES Clear – Helps by detoxifying the vital organs of the body, supports immune function, scavenges free radicals, supports healthy healing and eases pain and discomfort associated with cancers.

NHV Turmeric – Improves antioxidant function to help scavenge free radicals, may help the body destroy mutated cells and inhibit the growth of certain proteins. Turmeric is also beneficial for overall health.

NHV Milk Thistle – Helps flush and regenerate the liver. Chemotherapy and other drugs can leave behind toxins that can cause liver damage, so it is important to flush these out and help strengthen the liver. Milk Thistle has also shown to have anti cancer activity against different cancer cells, obstructing growth of certain cancer cells. Milk Thistle also supports good antioxidant function.

NHV PetOmega 3 – High levels of omega fatty acids are beneficial for pets bodies when fighting lymphoma. Omega 3’s also help reduce inflammation and maintain immune function.

NHV Tripsy – The renal system (kidneys) plays an important role in bodily functions.  The kidneys help to remove toxins and waste, which helps the body’s immune system fight the cancer cells. Lymphoma can often affect the kidneys, putting stress on the body. Tripsy helps to flush the kidneys and keep them healthy and strong.

There is so much going on and I am not sure about what I am doing!!

We get it. It is extremely scary finding out that your beloved fur baby has lymphoma. There is a lot of information to process and decisions can be difficult especially when that sweet face is staring right at you and thinking the whole world of you. Since pets can’t speak to us, we just have to do our best that we can given the information that we have. Some vets are open to natural or integrative approaches, while others are not and this can make things difficult for pet parents. So, whether you are working with your vet to find a natural or integrative approach, or if you are looking for natural options on your own, we are here to support you and find the best approach for your individual pet. We are available to provide tailored recommendations about supplements, provide recipes for nutritional support for pets with lymphoma or pets that are not eating well. You can also get a second opinion or additional advice from our lead holistic vet, Dr. Hillary Cook, through our online vet consultations. We want to see your pet live the highest quality of life as much as you do, so please reach out and have a chat with us. Sometimes just taking things over can help remove the fog from the road.

2 replies.

  1. Gabriela Griffin says:

    Hi , I got all of the supplements except NHV Tripsy. I thought Milk thistle would take care with the kidney. My girl’s kidney checked out ok, would you recommend that I get it ?
    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. NHV Natural Pet Products says:

      Hi Gabriela,
      It’s great that you are looking into this! Milk Thistle can help to flush both the liver and the kidneys. If your girl’s kidneys are showing to be in good condition, you may not require the Tripsy, but we would recommend that you keep an eye on them. The kidneys can be put under a lot of stress when a pet in dealing with lymphoma, from the condition itself to the drugs that are often prescribed. They help to remove build up from prescription drugs and other toxins and waste, which helps the body’s immune system fight the cancer cells. If your fur baby’s kidneys start to show signs of stress, or if she is on any pharmaceuticals, we would recommend adding the Tripsy to her routine.

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*Product reviews are solely the experience and opinion of the reviewer. Actual results may vary.