Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost
46 Veterinary Answers

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Prepare for unexpected vet bills

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What is Swelling of the Salivary Gland?

A salivary mucocele occurs when a salivary duct ruptures, leading to fluid collecting in the soft tissues surrounding it. This is usually seen as a soft, painless mass around the head or neck though some may occur beneath the tongue or around the eyes. The condition is treated by draining the mucocele and surgically removing the affected glands.

Swelling of the salivary gland, otherwise known as a salivary mucocele, happens as a result of a salivary duct rupturing within the mouth. As fluids accumulate outside of the gland, the surrounding tissue swells, leading to a mass around the dog's head or neck. A salivary mucocele can be treated by surgically removing the affected glands and has a good prognosis for a full recovery.

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Swelling of the Salivary Gland Average Cost

From 3 quotes ranging from $200 - $10,000

Average Cost

$1,500

Symptoms of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The primary clinical sign of a salivary mucocele is a soft, nonpainful mass around the cervical region that gradually enlarges over time. Depending on the location of the mucocele, other symptoms may include:

  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding from the mass
  • Fever if infected
Types

There are several types of salivary mucoceles, which are categorized by the soft tissues in which saliva accumulates. Cervical mucoceles, the most common type of mucocele in dogs, occur when saliva collects in the upper cervical area or under the jaw; sublingual or ranula mucoceles occur when it collects on the floor of the mouth; pharyngeal mucoceles occur when it collects in the back of the throat; and zygomatic mucoceles occur when it collects around the eye.

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Causes of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

A mucocele occurs when a salivary gland ruptures, leading to an accumulation of saliva in the soft tissue surrounding the damaged gland. This most commonly involves the sublingual and mandibular glands, which results in saliva accumulating in or around the neck and jaw. A rupture may be caused by trauma, such as from a bite wound or from chewing on inappropriate materials, and is more commonly seen in breeds such as Poodles and Dachshunds.

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Diagnosis of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The veterinarian will put your dog through a careful physical examination of your dog during the initial visit, which will include palpation of any visible masses around the head and neck. If the salivary mucocele is visible, the mass can be easily identified and differentiated from tumors, abscesses, and other cysts. The diagnosis of which can be validated by performing afine needle aspiration of the fluid. A salivary mucocele results in a thick, ropy fluid that may be yellowish or blood-tinged.

Prior to treatment, the veterinarian may perform further tests, including a complete blood count and a urinalysis. This provides the veterinarian with an idea of your dog's overall health and ability to withstand surgery.

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Treatment of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The standard treatment for a salivary mucocele is surgical removal of the ruptured gland. Though aspiration may remove the fluid and reduce the swelling, this is not considered a resolution for the problem, as recurrence is likely weeks or months following aspiration.

Cervical, ranula, and pharyngeal mucoceles are treated by removing both the mandibular and sublingual glands on the affected side of the mouth, with marsupialization being additionally performed to help with drainage in cases of ranula mucoceles. Because zygomatic mucoceles involve glands near the eye, they are more difficult to address and may involve a more complicated surgical procedure.

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Recovery of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

Following surgery, a drain may be put in place to remove fluid from the site while it heals. Most dogs are able to go home after the procedure though you'll need to provide aftercare to ensure your dog's comfort and safety. Monitor your dog's drainage, and if the wound was bandaged, change the bandage frequently so that the surgical site is kept clean.

If the veterinarian prescribes pain-relieving medication or antibiotics, administer them according to instructions. Provide your dog with a quiet place to rest during the recovery process, and make sure that he has access to fresh water. It's incredibly important to keep an eye on the wound and corresponding area for signs of infection and prevent your dog from scratching or otherwise irritating the incision.

Prognosis is typically good, and most dogs recover fully and go on to live a normal life after the mucocele has been drained and the ruptured glands removed.

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Swelling of the Salivary Gland Average Cost

From 3 quotes ranging from $200 - $10,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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Swelling of the Salivary Gland Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Shih Tzu

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My baby is a mix of shih tzu, poodle, Maltese & Bichon frise. I was arriving home late at night to find a gash on the top of his head, but acting normal. We went to bed & I monitored him through the night, he has been extremely normal but as time has gone on, he has had quite a bit of swelling around his neck, top of his head & nose. I am beginning to think he got his head stuck in one of the railings of the stair case & panicked leading to many injuries through out. The fluid has hardened a bit which is causing me to worry about clotting or glands rupturing.

Jan. 2, 2021

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello so sorry to hear about your dog. It does sound like he has a head and neck injury. It would be best to see your vet for pain medication and anti-inflammatory medication. You can apply Neosporin to the cut on the top of her head. Just avoid her eyes.

Jan. 2, 2021

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no sure

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One Year

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Unknown severity

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6 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lump On Neck Near The Jaw

What can I do at home for her until she can be seen by a vet

Dec. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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6 Recommendations

Lumps can be all manner of things including abscesses, tumours, cysts etc. It's hard to advise on treatment as we don't know what type of lump she has. If leaking, keep it clean with cotton wool and warm salt water. Do not allow her to rub at it.

Dec. 6, 2020

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Swelling of the Salivary Gland Average Cost

From 3 quotes ranging from $200 - $10,000

Average Cost

$1,500

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