Chronic Leukemia In Dogs (Diagnosis, Causes And Treatment)

Leukemia In Dogs– Almost everybody likes dogs! That’s because it’s the man’s best friend. They are fun to have around and often make the household lively.

However, like humans, they fall sick also, and they can develop advanced illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, among others. Nonetheless, today we will be discussing Leukemia in Dogs, Types of Leukemia in Dogs, symptoms of Leukemia In Dogs, and other information that will further enlighten you of the disease in Dogs. Ensure you read through to the end.

Chronic Leukemia In Dogs (Diagnosis, Causes And Treatment)

Leukemia is a type of immune system cancer and the most common form of blood cancer dogs suffer from. The cells (lymphocytes and myelocytes) multiply rapidly to render your dog quite ill.

Also, Canines can suffer from this disease condition at any age. Furthermore, it depends on the type of leukemia and shows signs of lethargy, weight loss, and anorexia, among other symptoms.

What Is Leukaemia In Dogs?


From what we gathered, Leukemia in Dogs is a serious condition that affects the immune system thereby causing cancer in the blood, and can be managed.

However, there are many different types of dogs leukemia but the most common form of leukemia is lymphoid leukemia.

What Is Lymphoid Leukemia?

Lymphoid leukemia is defined as an irregular expansion of the lymphocyte population in the blood.

Lymphoma Leukemia involves white blood cells. The white blood cells are potent infection fighters and they normally grow and divide in an orderly manner, exactly as the body needs them.

However, in dogs with Lymphoma leukemia, the bone marrow produces an excessive amount of abnormal white blood cells, which don’t function properly.


Symptoms Of Leukemia In Dogs.

Chronic lymphoma Leukemia in Dogs
Chronic lymphoma Leukemia in Dogs

Common leukemia signs and symptoms in dogs include:

  • Bone pain or tenderness
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Excessive sweating, especially at night
  • Fever or chills
  • Frequent or severe infections
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Obstinate fatigue, weakness
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Change in activity level
  • Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
  • Loss of weight
  • Pale gums
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Malaise
  • Frequent urination
  • Thirst
  • Lameness

Once you begin to spot these signs in your dog, you should waste no time and take it to visit the veterinarian for a comprehensive check, and in the case, of early detection of leukaemia, treatment can begin immediately.

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Dog owners must take quality care of their pets. Importantly, pay attention to your pet and often vet your dog and watch out for any abnormal behavior.

There are several clinical signs of leukemia in dogs that you should be aware of. Any time that your canine exhibits any signs of illness, it is mandatory for a veterinarian visit.

That is because many illnesses can present similar symptoms. However, evaluation and testing will pinpoint the cause of your pet’s discomfort.

Regarding leukaemia, the symptoms vary, depending on the type of leukemia. .

Also, some of the above symptoms tend to worsen with time and tend to manifest towards the End Stage of Leukemia in Dogs.

End Stage of Leukemia in Dogs include lethargy and weakness, Anaemia, appetite loss, swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, bruising, and more. These symptoms often characterize the End Stage of Leukemia in Dogs.


Types Of Leukemia In Dogs.

So, to further understand Leukemia in Dogs, they are categorized into different types. And the major Types of Leukemia in Dogs includes:

Lymphoma in Dogs
Lymphoma in Dogs

#1. Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL).

The ALL is the commonest type of leukemia in young to middle age dogs, with the median age of onset being 5.5 years.

ALL also occur in adult dogs but not as pronounced compared to young dogs. The clinical signs of ALL include weakness, lethargy, anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes bone pain.

#2. Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML).

AML is a common also one of the common types of Leukemia in Dogs, especially in young and middle-aged dogs. Also, it is a very aggressive disease.

Acute myeloid leukaemia is a malignant neoplastic disease, which occurs suddenly, and can interrupt the normal functions of the dog’s liver, kidneys, heart, spleen, lymph nodes, and central nervous system.

#3. Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).

Compared to ALL and AML, CLL is less much common. That is because this form of leukaemia slowly progresses.

Also, it is typically a disease of older dogs, especially the age between 10 and 12 years. In addition, CLL is often found out accidentally and noted on routine blood work and the dogs are rarely clinically ill.

