Vet Care: Oral Tumors in Dogs

Vet Care: Oral Tumors in Dogs

Oral cancers in canines are relatively common. Benign and malignant oral cancer makes up around 6% of all tumor cases in dogs. The sad news is that most are malignant in oral tumors.

The oral cavity is not just your canine’s teeth and gums. It likewise includes lips, the roof of the mouth, upper and lower jaw, tongue, cheeks, and floor of the mouth. In malignant cases, it might also affect the oral cavity and other organs. Continue reading and find out more about oral cancers in canines.

How to Look for Signs of Oral Tumor

There are no clear-cut reasons for oral cancers in dogs; early detection is crucial for effective treatment. Frequently brushing your dog’s teeth will keep their teeth and gums healthy. You will also be familiar with your dog’s mouth. When you notice something different such as halitosis, gingivitis, or swellings, you’ll know that these could be early cancer indications.

Oral cancers come in many forms; clinical signs largely depend on location, size, and metastasis. Oral pain is usually apparent, specifically in dogs with tumors that extend into the tissues and underlying bones.

Annual dental exams from reliable animal clinics are vital. During professional pet dental care, your dog will be sedated to ensure that the veterinarian dentist can probe deeper into your dog’s mouth, looking for any signs of a tumor.

How is an oral tumor diagnosed?

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) might be used to identify an oral tumor precisely. FNA entails using a small needle with a syringe and suctioning a specimen; a pathologist will examine the sample cells. A biopsy might be needed if the FNA results are not conclusive. A biopsy is a surgical excision of a piece of the tumor, and then a pathologist will examine the specimen under a microscopic lens.

How is oral tumor treated?


The main treatment recommendation for the oral tumor is surgical treatment. The goal of any surgical procedure is to remove tumors. Nonetheless, before opting for invasive veterinary surgery, complete proper staging first. A CT scan will show how the disease progresses; the surgeon needs to have advanced imaging of the area affected. If you’re looking for highly qualified surgeons, check out this link.


Radiation therapy might follow after the surgery. However, a vet oncology specialist would suggest radiation if surgery is not an option also. This treatment is excellent for tumors with a low possibility of metastasis (spread of tumors to other organs).

A Quick Rundown

Benign oral tumors usually progress slowly; on the other side, malignant tumors progress swiftly. Others may metastasize (spread to different organs) aggressively, affecting soft tissues, tooth roots, and bones. It all depends upon the type of tumors; some metastasis can be as high as 80%.

Complete staging or searching for the potential spread to other body parts is required for malignant oral tumors. Staging may consist of bloodwork, FNA, lung x-ray, and abdominal ultrasound.

As a pet owner, be proactive with your dog’s dental care. Having excellent oral health means lower risks of developing oral cancers for your furry friend.

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