Signs and symptoms of lumps or bumps in the mouth

Health and Wellbeing

Mouths are vital to our dogs. Not only do they eat and drink using their mouths, but the mouth is also an essential part of how they investigate and interact with their world. This is why it is important to make sure they have great oral health and check their mouths regularly for signs of any problems, including the presence of any lumps or bumps. The best way to check is to have a look when completing your regular dog tooth brushing.

Finding any lump on our pets is worrying, and can be particularly so in areas like the mouth. There are a number of potential causes, varying from minor and benign to cancerous and fast progressing, so any new bump in the mouth should prompt a trip to the vet to confirm the reason for the lump and devise a plan to treat or remove the lump if possible. As some of the causes can be fast-growing, the vet should be consulted as soon as possible after the discovery of the lump

Any visible lump or bump in the mouth is obviously a symptom, but – particularly if the dog’s mouth is not examined regularly – owners may not spot them until they are large enough to be causing other signs. Lumps that arrive on the gums towards the rear of the mouth or sit under the tongue are hidden unless the dog’s tongue is lolling out of the side of their mouth can easily be missed for some time.

Other signs include:

  • Blood left on chew toys or blood streaks in the saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Not wanting the mouth touched
  • Pawing at the mouth because of discomfort or pain
  • Reluctance to eat or swallowing food in chunks as reluctant to chew, which can lead to
  • Weight loss
  • Teeth becoming crooked and pushed out of alignment.
Dr Andrew Miller BVSc MRCVS

Written by: Dr Andrew Miller MRCVS

Andy graduated from Bristol University in 2010 and sees nutrition as a foundation for our pet's wellbeing and takes a common-sense approach. We are what we eat, and it shouldn't be any different for our pets.