Lymphomatoid Granulomatosis in Dogs
Lymphomatoid granulomatosis is a rare disease seen in dogs that involves the infiltration of the lungs by cancerous lymphoid cells (lymphocytes and plasma cells). Metastasis may occue in other body sites and organs like the liver, heart, spleen, pancreas, and kidney.
Lymphomatoid granulomatosis is not breed- or gender-specific, but is more common in large and purebred dogs.
Symptoms and Types
Respiratory symptoms are often seen which aggravate over time. The following are a few of the more common symptoms related to this disease:
- Difficulty breathing
- Inability to exercise
- Weight loss (cachexia)
- Lack of appetite (anorexia)
- Fever (in some animals)
The underlying cause for lymphomatoid granulomatosis is currently unknown.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination as well a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count -- the results of which are usually non-specific and inconsistent with the disease.
Blood testing, meanwhile, may reveal an abnormally high number of neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils (all types of white blood cells) in the blood. And X-rays will reveal details related to lung tissue and abnormalities. The attending veterinarian may also take a small lung tissue sample (biopsy) to be sent to veterinary pathologist for a definitive diagnosis.
Unfortunately, there is no cure available. However, chemotherapy is often combined with surgical excision of the affected tissue. Regular blood testing, and cardiac and other body system evaluation are necessary during treatment.
Living and Management
Because there is no cure available, you should talk to a veterinary oncologist for their best recommendations. Chemotherapeutic drugs are highly toxic to different body systems, and various complications are seen during and after treatment. Call your veterinarian immediately if you observe any untoward symptoms in your dog such as difficulty breathing, depression, or lack of appetite. In case of serious complications, your veterinarian may reduce dosages or stop the treatment altogether. In addition, chemotherapy medication is potentially hazardous to human health and should always be administered with the consent of a veterinary oncologist and kept in a secure place.
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