Monday, March 4, 2019
Shiloh, our only female Ridgeback, has been aging gracefully. Gracefully, until perhaps now. The other week, Monkey1 noticed one side of Shiloh's face seemed swollen. I looked, and agreed. We did a little research, and it seemed like it was likely an abcessed tooth in her upper jaw.
A vet visit was scheduled, for a dental cleaning and exam. Unfortunately, the call from the vet afterwards indicated that it was a tumor, not an abcess. He surgically removed most of the tumor, and we opted to have the pathology done on it, to see what it was. Vet said to assume cancerous, until proven otherwise, based on his exam.
Shiloh recovered well from the surgery, while we waited on the pathology to come back. When it did, it wasn't good news. She has malignant mesenchymal neoplasm. It is aggressive in nature, and was already attached to the upper jawbone. The outlook is for it to move into her lungs, and then it's Game Over.
Shiloh is somewhere between 9-12 years old, and has been with us since 2012. She has always been so steady, in behavior, and health, that this is a shock to us. Even now, I cannot really tell any changes in her. In a way, knowing what is happening makes it easier. We can plan to spoil her, and know what to watch for in the disease progression. That should mean we can keep her comfortable until the end.
However, DH did come across an article out of the Univ. of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, regarding some success in using immunotherapy for dogs with osteoscarcoma. I am reaching out to them, to see if possibly Shiloh could qualify for their ongoing research study programs. Our vet said he would be happy to help me out, if I contacted UofM. So, now I am waiting for a call back from their research coordinator. Maybe, just maybe...