I have a six year old Sheltie who has been losing a lot of weight over the summer. She has 24/7 access to food, although she shares with two other dogs, so I can't tell if she is eating normally. The food is disappearing at it normal rate, and none of the others has lost weight. She is the largest of the three, normally 35-40 pounds, and has always been the alpha dog. She looks like she has lost at least ten pounds. Currently, I can feel all of her bones, although she does not look "skeletal". I also noticed that she has two very large cervical (neck) lymph nodes on the left side. She seems to have a normal energy level and does not otherwise appear ill.
It's always difficult to tell, when dogs share food bowls, if one or two of them are getting their fair share. However, if there has never been a problem before, then there might be something going on with your girl's health. The swollen lymph nodes (if you are absolutely certain that's what they are) could be up for a number of reasons. The first most obvious reason could be that your dog has something wrong with her teeth on the left side, particularly back teeth. That also would cause her to lose weight, because it might be sore or painful to eat.
Other causes for lymph nodes up are infections or severe inflammations of some kind, such as ear infection, ear mites, bites, cuts, abrasions, bee stings, etc etc. Or sometimes a tick bite, (even though it might not look like much, and even if from a tick which has not transmitted disease such as Lyme)...a thing like that can cause the lymph nodes to swell.
However there are more serious causes, and one of them is Lymphoma.
So I think it might be best to take her to the vet just to get her checked out, and a blood panel taken.
Thanks. I have made an appointment with her vet, but she cannot get in until tomorrow. I am almost positive they are enlarged lymph nodes. When I do a more vigorous exam on her, I can actually feel another enlarged node on the right, as well as two more in the chest area. They are quite large, ranging in size from a grape to a golfball. They do not seem to be tender at all. I am going to do some research on canine lymphoma. Is it common in dogs this young?
I don't know an awful lot about Lymphoma to be honest. But I do know that lumps appear, usually in groin or neck, or even at the backs of the knees. Vomiting and fever are also common symptoms, apart from weight loss. It usually affects older dogs.
But there are also other causes both for raised lymph nodes, and for weight loss.
I hope things are ok. Good luck at the vet's.
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