Thank you for taking the time to read this post. My wife and I have a 6 year old Australian Shepherd named Augie that we rescued 2 years ago. He recently started bleeding from the nose, and so we took him to our regular Vet. After performing an x-ray, it was discovered he had a mass growing in his nasal cavity. The radiologist theorized (based upon his observation) that it was malignant. Therefore we were referred to an oncologist.
Now, for us, this was sudden, and the possibility of it being cancer was devastating news. We do not have human children, and our family started out with a Black Lab puppy (Sebastian), followed by a St. Bernard puppy (Kali), and then finally a Pug puppy (Oliver). All 3 of them were rescues. Our lives were filled with happiness for 13 years. Then, tragedy struck, and we were forced to euthanize our beautiful Kali 3 years ago. About a year later, we rescued a beautiful, pitiful, heavily abused Augie. Then, at the beginning of last year, our little Oliver was diagnosed with Carcinoma in his mouth. While struggling to navigate our options, our cherished Sebastian's body gave out to what I assume is old age, and we had to euthanize him in February. While struggling with our loss, we were determined to leverage our love, prayers, and every other possible thing to save Oliver's life. Two weeks after Sebastian's passing, we took Oliver in for his first radiation treatment. We aren't quite sure what happened exactly, but the Oliver's little lungs were affected by the treatment, and two days after his first radiation treatment (16 days after losing Sebastian) we had to let our little white ball of stubborness go and euthanize him(even to this day, I miss that stubborness terribly).
I apologize for veering so far off topic. So, when faced with this diagnosis in Augie, terrible flashbacks of loss came pouring back in, along with the situation of Oliver's treatment and the outcome. The oncologist performed a biopsy and sent it off. We were told that 99.9% of all nasal tumors are malignant, and that it would be a one-in-a-million chance of it being anything else. While there, they also diagnosed a mild heart condition (the hits just keep coming). After a couple of agonizing days of waiting, we received a phone call telling us that the pathology report stated it was benign. Before celebrating, they wanted to take a bigger chunk just to make sure they hadn't just grabbed a random benign piece of an otherwise malignant tumor. The second test came back the same way. The oncologist said the findings were so rare, she was having a hard time naming the diagnosis. She finally settled on GRANULAR HYPERPLASIA AND FIBROSIS. We had received our miracle.
Now, the reason I am posting this. The tumor is roughly the size of an elongated kiwi (how he does not have any kind of facial distortion is beyond me). That is a pretty massive tumor in my mind. The surgery is going to be highly invasive, and apparently they found an abnormality in the underlying bone that needs to be investigated. I was wanting to know if anyone had any kind of guidance on where I can find any kind of objective (not subjective) information regarding skilled surgeons? In my daydreams, I am hoping I can find the "Gregory House M.D." of surgeons. I suspect this is a pipe dream, but we have to do everything we can. Augie had lived 3 years of hell before we adopted him (a couple of bullet wounds, hit by a car and left untreated, some teeth are wore down and missing where he was left in a cage and he tried to chew his way out). They even theorize that this growth may be a possible result of some trauma that that had enough force to cause a piece of the roof of his mouth to become lodged in his nasal cavity.
We live in Indiana, but distance is not an issue, and as far as cost is concerned, that is irrelevant. We are prepared to do whatever is necessary. Thank you for taking the time to read this, as well as any input/information you may provide.