Natural Remedies for Salivary Gland Problems in Dogs

| Modified on Nov 16, 2023
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Swelling of the salivary glands in dogs is most likely cause by a salivary mucocele. While home remedies like activated charcoal powder and castor oil may be temporary helps to a dog with swollen salivary glands, most dogs with this condition will need to be seen by a vet and surgery or needle aspiration may be needed.

What are the Symptoms of a Salivary Mucocele?

Symptoms may include pain, swelling, blood in the saliva,  and trouble with swallowing, eating, or breathing. A salivary mucocele can be caused by some kind of trauma to the mouth - a bite from another animal, an injury or blow to the face, or damage cause by something the dog has eaten or chewed upon. Conventional treatment usually include draining excess fluid and antibiotic therapy to prevent infection or deal with an infection that is already present. If the salivary duct has damage or rupture, surgery may be necessary. In most cases veterinary help will likely be required.

What Home Remedies Can I Do While Waiting to See the Vet?

  • Castor oil is helpful for pain and also for inflammation.  Castor oil can be massaged into the swollen area several times a day.
  • Activated charcoal is a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory that can be used internally for pets. An 100 pound dog could take up to a teaspoon of charcoal powder a day.  For a 25 pound dog, 1/4 teaspoon could be taken three times a day.  Activated charcoal can be bought in powder form at a health food store.  It can be mixed with yogurt or peanut butter for palatability. Capsules or tablets can be bought also, if you find that an easier way to dose your dog. One tablet or capsule is about the same as 1/5 of a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder.

Natural Remedies to Avoid with Swollen Salivary Glands

Turmeric and garlic are two popular herbs for pain, inflammation and infection.  However, these herbs have blood thinning properties and should be avoided if surgery may be needed because of the risk of increased bleeding during surgery.  Unless you know that you dog will NOT need surgery for his salivary gland problem, do not use turmeric and garlic for him.

If your dog has experienced a problem with a swollen salivary gland, please be sure to share your story with us!

Salivary Gland Remedies

1 User Review
4 star (1) 

Posted by Donna (Texas) on 01/13/2019

My Pit Bull neck and glands swelled up it was hard and soft bulge under his neck. We had him to the Vet and they aspirated the neck and fluid drained out and was on antibiotics. It did not rid the swelling. We took him back the second time and they gave him more antibiotics. The third time we went to a different Vet and they saw him and recommended that we bring him in on Monday and they cleaned out the infection which she thought was a cyst with inflamed swelling around the cyst and put in a tube which didn't drain very well.

After he finished the antibiotics it came back with a vengeance swelling but there was no infection. The time we went to the other Vet they took a syringe of pus and blood from his neck and did a lab test on him the test came back that there was no bacterial infection. So five trips to the Vet and a new Vet in the same office she thinks it is the Salivary Gland and we might have to send him to a surgeon to have the gland removed.

The bad thing is I live in the Texas Panhandle and there are no Cat Scan machines here for dog to see what is in the gland. So I have a choice I drive to Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, New Mexico or to Dallas. I don't live in a small town just not any options for animals. I have already spent $600 for treatment and I don't want my dog to die. He doesn't have a fever, he eats and he's active. What do I do. I will drive to one of these places to see a Specialist. I am not a Vet and I looked at the pictures of dog that has gland problems and that is what he looks like. Can anyone offer natural remedies or advice?

Replied by Janet


First, I would find a chiropractor to see him. Often an adjustment is needed to allow the fluids to drain correctly within the lymph. Some human chiropractors see dogs. I would make some magnesium oil. Buy magnesium flakes, 60% in a mason jar, add 40% spring water, let stand 1 hour. Cap and shake. I buy 16 oz glass sprayers on Amazon. Fill that with mag oil. Some lavender essential oil. Sit him on an old blanket. Mag oil is a little oily, slightly stains fabric. Get a lymph chart for dogs. Google it or check Pinterest. Compare him to the chart. When emptying lymph you sweep with a gentle repeated sweeping motion. Your chart should indicate openings you are going to sweep towards where you sweep several small strokes to manually open these.

Start at his head. Sweep his lymph working towards his rear. Make sure to include neck chest legs tummy etc.just work small areas always moving the fluids in the direction of opening. I start with some mag spray on an area, work that whole segment then the opening, spray work the next area..I usually rub some lavender into my hands periodically. Maybe everyday then every other day and so on.

