You might be aware of people you know who have suffered from lymphedema in the past, but you may not realize that certain animals can also develop this condition. Like humans, animals that have lymphedema experience significant swelling in multiple areas of their body due to an accumulation of lymph fluid. If you see signs that indicate lymphedema in your dog, you'll want to contact your animal hospital and explain what you've noticed so that the animal can get the treatment it needs. It's important to know the warning signs of lymphedema in your pet. Here's a short list of things you should watch for.
The most obvious indicator of lymphedema in your dog is swelling that is visible. There are several different sites throughout a dog's body in which this swelling may occur. The dog could have swelling at just one site or at multiple sites. Common sites are the dog's legs and neck. You might notice that a particular area of the dog's leg is thicker than usual. Upon gently touching it, it could feel inflamed and soft. While a gentle touch can help to identify a likely case of lymphedema, you should avoid excessive contact with any swollen area as this may cause discomfort to your pet.
Given that lymphedema often affects the dog's legs, you might notice that the pet is experiencing some mobility issues. It may walk slowly or gingerly, using a gait that suggests it has discomfort while walking. A build-up of fluid around a joint can limit that joint's range of motion. As a result, you might notice that the dog is taking small steps rather than walking in its usual manner. A dog that enjoys getting out for walks and roaming around the backyard may seem resistant to doing so.
Signs Of Pain
The pain that your dog can experience as a result of its lymphedema will depend on how advanced the swelling is. While mild cases of lymphedema are unlikely to cause much discomfort for your dog, cases that are more advanced mean that you'll likely see some indicators of pain. Your dog may continuously lick at the parts of its body that are causing discomfort in a futile attempt to decrease the pain. In severe cases, the dog may moan when it moves in certain ways, or perhaps even act aggressively because of the pain. The veterinarian at your local animal hospital can treat your dog's lymphedema in several different ways, so it's important to set an appointment.
For more information, contact a veterinarian near you.