Unfortunately, shortly after her 3rd birthday in April of this year, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in her mouth. It's called acanthomatous ameloblastoma. Don't worry, I still can't say these words properly, either! The gist of this type of tumor is that while it does not spread or metastasize, it is locally aggressive and fast growing. If not addressed, it attacks all the tissue around it, including bone, gums, teeth, etc., until she would be unable to eat or drink. So, not taking action is not an option for me, especially since surgery can cure it, and she is just a baby!
The preferred course of action is to perform a mandibulectomy, or removing the part of her jaw where the evil tumor lives. The good news is the tumor did not cross the midline of her jaw, so she will only lose the front left side of her jaw. The prognosis is excellent, and recovery is relatively fast, 4wks or so, until she is a happy, normal, playing, cancer-free dog!
The bad news is that even though I've had doggie insurance for many years, they have informed me that any "dental illness" including acanthomatous ameloblastoma is not covered!! I read the exclusions and it's right there in the small print! I am appealing this decision and working with my vet to advocate, but it is not looking very promising at this point. As if the diagnosis was not devastating enough, then the insurance company tells me this!
So, surgery is scheduled for June 6th, as it needs to happen as soon as possible to stop the spreading, and it is going to be expensive. I've already spent about $2200 just on diagnostics, xrays, CT scans, biopsies, etc. The debt continues to grow, which is why I am hoping for any help, no matter how small.
As most of you know, my dogs are everything to me and I would spare no expense to heal them and keep them healthy and happy. And, I know that Angel actually has way more friends and fans than I do, which is why I decided to start this campaign.
Thank you so much for ANY support…emotional, financial, or otherwise! We will definitely be updating as surgery and recovery moves along.
For anyone who is interested, the link below is to an article that talks about the acanthomatous ameloblastoma, which is what Angel has. Her tumor is in exactly the same place as the dog in the picture, but her tumor is much, much smaller, barely raised from the gums and about the size of a dime, maybe even smaller. You can see the pre-surgery pic and the post-surgery pic and further down an xray of a normal lower jaw and an xray of how much of the jaw bone will be removed.
I thought this was a good representation of what will probably happen with her, so thought I'd share to help explain a little further.