I soak our dogs feet in Epsom. 1/2 a tub is 25 gallons. 1/4 tub is 12 or so. I always use at least a cup of Epsom but use more easily. I add 1/2 cup of borax too. To remove fluoride from the body. A good chew of a real meaty soup bone or femur 2x a week is good nutrition strategy and will get his lymph moving. Keep his teeth perfect. Magnesium is hard to give dogs orally as it can cause the runs. But like us, through the skin is a simple solution. His anal glands will clean themselves with raw pumpkin given every week or so in food. Janet


If the salivary gland is damaged, rubbing it in any way can cause it to swell up, retraumatize, have an "episode." I can't let anything near my dog's neck. No collar, no leash without a halter, no rough play with his sister, no noose restraint when grooming. All of it makes it swell up - then we have to go get it aspirated. My dog has already had one surgery down to the sublingual nerve, that was unsuccessful.

Replied by Lea
(United States)

My pup just had surgery yesterday on a leaking salivary gland, it started in March (she was misdiagnosed for a hematoma) she was suppose to see a specialist it's gonna cost $3800, my vet done it (very hard and tricky surgery) and charged me $739, since your fur baby has had it for some time you will probably need surgery it will start getting hard from the blood/saliva sticking to the walls of the tissue, it WILL NOT resolve itself!!


What area are u in? My vet wants $4000.00 to do surgery


My dog, a miniature poodle, has salivary gland trauma due to a snake bite. He had it drained 4 times, then he had surgery down to the sublingual nerve. The surgery gets way more complicated when they go below that nerve, according to my vet. My vet charged $500, but they had quoted me $800. Unfortunately, my dog's surgery was not successful. We had swelling the next time he got groomed (due to pressure of noose around the neck). My vet explained that going past the sublingual nerve was a lot more technical and dangerous too. His solution is another surgery and then see how it goes.

If you read my comment reply to Janet above, you will see that my solution has been to not use collar restraint of any kind around his neck—he has to wear a halter for a leash to be attached. He also does not get the noose around his neck for grooming. Fortunately he is a very good dog, loves grooming, and doesn't require one around his neck—but they put it around his middle. I'll try to postpone another surgery with prevention. But I don't know how long that will work. My dog is 11 years old.

Replied by Shivam
(Vikasnagar, Dehradun)

My dog's left sided neck is swelling due to salivary infection

What can I do to cure my dog at home?

Replied by MPete

My little yorkie mix 16 yr old dog has a swollen blocked salivary gland. I am wondering if I should get it drained before I try surgery. Thoughts?

(Beaumont TX)

Absolutely YES

Replied by Pam v
(Lucerne Valley, CA)

My dog developed a salivary mucocele. I took her to the vet and they drained it. I took her back for surgery in May. The mucocele reappeared larger than before. The vet what's me to take her to a specialist now.. I have spent a bundle on trying to get rid of this thing. So very frustrated. I am going to try your home remedies and hope it will help to ease her discomfort. Any other ideas you could pass on would be very appreciated.

1964 posts

Pam v,

I have no experience with this, but NAC acts a a mucolytic and is anti inflammatory and a potent antioxidant. Perhaps NAC can thin the mucus discharge enough to allow your dog to let it flow out rather than be absorbed into the local tissues of the head. The swelling while mainly due to the absorption of mucus by the tissues, may partially be due to inflammation and or oxidative stress and NAC may reduce the swelling a bit. NAC has a very good safety profile, but I have no clue about dosing for a dog. Perhaps your vet would be willing to try this approach before sending you on to a specialist?


Eve Richard
(new braunfels, tx)

Thanks, Art, but what is NAC? Eve

(Los Angeles)

Have you had any luck with natural remedies?

1964 posts


NAC = N Acetyl Cysteine and is a potent and popular antioxidant, antihistamine and mucolytic.

Here is a link to a typical product :


Replied by Mia
(Los Angeles)

My puppy has a large swollen gland under his chin, which I believe is salvary mucocele. I am looking for something to heal it. I have been using vit e, c, and colloidal silver for many months and its not working. Any ideas?

(somewhere, europe)

Mia, someone here mentioned that topical frankincense oil will eventually get rid of lumps and bumps.