CANINE MOUTH ULCERS
THE DENTAL CARE SERIES
What are oral
Some dogs and cats develop growths in their mouths. Similar to
humans, these growths may be benign or malignant. Once a mass is noticed,
analysis must be made to determine the cause of the growth.
What causes oral masses?
Some masses are due to infections in the gums or of the tooth itself.
Many are due to tumors. Some breeds are predisposed to certain oral tumors
(example: black cocker spaniels are prone to oral melanomas).
What are the signs?
Most pets will not show signs of oral masses until the mass has grown
to inhibit chewing or swallowing. In some cases there will be bad breath,
excessive drooling and /or a bloody oral discharge.
How are oral masses diagnosed?
The entire patient must be evaluated for tumor spread prior to surgery.
Usually examination of regional lymph nodes is given and chest x-rays are
taken. The veterinarian may take a sample of cells from the mass and examine
them under the microscope to give an indication of whether the cause is
due to infection or tumor. In most cases the mass will be removed and sent
to the laboratory for analysis.
How are oral masses treated?
Pets that have non-malignant tumors can usually be cured by surgical removal
or radiation therapy. Malignant
tumors usually need more aggressive surgery and/or radiation and chemotherapy
to decrease tumor spread.
What is the prognosis for oral masses?
The prognosis is directly related to the type of mass. With treatment,
benign tumors usually result in a normal life span. Those animals affected
with aggressive malignant tumors may live only weeks to months after diagnosis
with or without treatment.
How are oral ulcers treated?
Therapy of oral ulcers depends on the cause. If due to periodontal disease,
teeth cleaning, polishing, and strict home care may affect a cure. Many times
the teeth adjacent to the ulcer will need to be extracted in order for ulcer
to heal. Oral rinses containing zinc are helpful in the healing process.
What is the prognosis for oral ulcers?
Generally the prognosis is excellent for oral ulcers once the underlying
cause is diagnosed and controlled.
Dr. Jan Bellows is a board-certified veterinary dentist. His office, Hometown
Animal Hospital and Dental Clinic, is located at 17100 Royal Palm Boulevard
in Weston, Florida. He can be reached for consultations at 954-349-5800.
Published: 6/17/2002 5:45:00 PM
Copyright 2002, Veterinary
Information Network, Inc. & Jan Bellows, D.V.M. Dipl. AVDC
This work was originally published by Veterinary Information Network,
Inc. (VIN) and is republished with VIN's permission.
The above information is simply informational. It's intent is
not to replace the advice of a veterinarian nor to assist you in making
a diagnosis of your pet. Please consult with your own veterinarian for
confirmation of any diagnosis. Your pets life may depend on it.