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Introduction - 5 1/2 year old Zoey
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25 April 2018 - 11:23 am
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Zoey is our 5 1/2 month old Doberman/Alaskan Malamute mix. She has a brother with same parents but different litter who is 6. 

A couple of months ago Zoey came inside from the yard holding up her left hind leg. Of course it all seemed fine when she got her leash on for a “walk” and went to the vet, so we all figured it was just a small sprain. We treated her with pain meds and she seemed just fine. Last week she started randomly holding up the same leg. We figured she had tweaked it again running around with her brother. But on Saturday there was a noticeable lump that showed up.

We took her in Monday and they ran an X-Ray. The vet called us and told us that it showed a mass, and that they suspect bone cancer. We took her in yesterday for a bone biopsy to confirm whether it is cancer, and if so, what we can do. We should hopefully get results by the end of the week.

We spent much of Monday crying our eyes out about the chance of bones cancer for our girl. I did get small glimmer of hope after finding this site, and wanted to join.

The vet said she is pretty sure that’s what it is, but would run the biopsy to confirm and determine what kind/next steps based on results. She said there is a small chance it could be bone infection because we live in the Midwest but she thought it very unlikely.

If anyone has any tips or guidance for starting on this journey, we’ll take it!

We’re still really struggling with this whole concept as Zoey had her annual vet checkup just a week before the lump appeared. Can it really appear overnight like that? Are there other things we should be prepared for?

Thank you!

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2018 - 11:49 am
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Hi Zoey and family, welcome to the club nopawdy wants to join. We're glad you found though, and yes, there IS hope! 

Yep, the diagnosis is a real heartbreaker. But if you cruise around Jerry's Required Reading List , you'll see links to articles that show you how managing life on three legs isn't nearly as awful as we imagine it to be. Our e-books library also has lots of reading for you too.

For Zoey, all she wants is to feel better and get rid of that pain. She's a youngster, and sounds like she's in good health, which means she has every chance in the world of outliving the prognosis like many, many dogs here have done.

Yeah, a lump can appear fast. We've learned that through the years. So kudos to you and your vet for acting quickly on it, you've given Zoey another huge advantage at catching it early.

Do you know if you're leaning toward amputation? Chemo? What does your vet think of Zoey being a candidate for life on three legs? Most dogs do pretty well! 

If you decide to amputate, now's the time to look around and Tripawd-proof your house by adding traction to any slippery floors, creating a safe recovery area for her, and if possible, making plans to have your other pup go to a sitters or separated / distracted for a few days when she comes home from the hospital. That part isn't necessary but it really helps to keep the patient calm and focused on resting and healing. 

Stay tuned for feedback from others! Oh and here is a post about how to successfully upload your avatar to your forums profile.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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25 April 2018 - 1:24 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I'm sorry you have to find yourself here- but this is the best place to be when dealing with cancer and amputation.

I know how overwhelming the diagnosis is and when they say amputation...I don't think I had ever seen a three legged dog before my vet said that my Pug Maggie would need to lose her left rear leg (mast cell cancer).

BTW- my Pug Girls, Maggie and Tani, were sibs from different litters too.  Other than being black Pugs they were completely different dogs.

It was really hard to wrap my mind around the fact that amputation was the solution for a lump in her knee. Unlike OSA the mast cell tumor was not causing pain, but the tumor would eventually rupture and cause a painful wound that wouldn't heal. With OSA Zoey is dealing with a lot of pain from the bone tumor (assuming it is OSA).  There will be a point when pain meds won't work.

If your vet thinks Zoey is a good candidate for amputation, and she still has living to do then amputation might be a good path for you. 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Virginia
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25 April 2018 - 3:09 pm
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As you can see from Jerry and Karen's response,  you jave come to the right place!  We understand like no others can!  It's so hard to wrap your head around the thought of amputation,  much less that piece of crap disease 

From this point forward, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!   WE ARE RIGHT BY YOUR SIDE THE WHOLE WAY!

Just to sorta' prepare you, many times biopsies  come back inconclusive.  Xrays are a good tool for determining  what's  going on.   

IF amputation  is the route you need to go, you will be astounded how well your Zoey does on three legs!  That's  not to say that recocery is easy for a couple of weeks.  That's  not to say that you might second guess your decision  the first week or so.  But once you see Zoey get his sparkle back and be his happy  ZOEY SELF without that bum leg, you will knownuuou madenthe right decision!!

