What is Swelling of the Salivary Gland?

Swelling of the salivary gland, otherwise known as a salivary mucocele, happens as a result of a salivary duct rupturing within the mouth. As fluids accumulate outside of the gland, the surrounding tissue swells, leading to a mass around the dog's head or neck. A salivary mucocele can be treated by surgically removing the affected glands and has a good prognosis for a full recovery.

A salivary mucocele occurs when a salivary duct ruptures, leading to fluid collecting in the soft tissues surrounding it. This is usually seen as a soft, painless mass around the head or neck though some may occur beneath the tongue or around the eyes. The condition is treated by draining the mucocele and surgically removing the affected glands.

Symptoms of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The primary clinical sign of a salivary mucocele is a soft, nonpainful mass around the cervical region that gradually enlarges over time. Depending on the location of the mucocele, other symptoms may include:

  • Trouble eating or swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Bleeding from the mass
  • Fever if infected
Types

There are several types of salivary mucoceles, which are categorized by the soft tissues in which saliva accumulates. Cervical mucoceles, the most common type of mucocele in dogs, occur when saliva collects in the upper cervical area or under the jaw; sublingual or ranula mucoceles occur when it collects on the floor of the mouth; pharyngeal mucoceles occur when it collects in the back of the throat; and zygomatic mucoceles occur when it collects around the eye.

Causes of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

A mucocele occurs when a salivary gland ruptures, leading to an accumulation of saliva in the soft tissue surrounding the damaged gland. This most commonly involves the sublingual and mandibular glands, which results in saliva accumulating in or around the neck and jaw. A rupture may be caused by trauma, such as from a bite wound or from chewing on inappropriate materials, and is more commonly seen in breeds such as Poodles and Dachshunds.

Diagnosis of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The veterinarian will put your dog through a careful physical examination of your dog during the initial visit, which will include palpation of any visible masses around the head and neck. If the salivary mucocele is visible, the mass can be easily identified and differentiated from tumors, abscesses, and other cysts. The diagnosis of which can be validated by performing a fine needle aspiration of the fluid. A salivary mucocele results in a thick, ropy fluid that may be yellowish or blood-tinged.

Prior to treatment, the veterinarian may perform further tests, including a complete blood count and a urinalysis. This provides the veterinarian with an idea of your dog's overall health and ability to withstand surgery.

Treatment of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

The standard treatment for a salivary mucocele is surgical removal of the ruptured gland. Though aspiration may remove the fluid and reduce the swelling, this is not considered a resolution for the problem, as recurrence is likely weeks or months following aspiration.

Cervical, ranula, and pharyngeal mucoceles are treated by removing both the mandibular and sublingual glands on the affected side of the mouth, with marsupialization being additionally performed to help with drainage in cases of ranula mucoceles. Because zygomatic mucoceles involve glands near the eye, they are more difficult to address and may involve a more complicated surgical procedure.

Recovery of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

Following surgery, a drain may be put in place to remove fluid from the site while it heals. Most dogs are able to go home after the procedure though you'll need to provide aftercare to ensure your dog's comfort and safety. Monitor your dog's drainage, and if the wound was bandaged, change the bandage frequently so that the surgical site is kept clean.

If the veterinarian prescribes pain-relieving medication or antibiotics, administer them according to instructions. Provide your dog with a quiet place to rest during the recovery process, and make sure that he has access to fresh water. It's incredibly important to keep an eye on the wound and corresponding area for signs of infection and prevent your dog from scratching or otherwise irritating the incision.

Prognosis is typically good, and most dogs recover fully and go on to live a normal life after the mucocele has been drained and the ruptured glands removed.

Cost of Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs

Swelling of the Salivary Gland can be an expensive treatment in dogs and can range from $200.00 to $10000.00 depending on the cost of living and severity of your Dog's swelling of the salivary gland. On average, the national cost of treating swelling of the salivary gland in dogs is $1500.00.

Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs Treatment Advice

Swelling of the Salivary Gland Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Ruby
German She
14 Months
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

I went to the vet today because my dog has a swollen lump around her neck and jaw and the lump grew over the past two days. The vet did a full exam and then thought that the lump was caused by her salivary gland. She prescribed antibiotics and a non-steroidal antiinflammatory. The vet wanted us to come back tomorrow to see a more experienced vet who can perform and ultra sound tomorrow. I asked the vet if we could just see how my dog progresses, and she said that would be fine, but after reading about salivary glands online it sounds like these issues don't resolve without drainage/surgery, so I'm feeling very unsettled. She did remove some fluid to examine under the microscope but said there wasn't much fluid to drain. She also didn't seem to be 100% certain that it was the salivary gland, which is why she wanted us to return tomorrow to see the other vet and get an ultrasound, although from reading online it sounds like and ultrasound isn't necessary.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Lumps on the neck or jaw may originate from the salivary glands, lymph nodes, thyroid gland or an abscess to name a few. The shape and dispersion of the lump will help in the diagnosis. Any lump growing in the neck region may cause additional problems if the respiratory tract or oesophagus is obstructed. If your original Veterinarian wasn’t 100% sure, I would return tomorrow for a second opinion to ensure Ruby is receiving the right treatment. An ultrasound may not be necessary if the second Veterinarian is able to identify the origin of the lump. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My 2 yr old English bulldog had marsupialization surgery twice within 30 days. About 45 days after the last one, he had to have total salivary gland removal which costed $3800 in Los Angeles, CA. He's home after an overnight stay in the hospital and seems to be doing just fine 48 hours after surgery.

What causes the skin on your neck

Add a comment to Ruby's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Bobby
Daschund
9 Years
Serious condition
0 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Lump

My daschund was diagnosed with an infected salivary gland a couple weeks ago and prescribed antibiotic and prednisone. The lump did not go away so the vet tried aspirating it but nothing came out. Our daschund was placed on a stronger antibiotic and additional steroid. The lump is bigger. I am worried this may be something worse. My daschund seems happy and is eating, but now he is snorting a lot.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. If the lump is increasing in size, I would recommend an ultrasound to check exactly where the lump is originating from and the structure / density inside. After I would decide if the course of treatment needed to be changed or if surgical intervention is required. There are four salivary glands in dogs in different locations, the location of the swelling would indicate the salivary gland but also may have other structures adjacent to it (like lymph nodes) where the swelling may be originating from. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Bobby's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Dexter
Mini Dachshund
9 Years
Serious condition
1 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Skin Lump

My dogs lump has been changing randomly from soft to rock hard but never seems to bother him. He acts normal and even lets us touch it, so I'm guessing it doesn't hurt him. His vet has prescribed antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds for over 4 months now. A teeth cleaning and tooth extraction was also done in this time hoping it would help. The vet suggested seeing a specialist for possible surgery to remove the gland. He's recently started having sneezing attacks multiple times a day, not sure if it's related. I'm wondering if there's a way to drain it before going the surgery route? Cost of treatment for draining and surgery?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

The structure you are describing sounds like the parotid salivary gland; however, there are other structures in the same area which may cause swelling like lymph nodes and tumours from soft tissues. Normally, a fine needle aspirate is taken (using a regular needle and syringe) to determine the contents of the mass; if there are irregularities on the aspirate, a sample may be sent for cytology. Regarding the sneezing, usually masses around the throat provoke a cough and not a sneeze, it may not be related. Draining the mass is possible if it is a swollen salivary gland; but if it is a lymph node or tumour, drainage wouldn’t be possible. Regarding cost, I am unable to comment since costs vary widely depending on your Veterinarian, location and tests, length of surgery and aftercare needed. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Dexter's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Simon
Chihuahua
3 1/2 yrs
Fair condition
1 found this not helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My little chihuahua came to me at 1 yr old and the glands on both sides were noticeable small pea sized lumps, tests all normal. in 2 1/2 yrs, both have continued to grow, vets said not lymphoma, each believed salivary glands, nothing to do really, watch their growth. They are now the size of large almonds, both sides. Is it possible it may be a genetic abnormality that can grow into cancer esp. If the nodes on my dog's back legs are equally growing and swollen?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Each side is believed to be salivary glands, no biopsy or fine needle aspirate was done to determine the actual origin of the swelling; now the lymph nodes on the hind limbs (popliteal lymph nodes) are swollen. Swelling of the lymph nodes may be caused by cancer, infection, inflammation, immune-mediated disease or allergens. I would recommend getting a biopsy or fine needle aspirate and have it to be sent to a Veterinary Pathologist for diagnosis; your Veterinarian may be able to determine from the sample if the swelling from around the neck originates from salivary glands or lymph nodes. Additionally, blood counts would also be useful in determining a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Simon's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Lola
Shih Tzy
9.5
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Snoring
Weakness

