update on Gibbs

About time I gave you an update on Gibbs, isn’t it!  This is what he looked like before all the medical visits, with severe facial paralysis on the left side.

After the MRI on 17th May which revealed a grey “mass” inside his middle ear, we booked him in for surgery on 24th.  Surgeon performed a TECABO (total ear canal ablation and lateral bulla osteotomy) and sent a sample away to be biopsied.

Biopsy results took 2 weeks to come through. It was, as the specialist suspected, a cholosteatoma (I’ll let you google that, if you’re interested) therefore not cancer.  That was the good news.  Bad news: it’s very rare in dogs and when it does occur, it frequently grows back, despite surgical removal.  So . . . we have gained time for Gibbs, but there’s no knowing how long.

In the meantime . . . After 3 weeks of wearing the cone, he now looks like this.

We think the drooping has improved slightly, around the eye . . . but he’s still very lop-sided and is likely to remain that way forever.  However, he’s full of beans! From a distance, and seeing only his right side, he looks like a perfectly healthy Flat-coated retriever.  He’s regained his balance, and trots along in the typical Flat gait (tail fanning out horizontally and head held proudly).   We’ve been warned to keep an eye on him and check regularly for any swelling (which will mean the thing is growing back). But for now, we’re just happy to see Gibbs happy and more or less back to his normal self.