Swollen lymph-node in my bulldog neck qustion

My dog has a swollen lymph node in his neck. The vet says it’s the one that processes mouth fluid.

bulldog lymph node swollen neck

Swollen lymph node in my bulldog neck TESTS

All blood and cultures have come back that he is healthy, but it keeps swelling up, getting an infection around it and though placed on Clavamox it never goes away. They have tested for everything, plus a host of tick illnesses and can’t find anything wrong.

Swollen lymph-node in my bulldog neck RECOMMENDATIONS

Have you seen this before and have any recommendation? The next step they want to remove it but our vet is not comfortable doing that. Any advice or different things to look for would be helpful. He has been on many rounds of antibiotics and it improves but never goes away then comes back after he is off the medicine.  

Thank you so much we are just all guessing at this point. 


1 Answers
Dr. Roy Kraemer Staff answered 8 months ago

Answer for Swollen Lymph Node in My Bulldog’s Neck

Dear Carrie

Your veterinarian must determine whether this is genuinely a “neck lymph node,” as you’ve described it, or if it is another form of neck swelling.

Answer for swollen lymph node in my bulldog's neck

Bulldog Neck Swelling: Possible Cause

  • Mandibular Lymph Node:
  • Tumor
  • Abscess
    • Fox Tail
    • Foreign Body
    • Dog Bite or Cat Scratch
  • Salivary Mucocele
  • Peripheral Edema and Cellulitis
    • Allergic Reaction

Bulldog Neck Swelling SALIVARY GLAND and DUCT

Your bulldog has three pairs of major salivary glands and several minor ones. The major salivary glands are:


These are located near the ears, below the skin, and they produce a watery saliva that helps with initial food digestion.


Found along the sides of the lower jaw, these glands produce a mixture of watery and mucous saliva.


Situated beneath the tongue, these glands produce mostly mucous saliva.

In addition to these major salivary glands, there are numerous minor salivary glands located throughout the mouth, tongue, and palate, contributing to the overall production of saliva in dogs.

Bulldog Salivary Mucocele:

Injury to the salivary gland and its duct can result in sterile inflammation as saliva leaks from the duct into the surrounding tissue.

Maybe that is what you meant by your “mouth fluid” statement. The medical term for that is Salivary Mucocele

A mucocele is a salivary gland and duct injury characterized by leakage or blockage, resulting in the buildup of saliva in the surrounding tissues.

Depending on the affected salivary gland, mucoceles often manifest as swellings near the jawline or ear, on the inside of the lower lip, on the floor of the mouth, or beneath the tongue (ranula).

Treatment may include surgical removal of the gland and duct.

Bulldog Salivary Ranula

A ranula is a blockage of the sublingual salivary gland, typically under the tongue. It results in swelling or a lump in the mouth. Ranulas are filled with mucus and are usually painless.

Treatment usually requires marsupialization.

bulldog salivary mucocele ranula

Bulldog Swollen Lymph Node DIAGNOSTIC TESTS

The initial procedure involves performing cytology through a fine needle aspirate (FNA) and examining the cellular composition under a microscope. The identification of cell types can assist in the diagnostic process.

Cytological testing can help identify:


If the “neck swell” referenced in your query results from a swollen lymph node, my primary concern would be Lymphoma.

In such instances, the cytology results are anticipated to show the presence of cancer cells, specifically abnormal blood and lymphatic cells.

Bulldog Lymphoma cancer cytology


If the “neck swelling” is indeed an abscess, the cytology should uncover a substantial presence of bacteria along with white blood cells dispatched to combat them.


If it is a salivary mucocele, we might see salivary and inflammatory cells in our cytology sample.

Swollen Bulldog Neck IMAGING

  1. Radiograph
  2. Ultrasound
  3. MRI and CT

Swollen Bulldog Neck OTHER TESTS

  • Culture for bacteria
  • Blood Testing

Answer for Swollen Lymph Node in My Bulldog Neck Treatment Inquiry:

You mentioned that the culture yielded negative results, so I am uncertain why antibiotics were prescribed. Antibiotics are typically administered to address bacterial infections, and a negative culture implies the absence of bacteria.

My suspicion is that it’s a salivary mucocele

Answer for a swollen lymph node in my bulldog’s neck: SURGERY OPTIONS:


Engaging in cutting and blindly probing the swollen area may result in additional trauma and could potentially introduce contaminants, leading to infection.

Answer for Swollen lymph node in my bulldog neck SURGERY


A salivary mucocele necessitates removing the affected, leaking salivary gland and its associated duct.


Ensure that a skilled surgeon performs the procedure. The anatomy involves a delicate area with significant vessels and crucial nerves.


Additionally, if the surgeon leaves behind glandular tissue, there is a risk of recurrence or potentially worsening conditions.

Answer for Salivary Gland Leak PAIN RELIEF:

Typically, the condition is not inherently painful; it primarily involves sterile (noninfectious) reactive tissue. However, pronounced inflammation and swelling can lead to some discomfort.

Bulldog Swollen Lymph Node Cancerous Tumor:

If this is indeed a swollen lymph node and the cytology results were inconclusive, you can request that the needle aspiration be repeated or opt for a biopsy by surgically removing the gland. The excised gland can then be submitted for histopathological examination.

Answer for Swollen Lymph Node in My Bulldog’s Neck THERAPEUTIC  SUPPLEMENTS

Consider incorporating therapeutic supplements, such as:

  1. bully pain relief
  2. anti-cancer agents
  3. and anti-inflammatory 

BULLODG Cancer cancer Tumor therapeutic Supplants Ultimate Bundle

You are welcome to send us photos and test results

Best of luck

Dr. Kraemer

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The information provided on this platform is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian regarding any medical condition. It's important to always consider professional medical advice promptly and not to delay seeking it based on information you've read on this platform. Any reliance on the information provided here is entirely at your discretion.

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