Oropharyngeal Cancer (Tumors of the Mouth)


There are several types of oral cancers both benign and malignant, so it is important to get a correct diagnosis and treatment.  Early detection is key to the best outcome.


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Symptoms: Excess salivation, anorexia or poor apetite, strong mouth odor, skin discoloration of the mouth or muzzle or irregular appearance, growth(s), to the gums, lips, tongue, palate or other parts of the mouth.  Ulcerations and bleeding may also occur.  A veterinary examination should be done to rule out other issues such as abcess, plaque or periodontitis.

Treatment Options: Evaluation by a veterinarian and possibly a referral to a specialist may be necessary. Surgery and biopsy will provide information on stage and malignancy of the tumor.  Follow up with radiation therapy may be required.

There is also a new treatment in the form of a vaccine available for specific forms of Oral Melanomas: Canine Oral Melanoma Vaccine

Known Mode of Inheritance: Unknown in Cardigans.  Some breed disposition has been noted in other breeds and some markers have been identified, but other factors may also play a role.

Age of onset: can occur at any age, but more common in older dog.  Oral cancer in younger dogs can be a serious concern.

Breeds affected

  • Cardigan: yes
  • Pembroke: yes
  • Other Breeds: yes

Incidence in Cardigans: Unknown.


  • Cardigans: no
  • Other breeds: yes
  • Active?: yes

Registry: no

Tests Available: no

Research links:

Published papers and Articles:


Discussion Groups:


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