Medication Used

Prednisone
Phenobarbital

I have a Shih Tzu who has swollen salivary glands in the neck area, bilaterally. We have seen 2 veterinarians and have ruled out lymphoma. My dog has no fever, and aspirations and blood work have shown no infection, no elevated white blood cell count, only normal/negative results/findings. The glands swelled suddenly about a month ago and Lola is having issues with excessive snoring (although this has gotten better) but now she has a decrease in strength and energy. She has been drinking a ton of water and her appetite is fine...better than fine. I attribute this to the prednisone she has been on, but she has tapered off the prednisone (originally she had just 3 doses of 20mg, then 3 doses of 10mg, about a week-week and a half at 5mg, then a week or so at 2.5mg and finally 2.5mg every other day for about 4 doses. All was taken QD).
Bottom line.....none of the vets we have seen or that have been consulted with by those that have seen her, can figure out what is going on. They are puzzled that the condition is bilaterally and that she seems to have no abnormalities on tests. She is now being treated with phenobarbital but so far it is not helping to reduce the swelling. Do you have any idea what could be happening..

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

As I started to read your question my mind jumped immediately to sialadenosis which is a non-inflammatory, non-neoplastic, (usually) bilateral enlargement of the mandibular salivary gland(s). The treatment for sialadenosis is Phenobarbital which Lola is currently receiving. I will assume that both Veterinarians correctly identified that the structure that is swelling is the salivary glands and not lymph nodes or another other structure. From the information you have provided I am unable to think of any other cause or reason for this swelling. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Hi, my pet was diagnosed with sialadenosis as well (all biospies, aspirations and lymph exams done - it's 100% sialadenosis), but his salivary gland swelling is only the size of a large globe grape. It doesn't affect him in any way, nor does it hurt when touched. He snorts/retches when excited, but only for a moment. He is otherwise completely normal.

I'm hesitant to put him on Phenobarbital since he has no symptoms. Is Sialadenosis dangerous to leave untreated??

I would be hesitant to start phenobarbital also when he is doing okay. My dachshund, age 5, also has marble size swellings on both sides of his neck. The vet said they're salivary glands. No tests yet as he's not bothered by them other than he sneezes a lot and acts like there's something caught in his throat when he's excited. No treatment right now. Since Nov he is also having skin problems, dandruff, itching and now small bumps on his back and sides where you can scrape off layers of dead skin. He also licks his legs all the time where the skin is dry. This they feel is caused by allergies. He gets a steroid shot every 2 months and antibiotics for 10 days at the same time. Plus the vet has him on a special non sudsy shampoo with a weekly bath. Funny how all this started in November.

Add a comment to Lola's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Cliff
American Pit Bull Terrier
5 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

Our dog Cliff just came from the Vet. What we thought was swelling of the salivary gland, we are still unsure of. An xray was done and blood work taken but the lump seems to be primarily blood. What this could mean is there is a tumor attached to an artery or vein, which would not be good. Have you ever seen a swollen salivary gland that wasn't confirmed with an xray and turned out to be just that. We are hoping this is the case.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Salivary gland swelling can be difficult to determine on x-ray and usually an ultrasound is more useful for diagnosis. Salivary gland swelling may be caused by trauma, foreign bodies, infections etc… Depending on the location of the salivary gland, there may be other structures adjacent to the salivary gland which may be swollen and may give the appearance of salivary gland swelling; these may be lymph nodes or other glands. There is a tumour called a Hemangiosarcoma which is a tumour of the blood vessels; again, an ultrasound would be a useful diagnostic tool, aspiration of the swelling is contraindicated if Hemangiosarcoma is suspected. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Cliff's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Oscar
Pug
7 Months
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Lump

