Thank you for your question regarding your 4.5 year old Cavalier King Charles girl who seems to have swollen lymph nodes in her neck. These lymph nodes drain a number of areas around the head and neck including the oral cavity. Often dogs with bad dental
disease will get swollen lymph nodes as a result of dealing with the oral infection and inflammation - so this would be the first thing for your vet to consider.
Lymph node enlargement can also occur for a number of other reasons however, including lymphoma
(cancer). So for this reason, I would encourage you to get your girl in to your local vet this week for a full check up. Here they can also take a fine needle aspirate (FNA) of one or both lymph nodes, put some of the extracted cells on a slide, and have these checked by a pathologist. Often this is enough to tell whether this is inflammatory in nature, or whether it could be cancerous. This procedure is quick, easy and almost pain free - and it would definitely be better to have piece of mind here.
If this was determined to be inflammatory change, then some antibiotics, and perhaps dental work if necessary could be all that is necessary (and time). If the cells looked suspicious, then a full biospy may be needed under anesthetic to get more information. I hope all of the above makes sense? Please let me know if you have any other questions. My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business and I hope to work with you again soon!
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