• Hello all, I'm new here. I've owned one dog for 17.5 years, my current one is approximately 10ish years old. Just learned yesterday that he has lymphoma. Waiting on the oncology test results. What are my best options? Chemotherapy? Palliatives? Obviously euthanasia down the line.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. The worst part now is simply dealing with my emotions.

  • @j-brad The best thing you can probably do is try to cope with the feelings and stay on point with your vet. I believe that the test results will give you a clearer idea of your options as some cancers respond better than others. The vet will probably give you better advice than I can. I lost my first to cancer at 11, my second at 12, so at 10ish it is not surprising to see some problems.

    Much would depend on the dog if it were me in the situation, I would consider is the dog strong and otherwise healthy, what is the cost, what is the probable outcome, what would the dog’s attitude be towards Chemo etc, you know your dog well, try to dig deep and thing as rationally as possible.

    Having said all that, I have lost two and know just how deep it hurts to lose them, so I do appreciate how hard it is.

    My first had a massive abdominal cancer, so was not realistically an option for chemo, plus he had other problems and was in pain from it, so euthanasia was the only choice.

    My second had a cancer growth removed but never really came out of the anesthetic because she had a liver problem and seizures. I had already ruled out any major operations or chemo before that because of those, frankly if I could turn back the clock I would have just left it alone as trying to help just hastened her death.

    In the right set of circumstances with an otherwise happy and healthy resilient dog, I would consider chemo if the vet recommends it or believes the prognosis to be good.

    Good luck and fingers crossed.

  • @j-brad said in Lymphoma.:


    So sorry you are dealing with this. Always the hardest thing when you have decisions to make. IMO, best to let your dog tell you how it is feeling and let that guide your choice. Longevity isn't worthwhile if quality of life is poor, but a dog that eats and seems to feel O. K. may be able to enjoy what time is left. One that is miserable and must be coaxed to eat is a different story. If chemo makes the dog feel unwell for a short duration, and then there is improvement, then perhaps it is worth doing. Hard call to make.

  • That completely sucks. So sorry to hear about this.

    I'm sure your oncologist will have some recommendations. One advantage is that if radiation will be effective your pup will probably tolerate it pretty well.

    Again so sorry to hear about the diagnosis. This is the worst part of pet ownership.

  • So sorry you're facing this diagnosis. One point I'd make from my experience: unlike with human cancer patients, chemotherapy in dogs is not traumatic and sickening to the dog...at least this was the case with one of my basenjis who had brain cancer. The veterinary oncologist explained chemo is a different process in dogs. Jasper felt much better with chemo - the benefits were almost immediate - and his life was extended by a year.

    I totally agree - don't prolong life if it's not good-quality life. Jasper had other medical issues including Fanconi, and the time came when he lost the will and energy to live. We didn't let him suffer. He just wound down. Rather than try to get him to eat, we had a vet come to the house to euthanize him. It was a peaceful death and Jasper was not afraid. He just drifted off to sleep in our arms. The other dogs were with us and didn't worry and search for him as sometimes happens when a dog leaves for the vet and doesn't return.

    Another basenji, Keiko, had massive stomach cancer discovered during diagnostic surgery. She had started vomiting daily and the vet couldn't find a reason, hence the biopsy. We opted not to wake her up from anesthesia because there was no hope for good quality of life. Very traumatic for us, but not for her. We miss both of them terribly but at least we did all we could to give them a good life. Both were rescues.

  • So sorry to hear about this diagnosis. My thoughts are with you!

  • So sorry to hear about your diagnosis .
    My Joshua was diag, with Lymphoma also. He's gone now but lived for
    another 1 1/2 and died at age 16 years and 8 months.
    I maintained him on multiple supplements and he was healthy up to the
    last day he passed.

  • I believe in the Keto diet and only holistic ways.
    Joshua was very happy and comfortable up until he passed.
    If you would like a list of supplements please shoot me an email

  • My beloved Dannii (basenji) had lymphoma in his rectum. Plus he had a mass on the outside of his colon. I did Chemo with him and he responded very well. Made me almost think that his cancer had gone away. He was diagnosed in October of '11. His 12th birthday was in December, and was told he would not make it to his birthday, but he did and he crossed the bridge in April of 2012. I had him for 6 month passed the diagnosis. I took him off kibble completely and cooked for him and gave him supplements. He had bad days where he didn't want to eat at all, and then it was like he was starving to death and would eat any and everything. Stay away from carbs (sugars) as they love cancer and will speed up the disease. Love him and give him as much attention as possible. He will let you know when its time...........stop's eating, drinking, going for walks, etc., Just beware of how he is doing and feeling. Quantity of life should not be top priority but the quality of life. Does he still enjoy eating, is he drinking, still likes to go for walks and etc. If no, and just wants to sleep....it could be time. Dannii was my first dog (had many before him) that ever had come down with cancer. Broke my heart, so I and everyone here has been down this road. We know what you are going through. Am so sorry, and pray that your pup has some good quality of life ahead of him, and that you two make the most of the time you have left.

