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7.5 year old German Shepherd diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the shoulder.
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14 August 2016 - 2:16 am
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We are sorry that you and Holly have had to make your way here, but glad that you have found Tripawds.

On Our 8+ year old Alaskan Malamutes, Mya, is now 11 days since her surgery. About 7 weeks ago we had no idea there was even a high risk of bone cancer in dogs. Mya and Macleod, { couldn't have just one }, were racing around the yard , knocking us over, wrestling with each other, not a care in the world. One night Mya struggled to get up off the floor, and was limping ever since. Thought it could be arthritis. 3 weeks later she was in screetching pain prompting a Xray of her leg and sholder, it was cancer, Ostiosarcoma. We started looking looking every where for information and stories of other peoples journeys. That led us here and I'm so glad we made it. Reading the posts about this happening to other familys, all over, and right now was startlling. We were absoultly, devostated is an understatement, and it happens so fast. Mya, Allison, and (I) Terry, truely do share your pain. We have found the way to ease our way through this is to arm our selves with understanding. We talked with everyone we could, searched everything we could on this, and cancer in general, then to Tripawds and saw all the stories, pictures and videos. It was inspiring. I found we had to get past it for our selves, It really did bother us more than it did Mya. She has really adapted well to walking in three legs, with her limp she didn't put any weight on it anyway, she was almost in training. It doesnt seem to bother her at all, and the pain is gone, just a little tender from the surgery. She only hates being leashed for a bathroom break. She just wants to be a dog. We get the staples out next week and will start chemo theropy.  We started on Metacam (5cc 1x daily) and Tramadol (100mg 3x daily) before the surgery and upped tramadol to 200mg 3x daily and that has worked out well for the pain. We did find the tramadol make her talk a bit, Mals do that, and pant. I found if she looked me right in the eye and started squakingshe was hurting and if she was just chatty and looking around she was just a little anxious about the buzz. Letting her sleep as much as possable and keeping her cool really helped.

Our vet had just gone through this with her dog 2 years ago. He handled it well, even with a few complications he had another year and a half of happy pain free life. Her dog was 11.5 years old at the time of the surgery and mildly arthritic.

Ask all the questions you can don't be shy at all theres always someone here who knows what you are going through. There are difficult decisions you have to make so learn you can and talk about it over and over again untill you keep coming back to one right answer. We will help you any way we can. Remember that dogs live in the day, as long as today was a good day they are happy. And if yesterday wasn't it's already forgoten about.

Our thoughts are with you

Mya, Macleod, Terry and Allison

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14 August 2016 - 12:36 pm
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Thank you everyone for your comments they are really helping us.  Today Holly's nose has started to run.  Is this significant? I have never noticed it before and when she was in the garden earlier her nose was dripping a clear fluid.  

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14 August 2016 - 3:12 pm
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Hi,

We were sitting at Heathrow waiting to board a flight back to the US on July 13 -- one month ago -- when we got the call that Milo's limp was due to a tumor, most likely osteosarcoma.  He'll be 10 this fall.  He's a tall, skinny ~80lb, Australian Labradoodle who's had weak back legs in the past due to a back injury, and has always been a klutz.  He'd also injured his right shoulder (good leg) in May and again in June when jumping out of the pickup truck.  Lopping off his left leg when he might have a bad right shoulder, and occasionally weak back legs was an unsettling thought.

We met with a canine oncologist on Monday, July 18.  We got Milo into a clinical trial for osteosarcoma which required lung x-rays and abdominal ultrasound and a fine needle aspirate to confirm is was osteosarcoma and he had no metastases yet.  We had a slight delay due to the Metacam (only 7% of dogs have a bad liver reaction to it -- Milo was one of them.)  His leg was amputated on July 28. 

We've since hit a few more bumps.  A very thorough pathologist noticed a lesion on his scapula when analyzing his amputated leg, and it turned out to be a metastasis, so Milo got kicked out of the trial.  It was also determined he has a very rare, very aggressive form of osteosarcoma (Giant Cell-rich Osteosarcoma) -- I have more fingers than there are dogs that have ever been diagnosed with this form -- probably because most have too many metastases and are too far gone to ever get to the level of post-amputation biopsy necessary to diagnose it. 

Here I am, one month since the initial "cancer" phone call.  I now have a Tripawd that's been kicked out of the trial and probably has a short future, not the 1+ year that we had hoped for ......and my thoughts on our choices now with some hindsight...... I'm thrilled with our choice to amputate and would do it again in a heartbeat!

Milo is doing great.  He's not in pain.  He was definitely in pain before.  He wanted to go for a walk the other night.  We had a clambake at our house yesterday and he meandered amongst the guests and watched lawn games.  He's hating the heat (as usual), but he's mostly being his old self.  One guest actually thought Milo was my brother-in-law's service dog due to his harness and didn't notice he only had 3-legs. 

The full biopsy revealed this unusual form of osteosarcoma.  I might have made a different choice if I had done a biopsy first -- I would have been scared by the Giant Cell Osteosarcoma, and I would have worried about putting Milo through an amputation.  But I'm glad i didn't know because watching Milo now, I'm sure I made the right choice for him.  He'll most likely die from metastasis to his lungs from this stupid cancer, much sooner than we thought, but those aren't painful in the same way bone cancer is.  Bone cancer hurts ALL the time.  Lungs will slow them down, steal their breath, eventually coughing, etc.  But it's not 24 hour pain.  This way we can watch him and choose the time that's right for him, and know that he's not in constant pain.  And in the meantime, he's currently our good old Milo, albeit with just 3 legs.  And who knows -- maybe we'll break some crazy odds -- somebody wins the lottery!

