Introduction & Information on Canine Oral Melanoma…
May 10, 2009
Our dog, Barney, a 10-year-old Golden Retriever/Springer Spaniel cross, was diagnosed with an oral melanoma on 21st May 2009. This came as a great shock and the process to begin treatment happened very quickly. I’d like to share his story with you because I don’t think that there is enough information regarding canine oral melanoma available. Most dog owners will have never heard of it, nor would they know what to look for. I was not aware that this type of cancer occurs more commonly in the following dogs;
Dogs aged between 9 years and 12 years
Had I known this, being an already very over protective and over cautious pet owner, I’d have been much more vigilant and looked out for signs of early cancer; especially as Barney is a black, male dog, aged 10+ years.
The following excerpt/information is taken from this website:
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.
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:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- 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.