Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)
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Thread: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

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    2labcrew's Avatar
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    DefaultDermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Hi All, I am new to this site, but I know a lot of you from other sites. I know there are a lot of people that read this board, so I am posting in hopes that someone may recognize this situation and offer some input....I apologize for being all over the place, this has been overwhelming and a lot to take in all of a sudden.

    In Dec, my boy Digger had a small pea sized lump on his chin. We took him in, and the vet said it didn't seem like anything serious as she could manipulate it, it seemed to her like a normal fatty cyst they are prone to. She said let's see how it progresses, the best thing that could happen would be for it to grow and receed....it grew! We went back, she gave us antibiotics, and it receeded. The week of Christmas it was absolutely, completely gone...for ONE day! The next day it started to grow again, and by the time I got him in 2 days later it was the size of his entire chin from tip to neck...liek a baseball. Her plan was to do surgery, but she was afraid of infection, so again with the antibiotics. She did do a suregry, but found no encapsulation of infection in the cyst itself. Instead, she told me she found hair...MANY strands of hair, she pulled them out to show me...they were his hair alright. She also said that between his teeth and gums he had hair "growing"... it was easily pulled out, but it was there. This was something I had never noticed before, it was only in one front canine tooth. Along the ridge of his tongue, he also has fine hairs sticking up...since his littermate brother has the same thing, I assumed all dogs had it, or at least all labs. Well, wrong!

    I had met a woman, who through conversation, told me her DH was a vet surgeon in CT, they used to live in my area, and he went to U of Penn. I told her abotu the situation and her DH sent me an article on Demoid Cysts. The article was from 2000. It described the cyst and Digger's tongue to a T. I took it to my vet when we went back for the latest growth spurt in early May, and she referred me to a surgical hospital. We had our appt on Tues where they did dental xrays and a CT scan. It seems his situation is exactly as the article states, but unfortunately the surgeon is standing there scratching her head and is givng us a lot of "I don't know" in answer to our questions. At first she was telling us they woudl have to remove part of his jaw and that he would "be disfigured, but they adjust" That was when I disolved into tears. My husband was speachless. She spoke with my vet last night about the CT report, before speaking to me. She told me she did not see as much of a chance for bone removal now, but she will not know until she gets in there. Thsi morning I spoke with my vet and the surgeon seemed a little less confident about not having to take bone when she spoke to my vet??

    The surgery will be done from the tongue and the bottom of the jaw where the cyst is. The ridge in the tongue with the hair growing in it wil be resectioned and sewn shut, (Currently, there is a hole that runs from the ridge DOWN through the tongue all the way to the jaw where the cyst is), and a drain will be placed through the "tunnel" sticking out of the bottom of his jaw until after the tongue heals. At that time the drain will be removed and the tunnel will be left to close naturally. I still can't believe I am able to reiterate all that. He does have fibrous damage to his frenulum (stringy part that holds your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) and eventually he will have to have a suregry or lose range of motion in his tongue. We have a 2nd opinion scheduled for the 19th, and 3rd and 4th if we have to. It has been the conclusion of my vet that this WILL have to take place, but I am out of my mind over the loss of jaw bone....or any operative mistakes that could cause him to lose use of his tongue anyway.

    I am just wondering if anyone has ever heard of anything like this? My husband is very uneasy about the "cowboy" attitude of "well, we just have to get in there and see". My thought is, if NO ONE has seen something liek this, then that will be the attitude of every surgeon we speak to. I am not really sure what I am looking for here, short of someone miraculously saying "YES! I know someone whose dog had that done"....I am just trying any avenue I can to get as much info as we can for my boy. If you have any input I would be grateful.

    Thanks,

    Miriam
    Miriam , Digger, and Kodi


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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Well first of all I want to say I am so sorry you and your Digger have to go through all of this.
    Second, I am partly facinated by it because I have never heard of such a thing. Would you be able to share that article? Even email it to me.

    I wish I had some advise or words of wisdom. I love to hear the follow-up on Digger.
    Kim

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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Can you contact the breeder to see of the other littermate had something like this?
    I found that in Thoroughbred horses and Ridgebacks this is hereditary.
    Kim

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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Quote Originally Posted by cinderbaylabs
    Well first of all I want to say I am so sorry you and your Digger have to go through all of this.
    Second, I am partly facinated by it because I have never heard of such a thing. Would you be able to share that article? Even email it to me.

    I wish I had some advise or words of wisdom. I love to hear the follow-up on Digger.
    Hi Cinderbaylabs,

    I would be happy to email you the article...it is in PDF form on my computer...the way it was sent to me. It seems to be quite fascinating, I just wish it was fascinating on someone else's dog! LOL

    I have remained quite good friends with my breeder...and the owner of their father as well. I have discussed this since the onset with both of them, and neither have had any feedback from previous litters on anything like this. Their mother only had 2 litters. Their brother from her first litter, though, has a similar cyst on his lower eyelid that has just cropped up in the last 3 months...he is 7 or 8 though, my guys are 5. It seemed oddly coincidental too, b/c they are exactly alike in look, color, build, and personality even though from different litters. They are both foxreds...I know probably not a coincidence to most people, but we (the Breeder and myself) call Digger mini Spart b/c thay are so much alike.