Our Pug had a plugged salivary gland. The surgeon suggested doing a marsupial stitch, to let the mucous and saliva drain down his throat, which it has. This was three days ago. He is energetic and happy. Now he has developed a rock hard lump under his jaw line. He is currently on his antibiotics still, and I believe meds for swelling, but off his pain meds.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Lumps and swelling from salivary gland issues are usually soft. The development of a rock hard lump below his jaw may be caused by a few different causes and may be the mandibular lymph node; your Veterinarian would be able to take a fine needle aspirate of the lump to determine the contents and the type of cells present. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Oscar's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Lily
Terrier/Poodle Mix
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Skin Lump

Our dog has a lump on one side of her neck that had become infected especially as she would scratch it in its early stages, before we realized what was happening. After the first visit to the vet, who suspected it was a salivary gland infection, she was fatigued and had very little energy or will as it became worse. However, the vet in question had also picked out a type of cone/neck brace that pressed on the lump and made her very uncomfortable and unable to sleep. After changing it to a more traditional cone and allowing her to get more rest, she responded very well to the antibiotics (which she is still taking) and has since regained her liveliness. Behaviorally, she is back to normal, eats well, and does not make more coughing or snuffling noises than a dog normally does. The lump is still very much present, but has become smaller. Do you think this still looks like a salivary gland infection? Does it seem like she is on a solid road to recovery or is the problem just being staved off temporarily by the antibiotics (i.e. is it likely that she will need surgery to fix it)?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

The origin of the lump would give an indication to the cause. In the neck near the jaw there are salivary glands, lymph nodes, other glands as well as the chance of abscessation from trauma or internal foreign bodies. The easiest course of action would be to perform a fine needle aspirate of the lump to determine the contents and to look microscopically at the type of cells inside which would tell you the origin as well as the type of process causing the lump. If the lump was due to Sialadenitis (inflammation of the salivary gland which is uncommon in dogs) it would respond to antibiotics. I would allow the course of antibiotics to finish and to monitor the size of the lump for changes. If the lump starts to grow in size again, visit your Veterinarian immediately. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Lily's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Bauer
Brittany
10 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Poor Appetite
Anemia

My 10 year old Brittany who has always been in excellent health as a canine athlete has been "drooly" and slightly lethargic over the past couple weeks. Two days ago I noticed a large swelling under his bottom rear jaw and we went to vet who did a fine needle aspiration and mentioned possibility of lymphoma (although no other lymph nodes are presenting as swollen) or muscle mass/tumor in that region pushing on the salivary gland and lymph node. This morning he did not want to eat. Is there anything I can be doing instead of just waiting for the lab results to come in at the end of the week? Would a scan or x-ray reveal any additional or better information than the fine needle aspiration?

How could one differentiate between simply a salivary cyst or salivary gland issue vs. a more serious lymphoma or cancerous growth?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Whilst you’re waiting for the lab results to come back, you can only ensure that Bauer is eating and remaining hydrated. An x-ray would only reveal a mass in the neck next to the jaw; an ultrasound may reveal the structure that is enlarged, but it wouldn’t give a cause of the enlargement. A fine needle aspiration will reveal the type of cells present which will tell your Veterinarian the structure where the cells originated from as well as the pathological morphology (cell shapes, size, intracellular inclusions et…) that will lead your Veterinarian to a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Bauer's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
DJ
Boston Terrier
7 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swelling

My 7 year old Boston terrier was diagnosed with Zygomatic mucocele. I know he needs surgery. How critical is this and is time of the essence? Due to travel plans, we are hoping it is safe to schedule surgery in about 10 days.
Also, is the surgery performed by a specialist? My vet practice won't do it because of the proximity to his eye and they are looking into finding a practice for me. I just want to be sure that whoever they reccomend is qualified.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Surgery is the treatment of choice for Zygomatic Mucocele, due to the location of the salivary gland there can be complications like exophthalmos (protrusion of the eyeball) if the gland swells too much; surgery is always preferred earlier rather than later but may be delayed as long as the gland is drained and doesn’t swell causing pain (by pressing on other structures). For the surgery, all Veterinarians are qualified to perform the surgery; however, due to the location and topographic anatomy of the area of the zygomatic salivary gland, some Veterinarians would refer the patient to a Veterinarian (General or Specialist) more experienced in surgery in that area. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to DJ's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Nala
German Shepherd/Coton de Tuléar Mix
5 Years
Fair condition
0 found this not helpful
Fair condition

