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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 27425
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has a large swollen area on her lower inner cheek on

Customer Question

My dog has a large swollen area on her lower inner cheek on both sides. it is larger on one side than on the other
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the dog's name?
Customer: Daisy
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Daisy?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
the vet has put her on an antibiotic and steroids
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the photo. That's quite an unusual swelling. Is there also swelling under the tongue or is it restricted to just between her teeth and lips? How long have these swollen areas been present?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
here is another picture on the other side. just on the bottom flap part of her mouth.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
they've been swollen since last thursday
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Thank you. This is most consistent with an unusual manifestation of salivary mucoceles - an accumulation of saliva due to blocked salivary ducts. Did Daisy's vet aspirate the swelling to see if it contained saliva?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
okay, he said that same thing, but i thought their salivary ducts were under their tongues.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Yes, a ranula is a mucocele under the tongue. In rarer cases, the saliva can extravagate to the areas you're seeing. This is more common in people, however. Please continue our conversation if you wish.

I'm going to send the photo to a friend of mine who's a specialist veterinary pathologist. I'll let you know what she has to say...generally within 24 hours of my emailing her.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
what is the typical treatment for this?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Surgical lancing might suffice. If not, the salivary glands attached to those blocked ducts need to be removed.

I edited my post above to include the following: "I'm going to send the photo to a friend of mine who's a specialist veterinary pathologist. I'll let you know what she has to say...generally within 24 hours of my emailing her."

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
he did not aspirate it, sorry i just saw that. thank you for the information. i was worried it was some kind of tumor.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I understand your concern. Tumors aren't bilaterally symmetrical, however. I'm sorry that the vet didn't aspirate these which would have confirmed the diagnosis. Here's what my pathologist friend had to say: ""They look like the right location for the submandibular salivary ducts so I would concur with a likely mucocele diagnosis."

Please continue our conversation if you wish.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

You're quite welcome. I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience. You can bookmark this page for ease of return.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thanks again for your help. To be conservative would it be wise to have it drained before jumping in on surgery. i know that most things read surgery is the only permanent fix, but I am assuming this is a pricey surgery and we just did TPLO surgery back in August on this crazy girl.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

Certainly, and lancing and leaving the lanced surface open may be curative. This is called a form of marsupialization. Please tell Daisy that she needs to get a job.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
you're telling me! she's our baby and we'll do whatever we have to do, but goodness I'd like to get the TPLO paid off first!
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 month ago.

I understand!