Efficacy Of The Sialocele Treatment By A Trained Veterinary Surgeon

Sialocele and salivary mucocele is a collection of saliva leaked from an affected salivary gland or duct. It is known as fluctuant and creates painless swelling in the oral cavity or the neck. However, sialocele is also known as a salivary cyst (granulation tissues). The cysts can become large and will be pressing the animal’s trachea or larynx due to which the animal will be coughing often.  This condition occurs among less than 5 out of 1000 dogs. The removal of damaged glands and salivary ducts through surgery is a choice.

Classification Of Sialocele

There are several classifications of sialocele and salivary mucoceles which are based on the glands from which the saliva is produced.

  • Cervical Mucocele: It is one of the most common mucocele types. It consists of saliva collection in the neck area, under the jaw, or in between the jaws which are known as the intermandibular region.
  • Sublingual mucocele (Ranula): The formation of mucocele is on the mouth’s floor and on the side of the tongue. It is frequently seen among the cervical mucocele.
  • Pharyngeal Mucocele: It is not a common type of mucocele and this variation of mucocele will fill the throat with entire fluid accumulation.
  • Zygomatic Mucocele: It is another rare kind of mucocele in which the saliva will be originating from the small zygomatic saliva glands that are located below the eye.

Signs and Symptoms 

The enlarged soft, painless mass can be the development of the cervical mucocele in the intermandibular region. As a result, the pet will have difficulty eating and may have bleeding after chewing due to trauma on the mucocele.

Nevertheless, the pharyngeal mucocele is not detectable except if the oral cavity is observed with sedation. Also, the pets will be having respiratory distress because there will be the development of a mass in their throat that obstructs breathing.

It is a serious issue, and treatment should be provided quickly because the pet can die from a respiratory disorder. Another common sign of pharyngeal mucocele is that it creates difficulty for the pet to swallow food.

This disease is found among dogs, and some susceptible breeds include Poodles, Australian Silky Terriers, Dachshunds, and German Shepherds. Also, this condition can occur at any age.


The diagnosis of salivary mucocele is quite simple. For instance, the soft and fluctuant swelling will be indicated if the pharyngeal mucocele. Besides, the mucoceles are not painful. However, the abscesses and tumors are similar in appearance, but they are painful and sometimes firm.

Rarely do the cervical mucoceles migrate to the midline over time, and it is tough to determine whether the problem is on the left or right side of the salivary glands. So, the veterinarian will examine the pet by resting them on their back as it allows the mucocele to migrate to the affected area.

Generally, the laboratory abnormalities do not aid in diagnosing the salivary mucocele. Similarly, the yellowish and thick ropy blood fluid with quite less cell count is present with the saliva. Besides, the elevation in the white blood cells will indicate the infection or abscess in the salivary glands.

In addition to this, the special laboratory testing will assist in confirming the fluid type if there is any confusion. For example, X-rays will indicate the salivary mucoceles.


There is only one treatment for salivary mucocele, removing the affected salivary glands. However, the continued aspiration is not the right solution for permanently removing the problem because it can reoccur until it is not removed with surgery. In addition, the aspiration will create a risk of removing the bacteria from the salivary glands, and the infection will increase the complications to complete the surgical procedure effectively.

Removing the sublingual and mandibular glands on the mucocele's side is a common surgical procedure. Additionally, these glands will be removed together to avoid traumatization on the other. For instance, the mandibular gland is linked with large veins that can connect with the jugular vein.

The salivary gland removal requires dissection of the area that consists of important nerves. The sublingual mucoceles are treatable by Marsupialization. This procedure includes the removal of the mandibular and sublingual glands, which assists in drainage into the mouth cavity. In addition, Marsupialization is used to excise the elliptical portion of the sublingual mucosa that lays over the mucocele and the oral connective tissue.

A drain around the mucocele area commonly allows the fluid to pass until the wound heals. The all-inclusive cost of the surgery is $2,400.00 approximately.

Aftercare and Outcome

Suppose the drain is left in the surgical region; the pet will be experiencing the drainage for many days. It is necessary to change the bandaged wound. But if the wound is not bandaged, you need to apply a warm compress with a towel. The towel should be damp. It will assist in cleaning the skin and the surgical area. As well it encourages fluid drainage from the surgical area. Additionally, removing damaged salivary glands will prevent the dog from suffering from a dry mouth.

Other than that, postoperative complications are commonly performed by a trained surgeon. The fluid pocket seroma will develop where the cyst (mucocele) is present. It can be either drained or resolved on its own. After the surgery, the infections are not common. If the inadequate glandular tissue is eradicated, then the mucocele is not likely to reoccur.