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Sublingual sialocoele in a dog due to sailolithiasis[1]

Sialolithiasis is a disease of the canine salivary gland involving calculi obstruction of the salivary gland duct.

The cause of sialolith formation is unknown, but usually develop as a result of calcium phosphate or calcium carbonate crystalization.

Any salivary gland may be involved, although the parotid gland is usually affected. Sialocoeles are a common sequela to this condition[2].

Sialoliths may result in salivary gland necrosis[3].

Clinical signs include swelling of the cheek and pain on opening of the mouth and an obvious swelling over the affected gland.

Exopthalmos is commonly reported with parotid gland involvement, leading to dorsolateral deviation of the globe and protrusion of the third eyelid.

Diagnosis is usually based on aspiration cytology, which usually reveals a mucoid substance. Culture and microscopic examination of cell content is required to exclude other causes[4].

A differential diagnosis would include squamous cell carcinoma, salivary gland adenoma[5], salivary gland carcinoma and necrotizing sialometaplasia.

Treatment usually involves cannulation of the duct and flushing teh sialolith, but paracentesis, surgical lancing of the swollen glands and sialoadenectomy may be required as ductal fibrosis commonly develops secondarily[6].

Sclerosing agents have been used to inject into the salivary gland (e.g.1% polidocanol).

Broad-spectrum antimicrobials are recommended.


  1. Veterinary Image Bank
  2. Ryan T et al (2008) Sublingual salivary gland sialolithiasis in a dog. J Small Anim Pract 49(5):254-256
  3. McGill S et al (2009) Concurrent sialocoele and necrotising sialadenitis in a dog. J Small Anim Pract 50(3):151-156
  4. Benjamino KP et al (2012) Pharyngeal mucoceles in dogs: 14 cases. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 48(1):31-35
  5. Shimoyama Y et al (2006) Pleomorphic adenoma of the salivary gland in two dogs. J Comp Pathol 134(2-3):254-259
  6. Ritter MJ et al (2006) Mandibular and sublingual sialocoeles in the dog: a retrospective evaluation of 41 cases, using the ventral approach for treatment. N Z Vet J 54(6):333-337