Lymph Node Inflammation (Lymphadenopathy) in Dogs

Lymphadenopathy is a term meaning "disease of the lymph nodes and is used to describe presence of enlarged lymph nodes. In this condition, lyphatic glands become inflammed due to infection. 

The lymphatic system is part of the circulatory system, comprising a network of conduits called lymphatic vessels that carry a clear fluid called lymph directionally towards the heart. Lymph nodes or lymph glands are oval-shaped organs of the immune system, distributed widely throughout the body and linked by lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes act as filters or traps for foreign particles and are important in the proper functioning of the immune system. They are packed tightly with the white blood cells.

Inflammation of a tissue results in the inflammation and swelling of regional lymph nodes as a result of reactive increase in white blood cells (hyperplasia). Multiplication of white blood cells and plasma cells in response to a foreign body antigen is medically termed as reactive hyperplasia and this results in enlargement of lymph nodes.

Lymphadenopathy is termed as localized when enlargement of lymph node(s) occur in a certain part while generalized term is used when lymph nodes throughout the body are enlarged.

Generally, this condition seldom produces any clinical signs. In case it does, the dog may be seen with a "lump" or swelling. This swelling may be felt by touch in the area beneath the jaw (submandibular), around the shoulder, legs, near the joint of leg,  Other signs may include loss of appetite, regurgitation, dysphagia or difficulty breathing..

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