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Dr.Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 631
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
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Dog has very aggressive growth in mouth determined to be benign

Resolved Question:

Dog has very aggressive growth in mouth determined to be benign but extremely fast growing, removed and regrew in 60 days. Vet recommends removal of substantial portion of lower jaw. What should I know about that surgery and quality of life issues after surgery. Dog is australian terrier, ten years old, no other known health issues.
Submitted: 8 years ago via Dog-Health-Guide.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr.Beth replied 8 years ago.

I am sorry to hear about your dog's condition. Oral tumors (even the 'benign' forms) can be very aggressive. The best treatment option is often to remove a large portion of the jaw. It is fortunate that your dog's growth is on the lower jaw as these are easier to remove than growths on the upper jaw. If your vet is able to remove all of the tumor cells, surgery can be curative for the condition. Cosmetically, your dog may look a slightly odd. Although often people do not really notice that half the lower jaw is missing (as the top lip usually flaps over the area). Often the tongue will hang out a bit on the missing side, but some dogs learn to tuck their tongues into the other side of the mouth. It will take a little while for your dog to learn how to pick up and chew food, but most dogs do very well and can often return to their normal dry dog food in a few weeks. In a dog that does not have any other medical issues, I would recommend the surgery as the outcome can be quite good. Your dog will also be much more comfortable once that invasive tumor is removed. If you are considering surgery, the sooner you do it the better as it lessens the chance that the mass will spread further in the mouth.

Here is a link that you may find useful:

Let me know if I can be of further help.

Dr. Beth
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