Oral growth

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maxs_mommy
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Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:33 am

Max went in to the vet this morning for his usual mani-pedi and I asked them to draw blood so I could schedule a dental because his breath is horrible. The vet looked at his teeth and decided to take a look at his molars when she saw a growth, about the size of a dried cherry, on the roof of his mouth. Vet thinks it might be oral melanoma so a referral to the oncologist is happening. Please send "random not melanoma " vibes our way. Poor guy has had enough issues and deserves nice golden years.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Re: Oral growth

Postby JudyL » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:29 pm

Good thoughts coming your way. I hope it isn't as your vet suspects. :(

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Re: Oral growth

Postby emmas_mom » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:57 pm

Good thoughts for Max. I hope it is NBD and easily remedied.
Mom to Maggie, Emma and Allie, and occasional foster mom. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie and Mitzi.
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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:49 pm

We have a surgery consult Tuesday at noon with the oncologist. She supposed to be one of the best ones outside of the vet schools so we'll see. A friend had a good experience at this doc (as good as it can be) with her rottie's bone cancer.
I was told that the typical course of action is surgery followed by treatment, if any. There is also supposed to be a "vaccine" of sorts that's new and keeps the tumor from growing. Cross your fingers for nbd growths.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby Amanda » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:58 pm

Hoping the best for Max! Isn't there something called neoplasm or something like that that is wffective on mouth tumors? I'll have to google to try to find it, but maybe someone here remembers it.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:36 pm

I think Taffy's mom used it, iirc? I vaguely remember it.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Re: Oral growth

Postby SherriA » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:22 pm

Sending good thoughts for a nbd visit with the oncologist
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Re: Oral growth

Postby Amanda » Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:35 pm


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Re: Oral growth

Postby MaisyPancakes » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:32 am

Sending all good vibes for your appointment today! May it just be a dried cherry!

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Re: Oral growth

Postby UpwardDog » Tue Jun 06, 2017 10:41 pm

Hmmm, well, I hope it's one of those old man lump bumps and it can just stay there minding its own business.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:40 pm

I wish it were a dried cherry but it's not. It could be one of several "oma" cancers but it is likely cancer, oral melanoma being the first guess. There are so many things I don't know right now. Tomorrow we do a chest x-ray and if there is metastitzation (sp?) then it's pretty much palliative. We did a lymph aspiration today and the surgeon called me back to say that there were "worrisome cells" but not clear evidence of cancer migration and if we did a CT and biopsy that she'd like to take a lymph node to be sure. If the lungs came back clear then CT + biopsy would be the next step along with pathology. Depending on the type of tumor, maybe surgery plus "vaccine" that keeps the tumor at bay or maybe radiation. The tumor is not in the soft palate, and the surgery would want 1 cm margins, which would go into the upper jaw at the lipline but not the lip.

There is also the cost to consider. That's not to say that I can't afford treatment but the whole shebang would generally kill our savings plus the raise I got at work. If I knew treatment had a great chance of working I'd do it in a minute, cost be damned, but I don't want to throw good money after a unicorn while his quality of life suffers. I was talking to a friend who used to manage a vet clinic and she pointed out that there are other veterinary surgeons in the city, not at Blue Pearl, and to maybe get a consult at one for cost. I hate the feeling of shopping around for cost but if it enables me to treat him or do more for him, I'll do it. His current vet doesn't do invasive surgery, she's who referred us to Blue Pearl. Her mainstays are chiro and cold laser. I would have to use Blue Pearl for the CT and biopsy, they're the only game in town with a CT scanner and it's around $2000 for the scan plus biopsy.

I honestly don't know what to do and how far to pursue this. He doesn't act sick but I know it's there. I also know that prognosis with treatment is 6-12 months or more depending on how responsive to treatment it is. Without treatment, who knows. I also know he's 11 with (managed) Cushings, normal lifespan is 12-15 years. He has slowed down in the last year but I threw that up to the Cushings and trying to get those meds sorted out. I would rather have 6 months of awesome than 12 months of hell. In the end it all comes down to quality of life. All this to say I know more than I knew yesterday and have less answers. I'm trying to remain level headed by my hand shakes when I fill out paperwork and I refuse to google. Also, raise your hand if your vet asks if you have a medical background on the first visit. :hmm: I'm going to bed, no googling tonight, lung x-ray at 9:30.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby Amanda » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:32 am

Here's my 2 cents. We love our dogs. We all do. And we would do almost anything to help them be healthy, happy, and around for as long as we can possibly have them with us. But they are animals with a finite lifespan. One much shorter than we would like. But I find zero shame in choosing to forgo expensive diagnostics and treatment even if you can technically afford it. Personally, I feel that depleting all of your savings and your raise doesn't equal being able to afford it. It means you technically have the money, but your savings is savings. Not a medical fund. Max is older with health issues besides the cancer he potentially has. The treatment and surgery required to remove this is extreme. Removing bone from his jaw? That sounds painful and something that will be difficult to recover from, especially at his age. I think it is easy to get swept up in the landslide of medical care available to us now and feel like we have failed in some way if we don't exhaust all avenues available. You have gone above and beyond for him already throughout his life. If all you provide from here out is supportive care and pain management, I think you would doing exactly enough.

