Monday, November 10, 2008

Good news!

We got the biopsy results back from Winnie's masses that were removed last week, and good news! Both were benign masses called papillomas. I was a little nervous because masses in the mouth have a tendency to be bad news (think metastatic melanoma). Winnie is so young that she was at low risk for it to be anything serious, but cancer is always a possibility when dealing with masses.

So what is a canine oral papilloma? Also known as puppy warts, oral papillomas are cauliflower-like growths caused by a virus. The virus is contagious, so dogs often pick them up when engaging in "mouthy" play with other dogs at parks or doggy daycare. They don't usually cause problems unless they get large enough to interfere with chewing. They can be found in places other than the mouth, as in Winnie's case, where it started as a mass on her paw. The immune system will eventually clear the virus, although it can take weeks to months. Winnie is a little unusual in that she's on the old side to be getting puppy warts, so her vet is going to put her on a supplement to help support her immune system.

Now all that's left is for Winnie to survive the next couple days of sutures in her paw pad. She is a sad sad sight, but it's almost over!

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