#4. Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML).

Among the rare Types of Leukemia in Dogs is the CML. It mainly affects adult dogs and. A person has few or no symptoms for months or years before entering a phase in which the leukaemia cells start to grow more quickly.

Treatment Of Leukemia In Dogs.

Leukemia in Dogs is a serious illness and should be managed when identified. It is important for the veterinarian to cautiously prescribe treatment, especially if the dog is severely anemic and there is a risk of infection. Likewise, fundamental supportive care is given after antibiotic therapy has been initiated to treat the infection.

Before we continue, you need to know that the treatment of Leukemia in Dogs is all about management. That is because the disease is rarely cured. The main goal includes restoring white blood cell (WBC) production, reducing symptoms, and relieving discomfort.

Nonetheless, if cancer has developed, a chemotherapy protocol should be initiated vis-à-vis a combination of drugs is recommended for the treatment. However, for animals with chronic bleeding or anaemia, a blood or plasma transfusion ought to be administered for the sake of stabilizing the dog.

Importantly, there is the tendency of bone marrow suppression occurring. This means supportive care will be initiated as well. As a result, hospitalization is often required so that your dog will be monitored carefully throughout, and as well given supportive therapy such as nutrition supplementation and antibiotic administration.

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Other treatment includes bone marrow transplant which involves 4 steps: chemotherapy, filtration, radiation, and transfusion.

Chemotherapy: Dog receives chemotherapy to reduce the production of rapid cancer cells. Also, your pet will be given antibiotics to avoid any infections or microbes in his system.

Filtration: also, during the process, your dog’s blood gets filtered to separate healthy stem cells, for later use.

Radiation: Total Body Irradiation (TBI) is performed so that dormant cells in your dog can be killed.

Transfusion: Finally, your dog will receive a transfusion to return his healthy stem cells. This is done once radiation is completed.

Interestingly, there are Natural Treatments for Leukemia in Dogs which involves the use of a herbal formula that has been proven to help combat leukemia in dogs. This Natural Treatment for Leukemia in Dogs includes:

Add Supplements to Your Dog’s Food When your dog suffers from cancer, it’s best to consult your vet doctor about supplements so that they can help you figure out just how much your dog needs for his specific situation.

You can get supplements such as Antioxidants, Probiotics, CBD Oil, Medicinal Mushrooms, Turmeric, and Green Tea, Omega-3, among others.

Natural Treatment For leukemia In Dogs.

#1. Avoid Dairy. 

You must stop and avoid completely giving your dog dairy products because they contain proinflammatory proteins. And inflammation plays a role in the progression of cancer.

#2. Fruits And Vegetables.

Fruits and vegetable foods will also like the herbs listed above; help manage the ill-condition of your dog. That is because; some fruits have antileukemic and anticancer effects. Such fruits include carrots and pomegranates.

#3. Stop Vaccinating.

Once your dog is diagnosed with leukaemia, you should stop vaccination. That is because vaccination causes a lot of long-term health problems in dogs. More so, they can boost the development and growth of cancer in many ways.

#4. Avoid Pharmaceutical Drugs.

Avoid pharmaceutical drugs if possible. Especially the likes of antibiotics, antihistamines, pest preventatives, and suppressive heartworm medications.

Although, these drugs reduce the symptoms in the short term, however, it can further worsen the problem and drive it deeper into the body.

Life Expectancy Of Dogs With Leukemia Disease.

Once your dog commences treatment, the life expectancy is 12 months with 30% of dogs living beyond 2 years.

Life Expectancy of Dogs with Leukemia Disease refers to the median survival time for a dog suffering from Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia.


Here are few questions we have taken time to answer as regards chronic Leukemia in Dogs;

What Are The Symptoms Of A Dog With Leukemia?

  • Gums that are pale.
  • A tongue that is pale or whitish in hue.
  • A lack of appetite or weight loss is a common occurrence.
  • Weakness.
  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Thirst or dehydration is increased.
  • Inconsistent respiration and heart rate

Is Leukemia Curable In Dogs?

While strong chemotherapy can be used to treat acute leukemia, it may be necessary to monitor patients with chronic leukemia. In general, the prognosis for pets diagnosed with acute leukemia is poor.

Can A Dog Survive Acute Leukemia?

Treatment resulted in poor median survival of 55 days (range: 1 to 300). Neither untreated nor palliatively treated dogs lasted more than 7.5 days on average. Due to chemoresistance, most canines succumbed to AL within just a few weeks of starting treatment.

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What Are The Early Stages Of Leukemia In Dogs?

  • It’s either a fever or chills.
  • Fatigue and weakness that persists.
  • The occurrence of frequent or severe infections
  • Weight loss that occurs without effort.
  • lymph nodes swollen; liver and/or spleen enlarged
  • Hemorrhaging or bruising.
  • Rhinitis that recurs.
  • Red dots on your skin that are quite little (petechiae)

Is Leukemia In Dogs Painful?

Not all Leukemia is painful, however, the late discovery of Leukemia in dogs may lead to pain and discomfort in Dog’s entire system.

ALL is defined by the formation of massive lymphoblastic cells in a sudden, fast fashion. The clinical signs of ALL in dogs typically appear quickly. Signs and symptoms include fatigue, anorexia, vomiting, and diarrhea.

What Are The Final Stages Of Lymphoma In Dogs?

No clinical indications of sickness may be evident in dogs with swollen lymph nodes, though. A dog’s mood may be low, he may be lethargic or vomit, lose weight or hair, be febrile, or have a reduced appetite.

What Do You Feed A Dog With Leukemia?

Higher omega-3 fatty acid levels may also have antitumor effects. A canine cancer patient’s diet should contain 25-40% fat and 5 percent or more omega-3 fats, although further research is needed in this area.

How Common Is Dog Leukemia?

Leukemia accounts for 10 percent of all blood malignancies detected in dogs, according to the American Cancer Society. Blood white blood cell overproduction causes lymphoid leukemia. It is possible for these cells to originate from either the bone marrow or the spleen

Is Leukemia Contagious In Dogs?

Neither dogs nor other animals, nor humans, are at risk of contracting the diseases. Leukemia cells are transformed into malignant cells when the virus is eaten. Cells are constantly growing and proliferating in the typical bone marrow in dogs and cats.

How Much Does Radiation Cost For Dogs With Leukemia?

Depending on the size of the dog, chemotherapy prices can range from several hundred dollars for palliative oral medication to several thousand dollars over a three to a six-month period for numerous regimens. Radiation therapy will cost between $2000 and $7000.

Does Leukemia Come On Dogs Suddenly?

Acute leukemia may present with flu-like symptoms. They appear suddenly, usually within a few days to a few weeks. In many cases, leukemia that is chronic is accompanied by little or no symptoms at all. In most cases, signs and symptoms appear slowly.

Is Leukemia Curable If Caught Early?

It can not be totally cured, but it can be managed if discovered early. Blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow and lymphatic system, are affected by leukemia.

Leukemia, which is characterized by the development of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow, affects both adults and children equally.

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Chronic leukemia is a blood disease common in dogs and it occurs at any age or stage in a dog.

That is why as a dog owner, you should be vigilant to observe any change in your pet and likewise talk to your vet doctor for prompt action to be taken for early detection and treatment before it generates cancer.


Author: David Arthur

David's lifelong passion for animals blossomed into a dream profession in 2020. He founded Petscareway Inc., a professional pet care company situated in the Texas. Several veterinarians have educated him in Pet First Aid and CPR since 2003. David decided to become a certified Pet First Aid and CPR instructor in 2011 after completing an instructor training course. David decided he had to be a part of ProPetHero when he discovered them in 2016 and saw how they were offering ER veterinarian-led training to everyone. As a result, he became a member of the ProTrainings family, the designers of ProPetHero. He volunteers and fosters for The Boxer Rescue Inc in his spare time, is a health-conscious Boxer breeder, and is a member of the Middlesex Boxer Club and Wachusett Kennel Club. David has served as a mentor to many people in the pet industry and in the small company world. When he's not working or helping, he's competing with his dogs in agility, lure coursing, and conformation trials across the country. David can be seen training with his puppies, hiking with them on trails, or playing in his backyard when he is not at a trial or trying to find a nice home for a Boxer through the rescue.

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