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deciding on a path is so difficult and sad, just starting this
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21 May 2018 - 4:09 pm
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We just found out Charlie likely has bone cancer saturday. Its been so difficult since then because he is our baby. We've had him for 9.5 years. The dr did a fine needle aspirate and we are still waiting those results. We have oncology Thursday. We are doing chest x rays today to check for obvious spread. 

Charlie's options are really life or limb I think. I don't think that its much of an option to just put him on pain medicine to keep him around because that will not fix all the pain and the mass will still potentially spread causing more pain. 

Its very hard to make the best choice for him because his back legs are not 100%. he has hip dysplasia and I worry that might get worse if he has to make those legs work more. 

He's also full of other lumps and bumps, We get these checked and they come back "fatty masses" but what about the ones he may have we can't see? He has had one removed before that I think was a mast cell tumor. he has one large fatty lump close to his armpit that might make him uncomfortable if he has no arm there to support him. So this mass may need to be removed with the shoulder operation. 

How do you know if they will be happier after a leg removal? He is himself otherwise and that makes this hard. We can tell he is in pain though. 

currently we have been doing a lot of herbal treatments/support for him. He is taking CBD Hemp and HerbAprin for comfort. These take the edge off for him but he will need something stronger sooner then later. 

we are just very sad and stressed and wanted to share his story.

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 May 2018 - 4:42 pm
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I'm so sorry, but glad you shared his story here, I saw your other posts.

Of course you are sad and stressed, this is the news nobody ever expects. You are so good to Charlie though, and you guys can get through this. 

So do the vets suspect mast cell again or another cancer type? What do the vets think about him being a candidate for life on three legs? Has he been assessed by an orthopedic surgeon? We've had many happy Tripawds here who lived with other conditions like arthritis, and much worse than that.

How do you know if they will be happier after a leg removal? He is himself otherwise and that makes this hard. We can tell he is in pain though. 

If a vet recommends amputation, it's because the pain Charlie is in is worse than the very short term pain of recovery. If you know he is in pain, then it's pretty bad. Dogs do whatever they can to hide pain and when they show it, things are tremendously painful. 

I'll give you an example of how we knew that Jerry was happier when the pain was gone. We held up a "Before" picture taken the day he was scheduled for surgery. Then we put that photo next to an "After" one of him about 3 weeks out. The difference was astonishing! We had no idea that the expressions on his face that we had grown accustomed to over the previous few weeks (scrunched, narrow-ish eyes, low ears) were pain indicators. We felt terrible, but so glad when we could clearly see that he was enjoying life again, even with one less leg.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 May 2018 - 5:07 pm
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we know he is in pain when he is more grumbly. 

we are just starting all this so we don't have any actual answers yet on what type of cancer it may be or the recommendations. Mast cell is likely not suspected because there is the starburst like image on the xray 🙁

We just had the chest xray done and him getting that made him more sore because they move him around.  It was just a tech appt because our vet only worked in the am today so we won't get feedback on that until the morning. 

it helps (i think) to be able to share his story and just cry behind the computer screen....

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21 May 2018 - 6:29 pm
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Just a suggestion,, if you can afford it,, once the cancer is found,, it is time to go to a specialist and leave your general vet behind to do back up,, easy things etc,,, that is what I did..

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21 May 2018 - 7:43 pm
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Yes we go to one Thursday.  Just doing prelims with our  general vet to save money and get a few answers as we go on

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21 May 2018 - 8:49 pm
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So sorry you are having to deal with this for Charlie.  This part of the journey was the worst for us.  Once we realized that amputation was the best choice, everything else fell into place--but it was a rough path to get there.  You've found a great place to get support and help with decision-making.  I don't know what we would have done without Tripawds.

For us, we could tell Fallon's pain was gone after the surgery by how soundly and comfortably she was able to sleep.  I beat myself up all the time for not noticing the horrific pain she must have been feeling--especially after seeing the x ray.  She runs and plays with our other dog now as though nothing has happened. Amputation was really our best choice for her, I'm glad we landed there.

Wishing you some comfort--I know how hard it is.  I hope it gets better quickly for you--it eventually did for us.  Charlie will pick up on every emotion, our kids are so intuitive.  Remember to take good care of yourself as well as Charlie.

Dawn and Fallon (and Paul and Maggie)

Fallon (Tripawd) and Maggie (quadpawd), Greyhounds.  Dawn and Paul, 2 leggers.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com

Virginia
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21 May 2018 - 8:58 pm
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So sorry you find yourself here.  We are all are right  here by your side the whole way, okay?  YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!  We understand  what a kick in the gut it is to hear the "news". I was a hysterical mess for weeks vefore the amput...and for a bit afterwards too!