Our Nala is having a sort of gland coming out her mouth (on the right side) and her tongue is pending/coming out on the other side. The gland is soft at touching and it doesn't seem to hurt her. The only thing that is bothering me is that she cannot eat properly...she has to bend her head on the left to catch the food and the same thing happen for water. Unfortunately, her vet is having health problem and cannot receive us for the time being. So I have consulted another vet for advice, have shown her some pictures of the problem and she prescribed Flagyl 250mg (1 in the morning for 5 days) and Celestene 2mg (1 at night for 5 days).
Can you please advice. I am quite worried for my baby.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

The medications prescribed by your other Veterinarian are an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic. The causes of a lesion that you describe may be due to infection, inflammation, cancer or an epulis. The correct identification of the lesion is important for the treatment, a biopsy to determine the origin or surgical removal would be the best course of action. For the meantime, ensuring that Nala remains hydrated and fed can be difficult and if she is having problems eating and drinking, we need to be cautious for aspiration pneumonia. If it will be a long time before you can see your usual Veterinarian, I recommend visiting another Veterinarian for an examination (not just a photo) and treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Nala's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Hawk
Catahoula Cur
7 Months
Fair condition
0 found this not helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Poor Appetite
Swelling

Medication Used

Doxycycline

My dog started coughing after he ate one evening, didn't throw up, but coughed up a bunch of something like spit.. Had the same thing happen when he had a uri, so I called the vet and got some antibiotics. Two mornings later I found a good sized lump on his throat just under the jawline. Took him in and was told it looked like his salivary gland and was probably irritated when he was playing at the dog park a four days prior. It's been 2 weeks on antibiotics and it's still there.. One night it felt way softer, next morning firmer then night before although softer again today. He has started to not want to eat. Considering I had to buy him a slowfeeder this is worrying me, although maybe he's tired of his food? He'll eat it out of my hand or in a toy where he pushes it around to drop food but not out of a bowl, even if I put plain yogurt in it and he loves yogurt. Energy is still good and it's not painful to the touch. The vets tell me the lump feels softer and not worried about the eating but it's worrisome to me. I guess I mostly want to ask if you think the appetite is possibly from this? And should the lump be gone by now? Almost out of antibiotic. He's supposed to go to a board and training in a few days, was told he'll be ok to go with the lump, do you agree? I thank you for any advise

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are a few different problems of the salivary glands that may cause them to swell including trauma, infection, mucus accumulation or tumours. Any mass in the neck may cause vomiting if it irritates the oesophagus; try feeding Hawk small portions of wet food to see if that is appetising for him. If the swelling hasn’t reduced with antibiotic therapy, it is possible that Hawk has a salivary mucocele which wouldn’t respond to antibiotics and would require surgery to resolve. Other causes may be a cyst, abscess or swelling of another structure in the neck; a fine needle aspirate would determine the type of cells in the lump that would lead to the primary cause. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Hawk's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Sweet Pea
Shih Tzu
almost 11 years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Lymph Nodes

Similar to the above person with a Shih-Tzu with bilateral swollen salivary glands, mine has that too. It was aspirated on both sides and confirmed to be salivary fluid. We actually thought it was lymph nodes and were surprised. I see you said Phenobarbital is the treatment and in researching it there doesn't seem to be a consensus on if its short term or a lifelong treatment? Also, she was confirmed to have Cushings at this time with 2 elevated liver enzymes and a high white blood count. Thank you.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Phenobarbital has been indicated as treatment for some, but not all causes of salivary gland swelling; in cases of sialadenosis and necrotizing sialometaplasia for example, phenobarbital has shown improvement after treatment, although treatment regimen vary, three to six months have been indicated for treatment duration although I recommend you discuss this with your Veterinarian. Other causes of salivary gland swelling include surgical removal, antibiotics or steroids depending on the underlying cause of the swelling; again, your Veterinarian would be able to advise you better. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Sweet Pea's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Doggie
Poodle
6 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Nasal Discharge
Fever
Fluid Bulge on Neck

