Indolent, T-cell lymphoma was diagnosed in an eight-year old beagle, based solely on oral lesions found during routine anesthetized dental prophylaxis and oral exam. The awake oral examination was hampered due to patient aggression. Owner was unaware of lingual disease in her dog and had not noticed any abnormality.

Upon anesthetic induction with midazolam and propofol, the mouth was opened and tongue extended for endotracheal tube placement. Multiple raised, solid, non-ulcerated, round lesions were found on the dorsal aspect of the tongue, ranging in size from 3×3 mm to 15×30 mm.

Four punch biopsies were obtained and placed in formalin. Samples were sent to the Center for\ Comparative Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The histopathology report described the lesions as “multifocal nodular infiltrates of small to intermediate size lymphocytes, suspect lymphoma.”

Immunohistochemistry for T and B lymphoid cell markers was performed. Approximately 90% of the lymphoid cells were positive for the T-cell marker CD3. This was consistent with T-cell lymphoma. The indolent lymphoma was treated with prednisone and leukeran. The patient has been receiving
treatment for 10 months with regression of lingual lesions. His labwork (CBCs) is unremarkable, and he  is doing well clinically.
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The Foundation for Veterinary Dentistry thanks Dr. Heidi Bassler, DVM for sharing this most interesting case – please contact Dr. Bassler for more information.