Zoey could care less about what the xrays show.   Zoey does not count days on a calender and has no worries about tomorrow!  Zoey lives in the NOW, in the moment.  We call that BEING MORE  DOG 

Let us know your plan as you move forward and let us know any questions you may have.   

BTW deep breaths and eating lots of chocolate are great therapies😎

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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25 April 2018 - 3:17 pm
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Thank you Jerry and Karen.

Our vet had briefly mentioned amputation and chemotherapy being the standard course of treatment for osteosarcoma when they initially called Monday after the leg and chest x-ray. She indicated that she hadn’t seen anything on the chest x-ray indicating metastatic.

When I picked Zoey up on Tuesday she said she’d rather wait to discuss options in detail when we find out the results since we did to the biopsy to determine what exactly we have going on.

I do think Zoey would be a good candidate personally based on her nature now. She is mostly holding the left hind leg up, but still runs around the yard despite our attempts to contain her and she has decent strength in the other hind leg. 

I believe we would do amputation for sure if needed. We would also seriously consider chemotherapy if it seemed like a good option for her. Are there factors that you see others typically weigh in the decision of whether or not to do chemo other than finances?

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25 April 2018 - 3:39 pm
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Hi Zoey and family 🌺🐾

My girl Eurydice lost her leg to osteosarcoma and we did IV chemo and oral chemo.

Lots of us went for chemo and lots of us did not.

This is a very personal decision and there are no guarantees either way.

In my case (and because osteosarcoma is a very aggressive cancer) I decided to use all the weapons to try and delay the progression of the disease.

According to statistics, dogs with amputation followed by chemo have better chances of a longer life.

But statistics are worth what they are worth and, as I said, there are no guarantees ...

Besides, each dog is different.

For me, I felt chemo would give me the comfort and security of trying to fight back and as there were no side effects for Eurydice she did 6 rounds of carboplatin, metronomics , doxorubicin and Palladia (briefly) 

I will never know if it gave her a longer time than she would have had without it but I do not regret anything and would personally do it again but touch wood, touch wood, touch wood I will never have to make those decisions again. 

Whichever route you decide to follow it will be the best decision because you will be keeping Zoey’s best interests at heart 💗

Sending you a big hug and cuddles to your baby girl 😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

Virginia
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25 April 2018 - 3:43 pm
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First "suggestion":  Keep things chunked down for now. You jave a .ot on your plate now.   You have plenty of time to decide on chemo.

Now, in answer to your question, I will share my thought process for my Happ y Hannah.

Happy Hannah enjoyed carrides.

Happy Hannah loved going to the Vet.

Those two things were very important  in my decision. 

Also what was important to me was that, should Happy Hannah jave any bad side effects, she could stop chemo ANYTIME.  As it turned oit, she sailed through all four of her carboplatin treatments  with no issues at all.

Be real Clare on this, with or without chemo, there are no guarantees!  Some dogs appear to get extended time "with" chemo, some don't .  Some appear to get extended time "without" chemo.  It really is a crapshoot!  We can point out cases where dogs are surviving  for years with chemo....as well as those surviving  years without chemo.

So it really does boil down to what YOU  feel is right for YOUR dog based on KNOWING your dog, and yourself lf, better than anyone!!   A decision  made out of love is ALWAYS the right decision 

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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26 April 2018 - 8:40 am
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Thank you all! We are taking things day by day for now. The first two days were terrible, but the last couple have been going better as Zoey’s leg starts feeling better after the biopsy.

She thinks she feels great for the most part and has had to be kenneled for rest a few times as she’ll otherwise try to play too rough and run too much when outside with her brother. Her spot where the biopsy was taken has bled just a bit, which I’m assuming is from her trying to do too much. While I wish she’d give herself the rest she needs, I am happy she feels good enough to get out and enjoy herself a bit. 

Will keep you all updated on what we find out as soon as we receive results!

Virginia
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26 April 2018 - 8:58 am
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Slow down sweet Zoey!!  Although lots of spunk is a good trait to have as you heal.    Give your owwee time to recover, okay??

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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26 April 2018 - 4:23 pm
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We got the call from the vet. Confirmed osteosarcoma.

