Mouth tumors in pets are typically found around the upper teeth or on the roof of the mouth. They can be either benign or malignant, and they often involve both the tissue and bone around them. They grow rather quickly and if they are malignant, they can invade most any other area of the body.
How Mouth Tumors Affects Your Pet
This disease can be very painful for your pet. In most cases, if your dog or cat develops a tumor in its mouth, it may also experience bleeding gums and/or tooth loss. Furthermore, since these tumors can involve the jaw bones as well, there can be significant bone loss. Chewing and eating can become quite difficult and even painful for your pet. Additionally, as some forms of mouth tumors in dogs and cats can be malignant, they can have adverse effects on other parts of the body. If the cancer develops within vital organs, it can become fatal.
Common Symptoms of Mouth Tumors
A cat or dog mouth tumor can cause many different symptoms in your pet. However, the symptoms your pet will experience depend entirely on how advanced the cancer is and how big the tumor has grown. There are some common warning signs of mouth tumors in pets though, and they are listed here: Foul-Smelling Breath, Excessive Drooling, Difficulty Chewing and Eating, Inflamed and/or Bleeding Gums, Loose Teeth and/or Tooth Loss, Loss of Appetite/Refusal to Eat, Weight Loss, Growths in the Mouth, Swollen Lymph Nodes, Varying Degrees of Pain in the Mouth, Jaw and/or Face and Swollen Areas About the Face and/or Jaw.
Treatments for Mouth Tumors
Before your veterinarian can treat your pet for a mouth tumor, various tests will be necessary to determine whether it is benign or malignant. These tests may include a blood profile, urinalysis, fluid samples taken from the lymph nodes, X-rays and a biopsy of the cancerous tissues. While surgery can help in some cases, a large amount of the tissue and bone surrounding the tumor will need to be removed as well. While radiation therapy is not recommended for mouth tumors, chemotherapy may keep the tumor from growing as fast. A soft diet will be necessary if there has been tooth and/or bone loss.
While there are no known causes of mouth tumors in dogs and cats, they do seem to occur more often in canines than in felines. Furthermore, they have been known to occur in any breed and age of pet. However, there are some pets that develop them more often than others, and they are as follows: large-breed dogs between 6 and 22 months old (some forms of tumors), other breeds that are seniors (especially older males), pets with compromised immune systems, pets that have had poor oral care, senior cats and pets with dark pigment in the mouth.
When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.