❥The Best Things About Leukemia In Dogs❥
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the dog’s bloodstream, mainly related to the number of white blood cells. It is a serious disease, which if not diagnosed in time can be fatal for our dog.
In this AnimalWised article we will detail everything about leukemia in dogs, explaining what are the possible causes that cause it, the most frequent symptoms and the treatment to apply.
❥What is canine leukemia?❥
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects leukocytes (white blood cells). The bone marrow of dogs with leukemia produces a large number of defective leukocytes. These defective white blood cells flood the bloodstream and the bone marrow itself, but due to their defects they are unable to protect the body.
Consequently, the immune system is adversely affected and dogs become susceptible to various diseases. As the leukemia progresses, it also affects the production of other blood cells such as red blood cells and platelets, thus causing additional problems of great magnitude. Canine leukemia can be acute when it occurs quickly and abruptly, or chronic when it occurs slowly and gradually.
❥Causes and risk factors❥
Different possible causes for leukemia have been proposed, including genetic factors , radiation exposure, chemical exposure, and virus infection. However, the real causes of this disease are not yet known and it remains to be seen if any of the proposed causes is correct.
❥Symptoms of leukemia in dogs❥
Dogs suffering from leukemia present a series of nonspecific symptoms , since the disease affects the immune system and, consequently, has an impact on several organs. The symptoms are usually:
- Lack of appetite
- General discomfort
- Pale mucous membranes
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Enlarged liver
- Difficulty breathing and rapid breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Increased frequency and / or volume of urine
Diagnosis is made on the basis of physical examination, symptoms, and a bone marrow biopsy and should always be done by a veterinarian .
To carry out the biopsy it is necessary to anesthetize the dog, since it is a complicated and painful procedure. The marrow sample is usually taken from the hip. Then, the sample is sent to the laboratory, where a cytological study is done to determine if there is leukemia.
Unfortunately there is no cure for this disease. However, there are treatments that can help dogs in some cases.
Treatments are generally based on chemotherapy, giving the dog anticancer drugs . In general, these treatments have to be repeated from time to time. Additionally, antibiotics or other medications are often necessary to combat opportunistic infections, and pain relievers may be necessary to reduce aches and pains.
The prognosis for dogs with chronic leukemia can be favorable if the disease is detected and treated early. In such cases, dogs can gain a few years of life thanks to prompt treatment, but the disease is still fatal.
Dogs with acute leukemia usually have a very reserved prognosis , since in these cases the disease is very aggressive and progresses very quickly.
In either case, sick dogs have very little chance of surviving long, so their owners often prefer euthanasia over expensive and difficult treatment for both humans and their dog.
This article is merely informative, at AnimalWised.com we do not have the power to prescribe veterinary treatments or perform any type of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the vet in the event that it presents any type of condition or discomfort.