Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

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Oral Tumours

When you bring your pet to Morinville Vet Clinic for a dental checkup, we are not just checking the mouth for dental problems. The vets and technicians are also checking the mouth for any growths that have developed. Unless you are in the habit of brushing your pets’ teeth, you may not notice a lump growing in the mouth until it has become a problem. According to Dr. High, there are two types of problems. The problem that might be noticed first is functional. If a lump is large, or in an awkward spot, it makes it difficult to eat. It could hang in the way of the teeth and get bitten. It could trap material at the back of the mouth and cause a rotten smell. the other type of problem is medical. Many of the lumps that develop in the mouth are progressive forms of cancer. They eat into the tissues around them and spread through the body to other areas.

Not every lump in the mouth is dangerous. The vast majority of lumps on the gums of dogs are a very innocent type of lump called an epulis. These lumps of fibrous tissue develop right where the gum meets the tooth. they seem to be triggered by the irritation of tartar forming on the teeth. For most dogs with an epulis (or a bunch of epuli) the only problem is the annoyance of something rubbing on their mouth. Epuli are very tightly anchored to the bone underneath them, so they can only be removed by cutting them off under anesthetic. This would usually be done when the dog is already having an anesthetic for dentistry.

For dogs, there are several types of lumps in the mouth that are serious. Dr.High has seen about an equal proportion of three main types. There are carcinomas, usually on the lower jaw, melanomas, often on the inside of the cheeks, and fibrosarcomas that develop on the roof of the mouth. All three are very destructive in the area they grow, but only melanomas tend to spread around the body. Another trend that Dr High would discuss with owners of dogs that have oral carcinomas is that, the farther back the growth is in the mouth, the lower the success of treatment.

Cats have a different pattern for oral masses. Dr.High rarely sees an epulis in a cat. If there is a growth in the mouth, it is usually a bad sign. The vast majority are carcinomas of either the tongue or the bones of the mouth. These may not be easily seen, but they are extremely destructive due to deep invasion of the bone. The other type of oral tumour that cats get is fibrosarcoma of the gums. These are easier to spot and easier to treat.

The staff at Morinville Vet Clinic recommend that older pets have a dental exam every year. This is not just to ensure the teeth are healthy, but also to try to find oral masses before they become dangerous.


Written by Morinville Veterinary Clinic 


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Last updated: July 23, 2020

Dear Clients,

Thank you for choosing Morinville Veterinary Clinic for your pets' veterinary needs. As we continue to adjust to the "new normal," we have implemented new protocols to keep you and our team safe.

It is still preferred that you stay in your vehicle while we bring your pet in for their appointment. However, as of Monday, July 21, 2020, we will be allowing one client to accompany their pet during their visit.

Along with wearing a face mask and using hand sanitizer, any client wishing to be present during an exam will need to record your name, phone number and email address for contact tracing purposes, in compliance with Alberta Health requirements.

Should you choose to come in with your pet, we kindly ask that you comply with the following protocols:

  • Our doors will remain locked. Please call us at 780.939.3133 upon your arrival.
  • Physical distance with staff and other clients while inside the building.
  • Face coverings must be worn to enter the clinic.
  • Use hand washing station upon entry.
  • Continue the use of credit cards as the preferred payment method.
  • Continue with curbside pickup of food and medication (unless you have used our online store and are having your order delivered directly to your home). To place an order through our online store, visit our website and click on "Online Store".
  • If you wish to wait in your vehicle during the appointment, when you arrive, please remain outside the hospital and use your cell phone to call us. We will take a history of your pet's health and discuss any concerns. A staff member will then meet you outside to bring your pet into the hospital for an examination. The Veterinarian will call you to discuss the recommended treatment plan. After your appointment, a staff member will return your pet to you outside, and take care of any needed medications and payment.

    If you wish to connect with a veterinarian via message, phone or video, visit our website and follow the "Online Consultation" link.


    Have you welcomed a new furry family member to your home? We’d love to meet them! Visit our Must Know New Pet Owner Information page for useful resources and helpful recommendations for new pet owners.


    We are OPEN with the following hours:

    - Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
    - Saturday: 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
    - Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

    Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

    - Your dedicated team at Morinville Veterinary Clinic