Mouth Cancer (Amelobastoma) in Dogs

Ameloblastoma in Dogs

Ameloblastoma, previously known as adamantinoma, is an uncommon neoplasm that affects the tooth structures in dogs. In most cases the mass is found to be benign in nature, but a rare, highly invasive malignant form is also recognized in some dogs. It may be present at any place within the dental arcade. As with many cancers, ameloblastoma mainly affects middle-aged or older dogs.

Symptoms and Types

Ameloblastoma is usually benign in nature and remains well localized. You may notice a firm and smooth mass covering the gingival space. The presence of a mass is usually enough to convince an owner to visit a veterinarian.

Causes

The exact cause is still unknown.

Diagnosis

You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health and onset of symptoms. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination on your dog, with a detailed examination of the oral cavity, including the tumor mass. A complete blood profile will also be conducted, including a chemical blood profile, a complete blood count, and a urinalysis. In most cases the laboratory test results are within normal ranges and no abnormality related to this neoplasm is noticed. X-ray images of the skull will be helpful in estimating the penetration of the neoplasm within the bone structures. A computed tomography (CT) scan will give more refined results and will help in planning the treatment for your dog. Often a deep tissue biopsy will be conducted so that a sample of deeply penetrated neoplasm tissue can be examined. In this way your veterinarian can determine if the neoplasm is benign or malignant in nature.

urinalysis

An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness

radiation therapy

A treatment of certain neoplasms that is administered using an x ray

biopsy

The process of removing tissue to examine it, usually for medical reasons.

benign

Not being able to cause harm; the opposite of malignant.

malignant

Something that becomes worse or life threatening as it spreads

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