November 7th is National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day. Founded in 2015 by agility dog trainer, Terry Simons, this annual event seeks to educate and create awareness for one of the most common types of malignant cancer in dogs. Terry’s beloved dog, Reveille, was diagnosed with Lymphoma in 2011, and despite many great efforts, his dog passed away a year later. In response, Terry founded the Canine Lymphoma Education and Research (CLEAR) Foundation to provide education and guidance to pet owners whose dogs have lymphoma.
Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers in dogs. The term “lymphoma” refers to several types of cancer derived from lymphocytes — one of the five types of white blood cells. Although lymphoma can attack any organ in the body, it most commonly presents itself in the organs of the immune system such as the lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow. Any breed of dog, at any age, can get lymphoma.
The cause of lymphoma is not well understood. However, it is believed that genetic and environmental factors may play a role in bringing about this disease. Exposure to chemicals, pollutants, and toxic substances like herbicides are thought to be culprits. Subjection to radiation or electromagnetic fields may be another factor.
National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day reminds PAWrents to stay vigilant and to check your fur-kids regularly.
Be their eyes. Be there ears. Be their voice. Be their HERO. Chase Away K9 Cancer provides great resources on how and when to check your pup for possible signs of cancer.
What To Do If You Think Your Dog Could Have Lymphoma
The symptoms of canine lymphoma vary widely based on the type. In my opinion, it is always best to err on the side of caution. If your dog has symptoms that persist for more than a day or two, or if you have any reason to suspect that your dog could have a serious illness, I would encourage you to contact your veterinarian immediately.
I can’t imagine how scary it would be to receive such a diagnosis. I’m so proud of Rita’s success.
It sure has not been easy – but we try to stay positive and strong for Rita!