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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 7 yr old field golden retriever who has swollen lymph nodes in her neck. We first noticed them in February of this year and immediately took her to the vet. A biopsy and a cytology was completed only to come back "inconclusive". We were sent to an oncologist who checked our golden, took x-rays and an ultrasound just to tell us, "your dog is a mystery. we have never seen a case like hers before. we're not sure what is going on with her but at this time, it doesn't look cancerous". Since the beginning of this year we have had her back to the vet several times for check-ups and blood tests. Each time we are told, she's a mystery. Nothing else can be found. She has swollen lymph nodes in her neck, nowhere else (praise God) and her blood work is healthy.
At first we were somewhat relieved but the lymph nodes have grown in size and we are still told we don't know what is wrong with your dog. She is a HUGE part of our family. She goes to work with us every day and is with us 24/7. She is the most loving, gentle dog you will ever meet and we are desperate to find out what is wrong so it can be fixed.
Has anyone experienced anything like this or know of anyone who has?

Any input is GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you!
MR
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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Is there a specialist veterinary college close to you? I would definitely take her to a vet college that specializes in Lymphoma.

I am so sorry you are going through this but glad she tests negative!
 

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I agree I would bring your dog somewhere. My own expereince with lymphoma is that it really didn't show up in the blood right away. My dog had the more agressive.
I am soo glad it is negaitve and there are a few things that could make a lymph node swollen .. please keep us posted
 

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MollyReese

MollyReese

I don't know much about swollen lymph nodes but someone else said there can be other causes other than cancer.

Also, I wonder if an ultrasound or a scan could get a more definitive diagnosis, or another vet.

I googled Swollen Lymph Nodes in Dogs and came up with this.

http://www.pethealthandcare.com/dog-health/swollen-lymph-nodes-in-dogs.html

Swollen Lymph Glands in Dogs Symptoms, Treatments

A lymph node (also known as a lymph gland) is an important part of a dog's immune system, and is basically an organ that filters foreign particles and organisms from the blood. Swollen lymph nodes in dogs are usually an indicator of some disease. The presence of disease in surrounding tissues causes a lymph node to swell up, due to an increase in the number of white blood cells that are needed to fight the infection. However, lymph nodes do not swell up only in response to an infection. Cancer can also cause swelling of the lymph nodes, which is why swollen lymph nodes should always be investigated.


Enlarged Lymph Nodes in Dogs Symptoms


There are several lymph nodes in the body, and any one of these nodes can become swollen and enlarged. Swelling may appear at the base of the jaw, around the shoulder, near the joint of the leg, or in the groin area. Your dog may find it difficult to pass stools if the lymph nodes in the groin area are swollen. Canine enlarged lymph nodes may also be accompanied by nausea, which will lead to your dog refusing food or vomiting after having eaten. There may also be difficulty breathing in more severe cases.


Canine Lymph Node Swelling Causes


There are numerous possible causes of enlarged lymph glands in dogs. The problem could range from something mild like a minor localized infection or a minor allergic reaction, to serious health problems such as infection of the lymph nodes themselves or even leukemia. To properly identify the cause, your veterinarian will need to perform a thorough physical examination, which will probably be followed by a blood test, urine test, and examination of lymph samples too. For proper dog health care it is also advisable to provide your doctor with all the possible details of your dog's medical history, no matter how important they may be. This will help in identifying the cause of the problem.


Swollen Lymph Nodes in Dogs Treatments


Treatment will of course depend upon the diagnosis of the problem. As mentioned earlier, enlarged lymph glands in dogs can be caused by a huge number of medical conditions. The treatment for dog swollen glands varies greatly from one condition to the next. Minor infections can be treated easily, possibly by using antibiotics, anti fungal medications, or symptomatic treatments. In case of a more serious problem, more aggressive treatment will be necessary. You will also need to discuss the prognosis with your doctor for proper pet health care, and then accordingly choose a course of action.
 