For what it is worth, Landis has some spots in his mouth now that are either autoimmune flare up lesions or tumors. He is on another round of chemo meds that knocked out his lesions last time. So far they are not responding in the same way. If he has mouth cancer, we will not be treating him other than keeping him comfortable. I love him. And I wish all my dogs stayed with us longer. But in some cases, treatment can be extending life without quality. And I also have to consider my finances and my family. We will never let him suffer, but at 11 years old with an autoimmune disease already, I can't imagine that he has much time with me whether I treat cancer or not. It's the sucky part of loving a creature into old age. But I do the best I can and I know you will do the same.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:50 am

The lungs are not clear but not conclusive. I'll know more once the radiologist weighs in. At this point we may be looking at debulking the tumor for his comfort and pathology. My vet was not on board with jaw surgery done by anyone other than a specialist but was more open to debulking the tumor. If the lungs are metastisized we will forgo the CT scan and jaw surgery. What I would like a dental while he's under to clear any mouth infection from teeth and gums. I don't know if it's an option though. Max just wants more snacks.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby emmas_mom » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:08 pm

Not the news we hoped to hear. And I understand the stress of trying to make decisions regarding various treatment (or nontreatment) options. It is especially difficult to make such choices for senior dogs - will the pain and stress and recovery process (for the dog) of a particular treatment option be greater than the benefits (for the dog) of living a bit longer? And then balancing that against our own finances and the implications for how this will affect our futures, our children's futures, the futures of other pets we have now or may have in the future. Not easy decisions, but rest assured there is no one right answer. You are the one who knows what your dog can handle, what you can handle, what your family can handle. Meanwhile, give Max more treats! :grin: :love:
Mom to Maggie, Emma and Allie, and occasional foster mom. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie and Mitzi.
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Re: Oral growth

Postby JudyL » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:05 pm

My feelings on this are along the same lines as what Jean said so well already, so I will not repeat them again. I know that you will make an informed and thoughtful decision for Max and for your family, and I will support you in that because there are no wrong decisions here. We know that you are giving Max the best of care and all of the love that is possible.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby PofiMia » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:50 pm

I am trying to digest all this as it is both familiar and unfamiliar territory. First, I am so sorry.

Second, there is no wrong path and also, don't forget that you can try a treatment plan and stop it if you feel the impact to quality of life is too great.

Third, and this comes from my Tripawds community friends, Max is not thinking in terms of dates and timelines. He wants more snacks. And that is an important lesson. As much as possible through this, try to be more dog.

Sending love.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby UpwardDog » Wed Jun 07, 2017 11:28 pm

I'm sorry that the test results weren't more better or more conclusive news. As far as what to do-
Rosie has some lumps and bumps. My vet suspects they are just old lady lumps. I'm not biopsying any of them because I'm not putting her through surgery, chemo or radiation at her age. I'd rather assume its fine since I wouldn't treat anyway. If one was bothering her, and removing it would make her feel better, I would.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby MaisyPancakes » Thu Jun 08, 2017 8:11 pm

Love to you guys. If you were to pursue anything, I think shopping around is totally a good idea; BP used to be the go-to bad-assery around here, but they got bought out by Mars and things started to change (good doctors moved around, etc.); now my regular vet recommends a different specialist place entirely.

I hope you can find a way to keep the snacks coming in a comfortable and happy way. MP's here for the snacks, too. Sending you heart hugs and hopefully a good night's rest for you.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:38 pm

Given a few days perspective I've decided against radiation. I think the stress would be too much and be counterproductive to healing. I can't even pee alone and he fights a crate until he's bloody. No good sending him to the vet school for weeks for radiation. It's at least a 2 hour drive, one way for 3-5 weeks or a two-week radiation vaca in Madison or Boulder for a different type. I haven't decided on the oral melanoma vaccine. I'm still waiting on the x-ray analysis to stage the tumor. I do think he would be happier if I could get the protruding bulk out of his mouth. His lymph nodes showed melanocytes and lymphoblasts, though I don't know in what concentration. I got a report from BP, via my vet that told me as much. His tumor is roughly the size of a quarter which would be why I hoped for dried cherry. Also, his rectal exam came back fine. :wow: :lol:
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby SherriA » Fri Jun 09, 2017 6:26 am

I've got nothing to add that the others haven't already said, but I wanted to pipe up and let you know that you and Max are on my mind, and I hope you can come to a plan of care that you're comfortable with. Extra treats for Max from me and Henry!
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Re: Oral growth

