These tumors originate from the mucous membrane or the underlying tissues of the oral cavity.
When tumors of the oral cavity reach a certain critical size or extent, the animal’s feed intake may be impaired. The animal shows a decreased appetite or even completely refuses to eat. There may be increased salivation present. In the case of tumors that aggressively invade neighboring tissue, swellings and deformations of the jaw, the lip or the nose may occur.
Benign tumors do not harm the surrounding tissue or form metastases that spread through the body. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, can penetrate deeper layers of skin and even cause a decomposition of the jawbone. Malignant tumors can mostly be found in the rear part of the cheek pouches or on the hard part of the palate.
A tissue sample analysis can determine the nature of the tumor. If the growth is not too far advanced a surgical removal of the affected area is the first option of treatment. For this procedure an adequate piece of healthy skin around the edges of the carcinoma has to be removed as well to prevent a recurrence of the tumor.
If you suspect a tumor of the oral cavity consult a veterinarian. The sooner the tumor is found and treated the better the chances of recovery.