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Dog Salivary Tumor

Veterinarian Reviewed on March 29, 2014 by Dr. Janice Huntingford

Dog Salivary Tumor

Dogs have four pairs of salivary glands. These are the glands that are responsible for producing saliva in your dog’s mouth. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of tumor. The mandibular gland is the usual location of these cancers. These tumors are rare in dogs. Older dogs are more commonly affected and metastasis can occur.

Signs and Symptoms

Symptoms vary from dog to dog. The usual symptoms are Dog Loss of Appetite which will result in Dog Weight Loss, Dog Bad Breath, your dog may also have problems swallowing and there will be swelling on the neck, ears, tongue or lip.


When the swelling or other symptoms occur, your veterinarian will perform a fine needle biopsy of the tumor. CT scans, MRI’s and x-rays are also used to determine the extent of the malignancy and determine if it has metastasized to other organs.

Treatment Options

Nutritional support is vital with any dog that is suffering from cancer. Cancer can alter a dog’s metabolism, which can in turn cause weight loss. The tumor itself can create difficulty swallowing and chewing. Tumors can also cause changes in the digestive system. Pain can occur from the cancer and from the treatment. This can also cause a loss of appetite.

It will be necessary to consult with your veterinarian to design a specific Dog Cancer Diets for your pet. If your dog is having difficulty chewing and swallowing, a soft Dog Diet may have to be developed. Maintaining sufficient nutritional status will aid the immune system. Any cancer will compromise the immune system and often veterinarians will prescribe the use of food supplements such as vitamins and minerals. A soft diet that is easy to chew and easy to digest will aid your dog in its recovery.

All dogs will experience various levels of pain with Dog Cancer. Not only will they have pain from the tumors, but also from the Dog Cancer Chemotherapy or other treatments they may receive. Most vets will prescribe pain medicine before the Dog Pain occurs to keep your dog comfortable. It is a difficult time for both dogs and their owners.

The recommended treatment for salivary gland tumors is surgery. This may prove to be a difficult surgery because of the complicated anatomy of the glands. Survival time can be increased with surgery as the only course of treatment. There are no studies to promote the use of chemotherapy for salivary tumors.

There are some complications that may result from the surgery. Due to the complex anatomy of the head and mouth, there is a possibility of the parotid gland being removed. This is a gland that is over the ear. Removal can cause facial nerve deficits which can cause drooping, drooling or inability to blink. Removing the mandibular gland can injure tongue nerves.


There are no studies to accurately predict the prognosis associated with salivary gland tumors. So much depends on the degree of the tumors. If the cancer has metastasized to other organs the prognosis is very poor. If the cancer is caught during its early stages the prognosis is guarded, but still better than the more advanced cases.

Suggested Products

Cancer Support Kit for Dogs
Nu-Pet Vitamin and Anti-Oxidant Wafers for Dogs
Mouth Drops for Dog Bad Breath

Additional Dog Cancer Pages

Dog Cancer | Dog Skin Cancer | Dog Bladder Cancer | Dog Pancreatic Cancer | Dog Bone Cancer | Dog Cancer Prevention | Dog Cancer Diagnosis | Dog Lymphoma Cancer | Dog Gastric Cancer | Dog Mast Cell Tumors

Read also: Dog Cherry Eye
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Our Expert

Dr. Janice Huntingford
Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan

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