Saturday, February 03, 2024
A French bulldog pup named Tyson, aged three months, miraculously regrew most of his lower left jaw after it was removed for cancer treatment, marking the first such event in canines, and he remains cancer-free to this day, according to Cornell University veterinarians.
According to a report published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science, Tyson, who had a cleft palate — an opening or split in the roof of the mouth — was set to undergo a surgical repair in 2023 when his primary vet discovered a malignant tumour along his left jaw.
It was later confirmed to be oral papillary squamous cell carcinoma.
The standard treatment for these cancers is surgery, but Tyson's owners were hesitant due to the need to remove most of his lower left jaw, Gizmodo reported.
However, tests showed that the cancer had not spread elsewhere, indicating a good prognosis for surgery. With the family's permission, the vets performed the procedure.
To everyone’s surprise, his jaw began to grow back within eight weeks, marking the first documented case of jaw regeneration in a dog following oral cancer surgery, highlighting the potential for similar cases in humans and animals.
The team suggests that Tyson's remarkable recovery is attributed to his age and the intact periosteum, a thin membrane layer covering the jaw, but the exact mechanisms behind this regeneration remain a mystery.
“More has to be done to understand the likelihood of this occurring in other dogs and if a specific age range makes a difference,” said study author Alexandra Wright, a dentistry and oral surgery resident at Cornell who led Tyson’s care, in a statement. “But this case documents a very positive surgical outcome in a life-threatening situation.”
Tyson had to undergo another surgery to repair his cleft palate, which was successful, and although his new lower left jaw is less functional due to missing teeth, it remains healthy and active.
Vets have found no evidence of cancer returning, and Tyson is living life to the fullest, passing an obedience class and participating in a Christmas parade.