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Mumps in Dogs

Paramyxovirus Infection

In mammals, the mouth’s exocrine glands include four sets of salivary glands: the parotid, submandibular, sublingual, and minor salivary glands. These glands play a crucial role in saliva production, which helps break down starches into glucose for the body’s use.

Located just beneath each ear in dogs, the parotid salivary gland is significant. While rare, dogs can contract the same viral infection called mumps when exposed to an infected person. Occasionally, this cross-species transmission does occur. In such cases, the dog’s parotid salivary glands will swell in response to the infection.

Symptoms and Types

  • Fever
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling below the ears due to enlargement of the parotid salivary glands.

Causes

Mumps in dogs is triggered by a viral infection affecting the salivary gland situated just beneath the ears.

Diagnosis

To diagnose mumps in your dog, you’ll need to provide a detailed history of your dog’s health, symptom onset, and any potential events leading to this condition, including exposure to individuals known to be infected with a virus. Your veterinarian will conduct a physical examination by palpating (touching) to assess the degree of enlargement and pinpoint the location of swelling. Once it’s determined that the swelling is in the parotid glands, your veterinarian will request a complete blood count and biochemical profile to check for other underlying diseases causing the salivary gland enlargement. A viral antibody test will be performed on a blood sample to determine exposure to mumps infection or other infections. Additionally, a fine needle aspirate will be collected to analyze the fluid in the glands.

Treatment

Typically, no specific treatment is necessary. However, if your dog experiences dehydration from vomiting, diarrhea, or weakness preventing water intake, fluids may be administered either subcutaneously or intravenously. In cases of critically high fever, medication may be prescribed to lower the fever, although moderate fevers are often left untreated and allowed to resolve naturally.

Living and Management

Your dog’s recovery from a mumps infection typically takes five to ten days. During this period, adhere to your veterinarian’s recommendations and ensure your dog stays hydrated and continues eating. If your dog struggles to eat and requires enticing with special food, consider offering easily chewable and digestible options such as soft foods or select human foods, with your veterinarian’s approval. It’s crucial to consult your veterinarian before administering any human medications to alleviate fever, as certain medications may be toxic to your pet.

Prevention

Avoid letting your dog interact with individuals infected with the mumps virus.

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