Ask Dr. Chris

What To Do About The Mass In My Dog’s Mouth

Dorothy from California writes:

I have an 8 year old giant schnauzer. She has an epulis. It does not seem to bother her but drives me crazy. Are there any homeopathic treatments I can try? I really do not want to have it surgically removed. Thank you for your time.

Hi Dorothy, thank you for your question about your Giant Schnauzer with the epulis.

You are facing a difficult decision and no one likes to have surgery done on their precious furry friends but sometimes it is the right thing to do.  Unfortunately, there are no homeopathic treatments that are effective at reversing the growth of an epulis.

For our readers who may not be familiar with an epulis, let me explain.  Some of you may face a similar situation in the future.

An epulis is a tumor in the mouth that grows from the periodontal ligament or bone of the jaw.  There are three different types and they are generally smooth and pink as they are covered in gum tissue. They can only be diagnosed with a biopsy.

Masses associated with the jaw can be benign or malignant (cancer) and the only way to tell is with a biopsy.  The most common tumors are epulis, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. There is also a benign proliferation of gum tissue called gingival hyperplasia.

An epulis is often non-painful initially but can eventually become uncomfortable and disfiguring.  By the time they reach this stage, they can be too large to remove without needing part of the jaw bone removed as well.  Surgical treatment, done properly, has a better than 90% success rate for long term cure.

Unfortunately, there are no homeopathic treatments that reverse or stop the growth of oral masses in dogs.  It would be irresponsible for me to promote a supplement or remedy that is unlikely to work giving you a false sense of security that you are doing the right thing for your dog.  Allowing a mass that could be invasive to get larger could lead to more difficult surgery at a later time.

My recommendation would be to get a consultation with a surgeon or a veterinary dentist.  They can properly advise you as to what type of surgery would be needed for your Giant Schnauzer.

I would hate for this to grow to the extent of needing to remove part of the jaw bone.  I know this is a difficult decision but I think surgery will give you your best chance of helping your friend now and in the future.

Sincerely,

Dr. Chris
America’s Favorite Dog Vet

To better understand the how to keeping your dog baby healthy and more about illnesses that you may face in the future, check out this Veterinary Guide.

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