Postby Amanda » Sun Jun 11, 2017 11:11 pm

That sounds like the right decision to me. That sounds stressful even for the most resilient of dogs (and humans). Hoping you find some solutions for best comfort and peace of mind for you too.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby emmas_mom » Mon Jun 12, 2017 8:32 am

I support your decision - we always have to consider the total experience of such treatments for the dog. FWIW, a friend of mine here just had a cancerous tumor (different kind, I believe) removed from inside his mouth and it was a simple day surgery which he came through with flying colours. While it still may recur, having the lump in the mouth gone is a good thing.
Mom to Maggie, Emma and Allie, and occasional foster mom. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie and Mitzi.
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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Tue Jun 13, 2017 11:45 pm

I got the surgeon's report on Friday. It's most likely metastisized to his lungs and there is nothing truly allopathic to do, apparently. Debulking is not really an option because there would be open bone and nothing to grow over it. The tumor would also probably grow back fairly quickly. So I need to talk to his vet about alternatives, maybe CBD oil maybe nothing but heptatic support and a cancer supplement.I don't know, there's no good option except to do all the things while we still have time.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby JudyL » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:00 am

I'm very sorry for this news, Ashley. :( I hope your vet will have something to offer as an alternative.
Is the vaccine never used in cases where the cancer has metastasized? Wouldn't it still slow down the growth? Grasping....

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Re: Oral growth

Postby MaisyPancakes » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:39 am

Oh no, dammit. :( I'm so sorry. MP takes CBD oil (we've tried Canna-Pet and Endoca brands), capsules (Canna-Pet and Canna Companion brands), and cookies (Canna-Pet). I'm now giving a ton more than the label, per advice of vets from Canna-Pet and Canna Companion. It helps with taking the edge off of stress/pain, and supposedly with seizures. It can be sedating sometimes, but to us it's a worthwhile trade-off to keep seizures away/from clustering, or if she has trouble sleeping through the night. *I* took some of the oil and got really great sleep those nights, even though I got fewer hours of sleep!

Are you seeing/hearing any signs of breathing difficulties? It's a doggone rollercoaster. :( Sending love and many good times ahead.

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Re: Oral growth

Postby maxs_mommy » Thu Jun 15, 2017 1:09 am

CBD oil is on my list of things to discuss when we mani-pedi/chiro next week. The vet is funny about it though so we'll see. She totally doesn't buy in unless she's practically done the research herself. We agree to disagree on several points, like my HW protocol and not vaxxing the indoor cat, this may be one of those cases too. At this point, if it doesn't hurt him I see no harm in trying. He's not having breathing difficulties that I can tell but he does tire way more easily. When we used to take brisk 2-3 mile hikes in the woods, now we take 1/2-1 mile strolls around the neighborhood. His energy is surprisingly good, which seems to owe to a change in Cushing's meds primarily and he has no trouble eating (that would be the apocalypse), his steel bladder is back and he wants to play. I don't know if the melanoma vaccine would work, but I also don't have confirmation that it's melanoma. Once we saw that it had spread we mostly stopped pushing for "the" diagnosis of exactly which cancer it was. I am concerned that the mouth tumor will grow to the point that it will impair eating, then we may look at some removal if that's all that's hurting his quality of life. His last dental was almost 3 years ago so it grew this large in that time frame, I just don't know when it began.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

http://recycledrover.blogspot.com

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Re: Oral growth

Postby MaisyPancakes » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:33 am

My rehab vet was iffy about CBD because she used to be a criticalist at an e-clinic and saw a bunch of pot toxicities in her day. But, all the bad highs were from TCH, which the hemp products don't have (or have enough of, to matter). We sort of look at it like it is for ppl—some folks can smoke a joint and go to work and raise kids and stuff, but some people take a small hit and are high as shit. ;) The vets who work with MJ think the absence of THC makes hemp products less effective—if I were to try a MJ product, my first choice would be VetCBD which is only sold in CA, and you need a medical card or whatever (not hard to get); I seriously considered going out there a few months ago. :) Too far, too complicated, for us at the moment, though.

Glad his energy is good and everything. :)

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Re: Oral growth

Postby emmas_mom » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:59 pm

Ashley, I'm so sorry to read this. That truly sucks. Hopefully you can find some alternative form of treatment that will help Max be comfortable and ready for fun for a long time yet. Re the CBD, Maggie is currently on CBD Oil from Apawthecarypets.com (via my vet) to help with her anxiety. I can't say whether it makes a difference or not, as the changes I see might just be a result of her settling in.
Mom to Maggie, Emma and Allie, and occasional foster mom. Ever remembering Sadie, Charley, Caleb, Belle, Oliver, Shiloh, Eddie and Mitzi.
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Re: Oral growth

Postby connie » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:31 am

Just seeing this, and I am so very sorry, Ashley. The epidemic of cancer in our dogs makes me feel exactly like this emoticon: :banghead:

I hope you and Shaina have some good time left with Max. If there is anything I can do, please let me know.


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