Lumps Near Dog’s Jaw Cause Concern

Any bump or lump in the lymph node area needs a veterinary check.


Q. I recently noticed that my 5-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier has two lumps on the sides of her neck right below her jaw. They are movable and don’t seem to bother or hurt her. A friend told me it just sounds like fatty tissue, Could this be right?

A. Your question has raised a red flag with me. Anytime you see or feel swelling under your dog’s jaw, it is possible that the lymph nodes are enlarged. Your dog’s lymph nodes are an important part of her immune system. Many of her infection-fighting white cells and antibodies reside there.
Enlarged lymph nodes can be a sign of infection, but they can also be a sign of lymphoma, a type of cancer of immune tissue. There are other lymph nodes behind your dog’s knees, in front of her shoulders, and in her armpits. If those are enlarged also, she may have lymphoma.
Fortunately, lymphoma is the most common, and the most treatable, cancer in dogs. A combination of drugs can effectively fight off the disease, and many dogs go on to live for years after the diagnosis.
The critical step to take right now is to get into your veterinarian to have your dog examined. A simple test with a needle can be done to determine if her lymph nodes are enlarged, and why.


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Steven   Vacaville, California

11/1/2015 4:12:46 PM

My 1 year old pit is chronically allergic to something airborne. She's always itchy and chewing at herself. We've done skin tests checking for mites and had several cycles of steroids and antibiotics. Recently she had a cortisone shot that was very helpful but only lasted for a couple weeks. Her lymph nodes feel slightly enlarged under her jaw. Could these things be related?

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steph   united kingdom, International

3/17/2015 1:17:48 AM

Hi, i have a staffy bitch who is over 6 years old ( don't know her exact age as she was rescued 7 years ago) i have noticed a small lump the size of a 5 pence piece on her right side of face, roughly where our cheek bone is, where her whiskers come out. Please help

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

4/20/2013 5:27:38 AM

Interesting, good information to know.

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Bob   Bend, Oregon

11/12/2012 12:24:46 PM

It may be a combination of issues in your dog. I have a cocker mix 12 year old female dog and she has similar issues: hair thinning, even a bald area where her tail meets her lower body. I found a lump under her chest but the vet said it is nothing to be concerned with and not cancerous (after a biopsy). But yesterday I noticed she has swollen and semi-hard lumps below her ear (both sides) at the top of her neck, below the jaw. It is likely a swollen lymph gland. She also has hypothyroid and Cushings-like symptoms but test indidated not, but am treathing her as if she has Cushings and the meds seem to help her hair thinning, yet she is always hungry and drinks lots of water. Although I do not want her to be in any paid, she appears not to have any, but at age 12.5 years we don't want to continue spending lots of money if she's near the end of her time. What to do?

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