"Bryn", an elderly Springer Spaniel, had a slow
growing cancer diagnosed in his mouth after a biopsy had
been taken. It was identified as an Acanthomatous epulis,
which was slow growing and although locally invasive usually
never spreads elsewhere. The dilemma with treatment was
knowing that if we were to remove the cancer completely
we had to take most of Bryn's lower jaw with it. Clearly
not a simple surgical dilemma when such a radical operation
is proposed. Bryn's owners were understandably reluctant.
In my view, when such surgery is contemplated there must
be a significant potential gain for the patient that outweighs
any downside. It was clear from what the owners had to say
that they could detect that "Bryn" was experiencing
considerable discomfort from the progress of the cancer
in his mouth.
Radiographs were taken and illustrated that the cancer
was "eating" it's way through the lower jaw (mandible)
almost certainly the most painful component. After careful
consideration "Bryn" underwent surgery and most
of his lower jaw was removed on one side.
Once excised the surrounding tissue is restored as best
as possible to maintain "Bryn's" good looks! To
everyone's surprise, myself included, Bryn improved almost
immediately. He has become brighter and more enthusiastic
and is enjoying his food once more with relish!
Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS