Your Pet Question:
While checking my dog’s teeth and gum’s I noticed, what looks like a canker like humans get–a pinkish round ballish sort of thing. What might it be? And how can I treat it without costing an arm and leg in vet dental check?
The Expert Says:
Tissue masses on the gums can be a number of things. Some are benign growths or proliferations of gum tissue in response to inflammation or infection due to dental tartar and dental disease. But some very serious gum cancers can be pink, and ball or “lump” shaped. “amelanotic melanoma” is one of these serious conditions. The age and breed of the dog can also be a factor, for example, boxers, or dogs with black pigment in the mouth, can be especially prone to mouth cancers. If it’s a small, benign growth, the treatment can be as minor as a local anaesthetic and a simple electrocautery removal. If it’s more serious, you’ll want to know early. The cost of a veterinary dental examination is minor, and can be part of your helping your dog to have a healthy, long life, so have it checked out.
Dr. Tony Gerrow, B.Sc., D.V.M, South Trail Pet Hopsital, Calgary, Alberta.