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"Bryn" - Springer Spaniel with Acanthomatous Epulis

"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!

Terry Dunne BVMS, Cert SAO, MRCVS

X-ray showing tumor tissue and bone destruction

X-ray from side

Removed jaw section


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