Medication Used

Baytril, steriods

Hi

Around a year ago I noticed a small lump on my dogs neck, and I freaked out and took him to the vet. The vet didn't feel anything, and was confused, but suggested that I do some Xrays. We did, and the xrays came back inconclusive, so I had my vet do a fine needle aspirate of the lump, and that came back negative. So around February, My vet then treated the lump as an infection and it almost went away completely. Everything was fine untill about the end of June, when the lump started coming back, except that this time, it just kept growing and growing. I took him back to to the vet, and again, we were given more antibiotics, and that helped, and the lump got smaller,but didnt go away. My vet recommened that I take him to a specialist, who immediately, with out even doing any testing, said it was cancer (Of course I am skeptical at this point, because this is the 2nd vet to say that), and of course recommends this very expensive treatment. I start doing my own research considering this treatment and can come across some literature for mucocelles, and a light bulb clicks.
What genuinely has me convinced that this is a mocucelle, is that the a few weeks ago, my dog was playing with my other dog, and some how the other dog hit the bulge. My poodle then began to wimper for a little bit, and for the next two days he had trouble breathing, but you could see the bulge just losing its volume, as if his body had re-absorbed the fluid. I then took him to the vet again,for more anti bitoics,and was also given steriods, and by the end of the week, the lump was gone. (Just to recap,the lump was a fluid sac the size of a small grape fruit, and then there was nothing) . Unfortunately though, that did not last long, and by the end of the next week the fluid was filling again. Today its back to the grape fruit size.

My understanding from the literature is that an ultrasound is used diagnose these pharyngeal mucocelles, and that surgery with removal of the damaged glands is the recourse, However, out of 4 vets that have seen my dog, none has even brought this up, and it seems that everyone has the C word at the tip of their tongues, except for my awesome primary vet.
I would like to take my dog to a vet that has experience with these types of mucoceles and who has experience removing them to get an opinion from him before I decide to spend 3k plus on an MRI, since from what I have read an ultra sound is what is used to diagnose this.
Is there anyone on these boards that can recommend a vet with experience in this condition any where in southern california.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are many structures in the neck that may become enlarged presenting as a lump; there are salivary glands, lymph nodes, thyroid glands, lipomas, tumours, abscesses (from infections) etc… Usually in this type of case, palpation of the lump (as well as the area on the opposite side of the body) is performed first, followed by x-rays, ultrasound and fine needle aspiration. Usually, a fine needle aspirate would give a definitive diagnosis of the structure and the condition; failing that a biopsy of the tissue may be taken to send to a Veterinary Pathologist for diagnosis (although in most cases just removing the salivary gland as a whole and sending it for Histopathology is usually done). Salivary mucoceles are common in dogs and any Veterinarian would have experience with them, I haven’t examined Doggie so I cannot comment on any other symptoms or signs your Veterinarians have seen. Surgical excision is the usual treatment in cases of salivary mucocele. I would recommend taking another fine needle aspirate to see if this time it leads to a more conclusive result as well as an ultrasound. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Doggie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Layla
Labrador Retriever
12 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Lumps Under Skin

Medication Used

Rimadyl, Docusate Sodium & Clavamox

When petting my y almost 12 year old boxer/lab yesterday I felt a large, rock hard golf ball sized lump under her jaw (submandibular gland). I took her to the vet today and they did an aspiration but almost nothing came out. The consistency of the small amount he was able to remove was very thick, almost cheesy. We are now waiting for test results. The vet mentioned that blocked salivary gland and tumor are the most likely culprits. We are treating for blocked salivary gland while awaiting test results. Any other diagnoses you can suggest? And any other tests that might be helpful in determining what this is?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Lymph nodes, tumours, lipomas and abscesses may swell in close proximity to the submandibular salivary gland. Usually a blockage of the salivary gland would lead to a diffuse spread of saliva. If a cheesy substance was aspirated from the mass, it may be an abscess or a tumour. A biopsy or an ultrasound would be the next diagnostic methods to try next. Sending a biopsy sample for histopathology would be a useful diagnostic tool and would give an indication for treatment; otherwise, surgical excision of the mass and connected structures may be done and then sent for histopathological analysis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Layla's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Jake
Boston Terrier
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Salivary Glands

