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DiagnosisSurgical ConditionsTumors

Do You Ever Look Under Your Pet’s Tongue?

By October 4, 2012 No Comments
Callie loves Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital in Seattle Washington

Routine dental procedures with our Seattle veterinarians at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital

During a routine dental procedure under anesthesia with our Seattle veterinarians here at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital it was discovered that Callie had a nodule on the underside of her tongue. It was white, firm and somewhat irregular. Changes can occur for many reasons in the mouths of dogs; from trauma (from chewing on sharp objects, or during play), infection, or perhaps something more serious like cancer. This growth was in a location that was difficult to see while Callie was awake, and she was showing no symptoms of discomfort, so it was impossible to know how long it had been present.

Callie’s cancerous tongue nodule found at Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital in Seattle Washington

Callie’s tongue nodule

The best way of knowing the cause of this nodule was to submit a sample to a veterinary pathologist. The report came back as suspicious for a type of tumor so Callie and her owners were referred to a surgical specialist. The surgeon performed surgery using a CO2 Laser to remove as much of the affected tissue as possible and yet retain function of Callie’s tongue. Callie was a trooper and did great with the surgery and recovery. The growth was confirmed to be a nerve sheath tumor; however, the laboratory reported that it appeared to be completely excised at surgery which is excellent news. The owners will pursue follow-up consultation with an oncologist to decide if any further treatment is necessary.

Callie is a wonderful dog with a lot of personality. We are so glad that her owners are diligent about providing her with regular veterinary visits and preventive care. Her dental care procedure was fortuitous in that it gave us the opportunity to find a tumor that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. This is one more reason that anesthesia for a dental procedure is important. A cleaning should always include a full evaluation of the teeth, the tissues around the tooth, under the gums and all the nooks and crannies in the mouth.

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