Jump to section

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.

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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 a fine 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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

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.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Swelling of the Salivary Gland Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,500

arrow-up-icon

Top

Swelling of the Salivary Gland Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Shih Tzu

dog-age-icon

Four Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 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

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

1 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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

no sure

dog-age-icon

One Year

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

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

answer-icon

Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

recommendation-ribbon

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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Corgi mix

dog-age-icon

Eleven Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Huge Lump In Jaw Line

My Dog woke up this morning with a huge hard lump in the left side on this middle jaw bone. It came up over night. It hurts him to touch it. It’s like the size of a golf ball cut in half. It’s in the mandibular region but closer to the middle not front or back. He has a history of hermangiosarcoma. Diagnosed oct 2019. Is prone to abscesses. But this is different it’s hard like a rock. And swollen. But it literally was not there yesterday. I just want to know what it sounds like. As an educational guess. I know people have no idea without looking at something like this but it’s just as discibe

Sept. 30, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello, there are a few things that this could be. It could be an abscess or a swollen lymph node. Also, bone cancer or lymphoma could show up in this area too. It would be best for your vet to look at your dog. It is really hard to tell for sure without a picture or an exam. Good Luck.

Sept. 30, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Bichon Frise

dog-age-icon

Eleven Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Pain In His Mouth The Vet Is Thinking Salivary Mucocele

Does not seem to be a tooth problem. Has a bad smell in his mouth. It is not an infection smell with the salivary mucocele can there also be a bad smell?

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Mucoceles don't tend to smell bad unless they are infected. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 14, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

German Shepherd

dog-age-icon

Six Years

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

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

2 found helpful

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

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Severe Salivary Mucocele

Sarge was my son's shepherd. My son passed away a few years ago and I took Sarge in. Sarge had baseball-sized lumps in his throat. He also had one under his tongue which I did not know was there until the vet discovered it. Under sedation, they drained all of the glands. However, within 2 weeks, they all came back.,.. he seems worse this time. He was antibiotics for 30 days, anti-flamatory/pain med, trazadone to keep him calm. The vet hosp told me he needed to have all glands removed... $10-$12K. I can't afford it (i spent $2000 in last few months). He is really bad now and I don't kn

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there may not be another option for Sarge, and if he is suffering, humane euthanasia may be the best alternative. I don't say that lightly, but if he is suffering it may be best for him. It would probably be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian, let them know that the cost of the surgery is more than what you can do, and see if there are other options for him. I am sorry that is happening to him.

Aug. 4, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Quincy

dog-breed-icon

lab/pitbull

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Our 10 year old Lab/Pitbull has developed a good sized rather soft lump over his right eye, which has always been kind of watery. after being on prednisone 60 mg a day, the bump has gone down quite a bit. now weaning him off the steroid, we/re down to 10 mg a day and the bump is coming back. he was bleeding a bit from his nose in the beginning.. not so much now. Aspiration showed no infection and it was a mixture of saliva and blood. it doesn't seem to bother him but I'm so worried everyday about him. I love him so much and don't want to see him in pain.. I've been to 3 vets already and had many tests.. but no CT scan. I'm hoping to avoid this. If you have any suggestion we would be so grateful to hear.

dog-name-icon

bear

dog-breed-icon

Morkie mix

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Regurgitation

Hello, my dog had severe IBD but also had swollen salivary glands. he is hypersalivating and reguring the saliva/foam. he regurges constantly. He is currently on cyclosporine and phenobarbital. Anything else we can give him? metronidazole? Benadryl?

dog-name-icon

Buck

dog-breed-icon

schnauzer

dog-age-icon

5 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling

Hi there I have recently (2 weeks ago) taken out medical insurance for our dog in order for it to be in effect by the time we go on our annual holiday. I have just taken him to the parlour and they brought my attention to the fact that he has a rather large swelling at the base of his neck, which could possibly be a saliva gland. Is this life threatening if not treated straight away? Would this be classified as an accident or illness? The main reason I ask, is if the medical aid will cover it if surgery is needed, or not, since the 30 day waiting period is not over yet. Just wanting to explore my options. Otherwise he is his normal self, happy, we go for walks every morning, he has energy, appetite and no other symptoms at all.

dog-name-icon

Captain

dog-breed-icon

Dachshund

dog-age-icon

4 Years

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

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Mandibular Lymph Node Swollen

Mandibular gland swollen hard.Vet is having us do benadryl & antibiotics, anti inflammatory every 12hrs. We are on day 3.it has gotten smallbut still hard. He makes smaking noises like he has cotten mouth or something. Every so often.

dog-name-icon

Pepper

dog-breed-icon

Norwegian Elkhound

dog-age-icon

14 Years

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

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling And Enlargement, Reoccurri

Recurring salivary gland swelling. The vet has aspirated them and said they are not life threatening but the anti bio tics are no longer working and they keep getting bigger. She is 14 so he doesn't want to remove them. Your opinion?

Swelling of the Salivary Gland Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$1,500

Compare Pet Insurance & Wellness Plans

Save up to $273 per year

Compare plans
advertisement image
How can we help your pet?