Peace,

Jenifer & Milo

Minneapolis, MN
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14 August 2016 - 3:39 pm
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hollypie said
Thank you everyone for your comments they are really helping us.  Today Holly's nose has started to run.  Is this significant? I have never noticed it before and when she was in the garden earlier her nose was dripping a clear fluid.    

I would be surprised if a dripping nose had anything to do with her diagnosis.  Maybe the meds?  Maybe the meds are making her more sensitive to an allergen?

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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14 August 2016 - 4:25 pm
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Well, Hollie is letting you know she doesn't need that painful leg anymore, just like my girl Eurydice showed me.

All may look terrible now, but believe me your girl will show you how life can be enjoyed to the full on 3 legs.

Fear not, she will adapt.

And we are all here for you and Hollie!

Sending you a big hug and cuddles to your sweetie heart

Virginia
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14 August 2016 - 9:54 pm
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Jennifer, very thoughtful reply. Kind of you to share your insight. Milo has already won the puppy lottery by having you as his human! So let's keep in winni g more lottery Milo!
HUGS!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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15 August 2016 - 2:43 pm
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Well what a day. Saw our Vet this morning who told us exactly what we needed to do and thanks to all the input from this site we were prepared for what we wanted to happened and fortunately we agreed. Holly had a full body X-ray which showed no signs of spread. We know that it might still come and get her but for now we are living in the day and celebrating that she is okay to have an amputation. Her leg has been removed but we can't have her back until tomorrow. She is well sedated and quiet and needs to remain that way until tomorrow. So we will collect her in the morning and start the recovery. Thank you to all for your advice it has helped us so much. I will continue to post about her story hopefully to help others like others have helped us. Thanks Steve and Di - Holly's mum and dad

The Rainbow Bridge

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15 August 2016 - 3:27 pm
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That's terrific that she had clean x-rays and made it through surgery! Two big hurdles over and done with, now it's time to show the world that she ROCKS life on 3 legs!

Let us know what questions you have and how we can help OK? We'll be waiting for an update on her homecoming.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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15 August 2016 - 3:35 pm
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Great to hear surgerys done and Holly is resting comfortably.  I expected to come here and read an update on what was to come.  Didn't expect to hear surgery was over already.  But thrilled to hear scans were good and surgery is over.  Let us know how we can help once you get her home we'll be here waiting for an update.  Try to get some good sleep tonight you might be a bit short on that in the next few days.  It's an intense journey but you have taken the steps to get Holly out of the pain of osteosarcoma.  As Holly learns to navigate on 3 be prepared to be amazed at her resiliency and adaptability.  You have a great "can do" attitude that will serve you well.  Sending healing love and hugs yours and Hollys way.

Linda, Riley & Spirits Mighty Max & Ollie

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15 August 2016 - 4:02 pm
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Great news!  Glad to hear she is doing well!

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Virginia
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15 August 2016 - 11:39 pm
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YAY FOR HOLLY! Surgery is over and that bum leg is gone!

Recovery czn be quite nerve wracking for a bit so stay connected! There's a whole lot of firsthand knowledge around here!

When you go to pick her up, don't even bother looking at her incision. Just focus on her happy druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is! She'll be 100% focused on you...and the door to get out of there!!

Post when you can tomorrow. Give her a big smooch from all of us! 🙂

Hugs!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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16 August 2016 - 12:13 pm
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Well Holly is home and I am absolutely amazed at how she is doing.  She is quiet but all our friends are coming to see her and she is so pleased to see everyone that she gets up and greats them.  She keeps going backwards and gets it wrong sometimes but 24 hours after surgery and she is doing great.  She has a baby grow on and that is keeping her clean and to a certain extent it is holding her in place.  She is eating here dad's tuna and taking her medication so all is going in the right direction.  She is back to see the vet in the morning but fingers crossed it will be a clean baby grow and sent back home.  I asked my vet about painkillers and he said give her metacam and try and stay away from painkillers unless you feel she needs them.   Any advice on giving painkillers will be appreciated.  Thanks everyone.

Steve and Di  - Holly's mum and dad

Virginia
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16 August 2016 - 2:38 pm
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So glad ro hear Holly is home!! YAY!!!

Right now she still has hospital pain meds in her and they will .ost like ly be out of her system by tomrrow.

Now, about the pain meds!!!! I am not a vet and not giving vet advice, but everyone here will tell you she needs to be in pain meds consistently right away!!!! Is she in a Fentanyl patch by any chance? That would help some.

Some vets are just not up on the need for pain meds for dogs...but they are ineed needed!

This is .MAJOR SURGERY! It hurts!!!! Can you imagine a human having an amputation and basically just given an anti-inflammatory?

Anyway, what we see here is dogs coming home with Tramadol, Rimadyl (or Metacam), Gabapentin and an antibiotic! It is crucial to healing that she not be in pain. And yes, sometimes the meds can make her whiny or lethargic, or even restless, but it's better than being in pain! Once you get the pain meds gping on a consistent basis then you can judge if you need to increase the dose, do it more often...or lessen the dose, etc.

It's really good that she's eating. Right now just rest and potty breaks, eating and drinking.

So hapoy Holly is home and in the road to recovery!

Hugs to all!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Okay, I have to ask, what's a "baby grow"? I've inly had four leggers, or three leggers, so I don't know what that is.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 August 2016 - 8:15 pm
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fingers crossed it will be a clean baby grow and sent back home

Uhhhh?

But otherwise YAY!

As for giving medication, don't hide it in food. It will discourage her from eating. Try slathering it in cheese, butter or pill paste and give them separately. A pill gun is another great way.

Hope the vet visit went great!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 August 2016 - 12:30 am
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Sorry it's a British thing.  A babygro - It's an all in one stretch garment for human babies that is fitting holly just fine.  

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