  • It is really tough news to hear from your vet. Our Miss Delli-Do was diagnosed with it in September at 15 3/4 y/o. It began with a lump under her jaw line. I should explain that she was a former show dog, but nervous, AND she did not like being touched. Many of my dogs have had fatty tumors, harmless, and can live quite a while with them with no consequence. She was the kind of dog that you just fed and watered, and kept an open spot with HER blankies on the bed by my feet. We could tell she wasn't quite up to her ole self. Didn’t want to walk, but NOTHING wrong with her appetite. At this point in her life we had decided to just take comfort measures. We took her home. We loved her. And I told her your need to tell Mummy when it’s time to leave us’. She becoming incontinent, so we order diapers for her and large pee-pee pads. Her face had begun to swell. For the first time in the 9 years we had her she slept between my husband and me. One the second night she did this, when I woke up her face was right in mine, and I knew she was trying to tell me it was time. We peacefully put her to sleep later that day. It’s a hard decision, but I honestly believe it’s the last act of love you can do for you loved one. I still miss her dearly. My heart goes out to you, it’s tough to go through. I am very sorry. It takes a while to process the diagnosis. It’s never easy...but my girl told me when she was ready.

  • Just got done reading an article Jackie K. from BRAT sent me, a nicely detailed article from Whole Dog Journal. If I can swing it financially, I'd love to do chemo, but that's probably cost prohibitive. If anyone can inform me as to their experience having done chemo for a Basenji, holler. He's about 30.3#, strong as an ox today, nothing appears wrong**, but I can see the nodes under his chin. Can't put his collar on anymore. Vet suspects stage 3, maybe 4 at this time. Craptastic.

    Thank you all here for your input, it's greatly appreciated.


  • @basenjimom2 said in Lymphoma.:

    Stay away from carbs (sugars) as they love cancer and will speed up the disease.

    ok... can you explain this?

    Where did you get the idea that the sugars, produced naturally through the digestion of Carbs, facilitate the progression of (canine) Cancer cells?

    I think we can agree that a canine diet shouldn't typically include bread(s), cake, anything we could consider a candy, or dessert. That part seems "natural". Doggie French Toast is a bad idea. Got it. Carbs, though, are not just in breads and cakes (flour based products). They occur naturally in many vegetables, including broccoli. Aren't vegetables good (for both, humans and canines)? Essentially, we want our canine companions to get the best nutrition for the fewest calories, right?

    So, where (or when) did you get the idea that Carbs=Cancer?

    p.s. very sorry to hear that you have also experienced this kind of heartbreak. :`-(

  • @j-brad said in Lymphoma.:

    I'd love to do chemo

    Isn't there any way for the Vet to simply remove the nodes under his chin?
    Absolutely heartbroken for you! :`(

  • @elbrant

    I never said sugars cause cancer, but sugars (carrots and etc) do love cancer cells. There is a group on Facebook. Forgot the name of it, something like Canine Cancer group..........not sure, its been several years. I was told the stop carbs, anything that has some sugars in it just helps the cancer cells to multiply. Is it truth? I don't know. Dannii wasn't big on carrots unless they were cooked. He didn't even like the little tiny ones that some people use for treats. That group helped me through a terrible time. I've never ever had a pet that had cancer. Dannii was my first, and hopefully will be the last dog to have come down with it. Ton's of information, lots of files and loads of support and comfort from people who were going or had already gone through the samething.

  • Thanks again to all here who've spoken up. Currently waiting on a call from the vet to discuss cost options, chemo vs. no chemo. At this writing he's acting completely normal.

    Those of you who've gone the chemo route, a few questions: Procedures? Costs? Cost/Benefit ratios? I don't have a lot of money, and tax time will be upon us soon. This is getting tricky.

  • @j-brad As I said in my previous post, we never got to chemo because of events overtaking us. But I do remember we discussed it with the vet at one point and I was surprised to find that there are lots of options for chemo, all the way from relatively inexpensive pills to very expensive therapy’s. So that option may still be open to you. I guess it depends on the biopsy results and the type of cancer.

  • I only had to deal with skin lymphoma. If that’s the case with your dog, let me know.

  • Well. starting day 3 on prednisone, for now his lymph nodes under his chin have receded to being barely noticeable. I just wonder how much extra time this is going to buy us. Definitely positive, hopefully for as long as possible we'll stave off the cancer. If anyone here has experience going this route, holler.

  • I don't have experience with lymphoma, but I do with prednisone. One of my girls was on it for a suspected (but not confirmed) brain tumour after she had a major seizure at age 13. We did the prednisone on and off depending on her symptoms for almost three years before I lost her just short of her 16th birthday. While on prednisone they are typically hungry and thirsty. You may have some unexpected urination in an otherwise house trained dog. Getting off prednisone is done by tapering the dose, and it can be a bit tricky getting this right, so the dog isn't too uncomfortable. It's been awhile, so hard for me to be specific, but I remember it as being a difficult time.

  • ee- wow! I've read nothing related to prednisone that would indicate it would help that much. Still on the front end of researching this.

Suggested Topics