Experiance with Lymphoma?

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Experiance with Lymphoma?

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Old 12-08-2016, 07:22 PM
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Experiance with Lymphoma?

My 8 year old APBT mix named Zane was diagnosed with what the vet thinks is Lymphoma the Friday after Thanksgiving.

A week prior he'd started to drink, pee and pass gas more than normal. On Friday he was lethargic and didn't want his treat, something that is totally not normal for the little brindle piggy.

Took him to the vet who checked temp (normal) and took blood (elevated calcium and white blood cells) and urine (really diluted, like it was going through his kidneys too fast). She palpated his abdomen and felt a mass. She checked his prostate (normal) and ordered x-rays.

X-rays showed a large mass above his intestines. She says it is the biggest lymph node she's ever seen. She sends the x-rays out to a specialist who calls back and tells her that it looks like most of his lymph nods are affected.

My only experience with Lymphoma was a childhood dog who had it only in the lymph nodes on her neck and was put to sleep when it affected her breathing.

Have you had a dog with this and how long did the dog live post diagnosis?
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Old 12-09-2016, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Brodi View Post
My 8 year old APBT mix named Zane was diagnosed with what the vet thinks is Lymphoma the Friday after Thanksgiving.

A week prior he'd started to drink, pee and pass gas more than normal. On Friday he was lethargic and didn't want his treat, something that is totally not normal for the little brindle piggy.

Took him to the vet who checked temp (normal) and took blood (elevated calcium and white blood cells) and urine (really diluted, like it was going through his kidneys too fast). She palpated his abdomen and felt a mass. She checked his prostate (normal) and ordered x-rays.

X-rays showed a large mass above his intestines. She says it is the biggest lymph node she's ever seen. She sends the x-rays out to a specialist who calls back and tells her that it looks like most of his lymph nods are affected.

My only experience with Lymphoma was a childhood dog who had it only in the lymph nodes on her neck and was put to sleep when it affected her breathing.

Have you had a dog with this and how long did the dog live post diagnosis?
This is just my experience, I'm sure every case is different so take it with a grain of salt. And my girl was already very old for her size. I think life expectancy also depends a ton on what stage it's in, if it has metastasized, etc.

In January 2016, my dog's routine x-rays were completely clear, and by August she had tumors in her spleen, liver, lungs, and possibly brain - no imaging done of the brain but she was having some twitching and balance episodes (that was her only symptom and was why I'd brought her in). She was diagnosed with lymphoma in September after a biopsy. From my understanding, sadly it is very aggressive and some dogs only have 6 weeks. BUT if this is lymphoma, my vet said that steroids will really help slow the growth of lymphatic tumors, so that is definitely something to look into and a case for getting a biopsy if you can afford to. Also it sounds like your dog's tumors are only in the lymph nodes right now, which means they may not have traveled elsewhere yet. I'd suspect your dog has much longer in this case because tumors wouldn't be affecting liver function or breathing since they aren't in the lungs.

My case is probably very unique because my dog had an emergency very shortly after being diagnosed (a week or two after we knew she had tumors, and just 3 days after her biopsy). We're still not sure if she a) had a pancreatitis flare-up, which she had a history of, that was too much for her compromised system because of a liver tumor, or b) if she didn't actually have a pancreatitis flare-up and the pain was from a tumor elsewhere (in her spine, or the spleen tumor that we knew was pretty large).

Hoping for the best for Zane. <3
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:34 PM
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My APBT, Haley had lymphoma. I noticed that her inguinal lymph nodes were enlarged in November 2011, between then and January or February 2012, the other palpable nodes were all also enlarged. Bloodwork was totally normal, and she was otherwise asymptomatic. Several LN aspirates done by my regular vets were non-diagnostic, though we suspected lymphoma, and I took her in February to a specialist who was able to get a good sample via ultrasound for confirmation. The specialist I saw with Haley told me they see a lot of pit bulls with lymphoma

I had her put down in August, when she stopped eating and was having a hard time getting around. She had been picky (she liked chicken nuggets, potted meat "sandwiches", and mac & cheese!) but doing ok through July, and had actually still been doing therapy dog visits up to a few weeks before I had her put down, as that was the highlight of her week, though I carried her from the car and we no longer walked around the building as she got tired much faster. Some of her lymph nodes were huge by that time, the ones in front of her shoulders were probably 3" across, but the submandibular ones stayed on the smaller side (maybe 1.5"?). She also had ecchymosis/bruising on her inguinal area intermittently throughout, related to the LNs I guess, but never seemed painful.

I didn't do any treatment, though she was on an NSAID for her legs (she only had 3 legs and significant arthritis), and initially an antibiotic before we confirmed that she had lymphoma and not some weird infection. I considered chemo for her, but the cost and side effects scared me, as she already had a delicate GI tract and other significant health issues (diabetes, intermittent skin infections, arthritis). Part of me also felt like she had already outlived the typical life expectancy for no treatment, and I didn't want to risk making her feel bad when she seemed to be doing better than expected on her own. She lived 9 months after I first noticed the enlarged LNs, significantly longer than is typical without treatment. My Grandparents' dog had had lymphoma several years prior, and they opted to treat with only prednisone, she died about 6 weeks later, my understanding is that that's a fairly common time frame with no or minimal treatment.

