The lymph system is a circulatory system that is three times longer than the blood circulatory system. Lymph is a clear fluid that moves between cells and gathers up waste that the cells create.
Cells take in products from the blood to function, then they poop out waste. Lymph collects the waste and takes it to various organs to expel it from the body. Skin, lungs, gut, kidneys, these are all eliminative organs that work to get waste and toxins out of your dog’s body. The lymph system is the first in line to get the junk out.
There are several gathering points along the lymph system that store waste while waiting for dispersal. These are the lymph glands. If the system gets backed up, the glands become swollen and sore. Swollen lymph glands indicate that the system is working well, but a little overloaded. Fighting an infection is a common cause of swollen lymph glands. It is rarely a concern.
The most important thing to understand about the lymph system is that it doesn’t work with a pump as blood circulation does; it only moves when your dog moves. Exercise is necessary to keep the lymph cleaning out the body. Think about that for a minute… Your dog will build up waste and toxins if he doesn’t get out and move around. The results are an overloaded liver, sore joints, and premature aging.
It needn’t be strenuous exercise; a nice walk everyday is helpful. Your dog needs the exercise that is appropriate for his body. Breed and ability should be considered, but the more the better. If your dog is ever needing bed rest for an injury, you need to massage his body every day as this helps move the lymph system as well. It will speed the healing time.
The lymph system requires enough water to function properly. Kibble fed dogs are always a little dehydrated and this constant stress will slowly effect everything in your dog’s body. Fresh, species appropriate food is best for your dog. Raw meat, bones and organs as your dog was designed to consume can’t be beat for a healthy lymph system and a healthy body.