You know that you’re crazy about dog’s when you find yourself noticing even the “tiniest” changes in your dog’s appearance right away.
This is why it…
Never really surprises us that many pet owners will be the first to notice a condition called dental epulis in their dog’s mouth without really understanding what that “condition” is.
In this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss exactly what dental epulis is so that if it looks like this “might be” what your dog is experiencing, you won’t spend too much time worrying about him or her before you get them “officially” examined by a professional.
Dental Epulis Defined.
Dental epulis are oral tumors that occur in the gums of your dog. And before you freak out and start worrying, let us make it clear right from the beginning that Epulis tumors are benign.
Which means that..
They are not cancerous and that they will not spread to other parts of the body. This is why, even though they are in the oral cavity, they aren’t going to enter into your dog’s teeth, jaw or bone structures.
There are three types of dental epulis that your dog could have.
Fibromatous Epulis – These types of dental epulis tumors are most often near the incisors or the canine teeth in your dog’s mouth. And will typically consist of tough and fibrous tissues hence the name “fibro”.
Mandibular Ossifying Fibroma – are generally located near the molar teeth/tooth and are typically comprised of bone tissue (mandibular is science-speak for jaw bone).
Acanthomatous Epuli – this is really “invasive” type of dental epulis. And while we use the term “invasive” we want to stress again that even these “types” of epulis tumors are not cancerous which is why you’re generally not going to find them spread to other parts of the body.
Symptoms associated with Dental Epulis tumors
If you think your dog has an oral tumor or oral tumors, these are some of the clinical signs you might see:
- Halitosis (science-speak for dog breath that’s worse than normal dog breath)
- Blood in the mouth
- Problems eating
- Weight Loss (probably due to problems eating)
- Drooling more than normal dog drool
- Large neck lymph nodes
- A jaw that is asymmetric
Which breeds get dental epulis?
Of course, any dog could get an epulis, but it is more common in some breeds such as boxers.
Usually the above symptoms will lead a vet to give your dog more tests to determine if this is epulis or in fact malignant tumors. Dental x-rays will help in diagnosis, as will a biopsy which will further examination of the gum tissue near the tumor.
Now it is important…
To be sure to have your veterinarian check out any tumorous lesions that you may find within your dog’s mouth because while it’s certainly possible that it may just be an epulis tumor, it could also be a squamous cell carcinoma which is a malignant tumor of the mouth and is something that must be taken much more seriously than an epulis tumor.
Other “types” of benign tumors that could be possibilities as well can include:
- Odontogenic Fibroma (usually in the mandible)
These are other lesions or tumors that are benign and possible to happen in your dog’s mouth or jaw.
Treatment for Dental Epulis in Dogs
After your vet diagnoses dental epulis, a treatment plan will be laid out. If the tumor is small, then you can probably do a simple surgical removal and life will be good.
If the epulis tumor is larger, the treatment could require:
- Radiation Therapy – this is more common in malignant tumors, but could be considered depending on the circumstance
- Partial Mandibulectomy – you may need to remove part of the lower jaw if things are really bad (again, more common for malignant)
This is also why early diagnosis is so important because it can significantly reduce the care needed to treat your dogs condition as well as the cost to do so as well.
Cost of Treatment
Depending on the type of treatment your dog requires (due to the severity of his/her epulides), the cost could vary anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
It turns out to be a malignant tumor aka cancer, then you’re looking at ongoing treatment that could cost more than $8000, depending on how long it lasts.
At this point…
It’s probably important to remind folks, that we here at IndulgeYourPet aren’t doctors, veterinarians or even medical professionals.
All we are…
Is a bunch of folks who really care about animals and only want what’s best for them! This is why if you feel your dog may be suffering from an epulis tumor or any other health issue, be sure to take him or her to a vet ASAP!
You can have your “buddy” examined by a professional, find out what’s really going on and get him treated right away.
That said however…
Once your dog is checked out and he has a clean bill of health, we would also encourage you to take a moment and consider possibly purchase a pet insurance policy on him or her. This way if he or she does develop a “serious” medical condition in the future, you won’t be on the “hook” for 100% of those medical costs!
For more information about who we “feel” is currently offering the “best” pet insurance policies in the industry right now, we would invite you to check out our Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies article.