Causes of lymph node inflammation in a dog

Inflammation of the lymph nodes in a dog (lymphodenitis) is a symptom of quite a few diseases. First of all, it indicates that something is wrong in the body.

Lymph nodes are filtered, clear lymph, enriching it with lymphocytes. At the same time they detain harmful substances entering the body, or infectious agents. If the dog is healthy, they do their job.

However, if the animal's body is weakened and at this moment pathogenic microorganisms get into its lymphatic system, it is impossible to neutralize their immune system. In such a situation, the lymph node's own cells begin to multiply vigorously and the node itself grows. It is heavily supplied with blood, it becomes tense and hot, and when you feel it, the dog experiences pain.

Even the slightest changes in the behavior of the dog should serve as a signal to the owner for a close examination of the animal. It is imperative that attentive palpation of the dog’s head and neck should be included in this inspection, namely, the places where the lymph nodes are located. This is between the upper and lower jaw, a little closer to the ear and under the lower jaw.

In a healthy animal, the lymph nodes on the head should not be palpable. And if you felt balls under the skin, it means that the lymph nodes are inflamed and this indicates the presence of the disease.

Causes of lymph node inflammation in dogs

The reasons can be quite a lot, and they can be very diverse.

It may be:

  • an immune response to a bacterial or viral infection,
  • malignant neoplasms
  • or even a reaction to a mechanical squeeze of a tight collar

The swelling of the lymph nodes is divided into acute and chronic. Acute swelling characteristic of the acute course of inflammation of the lymphatic vessels, which occurs as a result of infectious anemia, rhinitis, glanders. Chronic swelling of the lymph nodes in the dog's head is most often associated with chronic rhinitis or nasal glanders.

An increase in the volume of all lymph nodes on a dog's body is found in the plague of carnivores, tuberculosis, anthrax, actimicosis, hyperplasia (appearance of tumors in the tissues), leukemia (blood cancer in dogs) and lymphoma (lymphosarcoma).


Specific lymph nodes are not treated. Only in the case of mechanical damage (for example, with a tight collar) it is necessary to remove all interfering factors. In other cases of inflammation of the lymph nodes, it is necessary to treat the primary disease.

Therefore, in any case, when detecting inflamed lymph nodes in a dog, it is necessary to urgently contact the veterinary clinic and undergo examinations to establish an accurate diagnosis and begin adequate treatment of the dog.

Antibiotics are often prescribed for viral and infectious diseases, and if the lymph nodes in the neck do not shrink when using them, this may mean that the dog has become ill with lymphoma (lymphosarcoma). In such a situation, treatment with hormones is prescribed, specific tests are performed, and then chemotherapy is administered.

In place of an enlarged lymph node, an abscess sometimes occurs. Initially, it is treated with therapeutic methods. But if the suppuration continues, so that the infection does not spread further, the dog’s abscess is opened, cleaned and drainage is established. Then they treat as any purulent wound.



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