Hello I am Dr. Joey. Thanks for trusting me to help you and your pet today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 15 years of experience. I look forward to working with you.
This is not typical for Aspergillosis, but we cannot rule it out since it certainly could cause some of the signs you are seeing (the weakness, lymph node enlargement) but typically a fever is associated with this infection. It most commonly occurs in younger dogs (under 6 years of age, but it could occur at any age. Diagnosis is made by finding the organism. This might be possible off a lymph node aspiration. If there are changes in the lungs based on x-rays then doing a bronchoalveolar lavage with endoscopy or even a transtracheal wash may find the organism.
But lymphoma could account for the signs being observed as well. For the hind limb weakness, there may have been a change in the spine that was on a microscopic level and not easily observed. Was a CSF tap (spinal tap) done to look for change? This may have been the only way to potenially diagnose this at the early phases. However, for the weakness, it is also possible this is unrelated to the lymph node enlargement.
I want to comment that lymph node enlargement in this breed and age is most commonly due to lymphoma, but it may not be this. The aspiration submitted to a pathologist was the best first step. If this is negative or not diagnostic for lymphoma, then I would suggest screening for any regional tick-borne bacterial diseases and fungal diseases. And take chest xrays again to assess this area.
I also want to confirm that when your vet took the aspiration of the lymph nodes that this was submitted to a board certified pathologist to view. There is no other way to diagnose lymphoma, and I have been fooled many times before. I think lymphoma is, unfortunately, most likely but we need confirmation before proceeding. Should you receive that confirmation from the pathologist (not from your vet looking at this slide in-house), then I do advocate consider chemotherapy since this is a problem that is highly responsive and remission rates are good.
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Hi Re Maxi- OK its lymphoma. She is 11 years 4 months- her back legs have seriously weakened to the extent that she can only walk for about 3 mins continuously and then has to sit down. The vet has put Maxi on steroids. I am now cooking for her as she wont eat dry food anymore- the dry heaving seems to have improved because the lymph nodes have reduced in swelling due to the steroids. Thanks for answering my questions I guess I was looking to see if there could be anything else that I can do for her. I am now taking it day by day. I guess you could say it is peripheral neuropathy plus lymphoma plus underactive thyroid. The vet contacted the specialist to see if it could have been in her spine however they are saying they did not pick up any cancer sign in her spine.
Thanks for answering me.