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Early Signs of Canine Oral Melanoma

Most oral tumors are not noticed early, because it can be difficult for a dog owner to look inside the dog’s mouth. As a result, many tumors go undiagnosed – and untreated – until they are advanced. By then, the dog has a poorer chance of recovery.1

Fortunately, tumors in the mouth, including canine oral melanomas, are easy for your veterinarian to detect during a routine oral examination. This can mean the difference between life and death for many dogs.

Dog owners can help identify the presence of tumors by looking for secondary signs, including:2

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding
  • Loss of teeth
  • Facial swelling

If you notice any of these signs, it is always a good idea to notify your veterinarian. Your veterinarian knows best how to proceed to diagnose cancer or eliminate it as a concern for you.

Part of the diagnosis for oral tumors often includes a biopsy, or removing a small tissue sample from the tumor and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. Your veterinarian also may use x-rays or other diagnostic tools the help stage the cancer.