Your Cat’s Lymph Nodes: What you need to know

Cat Lymph Nodes

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Most cat owners are aware of all the typical, easily cured health conditions their pet may exhibit. Urinary tract infections, vomiting, and fleas are common and usually easily remedied. However, be aware that although your cat may appear healthy or only mildly out of sorts, you should be always factor in changes in their lymph nodes.

One serious condition is lymphadenitis, infected, enlarged, and inflamed nodes, and can affect a feline’s normal daily activities. Your pet may have been exposed to any variety of infectious agents in the environment such as fungi and mycobacteria from dust or grass clippings. Kittens, because of their underdeveloped immune systems, are more prone to these infections than older cats. Your veterinarian will recognize the first indication of disease in the tissues. His knowledge and training allow an accurate, complete diagnosis, and treatment of the condition generally with antibiotics. Once the infection is resolved, the nodes will return to normal.

Similar to those in humans, your kitty’s lymph node are essential to a healthy immune system. Functions include filtering blood and storing white cells. Swollen nodes are the result of an active migration of white cells into the lymph nodes to fight an infection. This infusion of cells include neutropolis, the most abundant and first line of defense against illness. Also contributing to the discomfort will be activated macrophages, cells that eat bacteria and infectious agents. The eosinophils cells converge to combat parasites and allergens. Although the cat’s system is working to solve the problem, the combination of the three lead to the swollen appearance and feeling. At this stage, the natural defenses need medical assistance, lymphadenitis should be treated promptly.

Cat Lymph Nodes 2

The first sign of lymph node inflammation will probably be a fever. You may also notice your cat displaying signs of anorexia, the food they normally love goes untouched. Some animals may cough, swallow repeatedly, or continuously drool. Monitor the behaviors, if the condition goes untreated abscesses may occur within the node. In fact, swollen lymph nodes may be completely overlooked by most owners who assume everything is fine and the cat’s just a little off their game. A vet is trained to recognize the possibilities and most professionals regularly palpitate the external nodes during physical examinations. Usually, no further testing is necessary for the diagnosis.

The severity of the infection and its affects depend upon where it’s located in kitty’s body and what organs are affected. Swelling may occur beneath the jaw or submandibular and also in the prescapular region where the front legs connect to the shoulder. The vet will also examine the axillary glands in the animal’s armpit area behind the front legs. Swelling in inguinal area, near the groin, will make defecation difficult. Painful limping may result from swollen nodes in the popliteal nodes at the back of the legs.

Mild manifestation of similar symptoms resolve themselves as long as the animal eats a balanced diet and enjoys regular physical activity. If a particular condition persists or is getting worse, take the cat to your veterinarian. This may prevent subjecting the sick animal to ultrasounds, needle aspirations, and other invasive procedures.


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