If chemo is something you are considering, my understanding is that lymphoma is one of the types of cancer that tends to be more responsive. If you are on the fence, it may be worth a consult with a specialist just to know what your options are. Obviously, I don't think there's anything wrong with not doing chemo, either. It's really a personal choice, and never easy to decide. Good luck to you and Zane, hope he feels better soon and feels good for a long time.

Last edited by busannie; 12-09-2016 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 12-10-2016, 02:24 PM
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This is just my experience, I'm sure every case is different so take it with a grain of salt. And my girl was already very old for her size. I think life expectancy also depends a ton on what stage it's in, if it has metastasized, etc.

In January 2016, my dog's routine x-rays were completely clear, and by August she had tumors in her spleen, liver, lungs, and possibly brain - no imaging done of the brain but she was having some twitching and balance episodes (that was her only symptom and was why I'd brought her in). She was diagnosed with lymphoma in September after a biopsy. From my understanding, sadly it is very aggressive and some dogs only have 6 weeks. BUT if this is lymphoma, my vet said that steroids will really help slow the growth of lymphatic tumors, so that is definitely something to look into and a case for getting a biopsy if you can afford to. Also it sounds like your dog's tumors are only in the lymph nodes right now, which means they may not have traveled elsewhere yet. I'd suspect your dog has much longer in this case because tumors wouldn't be affecting liver function or breathing since they aren't in the lungs.

My case is probably very unique because my dog had an emergency very shortly after being diagnosed (a week or two after we knew she had tumors, and just 3 days after her biopsy). We're still not sure if she a) had a pancreatitis flare-up, which she had a history of, that was too much for her compromised system because of a liver tumor, or b) if she didn't actually have a pancreatitis flare-up and the pain was from a tumor elsewhere (in her spine, or the spleen tumor that we knew was pretty large).

Hoping for the best for Zane. <3
Thank you. The way he's acting right now makes me think he probably has at LEAST three months left. I'll ask the vet about the steriods.

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Originally Posted by busannie View Post
My APBT, Haley had lymphoma. I noticed that her inguinal lymph nodes were enlarged in November 2011, between then and January or February 2012, the other palpable nodes were all also enlarged. Bloodwork was totally normal, and she was otherwise asymptomatic. Several LN aspirates done by my regular vets were non-diagnostic, though we suspected lymphoma, and I took her in February to a specialist who was able to get a good sample via ultrasound for confirmation. The specialist I saw with Haley told me they see a lot of pit bulls with lymphoma

I had her put down in August, when she stopped eating and was having a hard time getting around. She had been picky (she liked chicken nuggets, potted meat "sandwiches", and mac & cheese!) but doing ok through July, and had actually still been doing therapy dog visits up to a few weeks before I had her put down, as that was the highlight of her week, though I carried her from the car and we no longer walked around the building as she got tired much faster. Some of her lymph nodes were huge by that time, the ones in front of her shoulders were probably 3" across, but the submandibular ones stayed on the smaller side (maybe 1.5"?). She also had ecchymosis/bruising on her inguinal area intermittently throughout, related to the LNs I guess, but never seemed painful.

I didn't do any treatment, though she was on an NSAID for her legs (she only had 3 legs and significant arthritis), and initially an antibiotic before we confirmed that she had lymphoma and not some weird infection. I considered chemo for her, but the cost and side effects scared me, as she already had a delicate GI tract and other significant health issues (diabetes, intermittent skin infections, arthritis). Part of me also felt like she had already outlived the typical life expectancy for no treatment, and I didn't want to risk making her feel bad when she seemed to be doing better than expected on her own. She lived 9 months after I first noticed the enlarged LNs, significantly longer than is typical without treatment. My Grandparents' dog had had lymphoma several years prior, and they opted to treat with only prednisone, she died about 6 weeks later, my understanding is that that's a fairly common time frame with no or minimal treatment.

If chemo is something you are considering, my understanding is that lymphoma is one of the types of cancer that tends to be more responsive. If you are on the fence, it may be worth a consult with a specialist just to know what your options are. Obviously, I don't think there's anything wrong with not doing chemo, either. It's really a personal choice, and never easy to decide. Good luck to you and Zane, hope he feels better soon and feels good for a long time.
Sorry about your Haley, she sounded like a wonderful dog.

Zane also has GI issues and we all most lost him to Hemorrhagic Gastritis when he was 3 years old. One thing we've noticed since his flatulence and drinking/peeing started, we haven't heard his stomach gurgle nor has he thrown up. Don't know if thats because of the mass (either lymph node or spleen) pressing down on his intestines or what.

I won't do chemo due to his horrendous fear of the vet and the above GI issues.
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