What are the signs?
Most pets will not show signs of oral masses until the mass has grown to inhibit chewing
or swallowing. In some cases there will be bad breath, excessive drooling and/or a bloody
How are oral masses diagnosed?
The entire patient must be evaluated for tumor spread prior to surgery. Usually
examination of regional lymph nodes as well as chest x-rays are taken. The veterinarian
may take a sample of cells from the mass and examine them under the microscope to give an
indication of whether the cause is due to infection or tumor. In most cases the mass will
be removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis.
How are oral masses treated?
Pets that have non-malignant tumors can usually be cured by surgical removal or radiation
therapy. Malignant tumors usually need more aggressive surgery and/or radiation and
chemotherapy to decrease tumor spread.
What is the prognosis for oral masses?
The prognosis is directly related to the type of mass present. With treatment, benign
tumors usually result in a normal life span. Those animals affected with aggressive
malignant tumors may live only weeks to months after diagnosis with or without treatment.