Mouth cancer in dogs is very common and can be quite deadly. It’s important to get your dog checked for mouth cancer regularly, especially if he has any signs of the disease, such as redness or swelling in the mouth.
Dogs are susceptible to a variety of mouth cancers, which are typically diagnosed when the cancer is advanced and has spread to other parts of the dog’s body.
Early detection is key to ensuring a successful outcome for your pet, so it’s important to be on the lookout for any unusual changes in your dog’s oral cavity. If you notice anything suspicious, don’t hesitate to take your dog to the vet for a check-up.
Also Read: Why Is My Dog Sneezing So Much?
Although dogs of any age are susceptible to developing mouth cancer, which is more commonly referred to as oral cancer, the average age at which a dog is given a diagnosis of oral cancer is 11 years old.
What exactly is mouth cancer in Dogs?
The oral cavities of our canine companions are made up of a variety of cells, including skin cells, cells that are fibrous, cells that come from bone, and bone cells themselves, just like human mouths. When any of these cells have cancer, they begin to transform and divide uncontrollably, which results in the formation of tumors and the invasion of healthy tissues that are located nearby.
While certain forms of cancer progress very slowly and are unlikely to move to other parts of your dog’s body, other types of cancer are more aggressive and can rapidly spread from one region of your dog’s body to another.
Melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and fibrosarcoma are the three forms of oral cancer that manifest most frequently in canines.
What are the risk factors for mouth cancer in dogs?
It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint the specific cause of oral cancer in your dog in the majority of cases. On the other hand, there is a wide variety of risk factors, some of which are environmental and others genetic that could be the cause of mouth cancer in dogs. There is some evidence that some dog breeds, such as Weimaraners, German shepherds, boxers, chows, and miniature poodles, have a slightly elevated risk of acquiring oral cancer.
When it comes to a dog’s mouth, what does cancer look like?
Although this condition can be identified in puppies of any age, the typical age of dogs when it is diagnosed is 11 years old. However, it can occur in dogs of any age. Because of this, it is essential for people who own pets to be familiar with the symptoms of this ailment so that they can quickly determine whether or not their dog is exhibiting any of the indicators.
Oral tumors can manifest as lumps, bumps, or swelling in the gums, around the teeth, on the roof of the mouth, or anyplace else in the oral cavity of your dog. If your dog has oral tumors, it is likely that they are cancerous. These tumors have the ability to burst open, hemorrhage, and introduce infection into the body.
Oral cancer tumors in dogs can be darker in color than the surrounding tissue (pigmented) or non-pigmented. They can also appear as smooth lumps or be more cauliflower-like in appearance, depending on the size, type, and location of the tumor that your dog has, as well as cancer’s propensity to spread. If your dog has oral cancer, see your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Mouth Cancer in Dogs
Mouth cancer is a very common cancer in dogs, however, its symptoms are often not clear and can be difficult to diagnose. Some of the most common symptoms of mouth cancer in dogs include
- Difficulty breathing
- Redness or swelling around the mouth, and vomiting.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, please consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
What kind of treatment is available for Mouth Cancer in Dogs?
Surgery is the treatment option that has the highest chance of success for mouth cancer in dogs. It is possible that your pet’s cancer can be cured by surgery if it is detected at an early stage and the tumor can be reached without too much difficulty by your veterinarian.
Surgery may be performed on some dogs in order to remove a significant piece of their jaws in an effort to eradicate mouth cancer in its more advanced stages. This is done in an effort to try and ensure that all cancer cells are eradicated.
After surgery, your veterinarian may offer radiation therapy or immunotherapy to help destroy cancer cells and allow your pet to heal. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, is not usually thought to be an effective treatment for mouth cancer in dogs.
Your veterinary oncologist may recommend radiation therapy as an alternative to surgery if the tumor is difficult to access or has advanced to a stage where it cannot be removed surgically. Radiation therapy may also be used to enhance surgical treatment. In certain instances, radiation treatment for oral cancer in dogs may produce redness, inflammation, or ulceration of the mouth; however, in most situations, these symptoms subside approximately one week after the radiation treatment has been provided.
Mouth Cancer in Dog’s Life Expectancy
Mouth cancer is common cancer in dogs, but most cases are not life-threatening. The disease is most commonly found in older dogs and tends to occur more frequently in larger breeds.
Symptoms may include a change in appetite or eating habits, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, fever, and weight loss.
Treatment typically includes surgery to remove the tumor and chemotherapy if the tumor is malignant. The average life expectancy for an affected dog is about 12 months.