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My Heart is Not Ready for This
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Raleigh, NC
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16 February 2017 - 10:16 am
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I took Tex to the vet because he is lame on his front  right leg.  He has a corn (think painful callus) on his right front foot but he was vocalizing when manipulating his wrist.  I demanded xrays since he is a greyhound.  Right leg is clear but we found a lesion on his left leg.  No visible tumor like Nixon, just a bone weakness like Kitty and he is putting all that weight on it since his right leg hurts so much.

Emotionally, he is not a candidate for amputation and chemo.  Physically, he is not a candidate with a corn on his right foot but we still have no idea why he is lame.  He is responding to nsaids but corns don't respond to that.  We started him on K9 Immunity Plus last night.

If anyone knows of any bisphosphonates studies on the east coast, please let me know.  I don't know if we can afford zoledronic acid every month.  That is more than our mortgage.  

I am trying to breathe.  We still don't have a diagnosis of what the lesion is.  We have only had this poor boy twenty months and he just started to really relax and make himself at home.  

Los Angeles, CA
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16 February 2017 - 10:40 am
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WOW.... I don't have any advice or experience but I wanted to let you know that i am here for you and thinking of you. I cannot even fathom how you must be feeling but your post title says it all. Your heart isn't ready but that is really your mind... your heart knows LOVE and you are full of love for giving Tex this space to be safe and cared for.

Sending you love,

alison with spirit shelby in her heart (and little jasper too) 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Virginia
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16 February 2017 - 10:47 am
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Oh Ingrid!!! This just sucks!!

Yes, you do need to take some deep breaths and get grounded and centered. When you're kicked in the gut like this and your .ind goes crazy with worse case scenarios, it's hard to get into a more proactive and productive mindset. And you will! Give yourself a moment to scream and then we'll get on with solutions.

No one knows Greys better than you!! No one does research better than you! And no one knows the drill better than you! There is no reason to jump to horrible scenarios with his rear leg at this point. A lesion could be soooo many "not scary" things. As hard as it is, try to not go to "the dark side". I know easier said than done!

There was a Great Dane (or maybe even a Grey) a couple of years ago who actually had a corn on his foot (maybe it was his remay front leg...can't remember). Anyway, it was SUCCESSFULLY treated. How in the world I can find the post I have no clue. They also posted a video of how he was walking with that corn before it was treated.

There is a blog post today from Valentine modeling her Thera-Paw brace. Wo der if that would help with his back leg??

http://valentin.....tines-day/

I know you're worried sick. Of course, Tex is oblivious to all'of this! I know you have worked and worled and worked to gain Tez's confidence a d showing him what love and happiness look like. He is soooooooo lucky to have you for his furever home!!

I'm sure Rene will chime in with some links to solutions for you.

Hang in there!!! One step at a time. No jumping ahead to anything bad!! It maybe o ce the corn gets figured out, nothing else needs ro be done!

Lots and lots of love to you my friend

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!

Raleigh, NC
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16 February 2017 - 10:56 am
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Just spoke with the vet.  The lesion is too small to identify.  Options are a biopsy or wait 3 weeks.  If any of my dogs would have osteomyelitis, it would be Tex but the odds of that are slim.  If it does turn out to be osteomyelitis, everyone should buy a lottery ticket.  

Greyhounds are not good candidates for biopsy.  A sample is rarely obtained and the bone often fractures after the biopsy.  Not sure about a lesion that is so small.  Waiting to hear back from Dr. Couto, the greyhound expert who used to work at ohio state.

Virginia
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16 February 2017 - 11:00 am
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Okay.....you're getting things sorted out. Athletes are prone to all sorts of lesions...and that's all they are...lesions!

I'm getting my money together to buy lots of lottery tickets!!! Goodness knows, Tex won the Puppy Lottery when he picked you!! 🙂

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!

Raleigh, NC
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16 February 2017 - 12:03 pm
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Thank you Alison.  

Sally, we had a custom brace for Nixon from therapaws too as his wrist started to give out.  Therapaws also make booties for corns.  I have a couple of pairs for Nixon that we used for traction and swimming around here but need to find them to see if either pair fit Tex. 

