Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tia has had a lump on her cheek, just below her right eye, since mid September 2009. It looked like the sort of lump that dogs often get when they have an abscessed tooth. We took her to the vet and he agreed that it was likely an abscessed carnasial tooth. We went to another vet and she concurred. They did x-rays and found that she actually had 2 abscessed teeth, but neither one was the carnasial. The affected teeth were removed, along with a molar on the opposite side that had a hole in it. The vet also removed a small growth on her gum which she felt was benign and didn't think required biopsy. In hindsight we ought to have had one done, as it was likely another tumor. After her surgery she was kept on antibiotics for a few weeks. When the lump didn't go away we knew something was up. Two biopsies later we found out that Tia has an Acanthomatous Epulis tumor. These are relatively benign, but invasive tumors of the oral cavity. They arise from the periodontal ligament, which is the tissue that connects the tooth root to the bones of the jaw. While this isn't the worst type of tumor, it isn't the best. Tia's tumor has already eaten away at the bone in her upper jaw. This type of tumor does not metastasize (spread), and is very responsive to radiation therapy. In Tia's case the question is whether or not radiation can be done due to the tumor's proximity to her eye. We have been referred to the New England Veterinary Oncology Group in Walpole, MA. Our first visit is on Tuesday November 24th, where we will learn what we can do for Tia. Stay tuned for updates!