December 2021 — Bella

Bella is an almost 12 year old spayed female Pit Bull. She loves walks and swimming and cuddles.

This month is a special month for Bella. It is her one year anniversary of her diagnosis with lymphoma. Lymphoma is a common form of cancer in both dogs and cats. Like most dogs with lymphoma, Bella presented with a swelling of her lymph nodes. Diagnosis of lymphoma requires biopsy of the affected area and blood tests; sometimes other tests such as abdominal ultrasound are required as well. Bella has been treated for her cancer with a variety of chemotherapy drugs and has done very well. Like many dogs treated with chemotherapy, Bella has had few complications. The potential for problems is real: 15% of dogs being treated with chemotherapy will have problems severe enough to require hospitalization, but most dogs don’t have major complications. Unlike people, dogs generally don’t lose their hair with chemotherapy. The most common complications are vomiting and diarrhea. Bella has had a treatment every three weeks for the past year. She is continuing to do well. At the one year mark with lymphoma, we like to give owners the option of continuing treatment or stopping. Bella’s owners have elected to discontinue her treatment. We hope that she continues to do well, but there is a small chance that her cancer will come back. Happy anniversary Bella!

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