Lymphadenopathy in Dogs: Swollen Lymph Node


Swollen lymph nodes in dogs can be an indication of lots of diseases and infections of tissue throughout the body. The lymph nodes are very important due to the fact that they filter blood and store leukocyte. They lie in many places around the body, such as the neck and shoulder location. When tissue in these areas experience a disease or infection, leukocyte increase to fight the condition, which is why the lymph nodes in the afflicted area end up being swollen. For this reason, swollen lymph nodes typically the first indication that there is something wrong in dogs’ bodies. “Lymphadenopathy” is the term for bigger lymph nodes, which can be caused by lots of conditions, and “lymphadenitis” is the term for swollen lymph nodes that are caused by infection or inflammation. If your dog’s lymph nodes seem swollen, you should consult your vet for a medical diagnosis and treatment. Here is what you ought to learn about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for swollen lymph nodes in dogs.

Lymphadenopathy in Dogs Definition

When tissues end up being inflamed, the local lymph nodes that these tissues drain pipes into will also become swollen and swollen in response. This swelling is due to a reactive increase in leukocyte (hyperplasia) due to the localized existence of a transmittable agent. This is clinically defined as reactive hyperplasia: when white blood cells and plasma cells (antibody secreting cells) multiply in reaction to a substance that promotes their production (antigenic stimulation), causing the lymph node to expand.

Lymphadenitis is a condition where the lymphatic glands have become swollen due to infection. Neutrophils (the most abundant type of white blood cell, and the first to act versus infection), activated macrophages (cells which eat bacteria and other transmittable representatives), and eosinophils (cells which combat parasites and allergic reaction triggering agents) will migrate into the lymph node during an episode of lymphadenitis. This convergence of cells results in the swollen feel and look of the nodes.

Cancerous cells might also be found in a lymph node biopsy (tissue sample). Cancer cells may be main, coming from the lymph node (malignant lymphoma), or might be there as a result of the spread of cancer from another location in the body (metastasis).

Swollen Lymph Node in Dogs: Symptoms and Types

Lymph nodes can generally be discovered by touch, however in some cases there will be no medical symptoms. Swelling can be felt in the area underneath the jaw (submandibular), or around the shoulder. Swelling in among the legs is likewise possible as a result of swollen lymph nodes at the back of the leg (popliteal), or near the joint of the leg (axillary– associating with the armpit). Swollen nodes in the area near the groin (inguinal) might make defecation tough for your dog. Your dog might also lose its hunger due to nausea, and have a desire to spit up when it does eat. You can also anticipate your dog to feel a general despair as its body combat the infection. If your dog has severely bigger lymph nodes it might have trouble eating, or have problem with breathing.

Lymph Node Inflammation in Dogs (Location map)

Causes of Swollen Lymph Node in Dogs

Lymphoid hyperplasia: when lymph nodes respond to an infectious representative by producing an excess of white blood cells, however are not themselves infected

Lymphadenitis: when the lymph nodes themselves are infected either mainly or secondarily

Infectious agents:

  • Sporotrichosis: fungal infection of the skin, gotten from soil, hay, plants (most especially, garden roses); affects the skin, lungs, bones, and brain


  • Rickettsia: transferred by ticks and fleas
  • Bartonella spp: transferred by biting flies
  • Brucella canis: sexually sent; acquired during breeding
  • Pasteurella: sent through the respiratory system
  • Yersinia pestis: sent by fleas and possibly rodents; likewise known as the afflict
  • Fusobacterium: infection of the mouth, chest, throat, lungs
  • Francisella tularensis: tularemia; sent by ticks, deer flies, and by the dispersion of gases from an infected animal carcass (often happening during lawn-mowing).
  • Mycobacterial: transmitted by infected water system.

Non-infectious agents:

  • Irritants: lymph glands react to an allergy in the body by producing more cells– generally occurs in the lymph nodes near the site of the response.
  • Immune-mediated disease: the body’s immune system over-reacts to an invasion, or reacts inappropriately.
  • Eosinophilic infiltration: reproduction of leukocyte accountable for managing allergy response, or for battling parasitic agents.

Dog hypereosinophilic syndrome: excessive eosinophils, may be related to leukemia, blood marrow infection, asthma, or allergic reaction.


Your vet will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog. A total blood profile will be performed, consisting of a chemical blood profile, a total blood count, an electrolyte panel, urinalysis, and a blood smear.

Lymph node aspirates (liquid) will likewise be considered tiny (cytologic) assessment. Unusual tissue growth, or growths (neoplasia), and fungal infections can likewise be verified through cytologic examination of lymph node aspirates.

You will have to give a comprehensive history of your dog’s health, consisting of a background history of symptoms, and possible incidents that may have precipitated this condition. The history you provide might give your vet ideas as to which organs are triggering secondary enhancement of the regional lymph nodes.

Other beneficial blood tests include serologic (blood serum) tests for antibodies versus systemic fungal agents (Blastomyces and Cryptococcus), or bacteria (Bartonella spp.). Radiograph and ultrasound imaging will enable your doctor to aesthetically inspect the affected lymph nodes, and may likewise make it possible for detection of sores related to lymph node enhancement in other organs.

