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Lymphatic Diseases in Dogs and Cats

Lymphatic Diseases in Dogs and Cats

Herbal remedies to help support healthy lymphatic response and help to treat lymphatic diseases in dogs and cats.

The lymphatic system is a complex and vital system that supports the lymph nodes, many aspects of immunity in the animal body as well as interacts with many other body systems to support balanced health. The lymphatic system affects many systems and organs of the body, comprised of small glands called lymph nodes, which are connected to each other by a series of vessels called lymphatics. The lymphatic system is comprised of important organs including the bone marrow, spleen, thymus and gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), which is the lymphatic tissue associated with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

The immune system is a complex army of cells found throughout your pet’s body that provides a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites, toxins, foreign fells and cellular mutations (healthy cells which have mutated into irregular cells). The immune system is tasked with protecting EVERY cell in the animal body. With so many pet parents wondering why and how to best support immunity in their dogs and cats, this article will highlight its role and provide practical suggestions.  

A healthy immune system is resilient and powerful and up to the task of supporting normal, balanced function. The immune system is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated.  But even an animal with a highly developed immune system can experience dysfunction or failure. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every bodily system is at risk for disease

The lymphatic system's main functions are to defend the body against infection and disease, absorb lipids from the intestines and maintain fluid balance. The lymphatic system also returns plasma proteins to the bloodstream and helps to transport hormones and enzymes to the bloodstream. The lymphatic system works in coordination with the immune system to prevent disease and infection.

The spleen, thymus, lymph nodes, bone marrow and lymphoid tissue are components of the lymphatic system and all are inter-dependent and interconnected to help defend the body from infection and filter unwanted elements in the bloodstream.

The most common lymphatic diseases are:

Lymphoma: Lymphoma is a malignant cancer that affects one or several organs of the lymphatic system. It is also called lymph sarcoma and can occur in two forms: solid and circulating. Solid tumors are generally associated with the intestines, lymph nodes, liver, kidneys, thymus or spleen among others. The circulating form of the cancer is usually found in the blood stream or bone marrow.

Lymphadenopathy: This condition can be a manifestation of lymph sarcoma but it can also result from other causes such as infections or foreign substances. The lymph nodes become enlarged as they work overtime to produce white blood cells to fight infection. Vaccinations and inflammations can also result in lymph node enlargement.

Lymphadenitis: An inflammatory condition which affects the lymph nodes and can be caused by wounds, tumors and skin infections. The condition can attack one or more lymph nodes.

Lymphangitis: A disease that results from infections, trauma and foreign bodies and involves an inflammation of the lymph vessels.

Lymphangiectasia: A blockage that is caused by dilation of the lymph vessels, this most commonly occurs in the intestinal tract.

Lymphedema: A painful and dysfunctional disease that is common in certain breeds such as poodles, Great Danes and retrievers. Lymph collects in soft tissue in the limbs and can become very debilitating. Surgery, trauma, tumors, infection and radiation therapy can sometimes contribute to obstruction or destruction of lymph vessels and lead to lymphedma.

Chylothorax: A disease that involves the accumulation of chyle (a milky fluid comprising of lymph and emulsified fats) in the chest cavity. This can be caused by obstruction or rupture. Less commonly, an abnormal thoracic duct will cause this condition.

Secondary complications include heart disease, fungal infections, hernia and tumors. Certain breeds such as the Shiba Inu and Afghan hounds are susceptible to this disease.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies have a long history of use for the support of lymphatic function, and may effectively address many interacting body systems in dogs and cats to help deliver whole body health; helps to boost or balance immunity as needed; help to remove cell waste and environmental toxins from the body that can create toxic load and disease susceptibility; help to feed healthy gland function; used adjunctively and holistically in the traditional treatment of all types of tumors, cancer and irregularities in the lymphatic system; may help to slow and limit progression of tumors and aberrant cells that cause tumors; to help promote healthy cell response; to help boost immunity and to limit inflammation, to balance the immune system and for its anti-cancerous and anti-tumorous plant actions. 

Bionic Body – (learn more) is used holistically for its adaptogenic (read, repair and restore functions) for its immune boosting and anti-inflammatory support; as an antioxidant and for its free radical scavenging (disease preventing) actions; for its nutritive content which may help to nourish the body and strengthen and revitalize bones, eye, teeth, skin and coat; works to stimulate collagen production, a primary building material of bones; may help prevent dental disease; for its plant actions to help strengthen bones, cartilage, joints, muscles, connective tissues & blood vessels & helps to reduce joint inflammation, while activating a cartilage-protective biochemical, potentially helping to preserve healthy cartilage in aging joint; for its anti-allergen natural plant chemicals which may help to fight off allergies and infections; for its prebiotic and probiotic content to help support native gut flora and healthy digestion.

Tummy Gladiator – (read more) is used holistically to help support a healthy digestive tract; to help maintain native gut flora, soothe stomach upset and support proper elimination; to lend nutritional support for balanced immune health; to help support lymphatic function; may help fight stomach infection due to its natural plant based steroid content and healthy plant chemicals which are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-Candidal; may also help to block allergen occurrence by reducing histamine and mast cell response as well as related inflammation, the triggers for allergies.

Gland Candy - (learn more) contains healthy fatty Omega 3 acids used to support healthy body weight, used in the treatment of skin conditions and to promote healthy skin and coat, to support and tone the lymphatic system, to balance glandular activities including the thyroid, adrenal and pituitary glands, to support and maintain healthy thyroid function and to soothe the thyroid and endocrine system, for allergies, alopecia, allergic dermatitis, moist dermatitis (hot spots), to stimulate tissue repair and for all types of arthritis.

Shake Ur Groove Thing – (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function, purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification; waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins found inside and outside the home, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids; helps remove inorganic synthetic and derivative compounds from an animal’s cell walls to help reduce toxic load in the body; also used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating; helps support a correct balance of native intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system; promotes immune balance and helps to limit inflammation, which is important in disease prevention; used holistically for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities and as a general skin support. 





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