He is lame on the right front and the corn is chronic.  The lesion is left front.  It is small enough to not be painful. Or he is too stoic to let on that it hurts.  He is still demanding daily walks.  When on grass, he puts more weight on the right foot.  

Hardest part is telling him he isn't allowed upstairs right now.  We can't carry his 90 lbs down the stairs.  I am sure you understand.  He loves to cuddle in bed with us.  Rich even lets him spend the night in bed with us about once a month.

The Rainbow Bridge

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16 February 2017 - 1:30 pm
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Ingrid this is just crazy, I'm so sorry you're here about this issue with Tex! Geez. 

As Sally mentioned, don't jump into the worst case scenario yet. I know it's hard not to after all you've been through, but please don't go there without a diagnosis OK? Could a lesion that size even cause a dog to show pain like he is doing? I have no idea. But I'm super, super glad you have an in with Dr. Cuoto. Let us know what he says. Right now, you can't have a better connection to discuss his case. I can't think of anyone more equipped to help you reach a diagnosis without doing a biopsy. By the way, I had no idea about Greys and biopsies, but that makes sense. You always enlighten us around here, thank you.

That would make me sad too if I had to ban Wyatt from his usual sleeping spot. This is one of those cases where I'd be like "Yeah sleep downstairs!" if you could do that for now. If not, that's OK. Tex is stronger than you think.

Tex and you are in our thoughts, we'll be waiting for more news OK?

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Durham, NC
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16 February 2017 - 8:08 pm
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Ingrid,

Not sure if you've already checked, but NC State lists their clinical trials online and you might also check Vet Cancer Society too. I don't know who your dog sees, but I absolutely love my dog's oncologist and would be happy to share the info. I actually tried to start a fundraiser for pet parents in the RTP area to help with oncology consults and medications. It fell flat but I know TVRH sometimes has funds available to assist with treatment or surgery costs. 

I understand about hauling a big dog up and down stairs - my Izzy weighs 55 - 60 pounds and it's tough on me to schlep her around. On good days, I make her do it herself, even though she gets winded on the way up. Other times, I sleep downstairs to be close to her. The rest of the time, I haul her around like I'm a pack mule!

So sorry you are going through this! Let's hope it isn't anything serious and a little rest gets things back on track.

- Amy & Izzy, too!

Raleigh, NC
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18 February 2017 - 8:29 am
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izzysmomma said
Ingrid,

Not sure if you've already checked, but NC State lists their clinical trials online and you might also check Vet Cancer Society too. I don't know who your dog sees, but I absolutely love my dog's oncologist and would be happy to share the info. I actually tried to start a fundraiser for pet parents in the RTP area to help with oncology consults and medications. It fell flat but I know TVRH sometimes has funds available to assist with treatment or surgery costs. 

I understand about hauling a big dog up and down stairs - my Izzy weighs 55 - 60 pounds and it's tough on me to schlep her around. On good days, I make her do it herself, even though she gets winded on the way up. Other times, I sleep downstairs to be close to her. The rest of the time, I haul her around like I'm a pack mule!

So sorry you are going through this! Let's hope it isn't anything serious and a little rest gets things back on track.

- Amy & Izzy, too!  

Amy, please IM me your oncologists info.  We can't do a biopsy but I need someone experienced to do a fine need aspiration.  By the time I get all the referrals done, we'll probably already be at the 3 week recheck mark anyway.  🙁 

Amputation and chemo is much cheaper than zoledronic acid every 28 days.  If that was an option for him, I would gladly take it.  Zoledronic acid cost $1250 per dose.  Dogs in the study that were given it every 28 days have survived 12+ months without amputation and delayed the spread of the cancer for many well over 16 months.  The main issue is that it is the cost of a mortgage a month.  He might also be a candidate for SRT, depending on the bone loss.  I didn't realize that NC State now does that.  As much as I dislike a lot of their processes, that would save me a trip to FL or NY.  

There was a study done in 90's at CO State that was done very poorly with high doses of fosamax.  Some Irish Wolfhound owners have tried this with success but again, no one is studying it so we have no idea how well it actually works.  This is a protocol done when you have no other options left.   

