Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph Average Cost

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What is Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph?

Similar to the human body, the lymphatic system is like the body’s cleansing system in dogs. It contains the lymph nodes and lymph vessels and contains lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that help guard the body against any infections or inflammations. When the blood circulates, this complex process includes the collection and transfer of a clear fluid, called lymph. Lymph is taken from the body’s tissues and then returned back into the blood via lymphatic vessels. When there is an abnormality in the lymph flow, the fluid collects and swelling occurs. Lymphedema is the common term for this disorder.

This can be the result of lymph nodes (that filter the fluid) or lymph vessels developing atypically. It can also be the result of an underlying condition that has caused an abnormality in the lymphatic system. Underlying disorders can be tumors, surgery, inflammation, or any other disorder that causes the lymph vessels to become blocked, thus inhibiting proper flow.

Lymphedema is the swelling of various tissues in the dog’s body due to fluid retention within the tissues. This is caused by an abnormality in the lymphatic system.

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Symptoms of Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph in Dogs

When the lymph fluid is obstructed, it collects in the bodily tissues. As this occurs, swelling that is noticeable on the outside of the body can concern any dog owner. If your dog has any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. Symptoms include:

  • Swelling of the feet and legs
  • Swelling of the abdomen 
  • Swelling of the chest
  • Any outer extremities becoming swollen (tail or ears)
  • Lameness
  • Malaise
  • Lethargy
  • Skin discoloration

Types

There are different types of disorders similar to or secondary to lymphedema that your veterinarian will check for during the examination and testing. A few of these types may also be considered a differential diagnosis that the veterinarian will have to rule out before making a definitive diagnosis of this disorder. Types include:

  • Congenital lymphedema
  • Primary lymphedema
  • Intestinal lymphedema
  • Intestinal lymphangiectasia
  • Inflammatory edema
  • Arteriovenous fistula
  • Neoplastic infiltration
  • Hypoproteinemia
  • Hepatic failure

Causes of Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph in Dogs

Studies show that this disorder could be inherited in some breeds. Other studies show that this disorder is completely idiopathic (primary lymphedema). Secondary lymphedema causes or triggers may include:

  • Congenital aplasia
  • Hypoplasia
  • Hyperplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Radiation therapy to the affected area
  • Trauma

Diagnosis of Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph in Dogs

If your dog has swelling, make an appointment with your veterinarian. The veterinarian will ask questions about his symptoms and any underlying conditions. The medical professional will do a complete examination and then recommend a urinalysis and blood tests. 

The veterinarian may gently press on the swollen area to see how it responds to this; he will be looking for “spongy” feeling tissue and he will be looking for the area which is pressed to keep an indention for a short time before returning to normal.

If your veterinarian suspects your dog has lymphedema, either primary or secondary, he will take a sample of the swollen tissue and test it to be sure it is lymph fluid in the affected tissue. The veterinarian may also choose to perform a lymphangiography, which is a dye test, similar to a heart catheterization, where an imaging source can allow the veterinarian to watch the flow of the colored dye throughout the lymphatic system.

Treatment of Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph in Dogs

Many dogs can become affected with lymphedema and usually the cases subside on their own. Lymphedema does not always have a serious effect on the dog’s health, depending on the dog and the severity of the condition. It also depends on whether the swelling is caused by a primary or secondary source. Treatment may include:

Compression

The affected tissue areas can be wrapped in a compression bandage to help reduce the swelling. The veterinarian will demonstrate how to wrap the areas and will show you the amount of pressure that needs to be applied. Heating pads on a low setting and lymphatic massage may also be options to help your pet.

Change in Diet

Since lymphedema can only be treated rather than completely cured, the veterinarian may recommend a special diet for your companion. A diet that is healthy can boost the immune system to allow the lymphatic system to do its job more effectively.

Medication

Medication to reduce the swelling or an antibiotic may also be prescribed by your veterinarian. Both may be used to help calm the swelling.

Recovery of Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph in Dogs

Mild and localized lymphedema has a good prognosis, but this does depend on the cause and if there are any underlying disorders. If your dog has been diagnosed with generalized lymphedema, the prognosis is considered “guarded” and must be watched to see if your dog will go into remission.

