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Dr. K
Dr. K, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 7544
Experience:  13 years experience as Veterinarian
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We found a large lump under our dogs neck, about half the size

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We found a large lump under our dogs neck, about half the size of a tennis ball!! it wasn't there about 5 hours ago when we fed her. it's soft, and feels like fluid... she is hyper as ussual and jumping, running etc. we can touch it and pet her there and she doesn't seem to notice anything different. She is a 6 month old Bull Mastiff/Rotty mix. Any ideas?
Hi breandray,

This sounds like a mass that is associated with the salivary glands.

Diseases of the salivary glands include:
Sialoadenitis (Inflammation/Infection)
Neoplasia (Cancer)

Salivary mucoceles, or sialoceles, result from damage to the duct or gland, with subsequent leakage of saliva into the tissues. The sublingual (under the tongue) and mandibular (under the lower jaw) salivary glands are most commonly involved. The sites for mucoceles include cervical (neck) mucoceles, sublingual mucoceles (ranulas), and less commonly, mucoceles of the pharyngeal (throat) or orbital (eye) region.
Fistulas---Salivary gland fistulas occur infrequently in small animals, and they are usually the result of trauma to the parotid salivary gland or duct.
Sialoadenitis---This is an inflammatory reqction in the salivary glands. This occurs infrequently in small animals. The zygomatic salivary gland (the one underneath the cheek bone near the eye) is the most common gland to be involved.
Neoplasia--Tumors of the salivary glands are rare. The parotid and submandibular salivary glands are the most susceptible to tumors.

If the lump is in your dog's neck and it is soft and fluidy, then it is most likely a mucocele. These are soft, fluctuant and nonpainful.

The diagnosis of which disease the dog has is based on history, clinical signs, radiographs, and histopathology (biopsy). The diagnosis of mucoceles is based on palpation, aspiration of a clear or blood-tinged , mucinous fluid that is consistent with saliva. Sialoadenitis is based on the very painful signs, a high white blood cell count (in the blood of the patient), and on histopathology.

If this lump persists into tomorrow, then I would take your dog into the vet to have it examined. The vet can aspirate fluid from it with a needle, and see if it is likely to be a mucocele.

The treatment for mucocele is usually excision and removal of the pocket of saliva and the salivary gland from which it is originating.
For Sialoadenitis, the treatment is to drain the zygomatic salivary gland by surgically opening the plugged duct where it opens in the mouth. This is doenn under anesthesia. The antibiotics used must be based on a bacterial culture and sensitivity of the fluid taken out during surgical drainage.

I hope that this information has been of help to you, and I wish you the best of luck with your dog. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Dr. K
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