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Swelling of the Salivary Gland in Cats


Salivary Mucocele in Cats


Swelling of the soft connective tissues in an animal's mouth is referred to as an oral or salivary mucocele. The swelling appears like a mucus-filled sack and is more than three times as likely to form in dogs than in cats. However, all cat breeds are susceptible to oral or salivary mucoceles. Treatment is generally successful and involves draining the fluid and prescription antibiotics.


If you would like to learn more about how this condition affects dogs, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.


Symptoms and Types


Some of the most common signs of oral and salivary mucoceles are:


  • Facial swelling
  • Oral pain and swelling
  • Blood in the saliva
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Eye pressure and pain
  • Respiratory disease or difficulties breathing
  • Soft, developing masses in the neck (cervical)




Bite wounds, ear canal surgery, blunt trauma to the face or head, and a blunt or foreign object penetrating inside the cat's mouth are all potential causes for oral and salivary mucoceles.




The diagnosis will be based on a physical examination and a thorough history of your cat. There are rarely any laboratory or blood work abnormalities associated with this condition, and imaging is rarely used to diagnose oral or salivary mucoceles. The primary objective is to rule out any abnormal cell development, abscesses from infected teeth, or other more serious causes of the inflammation.






Antibiotics are often used to help reduce inflammation and to help prevent the formation of an infection. The most common form of treatment is the non-surgical draining of the swollen area(s).


Living and Management


Cleaning the area surrounding the drain placement and changing bandages daily will help your cat recover quickly, as well as reduce the likelihood of any infection developing. Overall, the prognosis of this medical condition is positive.




There are currently no known preventative measures for oral or salivary mucoceles. 



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