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What is Sialoadenectomy?

Sialoadenectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of one or more of the salivary glands. It is most commonly used to treat inflammation of the salivary glands and sialoceles, which are cysts on the salivary gland. These conditions are both considered rare in dogs. Sialoadenectomy is considered an extremely effective procedure and can be curative for both conditions.

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Sialoadenectomy Procedure in Dogs

The glands which are removed will depend on the underlying condition and its cause, if one is identified.

  1. The dog will first be anesthetized.
  2. The surgeon may take x-rays prior to surgery in order to visualize the mass(es).
  3. The surgeon will make an initial incision into the affected side, usually on the underside of the neck.
  4. Once the mandibular gland is visualized, the mandibular gland will be separated from its capsule.
  5. The surgeon will ligate, or cut off the blood supply to, the mandibular capsule.
  6. The mandibular gland will be mostly removed after being separated from the salivary duct.
  7. Following excision of the mandibular gland, the sublingual gland can be visualized and mostly removed following the same steps as the mandibular gland.
  8. Once the glands have been dissected from their capsules, they can be fully removed.
  9. The space where the glands were will then be closed.
  10. The cystic sac and skin will then be resected before the surgeon inserts a drainage tube.
  11. The skin will be sutured shut around the tube using non-absorbable sutures.
  12. Dogs will typically be released after surgery is complete.

Efficacy of Sialoadenectomy in Dogs

The efficacy of the procedure will vary based on the condition it is being used to treat, although the prognosis is generally good for both conditions. Sialoadenectomy typically cures both sialadenitis and sialoceles in dogs. Most dogs are able to return to normal following surgery with few complications. Recurrence is rare, and is more likely to occur if only one salivary gland was removed.

Sialoadenectomy Recovery in Dogs

Following surgery, the dog will need to wear a bandage, which will need to be changed frequently to prevent infection. Antibiotics, analgesics, and/or corticosteroids will be administered for up to four days following surgery. Owners should ensure their dog gets plenty of rest and does not engage in activity during the recovery period. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled within a week to two weeks following surgery to monitor healing and remove the drain and sutures.

Cost of Sialoadenectomy in Dogs

The cost of sialoadenectomy will vary depending on whether or not a marsupialization is also required. The cost of sialoadenectomy typically ranges from $250 to $1,000.

Dog Sialoadenectomy Considerations

Complications and postoperative infection are rare. Only one salivary gland may be removed if one salivary gland is affected. In these cases, recurrence is more likely. If the condition recurs or does not improve within one week, the salivary gland on the other side will need to be removed as well. Contrary to popular belief, removing the salivary glands will not cause dry mouth. 

For cases of sublingual sialoceles, also known as ranulas, an additional surgical procedure known as marsupialization will need to be performed. This procedure simply facilitates drainage.

Sialoadenectomy Prevention in Dogs

It is important that owners prevent their dogs from engaging in activities that could result in trauma to the head, neck, eyes, or mouth. Owners should also ensure their dogs do not ingest foreign bodies as these can cause sialadenitis and sialoceles.

Sialoadenectomy Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Boston Terrier
9 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

salivary mucocele

My puppy, Hamilton, experienced a salivary mucocele around 9 weeks old. He had a first surgery where they took only one gland but the mucocele came right back. He then had a second surgery the week after which took care of the mucocele; however, I am now concerned that he may have sustained nerve damage from the surgery. He appears to have both motor and sensory damage, although it only mildly affects him. Is it possible he may have sustained cranial nerve damage?

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10 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Elevated third eyelid

Medication Used

Gabapetin, Clavamox

My dog Chloe is a Dachshund miniature, 4 days ago her right side eye rolled back as well as a swelling of the third eyelid. I panic, took her to an emergency vet hospital. Chloe was admitted 10 am, radiographic of the chest, abdominal ultrasound and CT of the head was performed. Diagnose ”Zygomatic salivary gland (located just under the right eye) it was enlarged with excessive saliva outside the glad. ”Salivary gland Mucocele” the (automatic salivary gland) affected. The Cost of the procedure with 3 nights at the hospital, $7,898. Was this a fair price?

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English Springer Spaniel
22 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

salivary mucocele

Cost question: I received a quote of between $3000-$2500, anothre $700 if imaging is used for this procedure. Do you know of any less expensive places in my area (Boise, ID). The quote was from Westvet in Boise. Thanks!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
I’m not familiar with pricing or practices in your region (Boise, ID) but it would be best to call round your local practices to get an idea of pricing for comparison (some may tell you they need to examine Hannah first). Check the link below too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Australian Shepard/Border Collie
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


My vet sent me to Medvet to consult with a soft tissue surgeon. My dog, Diamond, had test results sent to them before I arrived for the appointment. His diagnosis was Salivary mucocele and his recommendation was a sialoadenectomy. The cost they gave me to do this is $2400-$2800 dollars. I did not expect it to be that much just as the estimated cost stated above on this site was $300-$1000. Should I be looking elsewhere to have the surgery at a lower cost.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Back end surgery prices vary widely between Veterinarians so calling round other local practices is worth it as you may find a better price although the quotation you were given is reasonable for a company like MedVet. There are cheaper options like Helping Hands in Richmond, VA where it states that $655 will “include removal of the associated salivary gland and repair/drainage of the ranula and/or mucocele on one side”. The type of practice and the Veterinarian as well as your location will have a bearing on price. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM (click on the ‘+’ next to Salivary Gland / Mucocele / Ranula – $655)

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