Let’s Talk About Oral Tumors in Cats and Dogs

mt. carmel animal hospital oral tumors in cats and dogs

Mount Carmel Animal Hospital discusses more information regarding oral tumors in cats and dogs in this article.

Oral tumors are relatively prevalent in dogs and cats. Even though many mouth tumors are benign, multiple substantial malignant tumors impact our pets. Mount Carmel Animal Hospital discusses more information regarding oral tumors in cats and dogs in this article.

What are Oral Tumors in Pets?

Oral tumors in cats and dogs are abnormal growths within the mouth. Our pets’ mouths, similar to our own, are made up of many different cell types. These different cell types can develop different types of tumors. For example, some tumors might grow slowly and do not usually spread (benign), whereas others are aggressive and spread elsewhere (malignant tumors).

Causes of Oral Tumors

The reason why some animals might develop oral tumors is not clear. Very few tumors and cancer have a single cause. However, tumors in the mouth can occur due to a combination of risk factors, some environmental or hereditary. Several breeds, including the Cocker Spaniel, Boxer, Doberman Pinscher, Poodle, Golden Retriever, and Scottish Terrier, seem to be more prone to developing oral tumors. Cats in general see a higher incidence of a specific type of oral tumor, squamous cell carcinoma.

Treatment for Oral Tumors

Surgical removal is the standard and most common recommendation to treat oral tumors in cats and dogs. A veterinarian may recommend magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or CT scans of the animal’s head or neck before surgery. This is to determine the severity of the disease. Depending on the severity, additional procedures may be required. It might be necessary to remove a piece of your cat’s or dog’s jaw if the tumor has taken over the bone. Fortunately, surgical removal provides relief to pets affected by these painful tumors.

Sometimes, surgery may not be possible. Radiation therapy is another treatment alternative to removing oral tumors in cats and dogs. If a malignant tumor has not been entirely removed, your vet might require a second surgery or follow-up treatment with radiation therapy.


Mount Carmel Animal Hospital has been serving the Northern Baltimore/Southern York community for over 30 years and is proud to be an independently operated, small animal practice committed to excellence in veterinary medicine and client service. From grooming to wellness services, along with Canine Life Skills Training Courses, and surgical procedures, we have the expertise that will best serve the needs of you and your pet. Contact us at 410-343-0200 and follow us on Facebook!

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