Tonsillitis in Dogs

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

Most common symptoms

Fever / Gagging / Mouth Salivation / Poor Appetite

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Rated as moderate conditon

12 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Fever / Gagging / Mouth Salivation / Poor Appetite

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

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What are Tonsillitis?

Dogs have one tonsil on each side of their throat, which are part of their lymphatic system. Tonsillitis in dogs typically happens when the dog has another disorder in the lungs or airways. Such disorders include those of the nose, mouth, and upper throat (for example cleft palate), continuous vomiting or regurgitating as might be seen due to an enlarged esophagus, or continuous coughing (for example bronchitis). Tonsillitis is most often seen in smaller dog breeds.

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils; in dogs, tonsillitis is rarely seen as the primary disease and is most often seen in small breeds.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis in Dogs

There are not always overt symptoms when a dog has tonsillitis. Should signs be present they may include gagging that precedes a short, light cough, which may lead to small quantities of mucus being expressed. A dog with severe tonsillitis may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Poor appetite
  • Listlessness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Salivation
  • If there is a concurrent infection, fever may be present

Types

 

Tonsillitis may be chronic, meaning that your dog experiences the condition repeatedly. This is seen in brachycephalic dogs (dogs that are bred to have a flattened face and short nose). When young dogs experience chronic tonsillitis it is considered to possibly be due to the dog’s pharyngeal defense mechanisms maturing.

In many cases tonsillitis is a result of an underlying condition, meaning it is secondary to another issue. Primary tonsillitis should only be diagnosed once underlying diseases have been ruled out. Primary tonsillitis is more likely to be seen in young dogs that are of smaller breeds.

Causes of Tonsillitis in Dogs

The inflammation of tonsillitis is typically the result of an underlying condition. Possible conditions leading to the inflammation include:

  • An infection 
  • Something lodged in your dog’s mouth (plant fibers, foreign items)
  • Continuous vomiting
  • Continuous coughing 
  • Significant dental and gum disease
  • Tumors in the tonsil

Bacteria are often the cause of disease and a bacterial infection may lead to tonsillitis. The most common bacteria found in a culture are Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and hemolytic streptococci.

Diagnosis of Tonsillitis in Dogs

If you notice any of the symptoms above it is a good idea to take your dog to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian will first conduct a physical examination of your dog and ask you for information regarding what you have observed in regards to symptoms (and how long the symptoms have been present). Inflamed tonsils are easy to see, making it easy to diagnose tonsillitis. Since tonsillitis usually results from an underlying condition, your veterinarian will consider symptoms that your dog is experiencing to guide how to proceed with the exam. You will want to be prepared to discuss with your doctor any chronic vomiting or chronic coughing that you have noticed in your dog, as well as any changes in behavior, including his eating habits.

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Treatment of Tonsillitis in Dogs

Since tonsillitis is typically caused by another issue, your veterinarian will first seek to treat the underlying issue that your dog is suffering from. If it was discovered that your dog had something lodged in his throat, the veterinarian will remove it and prescribe an antibiotic for your dog. Should the cause of the tonsillitis be dental and/or gum disease, your veterinarian will recommend that your dog receive a professional teeth cleaning and possibly other procedures, followed by an antibiotic. 

An antibiotic will also be prescribed in the case of bacterial tonsillitis. In the case that your dog does not respond to the initial antibiotic, the veterinarian may recommend a bacterial culture and sensitivity testing in order to determine a better course of treatment for him. Your veterinarian may recommend a pain reliever for a few days until your dog is no longer struggling to swallow. 

In most cases, the tonsils will not be removed. Should there be tumors of the tonsil or repeated inflammation of the tonsils that hinders airflow, a tonsillectomy may be recommended. Your dog’s tonsils are lymphoid tissue, which help fight disease; therefore it is preferable to not remove them.

Recovery of Tonsillitis in Dogs

While your dog is recovering from tonsillitis and any underlying issue, it is recommended that he is fed a soft diet as he will likely be struggling to swallow. Should your dog be unable to drink or eat, fluids should be administered to ensure that he remains hydrated.

The follow up recommended by your veterinarian will depend on the cause of the tonsillitis. Your veterinarian may request to see your dog to confirm that the treatment has been effective. Should surgery be conducted on your dog to remove his tonsils, you will want to adhere to your veterinarian’s instructions for care and follow up in order to ensure the best outcome for your dog.

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Tonsillitis Average Cost

From 323 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Tonsillitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Harley

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Havanese

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4 Months

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Lethargy
Vomiting
Loss Of Appetite
Tired

A couple days ago my 5 month old Havanese puppy was acting very sickly and tired. He wasn't really eating his food, and he was trying to puke. The next morning (yesterday) I took him to the vet and was told he had tonsillitis and was given biomax (amoxicillin) in a dropper. To give to him once every 12 hours. Since then he still doesn't eat, when he does sometimes we pukes it up and sometimes he doesn't. He's also very tired now and sleeps most of the time. MY question is, is this normal? Will he be fine in a couple days or should is are these side effects something I should be worried about?

July 8, 2018

Harley's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

That doesn't sound like normal behavior to me for a 4 month old puppy, no. Without being able to see him or know more about his history, I have a hard time commenting on what might be going on, but if he is vomiting, having diarrhea, not wanting to eat and is lethargic, it would be a good idea to check for infectious diseases like Parvo virus, and to analyze a stool sample for parasites. If those things were not done at your veterinarian, it would be a good idea to ask. If they were done, he should have a recheck if he isn't getting better.

