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Tonsillitis in Dogs and Cats / Sore Throat in Dogs and Cats

Tonsillitis / Sore Throat

Herbal remedies to help address symptoms related to tonsillitis, to help suppress coughing and wheezing and to help reduce gagging in cats or dogs. 

The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout your pet’s body. Immune cells are designed to function in conjunction with one another to provide a fortified defense against unwanted invaders. It is an intricate system that keeps your pet healthy and protects them against all sorts of invaders including allergens, viruses, bacteria, microbes, parasites and toxins.

The immune system is also tasked toward normal balanced function and is not intended to be suppressed or stimulated. In cases of dysfunction, an animal body requires whole body systemic support. If your pet’s immune system is weakened, every body system is at risk.

Dogs and cats have two tonsils located in the back of the throat, where they act much like lymph nodes to combat throat infections. When the tonsils become inflamed, the condition is called tonsillitis. It is most common in small breeds of dogs and rarely affects cats.

Tonsillitis can be caused by any infection or irritation of the mouth that allows bacteria to multiply and enter the throat. Most sore throats in dogs and cats are associated with infections in the mouth, sinuses, or respiratory tract.

Tonsillitis can also be related to a build up of bacterial tartar on the teeth and inflammation of the gums. Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by bacteria overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth. 

Common symptoms of tonsillitis can include:

Red, inflamed throat

Draining of the throat

High fever

Licking of the lips

Persistent coughing

Painful swallowing

Reluctance to eat (related to pain)

Reduced appetite (anorexia)

Exaggerated swallowing or exaggerated motions when swallowing




Reduced activity

Tonsillitis can also occur in the presence of diseases such as Parvo virus, distemper, herpes virus, and pseudo  rabies. Dogs and cats with an anal gland infection may also have a sore throat which is contracted while licking at their glands.

Primary bacterial tonsillitis is rare. It usually occurs in young dogs and cats and in smaller breeds of dogs. Common symptoms are similar to a sore throat, except that fever is higher, (over 103°F) and your dog or cat may appear lethargic and depressed. The tonsils are bright red and swollen and your pet may form an abscess in the form of white spots on the tonsils. 

Chronic (ongoing) tonsillitis that is accompanied by tonsil enlargement is usually caused by a persistent infection or due to a chronic irritation related to long term coughing, retching, or regurgitation of stomach acid (GERD, acid reflux) into the throat. Any dog or cat showing signs of tonsillitis should also be checked for anal gland problems, as grooming and licking the anal glands can spread the infection to the mouth.

The group A streptococcal sore throat (commonly known as strep throat) that occurs in young children can produce mild or unapparent sore throat in dogs and cats, which may then harbor the bacteria in the respiratory tract.

Although dogs and cats usually get the infection from human members of their family, and not vice versa, to eliminate the bacteria in households with recurrent strep throat, consider treating pets as well as family members.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies are used as a respiratory tonic for the immune system, to help reduce symptoms related to tonsillitis; to help inflammation, pain and infection; to help limit sneezing, wheezing and coughing; to help treat and provide symptomatic relief for respiratory problems; to help keep the lungs, chest and throat clear; to help relieve dry, hacking coughs & sneezing; to help repair smooth muscles and clear infection and allergen triggers in the respiratory system and help provide respiratory and immunity protection.

Life’s An Itch - (learn more) strongly anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-histamine, antibiotic, immune boosting, anti-fungal, antiseptic, decongestant, antimicrobial  and anti-Candidal, is used holistically to help promote optimal immune response, reduces and works to correct all types of allergic (acute and chronic) reactions by limiting excessive inflammation and histamine and mast response, which directly causes allergies; help reduce respiratory disorders; helps limit inflammatory pathways in the body; helps relieve wheezing, chest discomfort and sinus inflammation; helps soothe smooth muscles and tissues and alleviates respiratory congestion, including asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, laryngitis, esophaghitis (GERD, acid reflux ulcers); may help support symptoms of rhinitis, sinusitis, bronchitis, COPD; relieves viral and bacterial infections, hot spots, remedies skin allergies and irritations, soothes itchy skin and coat in dogs and cats, and works to cut recovery time and prevent recurring infection. 

I Want Liquid Immunity -  (learn more) contains water-soluble plant bioflavonoids that function as potent antioxidants which are important in disease prevention; used adjunctively for growth abnormalities such as tumors, cysts and lipomas (often related to poor diet, excessive medication, environmental toxicity as well as aberrant cellular mutations); provides antioxidant protection against free radicals; helps promote cellular health and to reduce catabolic waste; may help address symptoms related to allergies, Lyme disease and other auto immune diseases; provides nutritional, biochemical and plant botanical support of healthy immune cells; promotes optimal immune protection and systematic health and strength; supports bone, teeth and muscle health and integrity and for animals that need extra joint, immune, circulatory and vascular support. Strongly anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-mutagenic.

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em – (learn more) LIQUID  POWDER  CAPSULES  helps promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, viruses, bacteria, fungi, germs, bleeding & hemorrhaging conditions; for holistic use for ulcers, GERD, esophaghitis & other degenerative conditions of the larynx, throat & nerves; helps provide cellular support of tissue, skin & coat; for gastrointestinal distress; as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers & tissue response to inflammation, nerve & joint pain and pain associated with wounds and injury; may help remove plague and tartar upon application to help support healthy teeth and gums; helps support the  body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations (important in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis & Chronic Lyme disease (CLD); and; documented anesthetic, anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral, antidysenteric, antifungal, antihemorrhagic, antileukemic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antitumorous,  neurasthenic and vulnerary (wound healer); used holistically for all types of Herpes virus, for DNA and RNA viruses; used holistically to address respiratory viruses A and B (RSV) and influenza virus A (FLU-A) and para-influenza (PIV); inhibits bacterial and microbial skin fungus infections related to Staphylococcus aurous, S. epidermis and other gram negative bacteria such as enterobacteria, citrobacteria, salmonella;

Tummy Gladiator – (read more) contains prebiotics, probiotics, inulin, fiber and digestive enzymes and more, used holistically to help support a healthy digestive tract; to help maintain native gut flora, soothe stomach upset and support proper elimination; to lend nutritional support for balanced immune health; to help address GERD, acid reflux, Leaky Gut Syndrome and ulcers; to help heal wounds and lesions in the gut; to help support lymphatic function; may help fight stomach and urinary infections, as well as general infections found in the animal body, due to its natural plant based steroid content and healthy plant chemicals which are anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, antibiotic, anti-Candidal and a natural plant based steroid; may also help to block allergen occurrence by reducing histamine and mast cell response as well as related inflammation, the triggers for allergies.

Conventional Treatment:

Tonsillitis is diagnosed by signs of infection and examination of the inflamed and enlarged tonsils in the back of the throat. The tonsils are hidden in pouches, so they are difficult to see in healthy dogs and cats.

In tonsillitis, the red and inflamed tonsils often and can be seen by your veterinarian during an examination of the mouth. Treatment involves antibiotics to combat the infection, followed by therapy to remove the source of infection. A dental cleaning may be needed to remove built-up tartar and calculus

Tonsillectomy is recommended only when the infection does not respond well to treatment, or if the condition recurs frequently. Feed a soft diet consisting of canned dog food mixed with water to make a mush.

Enlarged tonsils must be distinguished from lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma-the most common cancers of the tonsil. This is done by biopsy. Tonsillectomy for chronically inflamed tonsils is seldom necessary.



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