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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 548
Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
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Labrador, 12y/o, swollen through the throat area ,very firm

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Labrador, 12y/o, swollen through the throat area ,very firm mass , tennis ball size but seemed to be acute onset. Looked like he had the mumps,Took to vet for aspiration.No cough, ate well this evening. Differential?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  LennyDVM replied 8 years ago.

When you say it looks like mumps, I think of swelling on both sides of the throat directly behind and under the angle of the jaw. If this is correct, the swellings would most likely be lymph nodes, but could also be salivary glands.


Differential for swollen lymph nodes:

  • Lymphoma is the most common serious cause. Treatment generally results in months to years of remission with good quality of life.
  • Reactive swelling as part of a general or local immune response (e.g. allergic reaction)
  • Lymphadenitis from inflammation or infection (bacterial, fungal)
  • Sterile granulomatous lymphadenopathy where apparent infectious agent is not involved
  • Mineral-associated granulomatous lymphadenopahty has crystalline/mineral based material within nodes
  • Metastatic cancer
  • Lymph node hemorrhage, infarction or edema

Inflamed or blocked salivary glands can sometimes occur in the glands under the tongue and behind the angle of the jaw. Aspirates of these glands contain saliva.


You should have the results of the cytology within a few days. I understand that the wait is very stressful.


Let me know if there are follow up questions.

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
As far as the mass under the jaw and it acute development over the last 24-48h, does that lean toward a dx as liisted? Assume nodes are throughout that area under the jaw,in the throat area? Also Rex has some gum irritation and teeth were cleaned >i yr. ago but they need some work, breath seems to be more noticeable recently. Thanks for your reply & assistance.
Expert:  LennyDVM replied 8 years ago.

The nodes tend to enlarge fairly rapidly. Development in the last 2 days does not really help limit the differential. The top of the list are generally the most common causes of swollen nodes and the last part of the list the less common causes.


Gum and tooth infection can result in swollen submandibular lymph nodes because they drain the head/mouth region and can introduce bacteria into the nodes.


My thoughts are with Rex.

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