Odontogenic (or oral) tumors (OT) arise when there is a deviation from the normal process of teeth formation. Oral tumors are classified as neoplasms. These lesions are classified based on the origin from various germ layers and as inductive or non-inductive. The three most common odontogenic tumors are discussed below.
Early detection of odontogenic tumors is essential in your pet’s oral health. Pet owners who brush their pet’s teeth daily have an advantage as they may notice changes much sooner. When a swelling, mass formation in the mouth or swollen glands in the neck are noted, they may be signs of oral tumor development. Other signs include difficulty chewing, reluctance to eat, loose teeth, and excessive drooling.
Since there are many types of oral tumors, your primary veterinarian will likely do a biopsy and send the extracted tissue to a pathologist for diagnosis. It is possible in many cases that a small needle can be inserted into the tumor to obtain a few cells that can differentiate cancer from other infections; this is called an aspiration. Cats and dogs suspected of having oral tumors are generally given a physical examination, blood test, X-rays, and CT (computerized axial tomography) scans of the skull. Chest X-rays are done as well in order to see if the disease has spread to the lungs.
Whenever your pet is showing signs of a health issue, your first step is to contact your primary care veterinarian. If it is indicated that your pet may suffer from an odontogenic tumor or another serious condition, a veterinary specialist is available at an ExpertVet certified or affiliated hospital.