Why Is My Dogs Throat Swollen

Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, DVM, DACVS

Inflammation of the throat’s walls is known as pharyngitis (pharynx). It goes along with the majority of bacterial and viral upper airway respiratory diseases, including canine distemper. Other causes include cancer of the mouth or tonsils or injury to the pharynx by a foreign item. Pins, needles, porcupine quills, pieces of sticks, and bone fragments are typical foreign objects that frequently become lodged in the mouth and throat of dogs.

Animals with pharyngitis often have a normal appetite and thirst but may struggle to swallow. An emergency scenario can arise if the airway becomes blocked due to inflammation and abscesses. The diagnosis is made after a thorough physical examination, which may also include fluid and drainage site cultures, x-rays, and endoscopic inspection of the throat.

Finding and reducing or eliminating the causes of the disease is the main goal of treatment. If a foreign item caused the pharyngitis, general anesthesia is utilized during surgery to remove the culprit and any dead tissue. If an infection is the source of the pharyngitis, antibiotics may be required. Anti-inflammatory medications are also frequently applied. It can be necessary to cleanse and drain an abscess if one is present.

What could enlarge a dog’s throat?

Dogs have several salivary glands in the head and neck area as well as in the mouth’s lining. The zygomatic (near the eye), mandibular (just behind the jaw bone), sublingual (behind the tongue), and parotid salivary glands are among the most significant salivary glands (located around the ear canal).

Causes of Salivary Mucocele

The exact etiology of a salivary mucocele is typically not known, however bites to the neck, injuries from a choke chain, and rapid neck hyperextension are all possible suspects. These can lead to the salivary gland or the duct that drains saliva from the gland to the mouth being stretched or torn. Under the skin, saliva builds up and triggers a significant inflammatory response. By forming a mucocele, or coating of connective tissue surrounding the saliva, the body tries to stop the saliva from dripping out.

Signs and Diagnosis

Dogs typically have mucoceles, and cats hardly ever do. Dachshunds, German shepherds, poodles, and silky terriers are the breeds most likely to develop mucoceles. They could happen at any age.

Depending on the afflicted gland, a mucocele may present with the following clinical symptoms:

  • Damage to the mandibular or sublingual salivary glands or their connected ducts results in cervical mucocele. The most typical swelling is one that occurs under the neck or on the side.
  • Typically, pharyngeal mucocele does not have an externally evident enlargement since the accumulation is in the back of the throat and will interfere with breathing. Damage to the mandibular or submandibular salivary glands or their connected ducts is the reason for this. For a throat examination and diagnosis, anesthesia is required.
  • A ranula, also known as a sublingual mucocele, is an enlargement under the mouth. Damage to the sublingual ducts or the sublingual salivary gland results in this particular type of mucocele.
  • Zygomatic mucocele, which results in swelling below the eye, is brought on by injury to the zygomatic gland.

Other potential reasons of a swelling in the neck include salivary gland inflammation, cancers of the salivary glands, abscesses brought on by foreign bodies in the neck, swollen lymph nodes, and embryonic cysts such thyroglossal cysts, cystic Ratheke’s pouches, or branchial cysts.

The edema should be aspirated with a small needle before surgery, and the fluid should be examined under a microscope. Additionally, blood tests including a complete blood count and chemical profile are often carried out to assess the health of the internal organs prior to anesthesia and operation.


Conservative methods of treatment, such as waiting it out or draining the cyst’s fluid, are rarely successful in curing problems.

The recommended course of treatment for a long-term recovery from the condition is surgical removal of the affected salivary glands. Despite the fact that the gland is surrounded by numerous vital blood arteries and nerves that regulate swallowing and tongue movement, injury to these structures is extremely rare in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

After the glands have been removed, the surgeon may decide to insert a drain. The ability to create enough saliva will not be hampered by the removal of a particular group of salivary glands since other glands will step in to perform the task. With just one surgery, almost all patients can be cured of salivary mucocele.

What should I do if my dog’s throat swells?

Sialoceles can infect and abscess if left untreated. If you see any odd swelling in the mouth, around the neck, jaw, or eye, call your veterinarian. Sialoceles often need draining, followed by surgery. The two therapy options are as follows:

  • Sialocele drainage: In some circumstances, a sialocele can be drained to provide short-term relief until surgery can be done. After being drained, the majority of sialoceles will eventually return. Continuous draining is not advised since it may cause infection or irritation.
  • Surgery: The afflicted salivary glands and related ducts must be surgically removed as the only effective treatment for sialoceles. A board-certified veterinary surgeon usually performs this sensitive treatment. To avoid the re-accumulation of fluid at the surgical site, temporary drains may be installed.

Can dogs develop swollen neck glands?

Your dog’s immune system includes the lymphatic system. It consists of lymph nodes and a network of lymphatic vessels that runs parallel to your dog’s normal blood vessels. The lymph system serves your dog’s body in a number of crucial ways, including moving white blood cells, eliminating waste from tissues and cells, and assisting in the production of antibodies that fight disease.

Immune cells are housed in tiny, bean-shaped structures called lymph nodes. The lymph nodes grow as a result of the immune system’s attempt to ward off an invader when viruses, germs, or a disease affect your dog’s body. Lymphadenopathy or lymphadenomegaly are terms used to describe swollen lymph nodes.

