Overview of the Canine Epulis
An epulis is a tumor of the periodontal ligament, which is the structure that holds the tooth in place. Epulides are the most common benign oral tumors in dogs; cats rarely have benign oral tumors. These rumors occur in dogs of any age, but they are generally found in middle-age dogs over six years old. They are more common in brachycephalic or short-nosed breeds; boxers have a higher incidence of fibromatous epulis. There is no specific cause identified.
There are three types of epulides that are recognized, and they are grouped by their tissue origin.
Some individuals with mild cases are asymptomatic, which means they do not show any clinical signs, and the epulis is picked up on routine examination.
What to Watch For
Diagnosis of Epulis in Dogs
Treatment of Epulis in Dogs
Surgical excision or removal is the treatment of choice. Depending on the type and size of epulis, different degrees of surgical aggressiveness are recommended.
Diet is also an important part of therapy. Soft foods may help prevent tumor ulceration or be soothing after tumor excision. Radiation therapy may be helpful in those epulides that are inoperable.