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Request for good mojo, please.


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My little terrier, Digger, has developed a growth on his gum at the front of his mouth. I had him in to his vet this morning and she says it needs to go. She suggested laser surgery as being the least complicated and best method. She has referred us to a dental surgeon vet whom she trusts. I will be calling him the minute his office opens on Monday morning and trying to get Digs in to see him asap. We pulled blood for a BCB/Chem this morning at his vet so that info will be in place and I am going to try to get him into surgery as fast as possible.

The growth has only been developing for less than two weeks. I know because I did his teeth brushing two weeks ago. I feel very bad because normally I brush teeth every weekend but last weekend I did not, because I was caught up in the death of a good friend's dog (the dog was a good friend too), and I might have noticed it then if I had, and gotten him in sooner.

There's no telling what it is, and my vet did not think it really looked cancerous, so I am trying hard to think positively, but I gotta tell you, this dog holds my heart and I am freaking out. Any kind of surgery is risky in and of itself.

So, I am writing all of you to ask for good thoughts about Digger. I know he is not a border collie, but he is nevertheless the dog of my heart. I was such a border-collies-only person for so long that I never would have thought I would have my heart captured by a scruffy little terrier mix. I was not the scruffy little terrier kind of person. But Digger came along and has turned out to be the most amazing dog I have ever had. Training him is always a joy and delight because he is sharp as a whip and wants to work with me and will try anything. He learns as fast as or faster than any BC I have trained. And he is always sensible and well behaved. I just cannot imagine my life without him.

So.....if you could...please send some good mojo our way for Digs....

thanks so much.

Constance and Digger


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Sending you and Digger mucho mojo!


It's always scary when surgery might be involved, but I am hoping all will be well. Terriers are awesome, and yours sounds like a very special, and beloved character! :)

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We have all our fingers and toes and paws crossed here.


FWIW, my parents' Spoo mix developed a FAST growing tumor in his mouth, and the vet gave us the same "needs to go asap" talk. Turns out it was just a harmless epulis. Not to guarantee that outcome, but that was a LOT of panic over something pretty silly. I hope you have the same experience.


Your dogs sure have your heart spread out in many places.

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Thanks for the support, everyone. And the encouraging positive-outcome stories.

Yes, kingfisher, I do have my heart spread out a bit. four dogs and two cats. More animals than I need, for sure, but it just happened that way. I actually only "went out and got" two of them.


Kit was essentially a foster failure, although technically she never even reached the status of foster dog, because I fell in love before I even got a chance to inform ABCR of her existence. Mingo and Boo were my partner's cat and dog, and when she died I inherited them, as we had a solemn vow between us with regard to each other's animals. Digger came to me to be dog-sat and then the person never came back for him. Only Jester and my little black-and-white "border collie" cat Ben were conscious adoption choices. But of course I love them all. Digger is somehow extra special to me, though. We have bonded very tightly.



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We have an appointment for early tomorrow morning with the vet that our regular vet referred us to. I talked to him this morning and he told me that he will probably be able to go ahead and do the surgery tomorrow, unless there is something that comes up that makes it inadvisable. He will do dental X-rays first. I am taking him in at 7:30 in the morning and hopefully picking him up late in the afternoon, all better.

At this point I am hoping for there to be a clear path to surgery and for the surgery to go well. Tomorrow will be a long difficult day for Digger (and me).

Please be thinking of Digger tomorrow. thanks.

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Warning: long message.

No need to read the whole thing, unless it interests you; the most important bit is right at the beginning!


To everyone who has been thinking of Digger and me, I want to say thank you so much for your support and good thoughts and prayers. It means a great deal to me and to Digs.

Digger is OK!

That's the main thing. He is next to me on the couch, and he came through with flying colors.


The good news is that the mass is something very unlikely to be cancerous. The not-as-good news is that it was not a simple cyst or mass that could be removed quickly with laser surgery as my vet had thought.


It turned out to be a bone mass, which necessitated the removal of Digger's three front teeth, and a fair sized chunk of the bone above those teeth. This, in turn, necessitated the application of a bone graft so that he would not have a big hole there, which would of course have resulted in all the other teeth in his upper jaw getting messed up. Ack! I did not even remotely think that it would get into something like bone grafts! But it turns out this vet has literally done thousands of these operations, has a complete “bank” of bone graft material, and does one to three of these surgeries a week.


The surgeon did everything right, as far as I was concerned, to give me confidence in him and lessen my considerable fear and apprehension. He explained everything very clearly, answered all my questions, and was reassuring. The clinic had every device that would be used for a human being, to monitor animals under anesthetic. He took several photos before, during, and after the surgery and sent them to me via email along with the x-rays. I had brought Digger's favorite toy and his blanket to be in the crate with him, and the vet even asked me which side, the fleece or the ultrasuede, Digger liked to lie on. Little things like that really impress me in a situation like that, because to me it indicates attention to details and a lot of caring. He called me after he did the initial x-rays of Digger's mouth, and after the surgery was over. I was also told that I could call any time and it would not bother them at all. (I did, once, to ask them to save the removed teeth for me).


Digger's recovery crate was in the main room, not 'way in the back, so that someone would be monitoring him at all times as he recovered. Although I had not planned to do so, I approved a full dental cleaning while he was under because at that point why not.


The surgeon told me that often he also does tooth implants to replace the teeth that he took out, but that would be done much later. I won't do it, I am sure, because Jester has never had the same three little front teeth, (born without them, I always assumed) and it never seemed to bother him. Of all the teeth, it seems to me, those would be the best ones to lose.


Looking in Digger's mouth this evening, it is hard to believe that he just went through the surgery today. There is no inflamed tissue, and apart from the fact that he is missing those teeth everything looks really good and normal.


Of course what was removed is being sent to a lab just to be sure, but the vet did say that it was extremely rare that this kind of thing was anything but benign. That is the best news of all because in all probability once Digger is fully recovered it will all be behind us. So much worse it would be to go through surgery and have it be only the beginning.


Since Digger is on a soft diet for the next two weeks, I spent the afternoon making him chicken soup and home-made applesauce. :-) That's what I would want, if it were me. He seemed to agree when I gave him some. His activities will be curtailed for the next two weeks (no jumping....hmmmm. That will be fun to try to enforce!!), and he will have rechecks, but all is well. Tonight he is tired and a bit groggy, but is essentially himself and very happy to be home again. And I am very happy and relieved.


Hearing the terribly sad news that jwv just got, I am feeling as though we dodged a bullet, and we are very lucky. I only wish.....so much.....that the same were true for her. My heart goes out to you, jvw, and I hope that we on the boards here can be of some comfort and assistance to you in the time ahead.

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