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My cat has a swollen lymph node on the same side where he…

Hi, my cat has...

Hi, my cat has a swollen lymph node on the same side where he had teeth pulled. At first he had a small lump under his jaw where the tooth was. Now the lymph node is about 2” in diameter. My vet is acting like it could be unrelated and I cannot see how it could be unrelated.

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the cat's name and age?

Findlay age 9

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Findlay?

I don’t think so He’s had 2 rounds of antibiotics now. For the jaw and now for the lymph node.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
1/16/2018
Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3,570
Experience: DVM
Verified

Hello. My name is***** and I am a veterinarian that can answer your question. I understand Findlay has a swollen lymph node on the same side as where teeth were pulled. I am sorry to hear about what has happened. Can you please tell me about how long ago were the teeth pulled? Have any tests been performed on this lymph node to see what is inside it (i.e. aspirate and cytology)?

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Hello Dr Perry. Did you get my second message? I sent additional details but now that I’ve logged on I don’t see them. Should I resend?

I think so because I do not see any other information on my side. I am sorry to have you do that, but it would help me if it is not too much trouble. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Ok thank you. Sorry to contact you so late but we are worried. No tests yet. But after the teeth were pulled (October) we noticed a knot below his jaw on one side (Nov). At first they suggested it could be unrelated (how?!)Vet x-rayed and said it was bone infection in the jaw and gave Finlay antibiotics.
Now his lymph node on same side is swollen to 2” diameter and vet is suggesting cancer unrelated to dental work. They will do biopsy later this week. Maybe I’m skeptical but I cannot see how it can be anything other than jaw infection related to dental work. I am asking for another jaw X-ray. I think he has infection from dental procedure in his jaw bone. Am I out in left field? What would you do? Suggestions? Thank you!
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
PS they admitted his jaw is still sensitive
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Again, so sorry to trouble you late at night!

No trouble at all. Please bear with me a few moments while I am typing my response. Thank you.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Thank you!

The first thing is for the veterinarian to make sure the swelling is a lymph node and not a salivary gland. They are positioned near each other, so this would be an important detail. If it is a lymph node then swellings of these glands are generally caused by either an infection, inflammatory cells, or cancer. An fine needle aspirate of the lymph node is a non-invasive way of determining what cells are found inside the lymph node (i.e. infection, inflammation, or neoplasia). A biopsy would also give this answer. The x-ray or the jaw should determine if there is osteomyelitis (i.e. bone infection). If that is the case then getting a biopsy of the bone is also important. If the bone is also affected then neoplasia or infection would be the top rule outs. If it is related to the dental work then one would also want to make sure no tooth remnants were left behind.

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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Ok thank you so much!

You are most welcome! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I am here to help. If you have no other questions, I would appreciate very much a 5 star review. You can do this at the top of the screen (rating me now does not close your question). We can continue here until you are satisfied. Thank you!

Scott Perry
Scott Perry, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 3,570
Experience: DVM
Verified
Scott Perry and 87 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Should I ask them to perform the needle aspirate before doing a biopsy?
Customer reply replied 7 months ago
Or should 8 let them go ahead with the lymph node biopsy / x-ray and suggest a jaw bone biopsy at the same time?

The biopsy is more invasive, but it is more definite to get a diagnosis. The aspirate does not require anesthesia or sedation, so it is less invasive and may give you a diagnosis. There is a higher chance it gives an inconclusive results because it takes a smaller sample. The decision is up to you, but it may work just was well to get the aspirate first to see if the same information can be achieved with minimal invasiveness. There is suspicion of neoplasia in the bone then a biopsy is recommended because an aspirate will not get enough cells for a diagnosis. Therefore, if you are going to biopsy the bone then it would be a good idea to get a biopsy of the lymph node as well at the same time.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Thanks Scott !
* You received a 5 star rating from me
* it ended up being his saliva gland
* they drained it, crated the area and took a BiopsyMy questions are complete to my satisfaction. Thank you for your help!
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
Imeant to say x rayed

Oh good! I am glad to hear it got resolved. Thank you for the update.

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Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Scott Perry
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