It's not understood why some dogs develop cancer of the mouth, but older dogs and larger breeds seem to be at greater risk of developing this condition. This type of cancer causes tumours to form in the cartilage of the upper and lower jaw, and the tumours can be identified by their nodular shape. Cancer of the mouth can be aggressive and spread to the surrounding tissues without prompt treatment, so it's important to be aware of the signs of this disease. Here's an overview of the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment approach for cancer of the mouth in dogs:
The tumours that form when a dog has cancer of the mouth often go unnoticed until they are large enough to appear as a protruding lump around the outside of the dog's jaw. However, there are other symptoms that may be apparent before tumours become particularly noticeable, such as bad breath, bleeding from the gums and excessive salivation. Some dogs also develop swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, and they may experience pain when eating, which can lead to weight loss and malnutrition.
Diagnosis And Treatment Approach
A vet will diagnose cancer of the mouth by taking details of the dog's symptoms and conducting a physical exam. Blood samples will be taken to check for signs of infection or abnormal cells, such as raised inflammatory markers and raised white cell count. Diagnostic imaging, such as an X-ray or CT scan, will also be required to determine the severity of the tumours and establish whether cancerous cells have spread into surrounding tissue.
Treatment for cancer of the mouth involves surgical removal of the tumours and any surrounding tissue that's been damaged. The surgery tends to be extensive, and dogs often need to have a large portion of their jaw removed, which can mean their diet has to change to accommodate reduced chewing capacity. Radiation therapy may also be required if there are signs that cancerous cells have spread to surrounding tissues, and the vet will arrange several follow-up appointments to track the effectiveness of treatment. During treatment and recovery, the dog will require a clean, quiet living area to rest in, so it's best to keep them apart from other pets or young children.
If your dog has symptoms associated with cancer of the mouth, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible to prevent unnecessary suffering and reduce the chance of the cancer spreading. For more information, visit a vet clinic like Findon Vet Surgery near you.Share
2 November 2020
From a young age, children are taught about the importance of regular dental care and this advice is followed through adulthood. When it comes to your dog, dental care is just as important as it is for humans but the topic is not often widely discussed. Veterinarians are often alerted to dog dental care issues once they erupt, but proper care of a dog's teeth helps prevent issues from arising. When looking for dog dental care tips, it is important to find the information in one place, and that is what is available to you here. Use these helpful dental care tips to reduce the odds of your pet needing a trip to the vet to repair teeth issues.