Today is my 38th birthday! Woo hoo! More about that later, first…. Monty.
Monty turned 8 in October and has always been a healthy, trouble-free dog. Tomorrow he is going to be sedated for x-rays, a biopsy, and a tissue sample.
Monty has a front bottom tooth that has been slowly moving. I think maybe has been for a couple years. But in the last few weeks/months it has been much more pronounced.
I took him to see the vet last week. We saw a new young vet who was quite dismissive. “Yep. Probably a mass. Bring him back if he is in pain or can’t eat or anything. Here’s half off your bill because this wasn’t a full exam.”
That was Thursday and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind for one second. If you are new to my blog, 8 years ago my 2 golden retrievers (aka my roommates and best friends, brother and sister) died two months apart from each other. It ripped my heart out. The grief was so soul crushing. I somewhat reluctantly/nervously agreed to get a puppy, their nephew, a few weeks later. 8 years ago this week actually.
When Winger was diagnosed with mast cell cancer, it was from that lump on top of his head, a lump that had been there for years! He had so many symptoms and not one of the three different vets we saw bothered to biopsy that lump. If it had been removed years earlier, before it spread, who knows how much more time we would have had together.
By yesterday I decided Monty doesn’t deserve the same fate.
I called the vet’s office after lunch today and asked for an appointment with the senior, head vet. They said we could see him at 4 o’clock today.
He looked at Monty’s teeth and gums and was very quiet. He had a big sigh and stood up and said it could be benign, or it could be pretty bad. It could be a bone cancer, osteosarcoma, or a range of other cancers. Or it could be a benign growth. Either way, it is quite possibly involving the bone and has moved 2 of his teeth.
If it is cancer, he said it is in a fortunate spot, and surgery could be done to remove the mass and the affected bone (part of his jaw). He said he isn’t skilled at that surgery, but would recommend the vet college in PEI, or there might be a surgeon in Halifax who could do it.
First, he wants to know what it is asap so we can figure out our options. He has detailed notes of Monty’s teeth from a check-up two years ago. Another reason why I should always ask to see him and not just whatever new vet is available.
We think it’s been slow growing until recently. Which is a good sign. But the vet said his teeth and gums were perfectly healthy in the summer of 2011. He’s always been a toy suckler, and mostly I had just hoped that his toy suckling habit was causing his teeth to move, but no such luck 🙁
Tomorrow morning, Monty is going back to the vet clinic. He will be sedated, and then they will get x-rays, and a biopsy. The vet will also extract the tooth that has moved forward, and hopefully with that tooth will come a tissue sample that he can send to the pathology lab at the vet college. He hopes we can get results before Christmas.
Here are some photos of Monty’s teeth. He used to have a perfect bite, but you’ll notice the front lower tooth closest to the canine tooth has moved forward, and now the next one is moving inwards: