Odontogenic cysts in dogs: Results of surgical treatment
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An odontogenic cyst is a relatively rare pathological condition of the maxilla or mandible that is characterized by formation of fluid-filled spaces in the bony structure of the jaws. This condition appears in numerous species but in companion animals it is mainly seen in dogs. The cysts are often only discovered after they have started to cause clinical symptoms. These symptoms can vary from simple swelling in the oral cavity to serious problems with eating or restriction of air passages through the nose. Radiographic imaging plays a central role in the diagnostic process. It provides information on the exact location of a cyst, the involvement of tooth elements and how far the pathological changes are spread in the bony structure of the jaws. All this information is necessary to execute an effective treatment which usually consists of extraction of associated tooth elements and careful curettage of the cyst’s lining which is responsible for the cyst formation in the first place. In case of suspicion of a neoplastic component in the pathological condition or whenever the complete excision of the cyst causes instability in the jaws, partial jaw resection is the treatment of choice. Only little information on the effects of the treatment is available when taking the veterinary context into consideration. Hence - the central question of this survey is: “How effective is the surgical treatment of odontogenic cyst or lesions in dogs and do relapses occur in surgically treated animals?” Underlying questions were: “Is there a correlation between the occurrence of odontogenic cysts and cyst-like lesions and the dog breed and skull shape or are there any other relevant factors?” and “What advice can be given for possible further investigation?” In human context the different types of odontogenic cysts are described in a typical age group of patients, they sometimes have an area of predilection of occurrence or typically associated tooth elements; therefore this information has also been collected and presented. But the group of patients in this project was too small to come to a conclusion – and in many cases the histopathological identification of the cysts and other cyst-like lesions had not been carried out. In this project we contacted patients that have been treated at the Department of Clinical Science of Companion Animals (DCSCA) of Utrecht University between 1997 and 2010. De owners of the patients have undergone an interview by telephone in order to achieve insight in the healing process after the surgical excision of the odontogenic cysts, the percentage of relapses that occurred and the long-term effects of the treatment. 18 patients suffering from odontogenic cysts have been surgically treated in Utrecht in the period from December 1997 to July 2010 – 13 owners could be contacted. In this survey more Jack Russell terriers and Boxers were found than would be expected based on the population of those breeds in The Netherlands. Other breeds did not occur in this study or were relatively underrepresented. Two of the patients experienced a relapse in the reference period (= 15 %). One of them (= 8 %) relapsed during the first year after surgery. The patients who had experienced a relapse have undergone another surgical treatment and did not experience another relapse. The longest period between the first and the second operation was four years. The great majority of patients healed well after having received surgery. The patient group in this study consisted of ten male and five female dogs. Ten patients suffered from a cyst in their maxilla, eight patients were presented with a cyst in de mandible. In the maxilla most cysts were found in the area of the left canine, where as in the mandible most cysts occurred around the first two premolars on the right side.