During a routine trip to your veterinarian, you may have noticed him checking your dog's armpits. A very important set of glands are found underneath your dog's armpits. These glands are small and difficult for untrained pet parents to identify, but to a professional these glands tell a lot about a dog's health.
The set of glands in the area of your dog's armpits are known as lymph nodes. These axillary lymph nodes, as they're called, are located on either side of your dog. Lymph nodes are approximately the size of a bean and swell up when your dog experiences infections, viruses or wounds.
Your veterinarian palpates the lymph nodes to check for indications of illness. If your dog's lymph nodes are larger than they should be, your vet may run several tests to determine the cause of the swelling. Such tests include a fine needle aspiration or biopsy. Treatments for illnesses typically include anti-inflammatory drugs, antifungal medications and antibiotics. If cancer is the cause of lymph node swelling, treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
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