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Your pet has a pair of tonsils at the back of its throat that help fight infection just like you.

Tonsillitis is when these tonsils are inflamed: swollen, red and enlarged.
The inflammation is caused by:
• Dental disease: tartar builds on the teeth, the gums become inflamed, and your pet's tonsils may be affected
• Any condition in the mouth that allows bacteria to multiply in the throat
Other causes include:
     Repeated vomiting
     Repeated coughing or Excessive Barking                                                                                          A Foreign object stuck in mouth                                                                                                     Some viruses

Enlarged tonsils are very painful
Signs may include:
• Gagging
• Coughing
• Salivating
• Licking lips
• Refusing food (because it is painful to swallow)
• Listlessness
Dr. Cowden will examine your dog's tonsils. If they are inflamed and enlarged I can generally visualize them while the pet is awake although they typically will not say Awe.Lol
Some treatments your veterinarian may recommend include:
• Treating the source of infection: teeth cleaning in the case of dental disease
• Antibiotics: to treat the infection
• Anti-inflammatory treatment: to relieve pain
• Tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils): if your dog is not responding to treatment or there is frequent recurrence. This is rarely done because tonsils are crucial in fighting infections.
The best preventative measure against tonsillitis is to make sure your dog has excellent oral hygiene.