This is Lexi. She is an 8 yr old Golden Retriever mix who visited us on the 16th of October for a routine dental cleaning.
When she went under anesthesia for the dental cleaning and the technician opened her mouth to intubate (place anesthestic breathing tube) she noticed this unusual appearing gum tissue along the inside surface of one of her upper premolars. The outside (cheek) surface of the gum looked normal. This premolar and the molar behind it were both loose.
The large black area along the back root of this upper fourth premolar shows that there is massive bone loss present in the region of this tooth/abnormal gum tissue. Dr Kavran extracted both of the loose teeth and took a biopsy (sample) of the gum tissue to send to MSU.
The bad news: The biopsy showed that Lexi had a type of mouth cancer called acanthomatous ameloblastoma. If left untreated, this cancer is very aggressive and will destroy jaw bone, loosen teeth, and invade into surrounding tissues (the eye, sinus, etc).
The good news: This type of cancer has a very low rate of metastasis (spread) and with aggressive surgery can have a very high cure rate. Lexi’s owners carefully considered this information and opted to treat!
Lexi went to MSU for a CT scan of her head to ensure that the margins of her tumor would make her a good candidate for surgery. On October 30th, Lexi had a partial hemimaxillectomy (surgery to remove most of the left side of her upper jaw.) She was able to keep the front part of her left upper jaw which helped her face keep its normal architecture.
She is eating well, and best of all, the surgical margins from her tumor removal came back free from cancer!
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Oh my goodness not sure you could have done anything differently. You all were kind, accommodating, thorough, and excellent listeners. You ALL are FABULOUS!
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The doctors and tech team are so kind and compassionate. They have great bedside manner and have really mastered the idea of relaxing the environment but still being direct and clear. We brought our French lop in for a sick visit after having some respiratory issues. The staff handled both her and us with such compassion and care. They even called a few days later to ensure we weren’t having issues administering her medications and to check in. They will exclusively be our vet going forward!
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