Veterinary Society of
Surgical Oncology


General Considerations

  • rare and malignant tumors are more common
  • LSA is the most common pharyngeal tumor in cats with ADC and SCC also reported
  • LSA may present as a diffuse thickening of pharyngeal mucosa or localized mass
  • pharyngeal tumors in dogs include extramedullary plasma cell tumor, OSA, CSA, FSA, MCT, undifferentiated carcinoma, ADC, and SCC
  • benign pharyngeal tumors (i.e., rhabdomyoma, angioleiomyoma, and oncocytoma) have also been described in dogs
  • rhabdomyoma has a predilection for young male dogs and are minimally invasive with no reported metastasis

Clinical Features

  • clinical signs: voice change, respiratory noise or distress with obstruction, exercise intolerance, dysphagia, and pain
  • diagnosis: ultrasound, radiology, and biopsy under direct visualization
  • DDx: inflammatory polyps and laryngeal disease


  • benign tumors and cysts can be removed while preserving function
  • radical procedures required for malignant tumors such as permanent tracheostomy and complete laryngectomy
  • temporary tracheostomy may be required to permit resection
  • other options: radiation therapy and chemotherapy


  • rhabdomyoma: survival time usually > 1 year and majority are considered cured
  • malignant laryngeal tumors are rare tumors which are not frequently treated hence data not available


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