Treatments For Swollen Lymph Nodes In Dogs

Dog need reatment for Lymphadenitis Read more at:

Bacterial infections, in particular, might develop abscesses within the nodes, which might open to the exterior and present as draining tracts. Other complications will depend upon the area of the infection and whether it is impacting surrounding organs.

Treatment for swollen lymph nodes in dogs depends on the cause of the condition. Some minor infections might not need treatment at all, as dogs’ bodies can battling them off without medical intervention. For infections that do need treatments, antibiotics are typically recommended when the cause is bacteria. Anti-fungal medications are prescribed for fungal infections.

Antihistamines and steroids might be used to deal with allergies, and corticosteroids might be recommended for autoimmune diseases. Surgery and chemotherapy may be alternatives if the cause is cancer. During healing, a vet might prescribe a diet modification to improve the body immune system in addition to lots of water and rest.

Your vet will recommend medication dependent on the underlying cause of the lymph node enlargement.

Living and Management

Some infections are zoonotic, indicating that they can be transferred to people. Systemic diseases, like sporotrichosis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Bartonella spp, are zoonotic. If your dog has among these zoonotic diseases, ask your vet what preventative measures you will have to require to avoid infection.

What Dog Owners Say About the Swollen Lymph Nodes

Monday we observed what we thought were very swollen lymph nodes on Miller, our 4.5 year old golden retriever. They were fine that early morning, and my wife simply saw them after feeding him. He didn’t finish his food, which is not like him. He appeared a bit lethargic during the day as well. I’m worried due to the fact that this appears to be a pretty fast start. He hasn’t revealed any signs of a behavior change during the last couple of weeks, and no other health problems. As goldens are vulnerable cancer, particularly lymphoma, we were very worried. A quick Google search has actually raised an allergy, localized infection, or a dripping salivary gland as other possible causes.
So, after a see to the veterinarian Tuesday early morning, we’re quite stymied. The vet doesn’t think it is his lymph nodes or salivary glands which are swollen, which is odd. He did a CBC which revealed an elevated WBC of 25.74 K/uL, elevated neutrophils at 16.8 K/uL, and an incredibly high monocyte count of 6.55 K/ul. No fever. X-ray was clear. The vet believes it might be a retropharyngeal abscess, and sent out for a cytology recommendation. The results returned undetermined, so they are having an expert take a look at the samples, the outcomes which we are wishing to return this afternoon or tomorrow. He isn’t ruling out blastomycosis, but we are waiting for the other test results prior to going that route, due to the fact that Miller doesn’t have a cough or fever, and isn’t really providing with other significant symptoms at this point.
The bright side is that, after not consuming dinner on Monday and hardly consuming anything on Tuesday, he consumed about a half cup on Wednesday early morning and after that two cups at night. And consumed 1.5 cups today. We’re taking that as a good sign! The swelling hasn’t gone down, although it does seem like more of a mass than enlarged glands. Also, the skin between the 2 masses along the front of his neck is sagging and swollen a bit. At first I thought it could be a liquid pooling up there, and that it could be a symptom of salivary mucocele, but the vet did not believe that was the problem. Miller was provided a dexamethasone injection, 2mg/ml, a 100 mg/ml injection of baytril, and 2 days worth of baytril chewable tablets to be given twice daily. (Morrison)

Dog with Lymphadenitis

The recovery of lymphadenitis will depend totally on the reaction that your dog’s system needs to the treatment. The age of your pet, the existing health condition he is experiencing, and the type of infection that he is facing will all affect the healing procedure.

I took my 13 year old bichon to the vet the other day for some vaccinations. The veterinarian said her lymph nodes felt swollen and held back on the vaccinations to run some tests. He took blood and did an aspiration of among the lumps to get it tested. My dog has no other symptoms. She is drinking and eat great, going to the restroom usually, having no problem getting around, generally acting 100% like herself.
We need to have outcomes of the blood test back today and the goal results tomorrow. In the meantime, I was wondering if anybody else had any experience with this. The vet didn’t explain at all what it could possibly mean. (Paul)

While I was experimenting with Max this afternoon I saw that the lymph nodes right behind his jaw were swollen. Both of them about the size of a walnut, maybe a little smaller sized. I checked Hailey to make sure I never observed it prior to and I discovered nothing enlarged on her. Unsure what to make of it. He has been eating, playing, etc. like normal. I can’t get him to the veterinarian until a minimum of Wednesday. Any feedback would be valued. (Nancy)


1 Comment

  1. You know, it’s terrible when you find that your dog has a swollen lymph node (although, here any tumor is terrible news). It is good that I caught up on time and turned to the vet. Although he turned out to be a scoundrel, he molested me, but examined my dog well and now I do not worry as I did before.

    My Lassie feels well: she eats, drinks, sleeps and poops, as usual.

    But completely get rid of lymphadenopathy failed.

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