Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Veterinary Questions
Hello, my name is***** am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can.
I am sorry to hear your dog is not feeling well.
I will need a little more information to better help you.
Was she given any medication by your vet or is she currently hospitalized now?
If she was given medication, what was she given?
Has she had any x-rays of the chest or an ultrasound of the abdomen yet?
How many lymph nodes are swollen and are they large enough you can feel them?
Is your dog on flea/tick prevention and was she tested for any tick borne diseases like ehrlichia?
Did she have any bloodwork checked at the visit (blood chemistry and complete blood count) and was that all normal?
I see. Big lymph nodes are most commonly due to 2 major diseases: lymphoma and Ehrlichiosis. Lymphoma has a characteristic appearance on cytology (looking at a sample under the microscope) which lets you know lymphoma is present. Bloodwork for Ehrlichiosis usually shows some changes to the protein levels and cell counts, but there is a rapid over the counter test for Ehrlichia that is very accurate and easy to do. Golden retrievers and labrador retrievers are very prone to lymphoma, so I would be worried this is most likely the case.
Lymph nodes can be swollen for other reasons as well including skin disease and dental disease, so if the mouth is terrible or skin is super itchy and infected, the lymph nodes can get big from that as well. I would expect you to have test results back tomorrow if the sample made it to the lab on Friday. it can sometimes take a few days to get those results.
If it is lymphoma, I would consult with an oncologist as many dogs do quite well with a lymphoma protocol and can live 1-2+ years with chemotherapy and still have a good quality of life. We don't hit dogs hard with chemo like we do people, so they tend to still have a good quality of life even when going through that medication.
If it is Ehrlichia, a couple weeks of doxycycline will take care of it.
Does all of that make sense to you? Is there anything else I can help you with?
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I just wanted to check in. How is your pet doing? Is there anything else I can help you with?
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I wish you and your pet the best. Have a great day!
I am so sorry to hear that. Euthanasia is always a difficult decision and I know this must be very hard on you. Stay strong and take care. It will take time to heal. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.