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Dog surgery - Salivary Gland Removal
by Mort Gale

My Husky mix, developed a cyst beneath her right salivary gland, which kept enlarging. My Vet, suggested reamoval of the cyst and the gland, which we did have done.  For the week following surgery, I had to flush the area twice a day, plus give her antibiotics twice a day.  Happy to report, she's doing well.  This next Friday, I take her back for removal of the drain.  I'm not a vet, nor have I had training, however with the vet's guidance when I picked her up, the flushing went well. I have a very brave dog.

Editor's Note: A salivary gland cyst is called a sialocele, or salivary mucocele. The cause is usually unknown, but may be from direct trauma to the salivary ducts or infection/inflammation of the ducts causing duct rupture, and leading to accumulation of saliva and mucus in the tissues around the gland.

Initially, the area may be painful and swollen, progressing to a non-painful, fluctuant mass, usually under the jaw. This mass must be differentiated from a tumor or abscess. Vets can check this quickly by doing a needle aspirate - inserting a small needle in the mass and looking at the cellular components.

Sialoceles can become infected, causing pain and fever. Treatment of choice is to remove the damaged duct and gland, although some dogs do heal with time on their own.

Read more about salivary cysts in the Veterinary Q & A: Salivary Cysts

Viewer Viewpoint
Hear from a vet who uses echography to diagnose this condition.

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