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Ask the Veterinarian/viewing lump in mouth


This is not a medical question, but more about procedures. My dog was yawning the other day and I noticed a growth (or maybe swollen gum) right between his carnassial tooth. It's not easy to see. I can open my dog's mouth sometimes, but it's so far back, he's not that collaborative. My dog is also very nervous at the vet and I always muzzle him for safety (he's a rottie) and you never know how he may react in being restrained by strangers etc. I want to take him to the vet in the next few days, but I am nervous about it. How can they look in the mouth if I always muzzle him? I was thinking these days to try to take a picture of it, in case they have a hard time looking and to save my dog from a negative experience. So was wondering if you have any tips? I can try to train him to open his mouth more, but it's not easy in a short period of time like this. So wondering what the vet will do if it's hard to look at or if he's not collaborative. I really want him muzzled and prevent a negative experience! He often wont take treats at the vet as he's nervous.

Depending on how old your dog is, and whether or not he has ever had his teeth cleaned, this might be the time to have that done.

To do that the dog has to be anesthetized, so the doctor can get in there and really look over his mouth. That way he can do a complete oral exam.  

Most likely he has a bit of gum overgrowth, or gingival hyperplasia, as we call it. If they are small the vet will usually leave them, but if they are large the vet will remove them as they can growth large enough to interfere with the dogs chewing.

Since dogs can get things like melanomas and other tumors in the mouth however, your vet might want to do a very thorough exam even if he doesn't have a dental cleaning at that time.

In either case if your dog is a threat or uncooperative,it's going to be safer all the way around to give him a bit of a sedative to visualize his entire mouth.

It's just not worth the absolute danger of trying to look into a dogs mouth that would rather bite you than be helpful!  

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Jana Connell RVT, CVT


PLEASE READ BEFORE SUBMITTING TO ME: I am NOT a vet and do NOT diagnose diseases. That is only for a licensed Veterinarian to do. I will give you suggestions and steer you toward calling your vet for help. You can call the vet's office and talk to the technician there or the vet at times. Don't be afraid to call them! If you have a serious issue with your pet please post it to one of the veterinarians in here- I will tell you the same thing in my answer. IF your pet is injured or in an emergency situation, CALL YOUR VET- Do not wait and post in here. Just call the vet's office and get them in to see the vet right away. Critical treatment time is lost if you seek answers here when you should have your precious pet at the vets!! Don't sit at home waiting for an answer when your pet is critically ill or injured!! I can answer most questions about small animal and wildlife care as well as small animal nutrition. I can also answer questions about all phases of dental care for small animals. I DO NOT answer questions about birds (unless it is wildlife or songbirds) or HAMSTERS/GERBILS/CHINS/GUINEA PIGS/REPTILES/FROGS/RABBITS/PET BIRDS OF ANY KIND so please submit these questions to the appropriate sections. I, as well as other experts in here, do NOT do homework questions- that is for YOU to do! Please respect these rules for all of us. Thanks!


I have over 35 years experience in the field of veterinary medicine. I specialized in small animals and did wildlife rehab for over 25 years, mostly raptors, squirrels and opossums. I am a Small Animal Nutritional Consultant with 6 certificates from Hills Pet Foods, CNM and Purina. I also specialized in Small Animal Dentistry which is a field I truly love.

Audubon,World Wildlife Federation, American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians.

Licensed with California and Oregon, RVT and CVT. Certified Veterinary Dental Technician Have over 550 logged hours of Continuing Education Credits(that means I keep up to date!).

Awards and Honors
Nominated for Expert of the Month for the last 5 years.

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