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I agree with a university hospital if at all possible.
Since it's only the neck, I would think of other causes like a dental problem, a growth in the nose/throat, etc. rather than lymphoma.
Welcome to the forum, I'm sorry you had to find us under sad circumstances.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the thoughts. We have taken these routes already and we are still told she is a medical mystery. I asked the vet a couple of days ago if she could be allergic to something and he said it is possible. The only (2) things I can think have been changed in the last year is her dog food and her flea and tick. We use Vectra 3D for her flea and tick and I have been purchasing Wholesome Medley (a gluten free food) by Kibbles N Bits. The doctor said to stop her flea and tick to see if it is the chemicals in the medicine effecting her. I also decided to change her to a holistic food the other day.
I am praying someone has heard of this or known of a case like hers. It would be a blessing to find out it is something she is allergic to.
If you didn't see her swollen lymph nodes in her neck, you would think she is a normal dog. She is very active and very happy. Just a lover.
 

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I agree with Hotel4dogs that it is a good sign no other lymph nodes are swollen. When they all are, it is beyond likely to be lymphoma. There are so many, many tick diseases- has she had the full tick panel run to rule out things like Babesia?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you for this information. I am leaning more toward some type of infection. A customer mentioned to me it may be a lesion on her salivary gland. I'm just at a loss but am willing to take any suggestion. One thing the vet said if she had cancer, she wouldn't be here anymore. That brings me hope for she is normal (outside of these glands).

She is up-to-date on her limes disease vaccination and we always have flea/tick on her (however, we just stopped putting this on her to see if this is effecting her). The vet checked her teeth/gums as well and everything is healthy. Could there be some sort of a blockage in her nasal/sinus passages that is causing the swelling? I also might add, she was put on an antibiotic to see if it is something viral, but there was no response to the antibiotic.
 

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Have you tried giving her Doxycycline? How about Temeral P if there is zero sign of an infection in case it is allergy related? Do her white/red blood cells seem normal?
 

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Along with what Jill said, have they tried a course of strong antibiotics to see if there's any response? Sometimes treating the symptoms helps determine the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
She was on an antibiotic (not sure what kind) but it didn't help and according to the blood tests, her white and red blood cells are healthy.
 

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Was a specific tick panel run on her (not the normal blood tests but the specific one for all tick borne diseases)? Is her spleen enlarged at all on radiographs or sonograms?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I am not sure if during all of her blood tests if the doctor tested for tick borne diseases. I am expecting to speak with him today so I will bring that up, thank you. With all the xrays and ultrasounds she has had, the doctors have all come back to say her organs look normal.
 

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I am not sure if during all of her blood tests if the doctor tested for tick borne diseases. I am expecting to speak with him today so I will bring that up, thank you. With all the xrays and ultrasounds she has had, the doctors have all come back to say her organs look normal.
Let us know what you find out.

I wonder if you might get more ideas if this were moved or posted in the Health section?
 

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Coley - my cuddle bug
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Have they done a needle aspiration recently? It would concern me - as it is you - that nothing has been found. I'm leaning towards an allergic reation as well. She's not been off her food or anything, right?

If it were cancer, there would be other signs by now. I'd insist on another aspiration now however if they are growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
When we originally found the lumps in the beginning of the year they did an aspiration. It came back inconclusive. Several weeks later they did a biopsy. That, too, came back inconclusive. She was with the vet last Tuesday and he is still puzzled in that she has no other symptoms, no other swollen lymph nodes and her blood work is completely normal. I expect to talk with the vet again today or tomorrow and will ask him about another aspiration or of any other test that can be completed to find out if she has an allergy to something.

We changed her to a holistic food several days ago and stopped her flea and tick medicine. She acts completely normal and is such a happy, loving puppy. She now, however, has been "reverse sneezing" a lot and sometimes makes a coughing/gagging sound.
 

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Dog is a mystery - M Reese

My golden is seven as well. I noticed a lump in her neck and took her to the doc. Blood tests and samples didn't really tell my vet anything but she suggested we send it to a specialist. The vet did take an xray of her chest as well and a mass is behind her sternum. The expert came back with lymphoma. We are devastated. The sweetest dog we have ever had so I know how you are feeling. Chloe isn't eating much but she drinks a lot of water now and her energy is gone. I just read that Goldens are 3.5 times more likely than other breeds to get this. I sincerely hope that your dog is ok and lives a long life. I didn't expect something like this so soon. Although I am very upset to get this news I can now spend quality time with her because we do know...
 
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