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Overview of Canine Lymphedema
Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of protein-rich lymph fluid into tissue spaces caused by obstruction of flow in lymphatic vessels or through lymph nodes. It may be primary or secondary. Primary/congenital lymphedema is usually present at birth or by several months of age.
Lymphedema is more common in dogs than cats and no sex predilection has been reported. It is often congenital in English bulldogs. Although lymphedema can affect all breeds, dogs with a familial predisposition include poodles, Labrador retrievers and Old English sheepdogs.
Causes of Primary Lymphedema in Dogs
Causes of Secondary Lymphedema
What to Watch For
Symptoms of Lymphedema in Dogs may include:
Diagnosis of Lymphedema in Dogs
Treatment of Lymphedema in Dogs
There is no curative therapy, treatment is aimed at minimizing the symptoms.
Home Care and Prevention
Puppies with severe lymphedema may die with or without treatment. Administer all medication and follow all recommendations as directed by your veterinarian. If your dog’s condition is not improving or getting worse, seek veterinary attention at once.
There is no preventative care for primary lymphedema.