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Ask Drhollowayvet Your Own Question
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 882
Experience:  Relief Veterinarian at Aloha Animal Hospital
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My 14 yr old spaded female rat terrier has swollen glands on

Customer Question

My 14 yr old spaded female ***** ***** rat terrier has swollen glands on both sides of her neck, what could be wrong with her?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

Hello this is Dr. Holloway but you may call me Dr. H for short.

I am sorry to hear that Lady has some abnormalities going on. Bilateral swelling in the neck area most likely is representative of lymphadenopathy (lymph node enlargement).

The lymph nodes can be enlarged either due to a severe immune response by your pet to an antigen. Pet's will typically have an infection elsewhere in the body or just above the swollen lymph nodes. Pets will typically also have a fever present but overall can do fairly well as long as the body is able to evoke an immune response effective enough.

Expert:  Drhollowayvet replied 1 year ago.

However in older pets, we have to worry about the other cause for bilateral lymphadenopathy, which is a cancer called lymphoma. Lymphoma can cause significant enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes and can makes pets very ill. They can still have a fever and will have generalized poor health.

In order to differentiate between the two, it is recommended to have a fine needle aspirate of the lymph nodes done and sent out for histopathology (analysis). Often-times you can get your answer with just that, however, if some cases due to small sample size more involved diagnostics are indicated (i.e. biopsy +/- thoracic and abdominal radiographs to look for possible signs of metastsis). - Dr. H