Medication Used

Antibiotics
steroids

My dog has swollen salivary glands, vet gave him antibiotics and steroids for the swelling and said well see how it works so far his swelling has gone down I'm hoping the this will workbe without surgery

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

There are different types of salivary gland swelling which maybe trauma based, infectious, cancerous, inflammatory and non-inflammatory. Depending on the type of salivary gland swelling, treatment of steroids and antibiotics are administered; in cases of sialadenosis, Phenobarbital results in better long-term results. In some cases, surgery is the only corrective treatment if medical management isn’t effective. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Jake's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Razor
Chihuahua
6 Weeks
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

see above

Medication Used

Antibiotics

My 6 year old, 8 pound, chihuahua/terrier mix I adopted 4 months ago had 18 teeth removed 3 weeks ago due to being rotted/damaged. A week after the dental surgery, he developed what his vet referred to as salivary mucocelle. It was in the back of his mouth, looked like it was coming from his gum and was so large it would pop out of the side of his mouth, then pop back in (looked like a balloon with little blood vessels). His vet drained it and hoped that would end the problem. A few days later it came back, just as big. His vet scheduled him for surgery this Friday. However, this morning he was very lethargic, not eating or drinking, so I took him back. They did the surgery - removing the mucocele only.

My question is, did the dental surgery cause this?
Thanks so much!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

The possible causes of salivary mucocele are usually due to trauma, inflammation or other damage (from chewing objects etc…). It isn’t possible to directly link the teeth removal with the development of a mucocele but damage to the soft tissues surrounding the salivary glands may have caused damage to the ducts or gland, but is unlikely due to there location in relation to the gum line. Many times the exact cause for a salivary mucocele isn’t found and surgical removal is carried out successfully. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Razor's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Duchess
Bulldog
5 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found this not helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Liquid buildup
Swelling

Medication Used

None other than IV dextrose and water now.
None at all.

Our 5 year old bulldog delveloped a mass on her throat area, right side a few days ago. A vet told us it was a salivary cyst. 2 days pass and now there is large fluid build up along her right jaw. They did an aspiration and said it was a build up of saliva. We have a surgery scheduled for next week, Tuesday but this morning the fluid buildup is spreading and is now present on her chest. She has violent coughing fits sometimes to the point where she lays on the floor after in exhaustion. And she sometimes sounds like she has trouble breathing. We're considered she may not make it another week like this because it seems to keep getting worse. The current vet is a general vet and has to make an appointment with a specialist surgeon. I want to take her to an emergency hospital where they can call in a surgeon same day if necessary. I feel that the initial vet is being way too "chill" about the quick development of the cyst and symptoms. Maybe because she is unfamiliar with them. But I also realize I'm not a vet. Very grateful for any advice. -Hillary

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

If you are seeing diffusion of the fluid down the neck to the chest, I would visit an Emergency Veterinarian since Duchess is having trouble breathing; salivary fluid build up usually doesn’t disseminate so far or so fast. Is your Veterinarian aware of the diffusion of fluid? Normally salivary fluid accumulation is more cosmetic than anything else with some difficulty swallowing at times; the coughing may be due to pressure on the trachea inducing a cough reflex. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

No Recovery
Treatment Cost: $400.00
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. We took her to the emergency vet and while they were prepping for surgery—x-rays, blood work etc—they found a large tumor in her lung. So now her battle turned into getting through two surgeries. The vet didn't seem hopeful and let us make the call. We decided to give her peace and send her to pup heaven. Thanks for your help.

My red nose pit throat and jaw was swollen I thought she had this but its been day 2 and her swelling went dog last night I looked up a lot about it and I following procedures because I was scared and crying for my dog and I have her in the cage away from the other dog because i didnt know if it was contagoues or not and I gave her dog food but I put it in fresh water to soften it just cause it said she might have trouble swallowing and I gave her lots of water also and this afternoon her swollen throat went down so now I don't know what it was or what was wrong with her......

Add a comment to Duchess's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Sasha
Red-nose Pit bull
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found this not helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen Salivary Glands

My red nose pit throat and jaw was swollen I thought she had this but its been day 2 and her swelling went dog last night I looked up a lot about it and I following procedures because I was scared and crying for my dog and I have her in the cage away from the other dog because i didnt know if it was contagoues or not and I gave her dog food but I put it in fresh water to soften it just cause it said she might have trouble swallowing and I gave her lots of water also and this afternoon her swollen throat went down so now I don't know what it was or what was wrong with Her what should I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

So, from what I understand; Sasha had swelling in her throat region but it has now spontaneously resolved. If there are no visible symptoms, I would just monitor her for any changes and if the swelling returns visit your Veterinarian immediately so that they can take a fine needle aspirate to examine the contents and give Sasha the appropriate treatment. Salivary glands may be swollen, but there resolution is usually after surgical intervention; there are other structures around the throat that may swell like the thyroid or lymph nodes, but again spontaneous decrease in swelling doesn’t occur. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Add a comment to Sasha's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment
Lily
Dachshund
10 Years
Mild condition
0 found this not helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Lumps Under Skin

Medication Used

Phenomav

Hello,

For the past couple of months my 10 year old dachshund lily has had swollen glands. Our vet aspirated them and the results came back as swollen salivary glands. The vet suggested Phenomav to treat them (for approximately two months). Lily doesn't seem to be in any pain/having trouble chewing etc. does this sound like a normal prescription for excess saliva build up in the glands? Lily also has cushings disease and is medicated daily, if that makes any difference. Kind regards, Grace

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
402 Recommendations

Some conditions affecting the salivary glands can be treated with Phenobarbital (Phenomav) like sialadenosis (enlargement of the glands) and necrotizing sialometaplasia which normally show positive results; other conditions may require the removal of the salivary gland. If there is no discomfort and Lily can breathe and swallow, the problem maybe more cosmetic; monitoring the size would be ideal if you don’t decide to remove the gland. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My 3 year old golden retriever developed a mass on the right side of her throat couple of months ago, we took him to the vet, he said it was the salivary gland, he gave us antibiotic and it disappeared after it! Now the mass is back again, doesnt hurt him, but i've been feeling he's been tired lately especially that he is hyperactive usually. the vet suggested antibiotics, but the gland is still there. It doesnt hurt him but he looks different, tired! Eventhough he s eating and drinking well.

Add a comment to Lily's experience

Was this experience helpful?

icon-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Helpful icon-not-helpfulCreated with Sketch.icon-not-helpful-whiteCreated with Sketch. Not Helpful
Comment

Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs Treatment Experiences

Nena
Dachshund
3 Years

Has Symptoms

Neck mass

Hi there! I have read through all of the above experiences to get an idea as to what could be happening to my dog - some of these cases sound similar but I just wanted to verbalize it to see if any other situations could be the case. One year ago I went away for 5 days and my dog was in the care of a friend (I have 2 they were both with the friend). My female dog was fine when I picked her up but a couple of days after returning a large lump build on her neck. I tried anti-histamines as I thought it might be a bee sting or something but it didn't work. After 4 days, I came home from work and it had broken open, there was a dime sized hole in the center of it - bc I was at work I didn't see the colour of the discharge. I took her to the vet, who drained the area, gave me an antibiotic and said to keep an eye on it. It completely disappeared and caused no further problems. Last month I was again away for about a week - when I came back after a few days the same lump presented itself. I took her to the vet right away and he said that he would try the same method as last time but if it didn't clear I would have to go to a specialist to do an ultrasound - about 1500 dollars or so right off the bat. The treatment shrunk the swelling but unlike last time I could still feel a small pea sized glad under her jaw (right by where a humans adam's apple would be). Then over the weekend it started to grow again. The swelling changes in size and hardness. She is not affected when eating, drinking or breathing and her energy seems to be the same as usual. As an add on to her situation, she is a rescue dog from Mexico who has had distemper before and suffered nervous system damage from it that causes constant movement of her mouth and some drooling in certain instances (when eating as she can't chew properly and sleeping bc her mouth continues to move). Bc of this I think it's most likely an issue in her salivatory glands - is an ultrasound required for this?

Share your experience with Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Dogs?