A. Tumor treatment depends greatly on your dog’s overall health and the severity of the tumor as well as its exact location. It is best to have your vet take a look at the growth, and possibly take a sample to send to a lab to see if it is likely to spread or continue growing. Your vet may also recommend a full examination to make sure the tumor has not spread. If the growth is causing issues such as difficulty eating, your vet may also recommend surgical removal or changing to an easier to eat diet such as soft foods or supplements to make getting nutrition easier.
How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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The average survival time of untreated dogs is reported to be 65 days. With surgery alone, the average survival times and 1-year survival rates of dogs range from 5-17 months and 21-27%, respectively. In general, the smaller the tumor and the closer to the front of the mouth it is, the better the prognosis.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC
SCC is one of the two most common oral tumors we see in dogs and the most common oral tumor that we see in cats. It often presents as a rapidly growing pink fleshy mass associated with the gingiva (gums), oral mucosa, or tongue.
Melanomas appear pigmented or non-pigmented, and may be nodular or cauliflower-like in appearance. These tumors may appear as swellings on the gums around the teeth, or on the hard or soft palates. They frequently ulcerate (break open) and bleed. They may also become infected.
Surgery. The primary treatment recommendation for oral tumors in dogs is surgical resection. This surgery may entail extensive procedures, including mandibulectomy, maxillectomy, or glossectomy.
Pets with oral tumors will often have a history of pain while trying to chew or swallow food, food dropping out of the mouth while eating, drooling, or not willing to eat at all. Periodontal disease, bad breath, and tooth loss may also be noted. If lesions are ulcerated, there may be blood-tinged saliva.
They tend to grow very quickly—often involving the underlying bone—and some varieties readily spread to other areas of the body.
Peripheral odontogenic fibromas (previously called fibromatous epulis or ossifying epulis) are the most common benign oral tumors. These firm masses involve the gingival tissue adjacent to a tooth. They affect dogs of any age but are most common in dogs >6 yr old.
The diagnosis of an oral mass in a pet can be a frightening thing for a pet owner. However, the majority of oral tumors in dogs tend to be benign, meaning they are often less aggressive and do not spread to other regions of the body like a malignancy.
The most common cause of a bump on the gums is an oral fibroma. They`re noncancerous lumps that develop on the irritated or injured gum tissue. Oftentimes, fibromas are painless and feel like hard, smooth, dome-shaped lumps.
Epulis is a benign oral tumor found in dogs. Epulis is a general term used to define a mass of any type arising from the gums. These tumors can occur at any age, but middle-aged and geriatric dogs are affected most often. Epulides are most common in dogs such as Pugs and Boxers.
Oral melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and fibrosarcoma are common oral tumors in dogs. Other types include adenocarcinomas, ameloblastomas, and osteosarcomas. Oral tumors—both cancerous and non-cancerous—can form in any part of your pet`s mouth.
Oral cancer is fairly common. It can be cured if found and treated at an early stage (when it`s small and has not spread). A healthcare provider or dentist often finds oral cancer in its early stages because the mouth and lips are easy to examine.
An epulis refers to a benign (noncancerous) mass-like growth in the mouth that typically grows over or around a tooth.
Oral cancer is a serious illness that if caught early on can be treated successfully. That`s why it`s important you try to see your dentist twice a year and make time to do a monthly self-examination. There are ways to prevent oral cancer, and one of the most important is to avoid using tobacco products.
They can also increase and decrease in size over time. Tumors can be irritating and dogs will scratch, lick, or bite the mass and surrounding skin. This trauma causes the tumor cells to release the chemicals in their granules leading to a localized reaction.
Most oral cancers are a type called squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers tend to spread quickly.
Myth #3: Only Older Pets Develop Cancer
Cancers such as osteosarcoma and lymphoma are commonly diagnosed in dogs younger than 2 years of age. Others, including rhabdomyosarcoma, neuroblastoma, and nephroblastoma, originate from primitive tissue lines, and develop most commonly in young pets.
Gingival hyperplasia is excessive growth or thickening of gum tissue. This condition is more common in Boxers, Great Danes, Collies, Mastiffs, and Retriever breeds but may be seen in any breed. The hyperplasia is the result of inflammation due to bacteria and plaque or can occur secondary to certain medications (eg.
One of the most common growths in a dog`s mouth is a canine acanthomatous ameloblastoma, a slow-growing tumor. It can look innocent, but it is highly invasive. Surgical removal is curative but usually requires removing the tumor as well as a small margin of surrounding gum tissue, teeth and bone.
Epulis in dogs is not a life-threatening disease but can significantly impair the dog`s quality of life if left untreated. These masses can become quite large, ulcerated, or infected. Large, painful masses may interfere with eating and lead to chronic pain.
Gum cancer occurs when cells in your gum tissue grow out of control, forming malignant lesions and/or tumors. It`s a rare, slow-growing carcinoma, accounting for 6 percent of oral cancers, according to the European Journal of Dentistry. Because of similar symptoms, gum cancer can be easily mistaken for gingivitis.
Lipomas. These are fatty, benign lumps that are particularly common in overweight dogs. Lipomas may be recommended for removal if they become particularly large, uncomfortable, or get in the way of your dog moving around.
Distinguishing a benign tumor from a cancerous tumor requires specialized knowledge and laboratory equipment. A veterinarian can perform a fine needle aspiration of cells or a biopsy (which removes a small amount of tissue from a tumor) for evaluation.
The most common oral malignancies in dogs are melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and fibrosarcomas .
Q. My cat will not eat the renal food my veterinarian recommended, can I feed a grocery store food?
A. Your veterinarian recommended a therapeutic kidney diet because it has ingredients that will help slow the progression of your cat’s conditions, especially phosphorus and lower protein levels. Many of the non-prescription or grocery store foods generally have high levels of phosphorus and would not be ideal for your cat.
To help your cat accept the new food It is important to do a transition. There are two reasons to do a transition:
1) Occasionally a pet will have a GI upset when switched to a new diet,
2) A pet will accept a new food better when a transition is done to allow the pet to get use to the new texture and flavor.
There is more of a chance with a hydrolyzed protein or different (high or low) fiber level food to cause a GI upset. Transition recommendation:
1) Recommend ¾ old diet – ¼ new diet
2) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
3) ½ old diet – ½ new diet
4) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
5) ¼ old diet – ¾ new diet
6) Do this for a few days; if no GI upset, go to the next step
7) End with 100% of the new food.
Sometimes a transition should be longer, especially for cats. Use the same recommendation, but instead of a few days, recommend doing each step for a week or more. If you cat is still not interested in the new diet you can research other non-prescription diets focusing on the labels for appropriate levels of phosphorus and protein.
Also, home cooking may be an option but make sure to provide adequate nutrients. A good website to consult is balanceit.com. This website helps you to create well balanced home cooked recipes and offers supplements to add into the diet.