In December of 2015, I noticed a small growth on the lower lip of my 4 year old Golden Retriever, Bevyn. I contacted his primary veterinarian and brought him in to be evaluated. They decided to perform a fine needle aspiration of the growth and had me continue to monitor the area for any changes. The fine needle aspiration was inconclusive and within a couple of weeks his front bottom teeth began to shift and there was obvious inflammation. Due to the sudden changes in his mouth, his vet performed x-rays of his jaw and she confirmed that a tumor was present.
I was beyond devastated. Unfortunately, due to his breed the vet prepared me for the “C” word, cancer. I was immediately referred to Dr. Rassnick at the VMC in January 2016. During the oncology consult, Dr. Rassnick discussed the options that were available for Bevyn and from there we started our journey at the VMC. A fine needle aspiration was initially performed on 2 lymph nodes to rule out any metastasis, thankfully they were both clear. A CT scan was performed to show the margins of the tumor and biopsies were taken which confirmed the diagnosis of fibrosarcoma.
The next step was meeting with Dr. Robinson for a surgery consult to remove the tumor. Dr. Robinson’s plan was to perform a bilateral rostral mandibulectomy (removing a large portion of his lower jaw). In March 2016, Bevyn’s surgery was a success and I was able to bring him home the day after surgery. Dr. Robinson’s surgical work on Bevyn’s mouth was wonderful. I had planned for alterations in Bevyn’s basic activities such as eating, drinking and playing with his toys but he has continued to prove me wrong! He is eating and drinking the same as before his surgery and he still enjoys finding sticks outside to chew on. Although we have hit some bumps in the road during Bevyn’s recovery and a few more than anticipated visits to the VMC, Bevyn is still my happy and energetic boy.
Bevyn is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments with Dr. Rassnick to prevent any future regrowth or spread of the fibrosarcoma. The level of compassion and professionalism we have received from all of the staff at the VMC has been immense. I am thankful every day for the care that has been provided for Bevyn.