Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Inflammation of the Mouth?

Inflammation in your dog’s mouth might be referred to as stomatitis and/or ulcerative stomatitis. This oral condition is painful and can cause your dog to avoid eating and drinking. Typically, the result of a dental problem like a large amount of plaque on your dog’s teeth and gums, the condition can also result from an underlying issue (for example, diabetes, thyroid conditions, cancer or an autoimmune condition). You may observe redness and swelling of his gums and your dog will likely experience pain. Upon observing inflammation in your dog’s mouth, you will want to  take him to the veterinarian.

Typically referred to as stomatitis, inflammation of the mouth of your dog can be due to a dental issue or can occur as the result of an underlying health condition.

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Symptoms of Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

Should the inflammation in your dog’s mouth be the result of ulcerative stomatitis, you may observe the following:

  • His gums, mouth and/or tongue are swollen
  • He has sores in his mouth or on his tongue
  • He has bad breath
  • Appears lethargic
  • Continuously paws at this mouth
  • Excessive drool
  • Blood is present in the bowl he eats or drinks from
  • Disinterest in playing or other changes in his mood
  • Whining sounds when he is consuming food
  • Disinterest or refusing to eat or drink
  • Loss of weight

Types 

Should your dog be experiencing inflammation in his mouth it may be from:

  • Bacterial stomatitis
  • Lymphocytic stomatitis
  • Periodontal disorder
  • Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis
  • Glossitis (inflammation of his tongue)
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Causes of Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

If your dog is experiencing inflammation in his mouth, it might be caused by a dental issue. Other causes of inflammation in a dog’s mouth include:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Viruses
  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid or immune disorder
  • Cancer
  • Toxicosis
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Diagnosis of Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

Should you notice that your dog has inflammation somewhere in his mouth, you should have him examined by your veterinarian, as this could be painful for him and may point toward his having other health concerns that should be addressed.

It is likely you will be asked for information regarding the signs you have seen, when you first noticed them and whether any changes have occurred. You will also be asked about your dog’s eating habits and regular activities and whether there have been changes in either.

After conducting a physical examination (to include a close look within your dog’s mouth for plaque, tartar build-up and sores), it is likely that your veterinarian will conduct a CBC and blood chemistry panel, so that it can be determined if your dog is experiencing swelling in his mouth as a result of an underlying medical condition. X-rays may also be taken so that your veterinarian can tell if there is any internal reason that there is swelling in your dog’s mouth. General anesthesia or sedation may be used if your dog is experiencing a large amount of pain.

Depending on what is seen during the physical examination and the results of these tests, your veterinarian may consider additional evaluations to rule out cancer, an immune or thyroid disorder, uremia or toxicosis.

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Treatment of Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

Treatment for the swelling in your dog’s mouth will be dependent upon its cause. Often, your veterinarian will clean the teeth of your dog thoroughly while your dog is under general anesthesia. While the cleaning is taking place, your veterinarian will clean off the plaque and tartar, will clean underneath his gums and thoroughly rinse his mouth. Your veterinarian will also consider extracting teeth that are in bad shape. Antibacterial and antiseptic gel will be used on your dog’s teeth in an effort to slow down future build-up of plaque and tartar.

Should your dog be experiencing an infection, antibiotics will be provided. Pain and swelling may be reduced by pain medication and steroids. If the swelling in your dog’s mouth is the result of an underlying condition, your veterinarian will work on treating that condition so that your dog’s signs (including inflammation of his mouth) will be resolved.

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Worried about the cost of Inflammation Of The Mouth treatment?

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Recovery of Inflammation of the Mouth in Dogs

Your veterinarian will likely recommend that you provide dental care for your dog at home as well as attend follow up appointments for professional dental cleaning in order to minimize the chance of the inflammation returning. Special gels and hygiene chews may be recommended; other recommendations will depend on whether the inflammation is the result of an underlying condition.

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Inflammation of the Mouth Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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German Shepherd

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One Year

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Redness

Why is my one and half year old German Shepherd’s mouth red along one side, but not the other?

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. The picture that you attached looks like the skin on that part of your dogs mouth is red and irritated. He/she may have an infection or an irritation. It would make sense to see if there is something in the environment that is causing this, and if not, or it isn't getting better, then it would be best to have your dog seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine your dog and see what might be causing this, and let you know how to treat the problem. I hope that all goes well!

Oct. 6, 2020

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Poodle and fiest

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Thirteen Years

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0 found helpful

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0 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Guns And Itxh

He has grey gum in bottom and swollen bad bad breath and keep bothering his back itch with his not much teeth he usually eat twice but now once or less half less water so ... just to be honest that’s all i need to know he has great life... i just want to do the best for him not suffer thanks

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If you are concerned that he is not doing well, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them and see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 12, 2020

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