Last year our family dog Rex, started getting very restless at night with heavy panting. He also was drinking a lot and he started losing his appetite for food, so we decided to take him to the vet. The vet noticed a tumour growth in his mouth. We had him stay overnight to have some of his teeth and the growth removed that had been bothering him. The next day we got a call from the vet, that during the surgery she felt some lumps in his throat area and she suspected cancer. I cried that day because I knew he wouldn’t be with us much longer most likely. Test results came a few days later and the vet said it appeared to be positive for dog lymphoma.
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph nodes and happens in both humans and dogs. You can detect it by looking for lumps in common areas where the lymph nodes are located at. Our dog was already suffering from many fatty tumours throughout his body for most of his life, so it would have been difficult for us to realize he had lymphoma. He had the lymphoma lumps under his throat area.
You have two choices with a dog with lymphoma. Either give chemotherapy or just give him prednisone which isn’t a cure but helps temporarily shrink the tumour. We decided to not pursue chemotherapy because it costs thousands and usually only extends the life of the dog for a few months and our dog was already 11.5 years old. Life expectancy is only a few weeks on average without chemotherapy.
We took Rex home and we decided to try to give him the best time for what he had left. I wanted to fight it and tried everything I could think of to improve his health and maybe somehow fight it. I decided to even give him that prescription food by Hill’s diet, specially made for dogs with dog lymphoma. We also gave him healthy mix of food and vitamins in addition to it. He gave us 3 more weeks of his life. He seemed much better from the prednisone until one day he suddenly lost his appetite. He quickly then got very sick and barfed if he ate any food at all or even if he had a tablespoon of water. He also started getting diarrhea at about the same time. With the advice of a vet we decided it was time to humanely put our friend to sleep. I still miss Rex to this day and that was a year and half ago.
I never thought dog lymphoma would be the cause of my dogs eventual death, but apparently it is a pretty common disease in dogs. Dog Lymphoma seems to be partly caused by genetics because some breeds are more likely to get it. Golden retrievers are the most likely to get it than any other breed. Our dog is german shepherd mix. German shepherds are also one of the breeds that have a higher likelihood than the average dog breed to get lymphoma.
When I was searching for ways to naturally help with Rex while he was alive I started reading websites about how the rate of dog lymphoma has increased by a large percentage the last few years. I recently came across a study that I believe explains why dog lymphoma is even more prevalent. A study done back in 1992 (Cancer Res. 1992 Oct 1;52(19 Suppl):5485s-5488s) says that lymphoma has increased by 50% in the last 15 years. They cite multiple studies where certain pesticides, especially one type in particular, increases risk of lymphoma. They have also cite how dog lymphoma has been associated with lawn pesticide treatments using these chemicals.
I believe strongly that if you want to help prevent your dog from having lymphoma then you have to do a couple things. If you look at commercial dog food it is full of corn, wheat, and other ingredients full of pesticides and none of it is organic. These pesticides are getting in our food supply and causing cancers. I recommend you buy organic foods for yourself and your dog at a place called Only Natural Pet Store. Organic dog foods contain no pesticides of any kind including the meat sources. I also think you should avoid using herbicides or pesticides on your lawn or backyard where your dog plays. You also have to be careful about taking your dogs on walks because it means he will be running through lawns that may contain. Unlike humans, dogs like to rub their nose and fur on the grass etc. when they walk on lawns, so they are more susceptible to ingesting the pesticides than us.