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Mouth Tumors In Dogs

Reasons like soft tissue structures of the bone and teeth inside the mouth can act as catalysts in developing mouth tumors. Anything, be it the maxilla or the mandible jaws, the tongue or the pharynx can become a victim of this fatal condition. A significant number of oral or mouth tumors are malignant.

Other malignant tumors are:

  • Osteosarcoma
  • Fibrosarcoma
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Multilobular Osteochondrosarcoma

Benign oral tumors is a general occurrence and comprise acanthomatous ameloblastoma and peripheral odontogenic fibroma. Oral tumors are quite common in dogs. Malignant an benign tumors of the oral cavity comprises about three to twelve percent of all tumor cases. Squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma are the two most common oral tumors occurring in dogs.

Signs & Symptoms

  1. Mass in its oral cavity
  2. Swelling on its face
  3. Eye(s) will bulge out
  4. Frequent nasal discharges with or without blood
  5. Unexpected weight loss
  6. Sudden enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck

Diagnosis

  • Physical examination: It assesses the general health of the dog, identifies any other concomitant health problems, and reviews the size of the lymph nodes.
  • Blood tests: It assesses the general health of senior dogs with primary bone tumors or other health issues that need immediate consideration when creating a treatment plan.
  • Aspiration: In this method, a small needle is inserted into the tumor and the lymph nodes to get few samples of cells that can be differentiated into cancer infection or inflammation. Another option is a biopsy of the cancerous mass to maximize the chances of getting in to conclusive before going for a surgery.
  • Imaging of the skull: It all depends on the size and the location of the mass. Xrays, CT Scan, or MRI Scans may be used to see the extent of cancer. It helps to decide the action plan for the future. It is imperative to settle on the degree of invasion and assist in the planning.

Treatment

The vet usually recommends an operation for treating the most advanced cases of malignant and benign tumors. Other treatment methods are radiation therapy, chemotherapy sessions, immunotherapy options, can also be indicated for few oral tumors instead of the surgical approach.

The treatment of the disease will depend on various factors such as:

  1. The extent of the disease
  2. Size of the tumor
  3. General health
  4. Age
  5. Metabolism levels

Speaking on a general note, tumors of the benign nature excise with one centimeter of margins and malignant excises with two to three centimeters of margins.

  • Mandibulectomy: The surgeon will remove a part of the jaw depending on the extent of the condition in that area. The choice of this type of operation depends on the factors such as the size and extent of the tumor. For low grade and benign tumors, a less aggressive way of treatment is necessary. For large or malignant tumors, more aggressive techniques such as total or subtotal hemimandibulectomy come under recommendation.
  • Maxillectomy: It is the removal of the upper portion of the jaw. These set of operations often gets a combination in the form of removing parts like the nose, skull, and mandibles, and orbit if the surgeon suggests.

Similar to the mandibulectomy procedure, in case of low grade and benign tumors, a less aggressive way of treatment is necessary. For large or malignant tumors, more aggressive techniques such as total or subtotal hemimandibulectomy come under recommendation.

Afterlife and Aftercare

Most dogs are discharged after two to five days of having the surgery. It is done after seeing the level of comfort, and ability to have food after receiving the operation. The owner has to bring back the dog once in a while in the clinic, for a recheck and incision processes.

The dog needs to wear a restrictive collar ten to fourteen days after the surgery to prevent the dog’s natural tendency from scratching and paw on the wound. The wound has a sudden breakdown.

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