Salivary Gland Tumors in Dogs

Lili Duda, VMD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My dog as just been diagnosed with adenocarcinoma cancer of the salivary gland. The vet says it is a rare cancer and as not much information on the cancer but says it does not look good for him. 


Lili Duda, VMD, Editor of the OncoLink Veterinary Oncology Section Menu, replies:

Based on limited information, there appears to be two populations of dogs with salivary gland tumors. The first population has relatively slow-growing tumors that appear to stay localized during the early course of the disease. These animals have the potential to do well with wide surgical removal, followed by radiation therapy if there is any evidence of residual tumor based on the biopsy report of the surgical margins. The second population has more aggressive cancer, with rapidly growing and invasive tumors that spread to the lymph nodes and lungs fairly early in the course of disease. Animals diagnosed with salivary gland tumors should have a fine-needle aspirate and cytology of the draining lymph node, chest X-rays, and CBC/blood chemistries prior to deciding on a course of treatment.