Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) Average Cost

From 77 quotes ranging from $3,000 - 15,000

Average Cost

$9,500

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What is Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma)?

Gingiva fibrosarcoma is a malignant cancer in the mouth derived from fibrous connective tissue. Although they have a lowered metastatic rate their propensity for aggressively invading bone and other tissue that surrounds them makes them a serious health concern. They may appear clinically similar to other oral tumors so biopsy of the affected tissue will be needed for diagnosis. Fibrosarcomas are resistant to radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Prompt attention to symptoms and removal of tumor or tumors gives your pet the best chance for a positive outcome.

Gingiva fibrosarcoma is an aggressive malignant cancer of the mouth derived from an overgrowth of fibrous connective tissue. Early diagnosis and removal of cancerous tissue are required.

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Symptoms of Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) in Dogs

Fibrosarcoma is a rapidly growing cancer, and symptoms that point to any form of cancer in the mouth should prompt a call to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Oral bleeding
  • Traces of blood in saliva
  • Difficulty chewing and eating
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Excessive drooling 
  • Facial swelling
  • Growth or growths in mouth
  • Persistent halitosis
  • Unexplained weight loss

Types

This particular form of cancer is known to invade nearby bones and treatment often requires the removal of all or part of the bones of the jaw. These surgical procedures are called either mandibulectomy or maxillectomy.

Mandibulectomy

  • The surgical removal of all or part of the lower jaw
  • Animals usually recover remarkably well from a mandibulectomy and the recovery period is usually only 12-72 hours

Maxillectomy

  • The surgical removal of all or part of the upper jaw
  • Patients usually recover well from a maxillectomy as well, often with very little change to their cosmetic appearance

Causes of Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) in Dogs

The origins of any cancer are indefinite but there are some conditions that may increase the likelihood of canine fibrosarcomas developing. 

  • Advancing age
  • Exposure to chemicals
  • Genetic predisposition (Larger dogs are more likely to develop this cancer than the smaller breeds, and Golden Retrievers have an increased risk)
  • Male dogs are more likely to be affected by fibrosarcomas in general
  • Infections
  • Radiation

Diagnosis of Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) in Dogs

Your veterinarian will want to start with a physical examination of the masses or lesions in the mouth and get a tissue sample so that it can be more closely examined to determine its makeup. A complete blood count, biochemistry profile, and urinalysis will also be obtained in order to expose any underlying or concurrent diseases. Depending on the size and the placement of the tumor, the veterinarian will generally use either a needle aspiration or full excision technique to take a sample of the affected tissue. The sample will then be examined under a microscope, using a technique known as cytology. X-rays will be completed to look for evidence of cancer on the skeletal system as fibrosarcoma tumors have a propensity for invading nearby bones. Testing of the lymph nodes, usually by needle aspiration, will also occur to determine if the cancer has metastasized. If the tumor was excised in order to biopsy it, the edges will be also checked at this point to ensure they got the entire tumor.

Treatment of Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) in Dogs

Treatment usually starts with the removal of the tumor itself as well as excising any extensions into surrounding tissue and bone. With gingiva fibrosarcomas this may necessitate removing a large portion of the jaw bone if a spread is noted or suspected. If the tumor and all affected tissues are cleanly and completely removed and if the cancer has not already metastasized the prognosis for this treatment is effective in extending survival rates by a year or two. Although fibrosarcomas that develop in the mouth are less likely to be metastatic than other sarcomas, it is still sometimes recommended that the area be treated with radiation. Radiation may also be used if the tumor is inoperable because of size or position, however, oral fibrosarcomas are known to be somewhat resistant to radiation treatments. Gingiva fibrosarcomas are also resistant to traditional chemotherapy so it is rarely considered as a treatment option.

Recovery of Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) in Dogs

After any surgical excision it is important to keep the site clean and free from dirt and debris. You will need to keep your pet from interfering with the site, and examine it regularly for swelling, bleeding or pus. Keeping the recovering patient in a calm and quiet environment will help speed healing, as will having appropriate food and water within reach of them.  Specialized feeding and care instructions may be given by your veterinarian to facilitate healing to the excision. If a mandibulectomy or maxillectomy was performed to remove the cancer, your dog may have a protruding tongue where the bone was removed until they get used to retracting their tongue on their own. You may also observe an increase in salivation and clicking noises that occur when your dog chews. There may also be a visible narrowing or drooping of the nose due to the removal of bone.

Mouth Cancer (Gingiva Fibrosarcoma) Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Trooper
Labrador Retriever
13 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

bleeding odor & drooling from mouth

I have a beautiful 13 year old male yellow lab who was just diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma of the mandible. It has metastasized to one of his lungs. My husband & I do not want to put him through disfiguring surgery (the tumor cannot be removed with out removing past of his jaw) and do not have the money for chemo or radiation. We would like to make him as comfortable as possible with medications, etc. My question is that we would like to know how long typically a dog would survive under these circumstances?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. I'm so sorry that is happening to Trooper, that is very sad. Your decision to keep him comfortable is a reasonable one. There isn't really any way to know how quickly the tumor will grow, or how painful he will be; unfortunately you will just have to watch him carefully and make sure that he remains comfortable. Your veterinarian will help you with this, make sure that you keepin communication with them throughout this process. I wish you both the best.

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Maggie
Beagle
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Pain

Medication Used

prednisone

My dog was diagnosed with fibrosarcoma in may 2017. It was on the upper back around her teeth and pretty big before we noticed it. We had it removed. Just last week we were told she has another one behind where the first one was. We cannot afford a specialist, we might be able to have this one removed as well. Problem is she is acting food aggressive lately, growling at our other dogs and even our son (which she has never done) and even grabbing onto them as well as the cats. I'm concerned and wonderING if it can go into her brain? Do we have any other options?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1093 Recommendations
Thank you for your question. I'm sorry that this is happening to Maggie. Since I can't examine her, it would be a great idea to bring this up to your veterinarian, as they are familiar with her situation, and her health history. Pain can often make dogs do strange things, and she may be reacting that way. Fibrosarcoma does not metastasize to the brain, but other metabolic problems can cause unexplained behavior changes. I hope that you and your veterinarian are able to get to the bottom of her behavior.

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