Canine Swollen Glands
Lymph nodes are glands that are found all over the animal’s body and a swelling of the glands is often the first sign of disease in a dog.
This is because the lymph nodes play an important role in the healthy functioning of the immune system. They work as filters for the blood and store important white blood cells in the body. Dog swollen glands occur when tissues in the dog’s body get inflamed.
These tissues drain into particular regional lymph nodes causing them to swell as well. This swelling occurs due to an increase in the number of white blood cells which goes up due to the presence of infectious agents within the body. Swollen lymph nodes in dogs can be found around the shoulder blades or right below the jaw line.
The swelling may also be found near the joints of its legs, at the back of its legs or sometimes even close to the groin region which may make it difficult for it defecate with ease. This condition may also induce nausea, cause it to regurgitate food and while it fights the infection within, it may feel and look sickly.
Dog Swollen Gland Causes
Swollen glands in dog occur due to three main reasons. The first involves a swelling due o the excessive production of white blood cells to fight an infection that has taken root in another part of the body. The second is caused when the lymph nodes themselves are infected and begin to swell up. The third cause is fungal and develops as a skin allergy to certain plants, hay or the soil. This fungal infection can not only affect the skin, but the brain and lungs as well. Apart from these reasons, bacterial infections that are transmitted through breeding, from fleas, ticks and flies, from rodents, from the nauseous gases from animal carcases and a water supply that is infected can also cause the lymph nodes to get swollen. Infections of the bone marrow, leukemia and responses to allergens can cause the swelling. For pet health care, it would be advisable to consult a veterinarian immediately if you notice that the lymph nodes are swollen. The vet is likely to take a blood smear and conduct a urinalysis, blood chemical profile and a complete blood count to ascertain the cause of infection. Medication will be prescribed based on the diagnosis. In case the infection is infectious and can be transmitted to humans, consult your doctor on precautionary measures that should be taken.