    I have not really navigated the site much, but I am sure you have a version of PMs here, if you want to give your email addy, I am happy to send you the article.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Miriam
    Miriam , Digger, and Kodi


  7. #5
    Caseys Mom Guest

    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Gee, I'm sorry to hear about poor Digger! It must be very scary for you.

    I was also unfamiliar with dermoid cysts and ran a search on them. I came up with about the same things Kim (CinderBay) did, that they seem to be hereditary in Rhodesian and Thai Ridgebacks. Here's a faq page from Ridgeback rescue:
    http://ridgebackrescue.info/dermoids/html/faqs.html
    One thing on there that you might find somewhat comforting is that when they operate on the Ridgebacks, they also have to adopt something of a "we have to wait until we get in there before we know" attitude.

    I also found an article on a lingual dermoid cyst in a GSD but I think it may be the one that you already have.
    http://www.ava.com.au/avj/0003/00030160.pdf

    I wish I could have found more but it seems like dermoids, especially of the tongue, are just plain rare and there's not much info out there.

    Have you considered taking Digger to a school of veterinary medicine? They often have the most up-to-date research and technology.

    Please keep us updated on how Digger does.

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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Quote Originally Posted by Caseys Mom
    Gee, I'm sorry to hear about poor Digger! It must be very scary for you.

    I was also unfamiliar with dermoid cysts and ran a search on them. I came up with about the same things Kim (CinderBay) did, that they seem to be hereditary in Rhodesian and Thai Ridgebacks. Here's a faq page from Ridgeback rescue:
    http://ridgebackrescue.info/dermoids/html/faqs.html
    One thing on there that you might find somewhat comforting is that when they operate on the Ridgebacks, they also have to adopt something of a "we have to wait until we get in there before we know" attitude.

    I also found an article on a lingual dermoid cyst in a GSD but I think it may be the one that you already have.
    http://www.ava.com.au/avj/0003/00030160.pdf

    I wish I could have found more but it seems like dermoids, especially of the tongue, are just plain rare and there's not much info out there.

    Have you considered taking Digger to a school of veterinary medicine? They often have the most up-to-date research and technology.

    Please keep us updated on how Digger does.
    Hi Caseys Mom,

    Thanks for taking the time to try to find some info for me!!!! Yes, the second link is the article I have. I will read the link you gave for the Ridgebacks...and yup, makes me feel better to read the "won't know till we get in there" line! That was the most disconcerting part for us. I can barely leave them for dog daycare, to leave him with someone who says "welp, I guess we'll see if we have to remove half his jaw once I tear 'im open and see" is a bit hard for us to swallow. Sigh...

    We do have U of Penn here, but based on word of mouth this facility I am taking him to is supposed to be the best....all the Dr are out of Penn...including the one who helped me out first with the article. It is defintiley an option to take him down there.

    For now, I want to see what the 2nd opinion comes out with and how I feel with that surgeon. It could be that I just don't mesh personality wise with the first one....I ask A LOT of questions as my personality anyway...but, put my dog's health in jeapordy and I am way overboard. I think she just didn't know how to handle all the questions I threw at her one after the other with an answer of "I don't know" b/c it is such a rare thing with not much info behind it. I can be overbearing at times :-[ LOL

    Thank you for your reply!

    BTW, I am assuming your avatar is Casey? I could just steal that one! What an absolute sweetpea!
    Miriam , Digger, and Kodi


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    Labsrme is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    I don't know anything about dermoid cysts, however, I would not let a vet operate on my dog if he/she did not seem to have a clear understanding of what they were dealing with. From your post, it sounds like your vet is a bit clueless and is just planning to go in and "see what happens". You are talking about a major surgery here, and a very delicate one at that.

    If I were you I would find a vet who has experience with this sort of thing, or at least has lots of surgical experience and is willing to put in some research time to figure out the best course of treatment here. My suggestion would be to contact vet colleges for their recommendations.

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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Mim??

    Wow! I remember you! Digger and Kodiak (right??) Murphy and Riley are my boys.....

    I am so sorry to hear what you and Digger are going through. As I recall, Digger must be around 5-6 years old. Right?? Did the vet give you any idea as to why this is occurring now and not before.

    I will be interested to hear what the 2nd opinion doc has to say. Scheduled for the 19th, right? Seriously, Mim, think about taking him to UPenn. The students are trained to look for the unusual. At the very least, they may either confirm or take away your worries about the other outfit.