Since there are many possible causes of secondary lymphedema, recovery depends on the other condition and how severe your dog’s lymphatic system has been affected. Your medical professional will give you advice and instructions on how to care for your dog during this time.

Fluid Retention and Tissue Swelling Due to Collection of Lymph Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Tempest
Rottweiler
13 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Medication Used

10mg Piroxicam

Our almost 13 year old Rottweiler has a severely swollen leg and armpit - that is hot to the touch, and she is lethargic. She has been diagnosed with throat cancer, is already on 10 mg of Piroxiacm - so maybe this is cancer in her lymphatic system? Her vet is closed until Monday, today is saturday night - anything we can do to alleviate some swelling and discomfort?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
Swelling in the legs may be caused by a blocked lymph node which may be attributable to cancer; there isn’t much to do at home at this time except keep her comfortable. Do not try to wrap her legs as commonly owners will wrap too tight causing further complications; keep an eye on her for now, but if the swelling continues or she is in pain you should visit an Emergency Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Harley
German Shepherd
7 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Edema, mass in stomach area,

My dog had a needle aspirate and blood came back as anemic and low protein. dr. said did not come back as Lymphoma. Second vet that did sonogram said he sees 4 masses and 90% certain it’s Lymphoma. When I told him that 1st dr. doesn’t think it’s Lymphoma he said that the needle aspirate is only 50% accurate. I have read that it is 100% of detecting cancer. My second dr. is suggesting that I put my dog down. I would appreciate your thoughts. Very confused! Thank you in advance!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1079 Recommendations
Unfortunately, without knowing where these masses are or more about Harley, I have a very hard time commenting on what might be going on, but I would not jump to euthanasia if there was a chance for treatment. Perhaps an actual biopsy of the mass may provide more information, as it would provide a larger sample, and a needle aspirate typically does provide a very small sample, and can be easy to misinterpret. I hope that all goes well for him.

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Eddie
King Charles Spaniel; maltese; poodle
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

swollen tail
sensitive ears

My 7yo dog has swelling to his tail as pointed out by his groomer who suggested he may have fluid retention and/or tissue swelling. He also cries when she goes near his ears, but she believes this is personality and nothing serious, although of late he yelps on occasion when scratching. For several years he received injections every three weeks for allergies plus cortisone, but I ceased that all two years ago and he's been great (and medicine free) ever since.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1079 Recommendations
Without examining Eddie, I'm unfortunately unable to comment on what might be the cause of the swelling around his tail, as I cannot see him. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian, and have that swelling assessed, and his ears looked at in detail, to see what might be going on and what treatment he may need. I hope that all goes well for him.

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T
Maltese
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Dark Urine
Weight gain
Weight gain, breathing difficulty
Loss of Appetite

Hi my dog T has recently just all within a week put on a lot of weight in his front and back legs Long with his stomach, he also has soft cushion feeling on his upper chest l, he seems like he’s struggling to breathe. He’s lost complete interest in everything. Doesn’t really drink much when he goes to the bathroom it’s a very dark yellow.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
There are many different causes of fluid accumulation in the lower limbs and trunk which may include localised issues or more systemic conditions; due to the complex nature of the possible underlying causes you should visit your Veterinarian as soon as possible for an examination and blood tests to help determine an underlying cause and treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Happy
Stray dog
14 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

Hi, this question come form Taiwan.
my dog in car crash get damage at 4/6.
abdomen to inner thigh Serious Swelling , but only few part Scratches.
then take care by Veterinarian everyday.
at 4/14, found left hind lateral thigh start Edema.
after draw out, liquid look like blood and water mixture.
analysis it, seems have some bacterial infection.
Veterinarian surgery to clear inside today, get some necrotic tissue.
he show me the picture, it seems black net distributed on the inside of the skin
he say never saw that, may be a tumor,
but before accident, dog seems health, even it over 14 year old
so i don't know how can i do right now
this dog is a Stray dog, it my dad take to home before he Passed away.
so if possible, I hope can cure my dog
so I really to know, the edema is by accident or tumor.
need someone can help me or talk to me.
thanks.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1MFBNId0yaPyr9Clk5GTOuaOvwMddiVYX
link is shot in 4/15, but not very clear.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
The pictures are clear enough but don’t show specifically what the cause is; however it is unlikely to be a tumour if it has grown in a short timeframe. At this point I would recommend that you have a biopsy taken of the mass for histopathology to see if any light may be shed on this issue; the blood test results are not pointing towards anything. I know of only one veterinary school in Taiwan (there may be others I don’t know about) and I would recommend visiting them if possible. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.vm.ntu.edu.tw/DVM/index.html

