Oral Tumors in Dogs and Cats

Growths and tumors can occur anywhere in the body including the oral cavity. In fact, 10% of all cat and 6% of all dog tumors occur in the oral cavity. Of these, about 50% are malignant in dogs and 90% are malignant in cats. Many oral masses look alike, whether benign or malignant.

It is important to diagnose tumors as early as possible. Frequent inspection of the mouth at home is the best way to monitor for oral masses between your pet’s biannual wellness exams. Small lesions may seem insignificant due to their size, but ALL oral growths should be investigated. All too often a “wait and see” approach is taken because the mass is small and insignificant in size, yet if malignant, complete surgical removal of the small mass with adequate margins offers the best chance of cure. A “wait and see” approach is never recommended.

If any swelling or mass is noted by you or your veterinarian, make an appointment with a veterinary specialist in dental and oral surgery as soon as possible.