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What is Tumor of the Throat?

A tumor in the throat in dogs is an uncommon occurrence. However, it does happen and can have serious consequences for the health of your pet. A growth in the throat area can be benign, but frequently will be malignant. In some instances, a tumor in the throat will arise because of a malignancy elsewhere in the body. Surgery is usually the standard method of removal, along with treatment for the underlying cause if needed.

The throat can be the location of many types of tumors in canines, with two examples being tonsillar and tracheal. Often masses of aggressive nature, malignancy is common, and detection at an early stage will offer the best prognosis.

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Tumor of the Throat Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,500

Symptoms of Tumor of the Throat in Dogs

Symptoms can be different from one tumor to another, and can vary in severity due to the location and size of the mass. If you see your furry family member showing any of the signs listed below, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.

  • Weakness
  • Regurgitation of undigested food or blood
  • Vomiting after eating
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Irritation of the throat
  • Change in bark tone
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Respiratory distress or noisy breathing
  • Bluish colored mucus membranes (cyanosis)
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive salivation and drooling (ptyalism)
  • Odorous breath (halitosis)
  • Swelling in neck or throat area
  • Difficulty participating in exercise, or lack of interest in usual activities
  • Possible changes in drinking and urinary habits
Types

The list for types of tumors of the throat in dogs is very extensive. Some of the growths that can be diagnosed are found below.

  • Laryngeal tumor
    • These are found on the wall of the larynx and can cause a respiratory obstruction
    • Laryngeal oncocytomas occur most often with young dogs, but are fortunately minimally invasive
    • Chondrosarcomas of the larynx are mostly of the malignant sort and develop in connective tissue of the larynx
    • Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx can form in the upper, middle or lower area
  • Tracheal tumor
    • Chondrosarcomas of the trachea often spread to regional lymph nodes
    • Squamous cell carcinoma of the trachea will invade other regions of the body like the esophagus, thymus and lymph nodes of the chest
  • Tonsillar tumor
    • These tumors are highly metastatic and will metastasize early in their development to organs and regional lymph nodes
    • Squamous cell carcinoma tumors can invade the bone and are highly aggressive
  • Esophageal tumor
    • Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus is often found in German Shepherds, Basset Hounds, collies, Keeshonds, and Schnauzers
    • Studies show an infestation of parasitic worms called spirocerca lupi can cause osteosarcoma of the esophagus
  • Thyroid tumor
    • This type of mass can appear in the esophageal area
    • They are usually large and invasive
    • Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Boxers and Beagles are breed predisposed
  • Mast cell tumor
    • The average age for dogs with this growth are nine years of age
    • Boxers, Boston Terriers, Beagles, Bulldogs, and Schnauzers are presented often in studies
    • The location is found all over the body, but in the throat, it is usually on the larynx

It should be noted that the closer a tumor is to the lymph nodes of the throat, the more chance there is that it will metastasize.

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Causes of Tumor of the Throat in Dogs

The definitive cause for tumors of the benign or malignant type is an ongoing study for scientists and researchers; a cure is hopefully within reach. Reasons that your canine companion may have developed a mass in the throat are listed below.

  • Genetics
  • Infection
  • Invasion of cancerous cells from elsewhere in the body
  • Cell malformation
  • Damaged cells being replaced by cancerous cells
  • Age
  • Environmental pollutants
  • Chronic inflammation
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Diagnosis of Tumor of the Throat in Dogs

The variety of tumors that can present themselves in the throat of our beloved canines is extensive. Because of this fact, the diagnosis procedure could be of an extensive nature as well.

Learning that your pet has a tumor can be a distressing time. Remember to allow your veterinarian to use her expertise in the diagnostic process; her goal is to provide the utmost care to your canine family member. Methods that will be considered as part of the evaluation and investigation could include the following.

