Table of Contents
Overview | Types & Breeds | Symptoms & Diagnosis | Treatment & Prognosis
"Canine mouth tumors are the fourth most common tumor type in dogs. They are frequently seen in the mucous membranes."
Mouth tumors are found in the tissue that holds your dog's teeth in its mouth. These tumors do not spread throughout the body, but can cause erosion of the area that holds the tooth. If not treated, your dog can experience pain and the loss of its tooth (called an epulis).
Tumors of the Gums, Lips, Tongue, Palate, and Tonsils are also possible and usually occur in middle age or older dogs. Tumors on the lips or mouth have a high likelihood of spreading to other organs in the body.
Types of Canine Tumors
There are different types of tumors that occur in cancer. In order of frequency the tumors are called:
Malignant Melanoma - When the cancerous melanocytes or cells spread from the original tumor and travel via blood and lymph vessels to lymph nodes and distant organs.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma - Cancer caused by exposure to the sun. Tends not to spread if caught early. Curable with surgery.
Fibrosarcoma - Occurs in the connective tissue between bones.
Osteosarcoma - Tumors that occur in the bone.
Breeds Where Canine Mouth Tumors are Common
50% of mouth tumors are found in:
- Older Dachshunds
- Cocker Spaniels
Symptoms of Canine Mouth Tumors
Common symptoms are bad breath (halitosis), drooling, bleeding from the mouth, loose teeth, reduced appetite and blood in the saliva.
Diagnosis of Canine Mouth Tumors
The most common type of tumor is called a malignant melanoma and appears as a black spot. All other tumors must be tested from a sample (biopsy). Tests include MRI's, CT scans and X-rays.
Treatment of Canine Mouth Tumors
Treatment Options include some combination of surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery often includes the removal of a piece of jaw. Dogs adapt well to this type of surgery.
Natural supplements blended for dogs with cancer have shown some success in clinical studies as a supportive therapy. Get PetAlive C-Caps formula for Prevention and Treatment of Cancer in dogs was made for this purpose. Be sure to advise your vet if you try a herbal supplement so that they can monitor results.
Prognosis for Dogs with Mouth Tumors
Approximately 25% of dogs diagnosed with oral melanoma will survive for one year; 75% will not survive even this long.
Sources for Canine Cancer
Melanoma - Flat Coated Retriever Health Manual
Nutrition and Cancer: New Keys for Cure and Control 2003!
Gregory K. Ogilvie, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine & Oncology)
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO, USA
Prostatic Disease in the Dog
Peter E. Holt, BVMS, PhD, ILTM, DECVS, CBiol, FIBiol, FRCVS
Professor of Veterinary Surgery, University of Bristol
Department of Clinical Veterinary Science
Langford, Bristol, UK
Antony Moore, BVSC Diplomate ACVIM
Director, Veterinary Oncology Consultants
379 Lake Innes Drive
Wauchope NSW 2446
Canine Brain Tumors: Improvements in Diagnosis and Treatment
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Neoplasia of the Nervous System (spinal tumors)
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Current Therapy for Canine Oral Tumors
Tierklinik Hofheim, Germany
Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook
James M. Giffin
Liisa D. Carlson DVM
Hound Health Handbook
Betsy Brevitz, DVM