Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
Thank you so much for all your responses and support.
To answer your questions Shoebox, surgery would NOT be guaranteed to work. If the clinic owner was to give it a try, there would definitely be no guarantees. Like the vet said, the clinic owner did every surgery under the sun in his life, and if he was to say yes and agree to de-bulk Dolce’s tumor, there would still be some epuli left on the gums. If any is left, it will grow back if it is in fact epuli… Like the vet said, we could also send whatever was removed for a biopsy at that point as well to confirm. We can’t really do a biopsy now, unless we remove the complete tumor as the dog will have to be under general anesthesia if we decide to biopsy, so might as well remove all of it if the dog is under anesthesia at that point….. There is 3 types of epuli, 2 that are not too bad(fibromatous epuli and ossifying epuli), can be removed by taking small margins of healthy tissue and the third one is called acanthomatous epuli. The vet thinks it is the third one due to the location and feel of the tumor. They say for acanthomatous, it is usually on the lower jaw towards the front(rostral region), which is exactly where Dolce’s lump is. The feel of it as well and the fact it is attached to the jaw bone…The good thing is that acanthomatous epuli is usually benign and will not metastasize. The bad thing is that it will locally invade the bone. By feeling it yesterday (and she also went to the back and got a second opinion from another dr), she advised it feels it’s already solidly attached to her jaw bone the other Dr also thought the same thing.... Because it is attached to the jaw bone, she said her clinic did not have the qualifications to do the surgery required(which is why she wanted to refer to specialist).
From what I could read on the internet (I have been doing tons of reading since Sunday), surgery for acanthomatous epuli requires at least 1 cm of normal bone and tissue margins and often necessitate the removal of a portion of the jaw bone to prevent the epuli spread…Some dogs also require some radiation treatments after surgery….. So again, $2000.00 at the specialist is probably a bare minimum I would pay.. Plus x-rays, blood work, dog stay overnight after surgery, possible radiation treatments, possible partial bone jaw removal....
Cakemom, very good idea about the radiograph if I decide to have surgery on her. The only thing is radiographs are $400 + here….. But at least, I’d make sure there is nothing else elsewhere to worry about before proceeding with the surgery.….
One very interesting thing I have discovered on the internet is that some people have had luck by injecting Bleomycin into the epuli itself. This option was never presented to me as I do not think it is a common way of treating it…. I found one website that talks about it….
I do have a well known vet school(university) 1 hour away from home which is nothing. I am lucky to be so close as they have a fabulous reputation in Canada. I have looked at their website on Monday and I believe my vet have to refer Dolce to them. I know someone who took his racehorse there after having issues and had fabulous reviews to say about the students and staff…. Maybe I could e-mail them a little note along with the photo of the epuli? Maybe they could help or offer surgery at a “reduced” cost? Is there such a thing as a vet helping? Reducing cost? I think she could be a good candidate for the students. I’m sure they do not see that on a daily basis…
Dolce has had her share of problems before... She has had pet incontinence since she was 2 years old and takes 3 PPA pills per day. Her meds(PPA pills) for her incontinence alone cost me over $1200/yearly. She also have some soft tissue lumps over her body. I have had two different vets looking at them and was advised not to worry about it, it's fat deposits only. I have talked to my old vet about Dolce being really stiff when she gets up from sleeping r napping. She has a hard time getting up, she is clearly stiff in the joints and hips. She also injured herself in April where I had to take her to the vet and the vet thought she had a thorn ACL. Put her on anti-inflammatory for 1 month and rest for 8 weeks (no going up and down the stairs.....no running..), she still has the occasional so very slight limp.
I have spend $230.00 on Dolce on June 7th vet visit because she kept on sneezing and having a runny nose. I spent $120.00 for yesterday’s visit at my new vet…. I have quit my job as of August 1st to start a new business venture. It is the first time in my life I have “quit” my job and the first time in my life I am starting a business on my own… I have always worked full time. ALWAYS. So in 2 weeks, no more pay cheques for me… Starting up my business is also making me split my pennies in half… I also had to spend over $700.00 for a last minute plane ticket to fly home for a family member’s funeral June 18th…. When it rains, it pours….. and now Dolce…….
Last edited by sxybeemr; 07-18-2013 at 10:36 AM.