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Marley
Labrador Retriever
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

puffy cheek and under eye
fluid in face
Swelling

Medication Used

Carprofen

My 10 year old lab mix went for a dental cleaning on Tuesday (@60 hours ago) He was a healthy dog before he went in for the cleaning. He had no extractions or complications during the cleaning. He was having issues once the cleaning was finished, he did not drink any water for 24 hours after the cleaning. I took him back to the vet and they gave him 700ml of fluid in about an hours time. His left side of his face is a tad puffy and swollen along with a puffy pocket under his left eye. His left eye is also very wet/watery. The vet does not seem to be concerned, but I am. Should I bring him to a different vet for a second opinion?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1079 Recommendations
If you are not sure that Marley is okay, it is never a bad idea to seek a second opinion. He may be having normal recovery from his dental cleaning, but without seeing him I cannot say that to be true. If you feel that he is having complications, a second opinion may either ease your mind, or offer treatment options for him.

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Driver
Black lab/German short haired pointer
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

my dog has a swollen front left wrist and has to walk tip toed. He doesn't act like he is in pain, but he is on niacin. X ray showed it's nothing on the bone. Bloodstream showed non cancerous. The vet doesn't seem to have the answers. What can I do to help? The swelling seems to grow slightly every day for the past month. Epsom bath? Is this just a part of old age?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
Without examining Driver it is difficult to say what may be going on; whether the swelling is due to local trauma, reaction to insect bite, pooling of lymph or another cause. If Your Veterinarian doesn’t know the specific cause for the swelling, it may be best to get another examined done by another Veterinarian to get another hands on opinion. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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BB
Doberman Pinscher
1 Day
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Mouth Lump

I have a doberman mix about a year or so old and I came home to her having a fat bubbled out lip and there are blood splatters on the wall by where she was laying... She was fine last night but this thing appeared overnight! The only trauma I think that could have possibly happened was when my bf helped me clean her ears?? I just had surgery so I need his help to put the cotton ball in her ear (she won't let anyone else do this but me) and she whined when he had ahold of her nose. Obviously, he let go and everything was fine but now I am concerned and don't know what to do! Any advice to how serious this is would be appreciated!! She is definitely my BB (baby) so thank you for yoyr responses!!

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1079 Recommendations
I'm not sure that your ear cleaning caused this problem, although without seeing her, I'm not sure what might be happening to her lip. It would be best to have her seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine her, look at her lip and see what might be happening, whether there is a growth, a trauma, or another cause. They'll be able to determine treatment if any is needed. I hope that she is okay!.

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Google
Foxhound
3 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

swelling pain
Swelling

Hi one of my foxhounds was in a very serious dog fight and suffered major trauma to the inside of one of his back legs that eventually healed well but always remained swollen (at least 6 -8months now since injury) He has recently been very sore on it (may be hot weather or may have got a "bang" at play / yard time and it continues to be very swollen. He did not have much improvement to anti inflammatory medication. He was treated by a vet at the time who felt the swelling would always remain and his chances of returning to hunting we not great. Is there anything else we can do. He is a working hound so its upsetting as i am also very fond of him and would love to see him come good.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
In these cases, the leg may remain swollen especially if there is a blocked lymph node or similar injury which prevents the drainage of lymph from the leg; I am unable to think of a way to help without examining him and even then since the swelling is secondary to trauma there may be few or little options to help. I would visit another Veterinarian for an examination to get their input as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Rebel
Siberian Husky or Alaskan Husky
10 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

skin discoloration from swelling
Fever
Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Swelling
Swollen limbs

