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Oral Masses in the dog and cat


What is an oral mass? An Oral Mass is a growth either in the mouth or around the head.
Not all oral masses are cancerous but they can become malignant and fatal if not diagnosed early
and treated aggressively.

Oral Masses can be found on the lips, gums, tongue, and lymph regions around the mouth.

Oral Masses can affect both cats and dogs.

Some common Symptoms are:
Mobile Teeth
Not wanting to eat
Bad breath
Oral sores or mouth bleeding

Occassionally an animal will not show any signs.

Some Causes are:
Periodontal Disease (tooth and gum disease)
Use of Flea Collars

Several Breeds that may be predisposed to Oral Masses are:
German Shorthair Pointer
Golden Retriever
Cocker Spaniel
St. Bernard

Most often in cats the older cats are more affected as well as a higher incidence in male cats.

Diagnosing is typically done by performing a Biopsy. This will tell your veterinarian if it is cancerous
or not and to what degree.
Radiographs of the head area are also helpful to see the surrounding areas.

Treatment is dependant on the type of oral tumor discovered. Most often surgery is needed.
Occassionally radiation and chemotherapy are combined to increase the chance of survival.

Management after surgery sometimes requires the use of a feeding tube or in the very least, a
liquid diet. The tube will be used to administer nutrition as the pet may not be able to chew or swallow for
sometime afterwards.

It is important to check your pet's mouth long term to make sure that the cancer has not returned and to check all
other body areas to ensure that the cancer has not spread to other parts of the body.

Please take your pet to your veterinarian if he or she exhibits any of the above symptoms or you
suspect an oral or body growth.
If you need additional information contact your veterinarian.

If you should need assistance with your pet once you return back home post-operatively, please
don't hesitate to contact your In-Home Veterinary Technician, Vetek Chic On Wheels, at
Your In-Home Technician can assist you with tube feeding at home, liquid, oral administration and any other at home treatments needed.
Thank you!

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