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Old 06-17-2015, 12:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
Sky
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Default Mouth/Tooth issues

I'm so nervous! I had Mogwai out last night. I noticed when I pulled her out that she smelled a bit yucky, so I took her in for a bath. She kept making weird movements with her mouth. It wasn't the normal licking of her lips, but more just opening and closing her mouth with her tongue stuck out. I glimpsed what looked like something white on the roof of her mouth and wondered if she had eaten some of her paper litter and it had gotten stuck. So I grabbed a q-tip and got her to open her mouth and saw a big white mass on the left rear of her mouth. I poked at it and it was hard and not moving. When I pulled the q-tip out, something hard was on it that appeared to be a tooth, but there was no root on it. Upon further inspection, the mass appears to be from her gums to nearly the middle of her mouth. She's not even a year old!!

She's been eating and drinking pretty normally, so I didn't suspect anything as being off until I saw this.

I called the vet and left a message last night, asking for them to call this morning. I hope they can fit her in! This would be the first time she's visited any vet - she's been pretty happy and healthy! I'm so worried for my baby girl.
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Old 06-17-2015, 12:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh my... I started reading more threads in this subforum and now I'm so scared for Mogwai. Are there any ideas why oral cancer/tumors are happening so often in these little guys?
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Old 06-17-2015, 02:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You need to get her into a vet as soon as possible. It could be a tumour or it could be an abcess or an infection.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The vet can't get her in until Saturday. They don't see pets today and their exotics person is out tomorrow and Friday.
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Old 06-18-2015, 02:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I had baby girl out tonight and she was wanting to run around and explore. We gave her a little bit of salmon which she snarfed right up. When I put her back in her cage, she ate some kibble and drank some water and kept running around. While she was out though, she kept making funny motions with her mouth like she was trying to clear something out of it. And she was drooling a little. But the fact that she's eating, drinking and exploring definitely gives me hope!
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Mogwai had her day at the vet today. Was put under and the vet found evidence of soft tissue issues on the inside and outside of her teeth in the upper right area of her mouth. It does not seem to be an abscess, but instead a soft tissue tumor. 2 biopsies were taken as well as 2 xrays. There does not seem to be an indication of jaw bone involvement. Waiting to hear once the biopsies are back to confirm.

What is the general recommendation from fellow owners in this type of situation given the location of the tumor? I'm so stunned - she seems way too young to have cancer!
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Old 06-24-2015, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I've had mouth tumors removed from hedgehogs a couple of times with great success. The masses were quite small and its margins were clearly defined. These types of tumors were easily removed with minimal damage to the hedgehog (a few teeth and soft tissue). This often isn't the case with oral masses.

I've also had hedgehogs that surgery just didn't make sense. The tumors were not clearly defined, or there were already multiples of them, indicating spread. The biopsies indicated squamous cell carcinoma, which is well known in our little ones, and its an aggressive one. For those hedgehogs, I ask doc about palliative care and monitor the hedgehog closely. Once it is clear that we cannot manage pain, and that the hedgehogs quality of life is suffering, we euthanize.

Once the biopsy comes back, your veterinarian should discuss with your options. If you aren't certain what to do next, let us know what options he gave you and which one he is recommending. There are plenty of us who have been in this spot, so hopefully one of us will be able to share an experience with you.
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Old 06-25-2015, 02:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Kalandra. I hope to hear back from the vet on Thursday or Friday with more solid answers.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The pathology came back as spindle cell sarcoma.

Due to location and involvement, debulking the mass is unlikely to have a beneficial result.

Has anyone pursued chemo or radiation with this type of tumor? Any other information that folks can provide would be very helpful.

Extra snuggles for the prickly one tonight.
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Old 06-30-2015, 07:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear this, I've dealt with that type and its one that I cringe to hear. I even took mine to the local veterinary school/oncology department to explore options (he was barely 1 year old).

With mine it showed up on his eyelid. We went to an ophthalmologist to have it removed. We got a few more good months, but doc didn't get it all. It came back in his neck.

We met with 3 oncologiest and 2 veterinarians that day and were told that sarcomas in general are difficult to treat. They do not react well to chemo and radiation is the best treatment. Removing them surgically is nearly impossible as they like to send out lots of fingers, very thin and hard to detect. When the tumor is cut they had often seen them come grow back quickly and larger. One of the oncologists told us that the healing response often encourages this type of cancer to grow. The oncologists told two stories in a dog and cat of a spindle cell coming back and popping stitches. Radiation, well it was 18 daily treatments and we were quoted around $9,000 for radiation and surgery to debulk the tumor...plus he was going to have to live at the hospital and the chance of recovery was very low.

For mine, we decided since it was a recurrence, and it came back massively larger, that we would just let him live out his life and try to keep him comfortable. I added supplements that encouraged a strong immune system, and he lived until the tumor grew to the point it was causing him discomfort. it never spread at least.

What's your vet's thoughts on complete removal without too much damage to the jaw?
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