She indicated the most recent literature she could find showed a median survival time of 4 months for amputation only and 10-12 for amputation and chemo.

Our local vet is a rural country vet so they’ve referred us to a bigger city 45 minutes away for consult and as the place for amputation and or chemo if we go those routes. We have a consult scheduled for Monday morning. 

What kinds of things should I be asking?

This entire thing is just devastating to us. We took her for her annual check-in a week ago from last Saturday and she seemed for all intents a happy, healthy 5 1/2 year old puppy. Now she just got a 3 year rabies shot she will probably not see the end of and a week and a half later has cancer. It just doesn’t seem possible, but it is.

Here and Now

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26 April 2018 - 9:49 pm
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mprohaska27 said
She indicated...a median survival time of 4 months for amputation only and 10-12 for amputation and chemo...
Our local vet is a rural country

They told us that for Jerry back in 2006. We also lived in a small rural town at the time. He loved life on three legs for 2 years, with no IV chemo.

Please consult with a certified veterinary oncologist.

What kinds of things should I be asking?

We just happen to have a blog post all about that...

Questions to Ask Your Veterinary Oncologist

Check Jerry's Required Reading List for even more helpful links. The Tripawds e-books are also filled with more answers to common concerns.

Sorry to hear about the news. Just please keep in mind that vets always tend to present the worst possible scenario first when it comes to prognosis.

Virginia
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26 April 2018 - 11:14 pm
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We know this is a kick in the gut to hear.  The important  thing is ZOEY DIDN'T  HEAR IT!!!   And she DOES feel fit and IS  happy!I 

Look under her tail.  Yeah, go lift up her tail.  Really.  Do it.  Do you see a timeframe stamped anywhere on her butt??  NO!!   Zoey does not have a timeframe stamped on her butt!   She doesn't  care about  days  on a calender and has no  idea what a calendar is!!   

As Admin said, Jerry had an additional  bonus time of two years!

Clyde is going onto his third year (without chemo)!

Nitro  crossed over after almost FOUR years from old age!

Stubborn Pug Maggie was give a "timeframe" of about nine months.  She didn't  listen!! She crossed over four years later from something  else!

Gerty the Retreiver, transitioned after three years!!

Cemille is still going strong FIVE YEARS later!!

So around here we say Prognosis schmognosis!!

The most important  thing is to LIVE IN THE MOMENT....Be More Dog ....LIVE IN THE NOW. ..just like Zoey is doing!   Do not let that piece of crap disease interfere  with your time together!  Make every day the best day ever for Zoey!   Spoil , spoil, spoil and lots of treats and tummy rubs!

Get your questions together.  Develop a plan and move forward with getting on with life,  just like Zoey!

Extra 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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27 April 2018 - 4:03 am
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You have already been given the best advice from pretty awesome people. So sorry you are finding yourself in this situation, but as Sally said you are not alone. Many different things bring people here, mostly cancer and traumatic injury, so there is a huge variety of people that are here and can share invaluable information and tips with you.

Between now and your appointment I would write a list of the questions that you have. Keep that list with you as you research and get through the next few days, jot them down so you don't forget anything. There is nothing worse than getting totally sidetracked at the doctors and not realizing you didn't ask an important question until you were halfway home. 

Is your pup 5 1/2 months old or 5 1/2 years old? Either way she is still young enough to have a happy, pain free life. 

I wish you well in your journey. Stay in touch please and let us know how you progress.

Jackie and Huckleberry heart

Hugs,

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

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

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27 April 2018 - 6:56 am
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Thank you! Sorry, just realized I said 5 months above! We have a 7 month old baby so I’ve been in month speak for a bit now 🙂

She is 5 1/2 years old. Definitely still young, but with a lot more time to become inseparable between us. 

I am pretty certain we will most definitely do an amputation. Not sure yet on the chemo as the car rides make her a little anxious and this vet is 50 minutes away from our home, but we’ll see what they can tell us Monday.

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27 April 2018 - 7:32 am
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You have plenty of time to think about chemo. Right now getting her painful leg taken care of is plenty to think about. At her age she is definitely still young enough to have a chance at a good long life.

I'm trying to picture her after you said what get breeds were, I bet she is beautiful!

Hugs,

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

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

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