Of course, what really  matters is that Charlie didn't  hear a word of it!  Charlie  has no worries.   He doesn't  worry about tomorrow amd he doesnt worry about yesterday.  Charlie lives in the NOW, in the PRESENT.  We call that BEING MORE DOG.  In this case, BEING MORE CHARLIE

You are doing  homework and processing everything  very well.  Believe  it or not, once you get all the information and  all your quesrions answered you will actually  feel relieved  and you will feel more confident as you move forward.

Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks.  We'll be available  to help you navigate through it.  You have to remind yourself you are doing this FOR Charlie, and not TO him!   It is major surgery and it does hurt  You will most likely come home with Tramadol, Rimadyl, Gabapentin  and an antibiotic.  He may not feel like eating at first and pooping may take several days.  We do a HOPPY POOP DANCE when that happens!   Drinking and peeing are important though.  The first two weeks complete rest, SHORT potty breaks and back to resting.

You'll want to make sure you have non-slip  scatter rugs for traction   if you have  hardwoods.  No jumpimg, no stairs, no running...just lots of rest.

Now for the good news!  Once recovery is over and that painful leg is gone and Charlie has his sparkle  back, you will be so happy you did this FOR him!!

We've  got your back!😎

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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22 May 2018 - 11:58 am
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Well the chest x rays came back clear from what the regular vet could tell. I asked another vet about his leg x ray and he said it does present like bone cancer.

I am just so worried that if we have the surgery it will be so hard on his remaining legs. Now I am questioning myself if I feel another lump on one of his rear legs or if it is just one of his many fatty lumps. (I called the vet and took him in and he did an x ray and the back legs are ok bone wise)

🙁 I wish it was thursday tomorrow so we could see the oncologist already

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22 May 2018 - 12:11 pm
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Yay for clear x-rays!

Our primary vet discouraged amputation, he thought Fallon was too old (11), had maybe a little arthritis in the back end (she is a front leg amp), and she really didn't tolerate the doctor's visits well, and we'd be subjecting her to many.  I'm glad I got more input, though, because everyone else--greyhound expert, surgeon, folks here--said these things don't matter.  Indeed, she is doing just greyt, 7+ months later!

Assuming you go ahead with the surgery, please think about getting a rehab consult for Charlie.  We got one for Fallon--PAID BY TRIPAWDS!!! (thank you, Tripawds!), and it was so much good information about her current level of functioning, as well as how to improve on that.  They reinforced what we should be doing with her, what was too much, and how to get her to an optimal level of functioning.  We even went back for a few times for the underwater treadmill, until we decided we needed to save our money for other pending treatments.  But once those are over (can't talk about it, but only 1 more!), we'll most likely take her back to rehab.  Please look into how the Tripawds Foundation can help out with this for Charlie.

I couldn't wait to talk with everyone I could just to get more input.  It really did help us realize that amputation was the most favorable option for Fallon.  Hoping the days pass quickly for you so you can get the oncologist's input.

Fallon (Tripawd) and Maggie (quadpawd), Greyhounds.  Dawn and Paul, 2 leggers.

Fallon's left front leg was amputated due to osteosarcoma on 10/11/17.

Nothing But Love in Her Heart - dawn3g.tripawds.com

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22 May 2018 - 8:21 pm
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Hi there,

If you haven't read Fallon's blog, I honestly would strongly recommend it. It is amazingly inspiring.

There is no, absolutely NO guarantee how things will go. Given your concerns I am certain that is not what you want to hear. Nopawdy knows when our time is up. On the more positive side, nopawdy knows when our time is up!!

There have been furbabies that have done very well, some have not. Age doesn't seem to be the factor. 

Some here will tell you the post surgical experience was just hell. It can be. Appetite most times will go down for a bit, so you have to spoil them with wonderful people food. It passes. Some have post surgical problems. Many get through it. You are in a place that has just the best support. It's almost a guarantee that someone has experienced something you will deal with.

Follow your heart. Even if it crushes you, try to Be More Dog . One step at a time, as it happens. Follow your heart and your gut. Watch your furbaby and listen to him, he will give you signals if you let him. 

Sending hugs and wishes for the best. It can be a long road, it can also be worthwhile.

Jackie and Huck ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......ipawds.com

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23 May 2018 - 4:44 am
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Hi sweetie 🌺

I second Jackie, we’ve all been in your shoes and whatever may come for Charlie it is almost sure somebody here will have experienced the same.

You can count on us.

Sending you a wave of pawsitive energy, hugs and cuddles 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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