By feeling the lymph nodes that are closest to the skin, your veterinarian can distinguish between swollen lymph nodes and typical lymph nodes. Palpable lymph nodes are lymph nodes that may be felt through the skin. These can be found in a few places:

Inguinal: The area on the dog’s underbelly where the back legs connect to the abdomen (groin)

When performing a physical examination, your veterinarian may appear to pet your dog, but in reality, she is touching the lymph nodes for any strange lumps or bumps as well as lymph node abnormalities. In a healthy dog, the submandibular and popliteal lymph nodes are typically the sole palpable lymph nodes.

What signs do dogs exhibit when they have a throat infection?

Pharyngitis can cause your dog to exhibit a number of symptoms. Keep track of your dog’s symptoms and how they develop so that your veterinarian can properly diagnose him.

  • a dry cough, which could be worse at night
  • bark that is hoarse or nonexistent
  • unwillingness to bark
  • difficulty swallowing easily
  • appetite reduction and weight loss
  • enlarged tonsils
  • pharynx that is red and possibly covered in foamy white mucus
  • It may feel swollen to the touch on the outside of the throat.
  • Vomiting
  • Gagging
  • Drooling
  • possible throat abscesses that could make breathing difficult
  • normal appetite but delayed eating owing to discomfort
  • Fever
  • enlarged gums
  • poor breath
  • Sneezing
  • If he has swallowed a sharp object, there may be a bloody discharge.

The symptoms listed above can be present in a wide variety of disorders. You must visit your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis so that she can rule out any additional conditions. Here are just a handful of the ailments that could present with comparable symptoms.

  • Heartworm
  • Parvovirus
  • Lyme illness
  • Lymphoma
  • Jaundice
  • Distemper
  • Bronchitis
  • spotted fever of the Rocky Mountains
  • Pneumonia
  • Heart Condition
  • missing palate
  • Canine influenza
  • Rabies
  • Osteomyelitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Leukemia
  • Meningitis
  • Tracheal failure
  • Bloat
  • Giardia
  • chocolate poisoning
  • Foodborne illness
  • Addison’s illness
  • renal failure

How may a dog’s swelling be treated?

NSAIDs, also known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, are effective at easing joint pain, stiffness, and edema in people and can also benefit your dog.

Some of the NSAIDs that are available are only for dogs:

  • carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl)
  • deracoxib (Deramaxx)
  • firocoxib (Previcox)
  • meloxicam (Metacam )
  • grapipant (Galliprant)

How can you tell if the throat of your dog is tightening?

There are other symptoms besides a honking cough that could point to tracheal collapse. Some of them consist of:

  • Having trouble breathing
  • Coughing when you take up or squeeze your dog’s neck.
  • gagging, retching, or vomiting accompanied by coughing
  • bouts of cyanosis (blueness) or bluish mucous membranes
  • Wheezing

The cough brought on by tracheal collapse typically has little phlegm and does not come with a fever. Respiratory distress can be brought on by things like drinking water, working out, excitement, and unusually high or low temperatures.

Breathing problems will come and go in a dog with tracheal collapse. These violent episodes can linger for a few minutes until they end on their own. In addition to obesity and humid conditions, your dog may exhibit tracheal collapse symptoms.

Which canines are most vulnerable to tracheal collapse? Tracheal collapse is more common in certain dogs than others. Small dog breeds are primarily affected by the genetic disease. These consist of:

  • Pomeranians
  • Toy and miniature poodles
  • Terriers of Yorkshire
  • Chihuahuas
  • Pugs

Will a dog’s enlarged salivary glands go away?

Yes. After surgery, the swelling will go down, and most people won’t need any more medical attention. In most cases, swelling won’t go away without surgery until the afflicted salivary gland is removed.

What are the initial indicators of canine lymphoma?

The following are typical symptoms of multicentric or general lymphoma, the most prevalent type of this malignancy that starts in the lymph nodes:

  • edema or enlarged lymph nodes, particularly in the neck, jaw, or behind the knees
  • reduced appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of weight
  • increased urination and thirst

Aside from cutaneous lymphoma, which affects the skin, alimentary or gastrointestinal lymphoma, which affects the stomach and/or intestines, and mediastinal lymphoma, which affects organs in the chest like the lymph nodes or the thymus gland, are other prevalent types of lymphoma.

Honey safety for canines

In moderation, dogs are okay to consume honey. It is used as a sweetener in numerous foods and beverages and contains natural sugars as well as trace levels of vitamins and minerals.

That sweetness has a cost. If owners feed their dogs an excessive amount of honey and don’t provide them enough exercise and a nutritious diet, the high sugar content of honey may cause obesity in the dogs. If you do feed your dog honey, it could be a good idea to brush his teeth because sugars can also lead to dental decay.

Since raw honey may contain botulism spores, it shouldn’t be given to puppies or dogs with weakened immune systems. Dogs who are overweight or diabetic shouldn’t consume honey.

How are enlarged lymph nodes in a dog’s neck treated?

Treatment. Depending on the cause of the lymph node enlargement, a variety of drugs, such as steroids, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-parasitics, and even chemotherapy, may be advised. Other treatment options include radiation or surgery, particularly for low-grade, confined lymphomas.

What reduces neck gland swelling?

You may get some relief from uncomfortable or painful swollen lymph nodes by carrying out the following actions:

  • Use a hot compress. Apply a warm, moist compress to the affected area, such as a washcloth that has been immersed in hot water and wrung out.
  • Consider taking an over-the-counter painkiller.
  • Get enough sleep.

When is a swollen lymph node a cause for concern?

If you’re worried if your lymph nodes are swollen, consult a doctor. have appeared seemingly out of nowhere. either still growing or have been there for two to four weeks. When you push on them, they don’t move or feel rigid or rubbery.