Medication Used

Novox
Enrofloxacin

My dog has been to the vet on Friday (it's now Tuesday) for scrotum swelling and leg swelling. Since then his prepuce has become swollen too. The vet said his lymph nodes were swollen all over his body. They ran a blood panel and a fine needle aspirate of a few of the lymph nodes and they couldn't determine exactly what is causing this issue. They said his RBC and WBCs look normal, but they were going to send it to a pathologist. He's on an antibacterial and an a medicine for inflammation, but his swelling has not went down at all. They also did an ultrasound on his bladder and prostate and said they thought his prostate looked a bit enlarged, but it was hard to tell because of his lymph nodes being so swollen. My dog doesn't seem to be in much pain, he was happy and has been eating and drinking fine, he's just not moving as fast anymore outside. Hes also a 10 yr old husky thats still in tact. Could he have lymphoma? There was also a spot on his back that looks like he could have been bit by something outside (like a snake maybe). Could this swelling be caused from a snake bite? Would the medicine they put him on have helped for snake bites? There hasn't been any change in swelling in 4 days.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
If Rebel was bit on the back by a snake or a spider, it would have caused localised swelling around the puncture wounds; the swelling of the legs, groin and prepuce may be due to blocked lymph nodes which may be caused by cancer, other masses, infections among other causes. Sending the lymph node aspirate off to a Pathologist is a good move as this may help to determine a cause if blood test results are showing normal red blood cells and white blood cells. I cannot think of anything which would be useful at this time for you, hopefully the Pathologist can shed some light on this for you. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Thank you for the response! This helps ease my mind some about this whole experience I've been having with my pup.

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Mikey
Shitzu
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Tires Easily

Medication Used

potassium

My 10 year old Shitzu/Poodle had a surgery about 4 years ago on his back leg, after the surgery a lump pop up on his front left leg which at the beginning was not growing but not it seems to be getting a bit bigger, is there any natural remedy or process that I could do in order to reduce the swelling.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
The cause of the lump may be due to a few different causes and any treatment would depend on the underlying etiology of the lump; I would suggest to have the lump examined by your Veterinarian especially if it is growing all of a sudden to determine whether any other action (surgery) is needed). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

I took him to the Vet, however, since my dog is having other issues at this time he will not be able to handle another surgery.

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Gia
Dachshund
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

my dachshund has two balls on her chest that have grown over night. Took her to her regular vet and he menitoned that he's never seen anything like that in his 30 years career. He mentioned that it looks like some sort of edema. Can you please give me some advise? He did check her heart the day of the visit and said it sounds good, but then mentioned a few day's later that he's worried about that, and how she needs a specialist. She does have hypo thyorid, and is on meds for that, and has had very high cholesterol.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations
It seems irregular for two balls to appear instead of a diffuse accumulation of fluid etc… Was a fine needle aspirate performed? Ultrasound of the masses? A Cardiologist may be useful if there is something going on with her heart but you feel there is some conflicting information on that. I cannot really provide any further information for you as this does sound peculiar. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Gizmo
Boston Terrier
12 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Stiffness
Trouble breathing
Seizure

My dog is retaining fluid all over his body what should I do? His legs have fluid also and they are very cold.He is eating like normal and drinking but all he does is stand he looks like he is about to pop.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations

There are various causes for swelling in the limbs of dogs; all of them are serious. Given the severity of the symptoms I would recommend you take Gizmo to his Veterinarian as swelling, breathing difficulties and seizures may be caused by heart conditions, cancer, trauma, liver disease among other causes. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Kodi
Retriever
4
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

white sticky foamy vomit w/o food

My friend's 4 year old Golden Retriever has lymphedema but the past 3 months has late night gag and barfing sessions of white-sticky-foamy substance (no food in the stuff). She has spent more than she can afford trying to get an answer, overnight stays, loads of lab tests and no answers came from it all. HELP!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2499 Recommendations

With cases of vomiting with no production of food, we can safely assume that the stomach is empty; sometimes when there is a long interval between meals gastric acid can irritate the stomach causing a dog to vomit, this is called bilious vomiting syndrome which can be prevented by feeding regular small meals or allowing a dog to eat ad libitum so the stomach isn’t empty. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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