Equine Ameloblastoma: Rosie’s Story – Part 2

by | Dec 10, 2022 | Equine Ameloblastoma

This blog post series is purely a record of our journey with Rosie. It is not an in-depth look at the condition, nor are they intended to be used as a diagnosis or recommendation of treatment. Should your horse be showing signs of, or is diagnosed with, ameloblastoma please consult with your equine vet, surgeon and dentist.

These blog posts contain images that some people may find distressing, however I believe they are a valuable part of understanding the progression of the condition. Please feel free to scroll past the images and only read the text.

Previous Posts
Equine Ameloblastoma: Rosie’s Story – Part 1

The Journey to Diagnosis
Rosie’s journey with Ameloblastoma started in earnest late 2019 however in April 2013 during her first routine dental since joining our family, she had a baby cap removed that was severely deformed. Our dentist at the time indicated that it could be nothing and simply a tooth that didn’t form properly or it could be a precursor to something more concerning, such as a tumour.

From 2013 to 2019 Rosie had regular dental exams and never presented with any areas of concern. She did however display an intermittent and unusual eating style during this time which is best described as her eating with her mouth open and her chin jutted out in front of her so the underside of her jaw and throat was level. It appeared as if she was trying to place food towards or avoid food being in a certain area. She would also drop a reasonable amount of food while eating this way.

Video of her eating was taken and sent to our dentist who suggested we flush her mouth in case she had something stuck like a piece of wood, part of a twig or a small rock, and to continue to monitor and advise if anything progressed or got worse and that we’d do a full check at her next appointment.

We are still unclear if her eating style had anything to do with her condition however as she continued to display this strange eating style on and off throughout her journey I suspect it was a result of her condition.

The first signs that something was brewing became evident in July 2019 when a small lump appeared on her right side mandible. Given the ‘warning’ our dentist had flagged back in 2013 my first thought was “here we go”. The stomach dropping sensation that the thing you’d hoped would never be a thing, was now a thing…

Late August 2019 we took Rose to see our dentist, at this time she presented with a 4mm diastema between 406 & 407 and an 8mm diastema between 408 & 409. Her 407 & 408 were the teeth that would become the most heavily impacted by the tumour. X Rays were taken which clearly showed that the roots of 407 & 408 were already being impacted and there was a lump protruding into her mouth under her tongue. At this point we were referred to an equine surgeon for a biopsy.

In September 2019 we headed down to see the surgeon for her biopsy. This went surprisingly well, tissue samples both soft and hard were taken and sent off for testing. The results only took about 24hrs to come back and I received the phone call I’d been dreading. I then had to go home and break the news to Torben.

We discussed our options (see Rosie’s Story – Part 1) at length and with Rose. We engaged the support services of our animal communicator team who shared what Rose had already expressed to me, she did not want the surgery. It was not easy to honour her wishes, we had the means and the ability to see her through surgery, while also being extremely aware that a surgery of this calibre was not without its risks, but we agreed that we would ride it out with her and do everything we could to ensure her quality of life was exceptional until her last day.

Rosie was 10yrs old when she was diagnosed. We had to accept that we would very likely be saying goodbye to her in the next 1-2yrs… so young and so unfair, yet in hindsight it was all part of our journey with her.

Equine Ameloblastoma: Rosie’s Story – Part 3


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