Click here to learn more.
A: Your veterinarian is checking for swelling in the lymph nodes, and yes, it would be a wonderful idea for you to know what they normally feel like so you can notice any changes.
So what are these things? Just as your mom used to feel beneath your chin and along your throat when you were sick, the veterinarian routinely checks a dog’s lymph nodes for signs of illness.
When all is well in the body, the lymph nodes are usually so small that it's hard to find them unless you have a medical degree. They're about the size of a bean and located under the dog's jaw, at his collarbone, in his armpits and groin, and at about the midpoint of his rear legs. When something is wrong in the body, the lymph nodes swell as they help fight infection or injury. Swollen nodes can indicate a wound, virus, infection or some other illness.
For example, I once treated a dog who had picked up a weed's seed spike (also known as a foxtail or cheatgrass) that burrowed deep inside and caused an infection that couldn't be seen. But the swelling in a single nearby lymph node told me that something was going on and helped me to find the problem.
At your dog’s next exam, have your veterinarian locate these spots for you. Once you can find them and recognize what they normally feel like, you may be able to tell when there’s swelling. And that means it's time to call the veterinarian.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank You For Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
Cooper the Shih Tzu offers stress relief at the university's medical school library all year long — not…
When your kitty is 13 to 15 years old, keep an eye out for behavior changes that may signify health complications.
You would never steal from your vet or ask her on a date, but clients have done it to Dr. Patty Khuly and her…
The versatile American Shorthair came to the New World alongside pilgrims, sailors and adventurers.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.