Dogs who go through surgery may need an Elizabethan collar or cone to prevent scratching around their faces. Soft food or liquid diet is recommended for at least two weeks while the mouth heals. Dogs who need radiation therapy may appear lethargic or have some nausea, but if the radiation is focused only on your dog’s mouth, then he may be less likely to experience these problems.
Your pup will also need frequent follow-ups with his veterinarian. It may also be necessary to repeat a CT scan later to make sure that cancer does not return.
If you choose to not pursue surgery and radiation therapy, your dog will eventually stop eating. This is usually because the tumor is preventing him from eating comfortably due to the invasion of the surrounding bone. This may occur anywhere from three to six months after the initial diagnosis, but it is possible for this timeline to be shorter or longer in certain cases.
Melanoma is one of the most malignant oral tumors in dogs. It can cause facial swelling and painful eating without treatment. Early diagnosis is best because surgery will be more effective if there are only small surgical margins compared with larger, more aggressive melanomas. Surgery and radiation are the treatments of choice, and the Concept vaccine can help with the microscopic disease.