July 8, 2018

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Berkeley

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English Setter

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7 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargic

My dog has allergies and also was diagnosed with tonsillitis. He is on Cerenia for vomiting, Cefpodxime for antibiotic, Famotidine for gastric acid and Rimadyl for anti inflammatory. He will drink water, but is refusing food. He had X-rays and they found a lot of gas in his stomach and bowels. What should I do.

May 6, 2018

Berkeley's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It can be difficult to say what you should do; the gas will cause bloating which will leave Berkeley without an appetite and some of the medications prescribed also may cause a reduction in appetite as well. You can try to force feed using smooth wet food mixed with some water syringed into the mouth, but there is no shortcut unfortunately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 6, 2018

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River

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Labrador Retriever

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9 Years

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Serious severity

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3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

All Described Above.

Nine year old Chocolate Lab Dog with cough. Took to first vet twice. He got an antibiotic (amoxiclav) and steroids both times and symptoms cleared til meds were gone then returned. Took to new vet who did Xrays of chest and throat and blood work. Xrays sent out and were deemed normal. Blood work normal, and no fever. Antibiotics and steroids again. Cough of course returned at end of meds. Took back to second vet who then did a tracheal wash sent out for culture and sensitivity. Vet did note that tonsils and throat were pretty red. Came back ONLY showing a little Strep, sensitivity showed SMZ TMP would kill it. He was given another steroid injection which stopped his cough almost immediately and prescribed the SMZ TMP for a ten day course. As soon as the steroid wore off back to coughing even though he finished the ten day coursed of antibiotics. Now back to coughing every time he moves and so far I am out more than $1000.00 and still nothing has helped him. Do you have any suggestions?

April 10, 2018

River's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

If River has responded to steroids every time, he may have an allergy that is requiring the steroid to control. He may need to be on a longer term steroid, or an inhalant steroid, to help with this cough. I hope that he does well.

April 10, 2018

Also his appetite has been fine through all of this and he drinks normally until steroids kick in then he really drinks which I understand is normal. This has been going on for almost two years now. Please help!

April 10, 2018

River's Owner

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Mister Mister

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Chihuahua

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Rough Cough /Gagging

My mister has a horrible cough. He sounds like a goose! The cough started one day after we hosted a bbq at our house and 2 days later I found a rib bone in my 9 lb chihuahuas pen.UGH! My husband thinks kennel cough, while I think he has a splinter lodged in his throat that is bothering him. We visited the vet yesterday, No x ray was done, but the vet said his tonsil was slightly inflamed and gave us meds for them. He said its similar to dog "tonsilitis" If there is a bone splinter in his throat will this eventually go away on its own from his saliva dissolving it? Or would it need to be surgically removed?

April 4, 2018

Mister Mister's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

When I hear a cough sounding like a goose (goose honk) in a small breed dog like a Chihuahua, I think tracheal collapse (like hearing hooves and thinking horses); but I am sure your Veterinarian would have thought the same and ruled it out. A cooked bone won’t dissolve, but would have shown up on an x-ray if one was taken; continue the course of treatment prescribed by your Veterinarian but if there is no improvement you should have an x-ray done to check the trachea and for any fragments of bone. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 4, 2018

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Gola

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local

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3 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Tonsils

My Gola is suffering from guilty tonsils from last 5month we start treatment from local hospital but no responseonce a doctor give m liquid medicine.after medicine tonsils blast nd some blood nd puss come out.nd his neck has become a big hole .we used medicated spray on his neck but it's too big hole.plz sujest me. 9086663338

March 30, 2018

Gola's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Unfortunately, without knowing more about Gola and his specific problem, I'm not sure that I can shed any light on what to do - if there is an actual wound on his neck with blood and pus coming from it, that is not normal - depending on what is causing the problem, that wound may need to be cultured, or surgically explored to determine the cause. I hope that he is able to recover from this okay.

March 30, 2018

Ok Dr.Thanks for reply....I will try to save him via best doctor.

March 30, 2018

Gola's Owner


Plz help me for save my Gola life.

March 30, 2018

Gola's Owner

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Ollie

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Chihuahua

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Cough

My Chihuahua had a persistent cough and had his tonsils removed. He has been on antibiotics and still coughs. The vet does not know what else to do. My dog still has a long life ahead of him and don't want him to cough for the rest of his life or have him on cough syrup for life either. Any suggestions, I am worried and a little frustrated.

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Zoey

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Bullmastiff

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2 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

I noticed tonsillitis in my Bullmastiff. Took her to Vet and they told me to give antibiotics 2 times for a week. I hope she will be fine. Tonsillitis is really- slightly smaller than tennis ball. I am feeding her on liquid diet as probably she will struggling with eating. what else do you suggest me to do ? warm water or cold water to server. vitamin c intake will help ? please suggest.

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lucca

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Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

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6 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

my dog has had short pallet sacculles and tonsil surgery because of difficulty breathing all at the same time of year over the last 6 years now again the breathing difficulties again specialist says allergies so steroids again which hate because of the side affects if they dont work which now after 3 days they are working like 75 percent of the problem the specialist will then look down dogs throat and ask a internest to take a look also what could this be do you have any idea thanks

Tonsillitis Average Cost

From 323 quotes ranging from $300 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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