Lymphedema in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

(Read more about lymphedema in dogs. Photo credit: wakila/Getty Images)

Lymphedema in dogs causes water retention and tissue swelling. The cause of the disease is that the dog’s lymphatic system is not working properly.

Sometimes the condition is also called fluid retention and tissue swelling due to lymph collection.

All dogs can suffer from it. Unfortunately, some breeds are congenitally predisposed to it. These breeds include English Sheepdogs, Poodles, and Bulldogs.

If you see signs of lymphedema in your dog, see a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for the condition.

Symptoms of Lymphedema in Dogs

The condition produces symptoms based on fluid buildup. For example, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Swelling (anywhere on the body)
  • Act weaker than usual
  • Pain
  • avoid food

Causes of Lymphedema in Dogs

(Photo credit: ClarkandCompany/Getty Images)

The cause of the disease may be hereditary. For example, some of the breeds most likely to be born with are:

  • Poodles
  • English Sheepdogs
  • bulldogs
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • german shepherds
  • Rottweiler
  • Borzois
  • Great Danes

Also, some of the general causes of the disease include:

  • Infection
  • Tumor
  • Exposure to heat
  • Radiation exposure
  • heart disease

Treatments for Lymphedema in Dogs

First, your veterinarian will ask you about your dog’s symptoms. Second, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam. Blood and urine tests will be requested.

However, the most effective way to diagnose the disease is with lymphography. This helps a dog’s lymphatic system show up clearly on x-rays.

Unfortunately there is no current remedy for the state. However, various measures can help a dog feel less pain. For example, some of these measures include:

  • Pressure wraps
  • Hot water massage
  • Antibiotics

As always, if your vet prescribes medication for your dog, be sure to follow the exact dose and frequency instructions. Also, complete the full course of medicine.

In general, a dog suffering from this condition will need to continually treat any pain it causes. Your veterinarian can help you develop a plan for your dog’s personal needs.

Have you ever cared for a dog that suffered from this disease? How did your vet help your dog recover? Let us know in the comments section below.