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Dr. Marcia
Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience:  I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience
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my dog has a watery bloody saliva and the vet said some ...

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my dog has a watery bloody saliva and the vet said some swelling and what looked like bruising under the tongue. We are waiting for blood test results. Is there any other test I should be aware of to ask my vet to do and could this be a form of cancer?
Submitted: 6 years ago via Dog-Health-Guide.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 6 years ago.

Hello, Happy 4th of July!

Your question has me very curious as to what this area under your dog's tongue looks like--I wish I could see it myself!

I can see why you are worried about cancer. Certainly this is always on the list anytime we see a mass or "swelling". However, there are many other possibilities, and blood testing is a good first step, to make sure the dog is healthy otherwise and there is not an underlying problem leading to this.

Here's my list of some possibilities based on what you have described:

*An infection in the soft tissue under the tongue (like as abscess)

*Inflammation or infection associated with foreign material stuck in the tissue; for instance some dogs can get a tiny piece of wood or a grass awn stuck somewhere in their mouth as as example, and this can lead to chronic infection

*some type of trauma or puncture wound to the area with resulting swelling or hematoma (a pocket of blood) and bruising

* a benign growth such as a cyst

* a malignant tumor (lower on my list)

*Other more rare possibilities such as a bleeding disorder, low platelets, etc.

In general, when we find a mass or swelling like this, the best way to get an answer is to sedate the dog and do fine needle aspirates (FNA) of the area, and look at the sample on a slide to see if we can get an idea of what it might be. This can be an excellent screening tool and sometimes provides the diagnosis. We can also take a biopsy (a small sample of the tissue of the area) and send it off to a pathologist for an analysis. While the dog is sedated, we can thoroughly explore the area and see if we find anything else unusual (such as foreign material).

I would suggest sedation and further exam of this area, and possible aspirates and/or biopsy as the next step to getting an answer.

I hope this is helpful for you. Whippets are great little dogs. I don't see many of them but they are fun to work with. Thank you and happy holiday again!

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My whippet over the last few months has also ( at least twice a month) has not wanted to eat. He had blood work done a month ago because he broke a tooth off and needed it removed. They said his white count was just a little low. I have read where whippets and greyhounds are known to have low white blood count. He was on antibiotics after the tooth removal. I have just recently changed his diet to raw (2 weeks ago)and wondered if this could have something to do with it.
Expert:  Dr. Marcia replied 6 years ago.

Hi, thanks for your response!

I would not see the diet change as directly related and can't think of a way that would cause the type of swelling you describe. So I would not be too concerned about that at this point.

The slightly low white count does not sound like a big concern either, but of course I haven't viewed the blood testing results myself. With the swelling under the tongue, I would be more interested in the red blood cell count numbers and platelet numbers. I suspect those are probably normal.

Does this help? Let me know if you have more questions. I do hope for the best for your little boy!

Dr. Marcia, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 577
Experience: I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience
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I am a Companion Animal Veterinarian with 15 years of medical and surgical experience