dog gumMerlin is always very lively and full of life so you’d have trouble knowing there had been anything wrong with him. Merlin is a 5 yr old Slovakian Rough Haired Pointer and luckily for him, his owners are very diligent when it comes to checking him over.

Just before Christmas Karen and Mike noticed a soft swelling over the gum near Merlin’s top canine tooth. It wasn’t firm like most gum lumps we see so our suspicions were raised from the very start. On our recommendation Merlin was taken in that day for a biopsy of the tissue as we suspected this could be a type of cancer.

Within a week we knew that Merlin was unfortunately suffering from a malignant cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. The only good news was that these are potentially resectable but only with radical surgery to his upper jaw. We discussed the fact that his face would look different but that if we wanted to give Merlin the best chance of living to old age then surgery was essential.

It wasn’t long before Merlin was in Solihull at Willows Veterinary Referral Centre where he had a CT scan of his skull to detect the extent of the tumour.

Specialist surgeon Stephen Baines was able to remove a section of Merlin’s nose & upper jaw including a number of teeth. He expertly was able to suture merlin’s lip over the defect without affecting his nostril or removing any external skin.

A month after this major operation Merlin is eating normally, his mouth stitches have dissolved and he is back to his old bouncy self. The pathology results were very positive, implying that the tumour was completely removed but we’ll all feel a lot happier in another 6-12 months time if nothing grows back.

We all wish Merlin and his owners the very best of luck. He is a very positive dog with a BIG personality and lucky for him, his owners spotted his life threatening cancer in time to get it treated.