Dog Swollen Lymph Gland Symptoms

Dog swollen lymph glands are important to watch out for. Sometimes easily noticed, sometimes not, they could be the sign of a serious health concern at hand. 

What Lymph Glands Are and What They Do

Lymph glands (also called lymph nodes) are a vital part of your dog's well-being, as they work to fight off infections. How they function is that they put out white blood cells, which battle against any illness that your dog may encounter. If your dog's lymph glands become swollen, it's because they putting out an excess of white blood cells in order to properly do their job. 

Where Lymph Glands Are Located

There are two kinds of lymph glands on dogs: those located on the outside of the dog and those located on the inside. 

The lymph glands that are found on the outside can be located in the following regions: 

  • Under the armpits
  • Inside of the legs
  • Under the jaw
  • In front of the shoulders
  • Back of the knee

The lymph glands that are located inside of your dog can be found around the chest and abdominal area. 

Causes of Lymph Gland Swelling

The causes behind the swelling can range from the mild to the severe. For example, allergies could cause the inflammation or it could be a serious infection that your dog is attempting to fight off, such as a bacteria or a virus. To determine the exact cause behind the swelling, it is best to have exams run such as blood and urine tests. Which glands are swollen can be a good indicator as to where the infection is located. For example, a swollen lymph node in the neck could be a sign of a tooth infection, abscess or other neck and/or face problem.

How to Tell if Your Dog's Glands are Swollen

With the outside glands, you can usually feel the area where the gland is located and tell whether or not they are swollen. Be sure to be gentle when you do this, though, as swollen glands are often very tender. 

With the inside glands, you cannot feel nor see when they are swollen. The only way to get a visual on what is going on with these glands is through exploratory surgery.

There are other symptoms that can be identified, depending upon which gland is swollen. For instance, if the glands in the legs are infected, your dog may have difficulty walking or moving about as usual. Other symptoms to look out for are nausea, a general unwillingness to eat, problems going to the restroom and, of course, a general sense of weariness since they are trying to fight off an illness. 

Treatment for Swollen Lymph Glands in Dogs

Depending upon what is causing the glands to swell, treatments vary. If it is a simple infection, it can be handled with antibiotics, while a more serious condition would require a more complicated route of treatment. Either way, it is important to keep an eye out for any possible swelling and get it looked at as soon as possible.