One of the most common wishes that pet owners have is for their pet to be healthy for their entire lives. For dog and cat owners, their pets are the equivalent of children. You care for your pets like you would a child of your own, and with all the caretaking that owning a pet entails, it is essentially another form of parenting.
So like parents, it can be one of the most heartbreaking scenarios to be in when your child is sick. When pets are diagnosed with health conditions, it affects the life of everyone involved, even when the diagnoses are not life-threatening. If you learn that your pet is living with an illness of any kind, know that there are multiple resources that you can turn to during the process of treating your pet’s circumstances.
One of the most common diagnoses for dogs is something called lymphangiectasia. You will likely know that something is off about your dog, even if you aren’t sure what exactly is going on with your pup. But like any situation that feels slightly unusual, you should always take your pet to the vet as soon as odd symptoms start to present themselves. Once your veterinarian can see your dog, he or she will be able to figure out the cause of your pet’s symptoms.
If your pet’s veterinarian diagnoses your little buddy with something called lymphangiectasia, the length of the name might throw you off. Not many people know what lymphangiectasia is, and many pet owners are intimidated by the very long name. But don’t worry.
We have a wealth of information regarding lymphangiectasia, and we’re here to impart our wisdom onto you. So, take a deep breath and keep in mind that lymphangiectasia is treatable. Now, let’s talk about what lymphangiectasia is, and then we’ll go from there!
Lymphangiectasia for Dogs: The Definition of Lymphangiectasia
Lymphangiectasia is a word that refers to the lymph nodes and the angioectasia in dogs. The lymph nodes are internal structures that carry a substance known as lymph. As a fluid that flows throughout your pet’s body, the lymph in your dog’s system is comprised of an abundance of protein, as well as water, fats, salts, glucose, and white blood cells.
The proteins that make up the lymph are known as globulin and serum albumin. All of these fats, proteins, glucose cells, salts, and white blood cells come together to keep everything flowing within your pet’s body. These cells circulate everything in them all around the body, making sure that the proteins, for example, reach their intended destinations, wherever that may be.
There is an entire system within the canine skeletal frame that exists entirely for the sake of lymph nodes. The assortment of lymphatic vessels are destination points for the lymph to travel to, and the ability for the lymph to go where it is needed is very important for your dog’s overall functioning. In order for lymph to traverse the inner pathways within your dog’s body, the body has to undergo consistent contraction of your pup’s muscles.
When muscle movements are performed often, the movement of lymph is at its peak. That being said, the movements are only efficient if the lymph vessels are in a healthy state, which is where the angioectasia part of lymphangiectasia comes into the picture. In short, angioectasia is a term meaning that a vessel is dilated. When vessels dilate, they expand for a size far larger than it should be.
Together, angioectasia of the lymph vessels means that the lymph vessels in your pet’s body are enlarged, and as a result, they cannot transport their contents as usual because they are too large to move around your dog’s body. Lymphatic vessels that are holding onto lymph end up dilating beyond belief in situations where lymphangiectasia is present.