  • A complete blood count, chemical profile, and urinalysis are usual starting points
  • Radiographs of the trachea or esophagus could be done if the tumor is suspected to be located there
  • A chest and neck radiograph may be done
  • Fine needle aspirate cytology could be needed to check the lymph nodes for cancer cells
  • An endoscopy or bronchoscopy may be done, depending on where the tumor is, and whether the procedure would be risky
  • A biopsy might determine if cell death or inflammation are present
  • A thyroid function test (blood test T4) will measure the level of thyroid hormones in the blood
  • Nuclear scintigraphy may be suggested (radioactive material is injected to locate cancer, and it’s spread)
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can evaluate the invasion of cancer into bone, lymph nodes, and lungs, or the nasal, oral and ocular areas

Many of these diagnostic tests will require your dog to be sedated or put under general anesthesia. He will be carefully monitored throughout.

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Treatment of Tumor of the Throat in Dogs

Your veterinarian will discuss which method of treatment will offer the best prognosis for your family pet. The options will always depend on the health condition of your pet when the tumor is discovered, his age, how comfortable he is in regards to airway restriction, and his general sense of well-being. It should be noted here that treatment is not always an option. If a tumor is malignant and cancer has spread aggressively, the best solution for the sake of your dog may be palliative care or euthanasia.

In the case of a tumor that is benign, or that may be malignant but can be completely excised (for example if it is easily reached by a surgeon), surgery will be the choice of action. There are many types of surgical intervention that your veterinary team will discuss with you. For example, a tumor in the larynx may involve a laryngectomy, and a tracheal tumor could require a removal and resectioning of part of the trachea. In most surgical cases, chemotherapy and radiation will follow.

Thyroid tumors can present a different scenario because medical control of the thyroidism (whether hypo or hyper) needs to be also managed. Typically, most thyroid tumors are found to be malignant. External beam radiation is one method used to destroy thyroid tumors.

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Recovery of Tumor of the Throat in Dogs

As the owner of a dog who has had a throat tumor, you should be aware that recurrence is possible, even after surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. More than that, the knowledge that the longevity of your much-loved dog’s life may not be extended that much further even with treatment, should be a consideration. Do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian for an honest, heart to heart recommendation of what is best for your pet.

If you are in the fortunate circumstance that a full recovery is expected, you should be prepared to spend the time needed after the surgery to nurse your pet back to health. He will benefit greatly from a quiet area in which to rest and sleep. Your veterinary team will provide information for the home care such as special dietary requirements necessary after throat surgery, and instruction on the administration of pain relief and antibiotics as prescribed. Follow-up radiographs may be scheduled at 2 to 4-month intervals for quite some time as complete excision of the tumor is often impossible, and the chance of recurrence is always present.

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Tumor of the Throat Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,500

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Tumor of the Throat Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Great Dane

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Five Months

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Noisy Breathing, Large Mass In Throat

My puppy has just developed a large mass in his throat. We thought he might have gotten something stuck so we induced vomiting. He throw up and we though for a min it was gone but once he finished it was still there. He is having labored breathing,it’s very Mucousy sounding like he’s got a cold.

Sept. 29, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If your puppy is having labored breathing and you think something may be stuck in his throat, he needs to be seen at the ER. Inducing vomiting may not dislodge something that is stuck if there is something there, and he may need x-rays or further treatment. I hope that he is okay.

Oct. 1, 2020

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Shih Tzu

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Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

N/A

I found a very small, ball floating in my dogs neck on the inside on the right side. I can grab it between my fingers and she hasn’t shown any signs of pain. She isn’t acting any different.

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. It may be a lipoma, or a reaction to a bug bite, or another type of lump. If you are concerned, It would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet and see what might be causing this, and let you know what treatment might help.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Boxer

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Eleven 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

I Think He Has Thyroid Cancer. Large Lump On Right Side Near Thyroid Spreading To Ear

I just want main meds to make him comfortable.

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. With out being able to see him, unfortunately, I cannot recommend any medications. 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 for them.

