We got the results from pathology regarding the growth that was biopsied in Louise’s mouth. It is a fast-growing tumor that destroys the jaw called Canine Acanthamotous Ameloblastoma (CAA).
WARNING: Stop reading now if you will get uncomfortable with the details.
Basically, she has a mass in the lower part of her front jaw that is visible and is around her front teeth. The good news is that CAA has never been reported to spread to other parts of the body (metastasize), so it is often called ‘benign.’ However, it is locally aggressive and her tumor is doubling in size every 10 days or so. Underneath what we see it is destroying the jaw bone. It is life-threatening.
The first option for treatment, due to a large amount of underlying bone involved, is to surgically remove a portion of the jaw, called a mandibulectomy (graphic link), and to take large margins around the tumor to ensure it is all removed. For patients, like Louise, where surgery is not an option because of multiple reasons, the second option would be radiation.
Louise turned 12 last October. The normal life expectance of a dog her size is 10 to 12 years. She has pancreatitis and irritable bowel disease. Figuring out what health intervention is in her best interest is one of the hardest decisions we ever had to make. We do not want to put her through either of these options. The surgery would take her lower jaw, which I think at her age would be a difficult recovery to regain function, and the side-effects of radiation are horrible (if her IBD would even tolerate it.)
I have started a Facebook group dedicated to this journey. It is called Canine Acanthamotous Ameloblastoma – Dog Oral Tumors Please feel free to join if you want to follow what is going on. I am not going to fill DogDaz with her medical stuff because it is graphic and sad, so I will put it there.
Keep us in your prayers as we go through this thing. We are heartbroken.
Please, don’t post any negative comments on the choices we have made for Louise’s care – they will be deleted.