Leukemia is a cancer involving the blood elements in the bone marrow, including the lymphocytes, monocytes, platelets, eosinophils, basophils, and erythrocytes. All of these cells can give rise to cell-specific leukemias.
Leukemia generally occurs in middle-aged dogs. Signs are non-specific and include fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and sometimes anemia with pale mucous membranes.
Usually the disease is discovered when blood tests are drawn to diagnose these symptoms. Leukemic cells may or may not be found circulating in the blood. A bone marrow biopsy confirms the diagnosis.
Leukemia is treated with anti-cancer drugs. Chemotherapy does not cure leukemia, but may put the disease into remission for several months or longer. Dogs with chronic leukemia have a better prognosis than those with acute leukemia.
There is no known prevention for this condition.
Please contact your veterinarian with questions regarding this condition.
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