Oct. 16, 2020

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Boxer

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Thirteen 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

Large Lump On Throat

has a large hard lump under his neck throat area. Has a large skin tag on it as well that he rubs on his paws and mames it bleed

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. 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 any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Boxer

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Seven Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea, Weigh Loss, Drooling, Lumps In Her Neck

Should we be concerned

Sept. 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Gina U. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello I'm sorry to see that your pet is ill. If he is having diarrhea, weight loss and salivating, it is recommended that you take him or her to a veterinarian for an exam. He or she may have an infection or possibly a gastrointestinal blockage. Good luck.

Sept. 22, 2020

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Sheeba

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German Shepherd

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Loss Of Appetite, Breathing Problem

My Sheeba recently had a surgery as she had a large cyst in her salivary gland. She's had the same twice before, and her Vet used needle aspiration. but after a few months, the cyst was back. On the 19th May 2020, Sheeba had her Salivary gland removed... today is the 2nd of June 2020, and I see the same large lump under her jaw... It's so painful to see her this way. She's a great dog, obedient and loving. I really don't know what we should do. Her stitches from the surgery aren't even removed yet, but the cyst has grown back. please please give me advice...

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Max

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chihuahua mix

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6 Months

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Fair severity

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Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Coughing

My 6 month old chihuahua mix started with a foul breath odor that would not go away with proper oral care. I took him to the vet and was told that it was due to teething (4 months at the time). The next month he was passing mucus with his stool and some blood. I changed his food twice. This month i noticed that his stool was black and sticky. I took him to the vet and we did some blood work, stomach xrays, and has been on two antibiotics so far. I am cooking his meals (chicken, broccoli, carrots, peas, spinach, and blueberries) and feeding him Half a cup twice a day (he is 7.1lbs) I am also brushing his teeth before bed but the foul smell is persistent. I have another chihuahua and she seems to be doing just fine (3yo). I also notice that he sounds like he is choking (assuming he is just coughing a lot) the bloody stool has stopped but it worries me that there might be something going on. Should I be worried?

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Yoshi

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Italian Greyhound

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9 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
Breathing Difficulty
Lump On Throat
Bad Breath

I have a 9 year old Italian Greyhound that I recently noticed a decent sized lump on his throat. Now when i first got him years ago I did not know he had never been on a chain.. Long story short he nearly broke his neck at full speed. and he has been coughing after taking a drink for along while now. I'm pretty sure the vomiting is from gag reflex because you can tell it gets triggered a lot. making appointment asap but wanted advice.

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Puchoo

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Indian

dog-age-icon

8 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Loss Of Appetite
Loss Of Appetit
Lethargy Drooling Loss Of Appetite
Lethargy Drooling

Hi, Actually, my dog isn’t well..i adopted an indie pup..she is 8 years old now..she is very agressive..can’t take her to any doctor/vet. We sedate her and then only doctor is able to examine her. For last 2-3 weeks, she is not well..we’ve tried everything..we took her to the vet..gave her medicines..got her blood test done (twice) but nothing is working..she is drooling from left side, her appetite is lost..she isn’t active.. I’ll share her blood reports and prescriptions with you..I can feel a lump inside her throat.. can you please suggest whats wrong with her..any suggestion/advice/help would be highly appreciative!! I feel so helpless, she was so active few weeks ago and now completely the opposite. How can i share the reports, cant see any option to attached. Please help..

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Wallace

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Labrador Retriever

dog-age-icon

14 Years

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

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

we had the most beautiful lab and then he developed lumps we took him to vet he had cancer he was 14 years old he started vomiting his food and water up we let him go on the 10 august we could not bear the thought of chemo i just wants to the vet staff were wonderful we are pensioners but we manage we did not want him to suffer he was loyal loving part of our family please take your pets straight away they can't tell you if they are in pain and met vets now will do a payment plan this in memory of our beautiful black lab Wally

Tumor of the Throat Average Cost

From 367 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $15,000

Average Cost

$8,500

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