Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Squamous Cell Carcinoma) in Dogs

Carcinoma is a type of virulent tissue cancer that arises in the epithelial tissue of the skin or of the lining of the internal organ. This cancer originates from squamous epithelium – a sheet of flat cells that act as covering plates on the surface of the skin and moist tissues (mucous membranes) — . Squamous cell carcinoma of gingiva refers to the location of the tumor, in this case, the gums. It is the second most common mouth cancer in dogs. It has the capability of progressing rapidly throughout the body, often with fatal consequences. These tumors grow very rapidly and typically invade nearby bone and tissue. Unlike other carcinomas, metastasis is uncommon and the tumor rarely spreads to other parts of the body. The squamous cell carcinoma is highly invasive to bone with a nonencapsulated, raised, irregular, ulcerated, or necrotic surface.

Older dogs are predisposed to this condition but this condition has been reported in dogs as young as three years of age.

Common symptoms associated with squamous cell carcinoma are


Difficulty chewing and eating (dysphagia)

Bad breath (halitosis)

Blood coming from the mouth

Weight loss

Loose teeth

Growth in the mouth

Swollen or malformed facial appearance

Swelling under the jaw or along the neck (from enlarged lymph nodes)

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