The tonsillectomy is rarely required or recommended in dogs, but the operation is possible, and it's not necessarily unheard of. The dog's tonsils are important for fighting off mouth and throat infections, so veterinarians usually attempt standard antibiotic treatment before resorting to removing them. Dogs with tonsillitis generally respond well to antibiotics, preventing them from having to undergo the surgical procedure.
Tonsillitis, relatively uncommon in dogs, is most frequently seen in small breeds. When the tonsils become inflamed, they cause a dog severe pain and may even prevent him from being able to eat. Your vet will prescribe a few weeks of antibiotics to treat the inflammation, but if your dog does not respond to the treatment -- or if he suffers from tonsillitis chronically -- the vet may recommend surgically removing the tonsils.
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.