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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 19294
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
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My cat has a large swelling under his tongue. It appears to

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My cat has a large swelling under his tongue. It appears to be a thin amount of skin tissue filled with a clear liquid. His tongue is entirely pushed to one side but he doesn't seem to be in any pain.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 years ago.
couple questions:

1. how old is your cat?
2. how quickly did this lesion pop up?
3. any facial drooping (eye, lip, nose)?
4. any excessive salivation?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He is three years old. I noticed the swelling a few months ago, but it was very small and did not seem to be cause for concern. However, I spent some time out of town and he was left in the care of a friend. Since I've returned, it has grown enormously and I'm not sure what the best thing to do is. Is it possibly a blocked saliva gland? He does not seem to be in any pain, is very active and is his usual good natured self. No problems eating, no excessive salivation, and no other physical symptoms.
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 years ago.
I'm glad he's a younger cat. Hopefully what we're dealing with is a benign mass or epulis in the mouth. Worst case scenario it's a cancer- either squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma. It's also possible that this is an abscess, but if it's been going on for a few months this is less likely.

I would try and find out if there is a veterinary dentist in your area as surgical removal may be needed. They would be your best bet to get a diagnosis and the one to do the surgical removal if needed. Surgery if a squamous cell carcinoma may entail removing part of the tongue or jaw. I hope that is not the case, but it's better to have somebody prepared to do it while the cat is under anesthesia than to find out later that there are complications that could have been avoided.

Hope that helps steer you in the right direction, let me know what is found and if you have any other questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If it were something so malignant that he would have to have some of his jaw removed, wouldn't he be exhibiting signs of pain?
Expert:  Dr. Gary replied 7 years ago.
There should be some sort of pain involved, but he may not show any signs. Usually they present for drooling, dropping food and facial deformity.

Hopefully it's an epulis or tooth root abscess which can be resolved with minimal surgery, but I just wanted to give you all the possibilities so there are no surprises. Again, veterinary dentists are often under-utilized, but the work they do is amazing and far superior to most day practices.
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