Symptoms of Tonsilitis in Dogs

Tonsillitis is a medical condition that may occur in dogs; this condition is manifested through the inflammation of the tonsils, which are 2 small organs located on the right and left side of the dog’s throat. Recognizing the symptoms of tonsillitis can help you get veterinary help and relieve the dog’s discomfort.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

The tonsils are part of the dog’s lymphatic system and lodge in 2 pockets located on each side of the dog’s throat. When these tonsils are infected, they will get swollen and get out of the pockets. You may feel these when palpating the dog’s throat.

The condition causes pain in the throat, so your pet will have difficulties in swallowing and may refuse to eat.

Your dog may also display symptoms such as:

  • Drooling in excess
  • Sleepiness
  • Weight loss, due to pain when eating or swallowing
  • Hiding behavior
  • Aggressiveness, due to pain

The dog may present other symptoms that are specific to the underlying cause of tonsillitis, ranging from fever, ocular and nasal discharges to halitosis.

Causes of Tonsillitis and Specific Symptoms

The causes of tonsillitis are most often infections that affect the tonsils and irritate these. The causes of tonsillitis may include:

  • Viral, bacterial or fungal respiratory tract infections, which will cause symptoms such as fever, ocular and nasal discharges, sneezing, coughing, breathing problems
  • A foreign object trapped in the throat, which will cause symptoms such as sneezing, bleeding, coughing
  • Chronic vomiting, which may be due to a stomach irritation, intestinal worms or poisoning; the dog may have bad breath, is lethargic and may experience seizures
  • Allergies that will cause coughing and may also be manifested through symptoms such as dermatitis, itchiness, nasal discharges, watery eyes, secondary skin infections or respiratory problems
  • Teeth or gum problems which will be manifested through halitosis, red, swollen gums, pus pockets and pawing the mouth area

Detecting Tonsillitis

The symptoms of tonsillitis may be various and it may be difficult to determine if your pet has tonsillitis judging just by the symptoms he displays. If you look in the dog’s throat, you may notice if the tonsils are affected, as they will be out of their pockets and red.

The vet will require additional tests, to determine the underlying cause of tonsillitis. He will run blood, urine and feces tests and will also look at the gums and teeth of the pet.

Treatment of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis may heal without any particular treatment, but the underlying disease will require treatment, as the tonsillitis may develop into a chronic condition and it is also a condition that causes discomfort.

The treatment will be administered according to the underlying condition that causes the inflammation of the tonsils. The treatment may consist of dewormers, dietary changes, antibiotics, fungicides, tooth extraction or natural remedies.

If the tonsillitis is idiopathic and becomes chronic, the vet may recommend the removal of the tonsils.