Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical exam on your dog. A complete blood profile will be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, an electrolyte panel, urinalysis, and a blood smear.
Lymph node aspirates (liquid) will also be taken for microscopic (cytologic) examination. Abnormal tissue growth, or tumors (neoplasia), and fungal infections can also be confirmed via cytologic examination of lymph node aspirates.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, including a background history of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. The history you provide may give your veterinarian clues as to which organs are causing secondary enlargement of the regional lymph nodes.
Other useful blood tests include serologic (blood serum) tests for antibodies against systemic fungal agents (Blastomyces and Cryptococcus), or bacteria (Bartonella spp.). Radiograph and ultrasound imaging will allow your doctor to visually inspect the affected lymph nodes, and may also enable detection of lesions associated with lymph node enlargement in other organs.
Your veterinarian will prescribe medication dependent on the underlying cause of the lymph node enlargement.
Some infections are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted to humans. Systemic diseases, like sporotrichosis, Francisella tularensis, Yersinia pestis, and Bartonella spp, are zoonotic. If your dog has one of these zoonotic diseases, ask your veterinarian what precautions you will need to take to avoid infection.
Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads
General discomfort of the body
A term for a type of neoplasm that is made up of lymphoid tissue; these masses are usually malignant in nature
The growth of pathogens away from the original site of the disease
Underneath the lower part of the jaw
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
Something that is related to the whole body and not just one particular part or organ
Anything pertaining to the blood vessel system in the body
Returning food that has been swallowed into the mouth; often results in vomiting
A medical condition in which the lymph nodes are inflamed
The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.
The area under the arm; the arm pit.
An allergic disorder that results in difficulty breathing.
The exiting of excrement from the body; bowel movements.
The area between the abdomen and thighs; the inguinal area
Small structures that filter out the lymph and store lymphocytes
An increase in the number of bad white blood cells
A protein in the body that is designed to fight disease; antibodies are brought on by the presence of certain antigens in the system.