High Dose Fosamax Protocol

  • 140mg of fosamax (alendronate) every other day if hound is 140lbs or under.  If over 140lbs use 210mg every other day.  Continue for three weeks.
  • If there has been no improvement at all benefit is unlikely and stop the drug.
  • If there has been improvement and it is continuing use this dose another three weeks.
  • After 6 weeks decrease to every third day for three weeks and then to twice a week.
  • If you notice tumor growth, there have been no problems going back to the starting dose.
  • Med is given in the a.m. with a treat. No other food for 1-2 hours to help absorption.
  • Water anytime OK

Fosamax is now a generic so I have no idea if there is any benefit to study this anymore but the cost per month is very reasonable.  The normal dosage for pain relief for a greyhound is 10 mg. 

Those of you that know my heart understand that I have no issues with amputation.  Nixon was my diva.  He loved people, loved attention, and loved going places.  As long as the vet didn't put him in a kennel and allowed him to socialize with everyone he wanted to, he loved going to the vet.  Nixon would walk into the waiting room, make everyone pet him, see the doc, and then work the crowd again before we could even think about getting in the car or paying the bill.  They often setup a bed for him in Dr. Huff's office where he could keep tabs on everyone between his laser treatments and chemo.  The only thing he hated was acupuncture.  

Tex is the exact opposite.  Where Nixon had quiet confidence and was never phased with problems, Tex has high anxiety, panics at any changes in his life, and will aggressively bite (class 3-4 biter) when stressed.  He hates going to the vet.  Even if they just feed him liver and cheeseburgers, he still stresses out, has his tail tucked between his legs, and bolts for the door.  This is a dog that has had the growl beat out of him so there is no warning other than moon eye and stiffness that you're about to get bit.  

As it stands right now, he is not weight-bearing on the leg that he would be left with.  I don't see him as a dog that would handle a front leg cart well and at that point, who would I be doing this for?  Me, or him?  I love this socially awkward giant dog with his big brown eyes, toothy grin, and enormous feet more than words can say.  My husband will carry Tex's mark on his face and arm for all of his remaining days too.  The two of them bonded after Tex bit him and Tex trusts him with just about anything.  We're pretty crazy about and committed to this dog.  Every day I hold him and tell him we're going to help him be the best dog he can be.

It would be great if he is the very rare dog with osteomyelitis.  He actually has a huge scar near if not over the lesion and his WBC has been between 8 and 9 K/uL the past 20 months and has been rising so there is reason to check for an infection.  He's had so many odd things with him, it has been hard keeping track of everything.  He has severe allergies and is very itchy. He has pica when stressed and has eaten a lot of strange things.  He's no stranger to the vet because of this.  "Oh look, another round of GI Xrays...."  His liver and kidney values are all over the place (common in high anxiety dogs actually) but they have been going down while his WBC has been going up.  There is always that risk that this is something like HSA or another cancer that has spread to the bone too.  Sometimes I hate knowing as much as I know about all of this stuff because there is some relief in ignorance.  

Virginia
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18 February 2017 - 9:33 am
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Ingrid, all I can say is thank goodness Tex found his furever home with yiu and Ritchie! All your dogs hit the Puppy Lottery with you two, but ESPECIALLY Tex!!! Tex would NEVER have had a chance at being loved if it were not for you two!

We all have marveled through the years at your extension knowledge AND I INSTINCTIVE KNOWLEDGE of the inner thoughts and behaviors of dogs. Your commitment, devotion, understanding and compassion knows no limits.

And for anyone who wasn't here to follow Nixon's truly amazing journey, Nixon is exactly as Ingrid described!! I had the privilege of meeting THE DIVA at a Tripawds Pawty where he everyone gravitated towards his Majesty's gentle energy just to have the honore of petting him! A very, very special Soul indeed. Never to be forgotten!heart

I wish I had answers for you. I DO know with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY that whatever needs to be done, if anything, will be done with Tex's best I terest at heart and based on the intuitive bond you have with him

Love and hugs always

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!

