Salivary gland resection is performed in small animal practice, because of salivary mucocele or neoplasia. Mucoceles are categorised as cervical, sublingual or ranulas and pharyngeal. Parotid and zygomatic mucoceles are rare.
Clinical signs depends on the mucocele location. A soft fluctuant intermandibular swelling is usually present with cervical mucoceles. With ranulas, excessive salivation or occasionally dysphagia are noted due to sublingual swelling. Dogs with pharyngeal mucoceles may present as a surgical emergency because of airway obstruction.
Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs and results of paracentesis.
For cervical mucoceles resection of the offending gland and drainage of the mucocele is the treatment of choice. The sublingual gland closely intermigles with the mandibular gland necessitating removal of both glands simultaneously. Resection, aspiration or drainage of the mucocele without gland removal will usually lead to recurrence. Excision of mandibular and sublingual salivary glands can be achieved with a lateral or ventral approach.
For ranulas and pharyngeal mucoceles definitive treatment includes excision of the offending sublingual and mandibular salivary glands along with marsupialization of the resultant mucocele.
Recurrence of mucoceles is due to surgical removal of the unaffected mandibular and sublingual salivary glands (wrong side!), poor marsupialization and finally because salivary tissue was left in place (incomplete excision).
RACE Approved Tracking # 20-1066230