We are all aware that humans get tonsils from time to time, but can dogs get tonsil stone? Dogs can get tonsil stones or tonsilitis, but time and again, treatment is unnecessary. So, when you take your dog for a checkup, don’t get surprised to hear that your dog has tonsil stones inside her throat’s pouches.
Tonsilitis can also occur when dogs get tonsil stones. But the good news is that the occurrence rate for tonsilitis is low and typically common in only a few dog breeds. If your dog gets tonsil stone, symptoms may vary widely.
What Are Tonsils And Where Do You Find Them?
Did you know that tonsils play a similar role to lymph nodes? Well, tonsils help to fight pathogenic infections. When your veteran examines your dog for tonsil stones, they may appear exposed from their crypts. Tonsils enlarge because of inflammation over time. Not to forget, the presence of leukocytes helps tonsils play their immunological role.
The three common types of tonsils include:
- Palatine tonsils – Located on the left and right at the back of your dog’s throat.
- Adenoids – Only visible through rhinoscopy. They occur on the higher part of the throat.
- Lingual tonsil – Lingual tonsils occur at the back surface in the base area of the tongue.
A combination of the three tonsillar structures forms the Waldeyer’s ring that surrounds the opening zone of your dog’s throat.
How Dogs Get Tonsil Stone?
Research suggests that tonsilitis is a secondary infection. In most cases, it occurs due to other conditions or diseases that attack the throat or mouth of your dog. For example, chronic mouth conditions such as vomiting may permit tonsils infection. Accumulation of tartar in the mouth is the most common condition associated with the formation of tonsils.
Signs And Symptoms Of Tonsil Stone In Dogs
There are obvious signs that accompany tonsils. First, your dog might experience gagging followed by a soft retching cough resulting in a tiny mucus discharge. Here are some other symptoms to observe if your dog gets tonsilitis:
- Indications of struggling when swallowing food
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Continuous pacing
- Over time, tonsils may enlarge in size and result in noisy breathing or high-pitched breathing.
Diagnosis For Tonsil Stone
You can diagnose tonsilitis in various ways, including physical and clinical examinations. The oral examination helps in diagnosing inflamed and enlarged tonsilitis. Because there could be an underlining disease, the veterinarian would want to examine for the presence of other typical diseases through blood tests. Possible tests to be conducted include total blood count, dental radiographs, chest radiographs, and blood chemistry.
How To Treat Tonsil Stone In Dogs
You can easily manage tonsilitis at home. The simplest method to manage tonsilitis at home is to feed your dog with canned foods. You can also include moist kibble in the dog’s diet to help eliminate swallowing difficulties.
It is normal for dogs to become dehydrated when not eating or drinking. When the condition becomes more server, your veterinarian may administer subcutaneous fluids. However, if your dog suffers from severe dehydration, your veterinarian may recommend hospitalization and offer intravenous fluids.
Treating tonsilitis generally involves the treatment of the predominant cause of the illness. If the predominant cause is a bacterium, the veterinarian may prescribe a 10-to-14-day antibiotic for your dog to take. Secondary and chronic vomiting conditions may necessitate the administration of an anti-emetic drug.
Additionally, your vet may prescribe cough suppressants and antibiotic drugs to control chronic cough conditions. In case of an inflammatory cause, Deramaxx, Rimadyl, or Previcox anti-inflammatory may be recommended. Depending on the exact cause of tonsil stones, other analgesic procedures may be prescribed to eliminate the pain.
If the route cause for tonsilitis is a gum or tooth infection, then your vet may recommend dental extractions and cleanings under anesthesia. However, in the case of tonsil tumors, the best-recommended treatment is tonsillectomy.
Is tonsillectomy expensive to treat?
Typically, you would spend around $500 to $800 if you want your dog to undergo a tonsillectomy. However, the price may vary widely depending on the technology and technique employed by the vet.
Of course, you’ll chop more dollars if the procedure is more complex and involves a more modernized technique. The reason is that new treatment techniques require specialized equipment, including expensive radiation or chemotherapy.
Surgery is often recommended for removing oral or tonsil tumors. However, only experienced specialists in veterinary surgery should perform surgery on your dog.
Monitoring And Recovery Duration for Tonsilitis
So, what’s the recovery duration for tonsilitis? Tonsilitis only takes approximately 7 to 10 days to disappear if you administer the correct treatment procedure. However, dogs recovering or healing from tonsilitis require close surveillance for inappetence, pain, and lethargy. It implies that your veterinarian should conduct further re-examinations to ensure the proper response of your dog towards treatment.
How to Prevent Tonsil Stone
Good periodontal health maintenance through regular dental cleaning and brushing helps prevent tonsil development related to infections. Also, we recommend you always conduct a closer observation of your dog when he chews his food. Be keen for any discomforts!
Can Strep Throat Lead To Dog Tonsilitis?
Strep throat mainly occurs in humans. Streptococcus Pyogenes, the causative agent for strep throat, don’t lead to tonsil stone in dogs. However, transient infection still occurs if this bacterium gets in touch with a person suffering from strep throat.
Streptococcus Pyogenes, the cause of strep throat in humans, does not cause tonsillitis in dogs. However, dogs can acquire a transient infection with this bacterium when they contact a human with strep throat.
Although dogs don’t get strep throat, they can wharf the Streptococcus Pyogenes and serve as a route of illness for humans. Hence, we recommend treating your dog with antibiotics if any of your family members suffer from strep throat.
Take note that tonsilitis is not the only reason why your pup may develop persistent coughing behavior. So, if your pup frequently coughs, it’s still important to look out for heart disease, fungal infections, heartworms, lung conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis, kennel cough, and distemper. We recommend taking your dog to a veterinarian for a professional checkup whenever she develops a persistent cough.
Dr. Belinda Hawks earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 2006 and has been practicing veterinary medicine since then. Dr. Belinda currently works as a passionate rancher and mixed animal veterinarian in a rural town in South Carolina. When not practicing veterinary medicine or writing, she spends her free time with her lovely husband and three kids (2 boys and a lovely girl) in South Carolina.