    I have nothing more to say, just wanted to say 'hi' and to let you know that you and Digger have my thoughts and prayers.

    Please, update when you can. And, stick around. I would like to see more of you.


    Murphy, Riley, and Piper

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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Quote Originally Posted by Labsrme
    I don't know anything about dermoid cysts, however, I would not let a vet operate on my dog if he/she did not seem to have a clear understanding of what they were dealing with. From your post, it sounds like your vet is a bit clueless and is just planning to go in and "see what happens". You are talking about a major surgery here, and a very delicate one at that.

    If I were you I would find a vet who has experience with this sort of thing, or at least has lots of surgical experience and is willing to put in some research time to figure out the best course of treatment here. My suggestion would be to contact vet colleges for their recommendations.
    Hi Susan,

    It's not so much that the surgeon is clueless as that this cyst/location is VERY rare. The only info for one of these occuring in the tongue/mouth area is from an article written in 2000. I am at the mercy of the surgeons, the article, and the lack of info. We are not thrilled the situation (and really neither is the surgeon), but we have been told by the surgeon, and my vet after reading the CT report, that he has significant tissue damage already to his tongue due to the situation having been brewing for at least over a year...the cyst is actually a symptom, NOT the problem. I am actually grateful now the cyst appeared, or I could have lost him down the road when his tongue became too damaged to function. The article I gave the surgeon explains in detail how they did they surgery...other than that they have not found much else info. The surgeons at this hospital facility are all from UPenn, our teaching hospital. The surgeon who originally gave me the article specifically recommended the facility. The problem with research on something that is so rare, is that we may not have all that much time for him before he loses all range of motion in his tongue. He is already considerably compromised according the the surgeon from the scar tissue on his frenulum. We are not the sort to let anyone go in and "have at it", so in the time we have I will be researching my ass off to find out everything I possibly can. There will be no limit on how many other opinions I get until we are comfortable with what needs to be done, but unfortunately, we are coming to the realization that it DOES need to be done. Actually, the idea of a teaching hospital scares me more as I am sure they would all too eager to get in there and figure it out since it is rare.
    Miriam , Digger, and Kodi


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    DefaultRe: Dermoid Cyst on chin (LONG)

    Quote Originally Posted by Anne
    Mim??

    Wow! I remember you! Digger and Kodiak (right??) Murphy and Riley are my boys.....

    I am so sorry to hear what you and Digger are going through. As I recall, Digger must be around 5-6 years old. Right?? Did the vet give you any idea as to why this is occurring now and not before.

    I will be interested to hear what the 2nd opinion doc has to say. Scheduled for the 19th, right? Seriously, Mim, think about taking him to UPenn. The students are trained to look for the unusual. At the very least, they may either confirm or take away your worries about the other outfit.

    I have nothing more to say, just wanted to say 'hi' and to let you know that you and Digger have my thoughts and prayers.

    Please, update when you can. And, stick around. I would like to see more of you.
    HEY ANNE!!! I remember you and Murphy and Riley! Long time no see after I am no longer welcome on the "other" baord! LOL Nice to see a familiar face, I wasn't sure if anyone woudl reply to me with it being my first post and being a "stranger" here...I am grateful for all the posts! Donna (Lucy and Gidgey's mom...not sure of her name here) urged me to join and post.

    Yup, they are 5 1/2 now, SUCH good guys! Actually, it has been brewing since it is something that has been present from birth...has always been there, but finally the cyst appearing just alerted us to the fact that there is a problem. It does respond to antibiotics, but again, the cyst is not the problem, it is the "tunnel" in his tongue that is causing the problems. The surgeon had said we were lucky a piece of food or a piece of hair that he licked off of himself did not get in the hole and cause an absess, we would have certainly lost him, as no one would have known to look IN the tongue!

    Penn is in my mind, but since everyone I have been refferred to has come from Penn, I feel ok about that...no info on the situation is no info on the situation....ya know? So, anyone is going in blind. And liek I said in an above post, I am actually afraid of a teahcing hospital...probably an idiot for that thought, but I am. The more people I take him to though, the more chance I have of someone saying they have heard of, or know of someone who did a similar surgery. Everyone I know from my board who is involved in any kind of vetting has been bombarded by me with the same email as I originally posted here. I also thought about emailing Lisa (Black labbies) too.

    All in all, I feel lucky that some girl on my cooking board decided to PM me to ask about my location THE DAY he had that first surgery when we thought we were removing an encapsulation of infection...from there conversation unfolded and her DH sent me the article..."someone" looked out for us there. Of course I am just wishing someone along the way would say "Yes! I know what that is"...nto having much luck there, though! LOL

    I will have to hunt down some pics of your puppers. I haven't navigated much, I have a one track mind for this situation right now. Would liek to stick around...I am sure there are a few others here I knwo.

    Good to "see" you!

    Mim
    Miriam , Digger, and Kodi


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