↓ Read on to watch this amazing video
Many people may already be familiar with cases of possible strep throat in children and wonder if their dog is also susceptible to the disease. The answer is no, dogs can’t get strep throat, but they can get tonsillitis, which is a similar infection. While it’s uncommon, when it does occur, it’s usually found in small dog breeds. Read on to learn more about recognizing tonsillitis in dogs and what to do if your dog has it.
What is Tonsillitis in Dogs?
Tonsillitis is an infection that occurs in your dog’s tonsils. The tonsils are located in small pouches (recesses) at the back of a dog’s throat. The job of the tonsils is to help fight infection to keep your dog healthy. If your dog is dealing with an infection, the tonsils may swell from inflammation and become more visible.
Unlike strep throat, tonsillitis occurs in dogs when bacteria or viruses cause the dog’s tonsils to swell. Strep throat, on the other hand, is an infection in humans caused by specific bacteria, Streptococcus pyogenes, which causes the tonsils to swell and become inflamed. This means they are different infections. Dogs can only develop tonsillitis, not strep throat.
If you have examined your dog and noticed redness and inflammation in the back of his throat, your dog may be dealing with tonsillitis and should be taken to the veterinarian for further care.
How Do Dogs Get Tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis is usually a secondary disease, which occurs when a dog has another primary disease or a disease that targets the area of its mouth or throat. This means that if you suspect your dog has tonsillitis, it is likely dealing with another health issue that is causing the tonsillitis itself.
There are a number of different diseases and conditions that can affect your dog’s mouth and over time allow bacteria to build up and infect the tonsils. Some of the factors that can cause your dog to develop tonsillitis include chronic vomiting, coughing, or any other condition affecting the mouth and throat. Sometimes, the buildup of tartar can cause a dog to develop a bacterial infection that can lead to tonsillitis.
Although tonsillitis is usually a secondary condition to another bacterial infection or oral disease, in some cases tonsillitis is a primary infection. Most of the time when this happens, it happens in small breeds.
How do I know if my dog has tonsillitis?
If you’ve ever experienced strep throat, you know what tonsillitis can feel like in your dog. As we mentioned before, tonsillitis causes the tonsils to swell. When this happens, your dog may frequently cough, gag, or swallow in an attempt to “clear” the sensation in the throat. You may also notice that your dog frequently licks his lips or refuses to eat.
If your dog refuses to eat, it’s because it’s in pain, and generally eating or swallowing food increases its pain and discomfort. You may even notice that your dog tries to eat its food as if it is very hungry, but then refuses to finish it, or that it walks away or lies near its bowl. This may be because the dog is hungry and wants to eat but is unable to eat due to pain.
Another sign you may notice is that your dog is less active than usual. Any illness can be exhausting, and if your dog has tonsillitis, he may not be as active as usual. This may be partly due to the fact that he isn’t eating as much food as he usually is, so he doesn’t have his usual energy levels. Or it could simply be that you don’t feel well. Your dog will likely rest as much as possible while his body fights off the infection.
When people get strep throat, it’s usually associated with a fever. Unlike humans, however, dogs can develop tonsillitis without a fever. So if you think your dog has an infection and you take his temperature, but he doesn’t have a fever, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have tonsillitis. A dog may have tonsillitis and a normal body temperature.
How to Treat Tonsillitis in Dogs
In order to treat tonsillitis in dogs, it must first be properly diagnosed. As we mentioned before, tonsillitis is usually a secondary condition caused by another disease. So it is of the utmost importance to have your dog seen by a veterinarian so that it can be properly diagnosed and treated.
If the tonsillitis is caused by another major problem, your dog will also need to be treated, which is why it’s important to see a professional. Your dog will most likely be prescribed antibiotics as a treatment for tonsillitis in addition to treating the primary problem. Your veterinarian may recommend that you give your dog antibiotics for two to three weeks to help treat tonsillitis and whatever caused the original infection.
If the main problem is from another disease of the mouth or throat, it is treated accordingly. In more rare cases, if tonsillitis itself is the primary disease, anti-inflammatory medications may be prescribed to help reduce the level of pain your dog is in.
Should I have my dog’s tonsils removed?
In most cases, tonsil removal in dogs is not recommended. The tonsils in humans and dogs play an important role in the body’s defenses. They help fight infections of the oropharyngeal cavity, or mouth and throat. It is often recommended to leave the tonsils intact as they are an important part of your body’s immune system.
However, removal of the tonsils may be recommended if the tonsils are often inflamed or if the tonsillitis recurs. This condition is more likely to occur in smaller breeds than in general or larger breeds.
Can Dogs Transmit Tonsillitis to Humans?
Technically, yes. Dogs can transmit tonsillitis to humans, but this is very rare.Strep throat in humans is caused by bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes。 Dogs can carry germs that can cause infections in humans, so although this is uncommon, germs can be passed from person to dog. A veterinarian can perform a culture test on your dog to determine if it is carrying the bacteria.
What should I do to help my dog recover?
As we mentioned above, when your dog’s health is in question, it’s best to have it seen by a veterinarian — especially if you suspect your dog has tonsillitis.
After your dog has been examined by a veterinarian and given the proper diagnosis and medication, there are things you can do at home to ensure a smooth recovery for your dog.
One of the most important things you can do for your dog during this time is to make sure it is well hydrated. Dogs with tonsillitis may refuse to eat because swallowing can be painful, but it is important to keep them hydrated. Keep your dog’s water bowl nearby to make sure there is always fresh, clean water in it for your dog to drink.
Dehydration can be dangerous for dogs, so make sure they drink enough water at least throughout the day. You can also try feeding him dog-friendly fruits like blueberries or strawberries to help him stay hydrated, provide nutrition and relieve his hunger. While his tonsils are still swollen, soft fruit may be easier to swallow than his regular food.
You should also allow your dog enough time to rest. If you notice that your dog is less active while recovering from tonsillitis, don’t worry, this is normal. Your dog needs plenty of rest while his body fights off an infection, so don’t force your dog to be active. Make sure it has a safe, comfortable resting place away from other household pets while it recovers, and keep all bedding and surfaces clean and disinfected to help reduce the spread of germs.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the world?
How about the fastest dogs, the biggest dogs, and those who are – quite frankly – just the kindest dogs on earth? Every day, AZ Animals sends out lists like this to our thousands of email subscribers. The best part? free. Join today by entering your email below.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.
Leave a Reply