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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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We just noticed our Pom is pumping into things. She' s 10 yrs

Customer Question

We just noticed our Pom is pumping into things. She' s 10 yrs old, has been in great health. This issue began just 2 days ago. I can feel a lymph node under her jaw. She has lost some weight just recently. Differential Dx?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.
Hi there, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm so sorry to hear that your Pom has been bumping into things and has an enlarged lymph node. I'll do my best to help. What is your Pom's name? Please allow me 5-10 minutes to type out my thoughts for you. You are more than welcomed to add thoughts or additional questions while you wait. I'll do my best to cover them all.Thanks~Dr. Sara
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 9 months ago.
While it's not going to be possible for me to really tell exactly what is going on without having the opportunity to do a proper physical examination, I can certainly give you my thoughts on the more common reasons for what you're seeing. Bumping into things typically signals that the pet has had a sudden loss of vision. This is something that merits immediate investigation by a veterinarian, who may be able to diagnose the cause just by doing a physical examination. They may also need to run a few tests like checking the pressures of the eyes for glaucoma, the tear production, or a stain to check for corneal ulcers. A disease process that causes gradual vision loss (like chronic dry eye or cataracts) typically won't cause the pet to suddenly begin bumping into things. This is because they have a long time to adjust to their lack of vision. As their vision fades, they learn to rely on their memory to navigate their familiar surroundings and often you won't see much of a change in how they get around in day to day situations. However, take them out of their home, or rearrange the furniture, and you'll start to see them bumping into the objects that they're not accustomed to. Diseases that can cause a sudden loss of vision include glaucoma, severe corneal ulcers, uveitis (inflammation in the eye), retinal detachments, retinal hemorrhages, or sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (abbreviated SARDS). In other less common cases, the loss of vision is due to a central nervous system issue like a tumor or inflammation in the optic nerves or brain, rather than an actual eye problem. Many of the ocular abnormalities can be evident on an exam. One swollen lymph node isn't particularly concerning unless it's significantly increased in size (say 4-5cm or more). This is especially true in the mandibular lymph nodes, which drain the oral cavity. Most small breed dogs like Poms are going to have dental tartar and gingival infection that will cause varying degrees of lymph node enlargement. Aside from handling dental disease and staying on top of tooth decay and infections, the lymph node inflammation in the mandibular region is common. If multiple lymph nodes are significantly enlarged, then we get concerned for lymphoma, which is a cancer of the white blood cells. Lymphoma is certainly not impossible for a Pom, but that's not a breed that I typically will diagnose with that disease.Truly, the best course of action for your companion is to schedule a veterinary exam so that you can get a diagnosis and have some treatment options put together.Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions please simply reply with your follow up questions. I would be happy to continue chatting. If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)