On Sugar’s last vet visit, it was confirmed that she has Epulis, a common oral growth in a dog’s mouth.
What’s an Epulis?
Epulis is a spongy looking growth that occurs along the gum line of a dog’s mouth. Epulis is the 4th most common oral tumor in dogs. As dogs age, some are prone to develop mass growth in their oral cavity. Epulis usually occurs in middle aged dogs, around 7 years old and older (senior years). It is not common in Golden Retriever but to breeds that have short nose and a muzzle like Boxers and Bulldogs.
What Causes Epulis?
There’s no known cause of epulis. Epulis is a common type of tumor that tends to recur. Most epulis is a benign tumor and does not spread to other areas of a dog’s body.
3 Different Types of Epulis
1. Fibromatous epulis is smooth and pinkish in color. It is usually located on the margin of the gums.
2. Ossifying epulis is a severe tumor that can be difficult to cure due a radical surgery that requires the removal of part of the bone.
3. Acanthomatous epulis affects the front part of the lower jaw.
This type of epulis is the most aggressive and highly invasive, so it is perceived as being a type of cancer.
How to treat Epulis?
Surgery is necessary to remove the epulis, especially if it is small. Also, a biopsy is recommended in order to determine what type of epulis and/or to determine if it is a cancerous mass. In some cases, teeth next to the epulis need to be removed and large epulis may need radiation treatment.
Have you checked you dog’s mouth lately?
Signs of Epulis
Most often dogs don’t show any symptoms of having epulis in their mouth. As a pet parent, you must frequently observe and monitor your dog’s oral health. As soon as any lumps, extreme bad breath, change in gum color, excessive drooling and bloody discharge coming out of mouth, consult and visit your veterinarian. It is imperative to educate yourself about your dog’s health. There are numerous resources online such as petmd, pet education and vet medicine. Also, establish a relationship with your dog’s vet. It is important that you trust your vet and comfortable in asking any questions.
At the moment, Sugar does not appear to have any discomfort. Her epulis does not interfere with her eating and/or drinking. Due to Sugar’s age and recent tongue surgery, her vet is not recommending removal of the epulis. As a concern pet parent, I continuously monitor Sugar’s mouth. Sugar is at her critical senior age of 13 years old and I have to be a vigilant pet parent for any health change occurrence.
Perform a regular routine check-ups on your dog’s mouth.