Pharyngitis in Dogs

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Pharyngitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Veterinary reviewed by: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

Pharyngitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What are Pharyngitis?

Your pet may not be able to vocalize that his throat is causing him pain; you may only become aware when you see visible signs such as coughing or a hoarse bark. This is a very common condition in dogs, though it can sometimes be indicative of a more serious problem.

Pharyngitis in dogs is an upper respiratory condition when the pharynx, otherwise known as the walls of your dog’s throat, becomes swollen from either a viral infection like distemper, cancer or an injury to your dog’s throat by a sharp object he was chewing on.

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Pharyngitis Average Cost

From 563 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

Symptoms of Pharyngitis in Dogs

There are a handful of symptoms that your dog may experience with pharyngitis. Make sure that you keep track of your dog’s symptoms and their progression so your veterinarian can correctly diagnose him. 

  • A dry cough, that may be more prominent at night
  • Hoarse or absent bark
  • Reluctance to bark
  • Inability to swallow easily
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Red pharynx that may be covered in a frothy white mucus
  • The outside of the throat may feel swollen to the touch
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging 
  • Drooling 
  • Possible abscesses in the throat that will complicate breathing 
  • Normal desire for appetite but slower eating due to pain
  • Fever
  • Swollen gums
  • Bad breath
  • Sneezing
  • Possible bloody discharge if he has swallowed a sharp object

Types

There are many different types of diseases that can share the above listed symptoms. In order to correctly diagnose the problem, you will need to see your veterinarian so that she can rule out other conditions. Just a few of the conditions that may have similar symptoms are listed here. 

Appetite Loss

  • Heartworm
  • Parvovirus
  • Lyme disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Jaundice

Cough

  • Distemper
  • Bronchitis
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart Disease 
  • Cleft palate

Coughing up white foam

  • Kennel cough 
  • Bronchitis

Fever

  • Distemper
  • Rabies
  • Parvovirus
  • Kennel cough
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Leukemia
  • Meningitis

Gagging

  • Tracheal collapse
  • Bloat
  • Cleft palate

Vomiting

  • Distemper
  • Parvovirus
  • Giardia
  • Chocolate toxicity
  • Food poisoning
  • Addison’s disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Lymphoma
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Causes of Pharyngitis in Dogs

Pharyngitis

  • Damage to the throat by a sharp object such as parts of bones, parts of sticks, thorns, or porcupine quills
  • Cancer in the mouth
  • Bacterial infections in the upper respiratory system
  • Viral infections like distemper
  • Tonsillitis


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Diagnosis of Pharyngitis in Dogs

Because so many conditions share symptoms, your veterinarian may need to run multiple tests to ensure she has correctly diagnosed your dog’s health concerns. Your veterinarian will look at symptoms both collectively and individually to determine the exact problem your dog is facing. Any cultures that the veterinary team has taken will be used to identify the strain of infection affecting your dog. You can also keep track of your dog’s symptoms, noting when they started, how they have progressed, any changes in your dog’s behavior or eating habits, and any pain he may be having. By keeping an eye on your pet’s symptoms and changed behavior you will be able to give your veterinarian a better chance of knowing where to begin. Steps to the diagnosis may include:

  • Physical examination 
  • Airway exam
  • X-rays of your dog’s throat and chest
  • Endoscopic examination of the throat 
  • Cultures of any discharged fluids
  • Blood tests
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Treatment of Pharyngitis in Dogs

Treatment for pharyngitis will depend on the exact cause. If for instance, the cause is a bacterial infection, your veterinarian will start a prescribed antibiotic regimen. Antibiotics can treat respiratory infection and sinus infections.

In other cases where an oral cancer is the cause of the pharyngitis, your veterinarian will treat that cancer in an appropriate manner. This could involve surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation. When a foreign object is found in your dog’s throat, surgery and antibiotics will be required.

For a tooth infection, your dog will undergo an extraction of the infected tooth, usually after being on antibiotics. Your veterinarian will also suggest a dental cleaning and removal of any plaque and tartar buildup so another infection doesn’t take place. 

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Worried about the cost of Pharyngitis treatment?

Pet Insurance covers the cost of many common pet health conditions. Prepare for the unexpected by getting a quote from top pet insurance providers.

Recovery of Pharyngitis in Dogs

Recovery of pharyngitis has a very good outlook and once the underlying cause has been treated, it is usually resolved fairly quickly . In cases where there are systemic illnesses, cancer, or autoimmune diseases, recovery and management may be more extensive and take longer.

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Pharyngitis Average Cost

From 563 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

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Pharyngitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pit Bull

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Nine Months

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4 found helpful

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4 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing

She all the sudden got sick then ate grass and I tried stopping her when she was eating leaves. Now her breathing sounds like shes snoring every breath.

Dec. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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4 Recommendations

I'm sorry to hear this. Vomiting followed by abnormal breathing could indicate she has aspirated the vomit (the vomit went down the windpipe). This can be a real emergency and she should be seen immediately as she may need oxygen and antibiotics.

Dec. 27, 2020

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Pomeranian

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Three Years

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3 found helpful

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3 found helpful

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Appetite

Dog hadn't eaten for 2days after eating a dried fish. Glucose given on the IV but the dog died in 3rd day.May I know the reason for the death

July 11, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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3 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is possible that there were toxins in the fish, as bacteria can be quite devastating to the GI tract. It may be a good idea to call your veterinarian, as they may have a better idea after having worked with your dog. I am sorry again, for your loss.

July 11, 2020

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Pharyngitis Average Cost

From 563 quotes ranging from $800 - $2,000

Average Cost

$1,000

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