Raleigh, NC
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24 February 2017 - 10:54 pm
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Tex had his FNA today at VSH Carolinas and...although it wasn't a waste of money, we are no closer to a diagnosis.  On the bright side, his bone is in better shape than expected.  On the downside, they couldn't actually reach the lesion and there may be two .5 cm masses in his lungs.  The radiologist is not sure and says this is the baseline and we'll have to take another in a few weeks.  They could be benign or just normal structures.  Our first osteo dog, Miss Kitty, had lung masses that turned out to be 100% benign.  

I am still resistant to doing a biopsy until I talk with Dr. Couto again.  He is still lame on the right leg and another team of vets could not determine the cause of the lameness.  All signs indicate it is the corn but he didn't show any signs of pain.  I really think he is extra stoic when with people he doesn't know.  All he did was pull his paw back when they squeezed his bum toe.

Tex did amazing.  There was another greyhound in the waiting room and they were so happy to see each other.  Tex was social, said hi to people before he got lost in the smells on their clothes, and even roached so I could rub his belly.  He is worn out but I'm just happy he endured.  When I came to pick him up, he saw me, did a happy bounce but still stopped to say hello to the staff on his way out.  This is something Nixon or Kitty would do but something Tex has NEVER shown any inclination to doing.  The cutest thing he did was help the vet tech open the door as they were taking him back for his procedures.  Tex cannot stand a partially open door.  It is ok for doors to be completely shut but a partially opened door must be opened fully and investigated.  

We stopped for cheeseburgers (hold the bun) on the way home.  He curled up on the couch with Rich for an hour once we got home and then went to sleep.  Then I fell asleep on the couch next to him and slept almost the entire night away with him.  It's a really big couch.  🙂

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25 February 2017 - 5:15 pm
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Image Enlarger

So this is my giant greyhound.  Compared to most greyhounds, he is massive in both height and the width of his head.  He is wicked smart and loves coffee.  A lot.  He had an obsession with it and would try to steal coffee anytime you had a cup.  That was actually the last straw with his previous humans.  He went to steal the human's cup and when she slapped him, he defended himself and continued to defend himself.  We decided rather than try to break this, we would just give him coffee.  Every Saturday morning, he gets .5 ounce of coffee with .5 ounce of cream.  No decaf as the vet said that might be worse for his kidneys.  He rarely steals my coffee while I'm still drinking it but he loves Saturday mornings.  Now Cookie drinks coffee too.  She gets just a teaspoon!

This morning, when I went to wake up Rich, Tex got to have coffee in bed.  Not spoiled at all.  

Durham, NC
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25 February 2017 - 5:58 pm
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That is one big boy! Sorry to hear that they still weren't able to sort out the issue. 🙁 I sent you Izzy's onco info in case you need it!

Virginia
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25 February 2017 - 8:54 pm
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Ingrid, I could read your posts for days on end, over and over, and never tire! The delightful way you weave every bit of Tex's personality through every word you write is TRULY a gift! You share every nuance, every quirkiness with an insight into his Soul that is absolutely magical!!

I've said this soooo often,but your ability to understand the behavior of dogs and to work with each one based on who they are astounds me! You see their Soul and accept them without judgement and without labeling them "bad". You, and Rich too, have an j unflappable willingness and commitment to workwith them and help them be the dog they were born to be!

The way you understood Tex's reactive behavior when he was reprimanded just for wanting a cup of coffe....extraordinary insight!! Saturday morning at Tex's house are the best ever!!!! 🙂 🙂

It's quite a step forward that Tex appeared ro have a fine time at the Vets....as long as he could open doors!!!

And that picture of Tex....OMD!!!! HE IS HUGE!!! Tex looks soooo strong and muscular! And those legs...WOW!!! He must have raced like the wind back in the day!! Quite the thoroughbred athlete!

Thanks sooooooo much for taking the time tomlet us get ro knowTex even better! And I'm glad that the eelegant Miss Cookie gets her little taste of coffee too!

STARBUCKS PUPPY LATTES FOR EVERYONE!!

Lots and lots of love!

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah 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!

Virginia
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25 February 2017 - 9:09 pm
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Gosh, forgot to ask! It appears that the corn could be the real cause for his limping? The lesion may not be anything other than evidence of a previous tumble or bump. The spots in his lungs may not be anything either. So all in all, if I'm reading this right, the main focus would be to figure out how to get rid of that rotten corn. That's a known issue out of all the other tests.

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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