Pet Owner’s Guide on Oral Tumors in Dogs

Pet Owner’s Guide on Oral Tumors in Dogs

Oral cancers in dogs 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 dog’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 may affect other organs, too. Continue reading and find out more about oral cancers in canines.

How to Look for Signs of Oral Tumor

There are no conclusive reasons for canine oral cancers; early detection is vital for effective treatment. Frequently brushing your dog’s teeth will not only keep their teeth and gum tissues healthy, but you will be familiar with your dog’s mouth so that when you notice something different such as foul breath, gingivitis, or any lumps, you’ll know that these could be early signs of cancer.

Oral cancers come in many forms; clinical signs primarily rely on the location, size, and metastasis. Oral pain is usually noticeable, particularly in dogs with tumors that extend into the tissues and underlying bones.

Annual dental exams from reliable pet clinics such as Animal Hospital of North Asheville are essential. During professional dog dental care, your dog will be sedated to ensure that the vet dentist can probe deeper right into your dog’s mouth, looking for any indications of a tumor.

How is an oral tumor diagnosed?

Fine needle aspiration (FNA) may be used to detect an oral tumor precisely. It entails using a small needle with a syringe and suctioning a specimen; a pathologist will examine the sample cells. A biopsy may 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 sampling under a microscope.

How is oral tumor treated?


The main treatment recommendation for the oral tumor is surgery. The goal of any surgical procedure is to remove tumors. Nevertheless, before opting for invasive animal surgery, complete proper staging first. A CT scan will show how the disease advances; the surgeon needs to have advanced imaging of the area affected.


Radiation therapy may follow after the surgical procedure. Nevertheless, a veterinarian oncologist would likewise recommend radiation if surgery is not an option. This treatment is perfect for tumors with a low likelihood of metastasis (spread of tumors to other organs). Click here to learn more about vet oncology.

A Quick Rundown

Benign oral tumors typically progress gradually; 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 necessary 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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