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Newfoundland just diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Weighing options
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14 July 2017 - 6:10 pm
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Obie is an 8-year-old, 125 lb, male Newfoundland. Presented with limping in December which resolved with rest and rimadyl. Fast forward to July and he was limping again. July 11 an x-ray revealed the answer... classic osteosarcoma pattern. A sample from his lymph came back with no sign of cancer cells. (Something positive, right?)

At first my vet seemed to dismiss the idea of amputation due to his size. But, after I did more research I revisited the topic with her. We will see an oncologist on July 18.  I am leaning toward amputation without chemo or radiation. I don't have pet insurance or unlimited resources and see the surgery as likely the best option. 

My biggest concern at the moment is post-op care for a tripawd dog that outweighs me! I live alone. While I have a tenant in the other half of my duplex, she will be of limited physical assistance. Realistically, how long should/must he have someone around 24 hours a day?

I'm here looking to soak in information, support and advice from people who've been through it. My past experiences with pets with cancer and other serious conditions taught me online communities can be an invaluable resource. 

I wish I never had to meet you guys... but I suspect I will be glad I did!

Christie Walton

Oberon (Obie) Newfoundland dx with Osteosarcoma 7/11/17 

Christie & Obie 

Oberon the Newfoundland, born 8/26/09. dx osteosarcoma 7/11/17

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14 July 2017 - 9:26 pm
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Hi Christine and Obie, welcome. We're sorry you had to join us too but glad you did and we'll do what we can to make your transition easier.

I'll be back soon with some input but for now check out Jerry's Required Reading List if you haven't already OK? It answers many of your questions but our amazing community will chime in too so stay tuned.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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18 July 2017 - 7:39 pm
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I'm so sorry you and Obie are going through this!!!  It is a difficult decision. Our vets only option was amputation. We will be here for you!!!

I don't have Toddy home yet so I'm not sure how all of this is going to work.  Obie is so handsome! We will keep you in our thoughts as you go see the surgeon. Keep us posted !

Heather & Toddy

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18 July 2017 - 8:17 pm
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I kept my Mastiff Tazzie in the hospital for 3 nights just to let her get her strength back up.  She weighed about 180 pounds and lost her Rf leg. Luckily I did not have many steps for her to maneuver (I blocked off the steep deck stairs).  I used the Ruff Wear harness to help her get around.

Pam

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18 July 2017 - 8:44 pm
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Hi Christie and Obie! Newfies....love those sweet Teddy Bear Newfies!!!

Sorry you find yourself here, but you're in the right place for aupport and information! Such an intense time....so exhausting! But we understand the ins and outs of this recovery stuff like nobody else can!

And yes, it is positive that her pre -surgery tests were clear!

YOU ARE. NOT ALONE!! We are with you every step of the way!

I live "alone"...meaning no other humans....but not lonely becae I have the privilege of living with dogs!! 🙂

My Happy Hannah was 125 lb Bull Mastiff. I had ZERO help (and I'm no Spring Chickie!). Love rural area. Had not found this site until day six after her amputation. Yeah, I felt like I was stuck in a nightmare until I found this community!

If I recall, I pretty much stayed with Happy Hannah the first five days straight. Even if you can't do that much time, if you have her somewhat confined and if your tenant can check in on her, she should. be okay. Make sure she can't jump up on anything, block off stairs, put non slip scatter rugs for traction if you have hardwood floors.

Larger dogs sometimes take several days to get there mobility worked out. She may need help with a towel sling to help get her up.

Now, all that said, Happy Hannah did walk out of the hospital the day after surgery and really didn't need any assistance from that day forward. It try to use a towel sling a time or two and she just froze! But again, some dogs do need some assistance to get up and go potty

Okay, just a few tios to get you started. Let us know how the Onco appt goes. Let us k ow what questions you have and how we can help, okay??

EAT LOTS OF CHOCOLATE!! It helps!! 🙂

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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18 July 2017 - 10:24 pm
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Thanks Sally! that is encouraging. 

After seeing the oncologist today, I am pretty much a go on amputation. She considers him a good candidate thanks to his overall condition and health. I make it "official" tomorrow with a visit to the surgeon. 

I'm working to pull in my support system because it is clear I will not be able to take any time off from work. But, I have a former vet tech friend who might be able to come stay for a stretch and I have a former roommate with medical training who works from home and has offered to work from here if needed. I suppose I should count myself lucky for friends who get it, right? big-blink

I've already tackled the wooden floors. Thanks Costco for inexpensive runners. I will block off the living room so he can't get to his favorite couch. Thanks for the reminder!

I've had a dog ramp in place for years because of various pets with mobility issues.

I found a wonderful new non-slip "entry rug" surface for that over the weekend. Thanks Home Depot! 

From what I've read, these big guys can sometimes be a little slower to "get a move on" but I'm also encouraged by much of what I've found here as regards the fairly remarkable speed that dogs figure it out post-surgically. I suspect he'll outrun me with a sling even on three legs if my past experiences are any indication  

By the way.. Obie is a he. (But he doesn't care. I haven't told him he has cancer either.)  

Pam... the oncologist also mentioned the Ruff Wear harness I'd seen here. I'll be exploring that as well. 

Christie & Obie 

Oberon the Newfoundland, born 8/26/09. dx osteosarcoma 7/11/17

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19 July 2017 - 6:13 pm
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You and Obie are in good hands with the wonderful folks here at Tripawds.  It sounds like you have a great attitude given the sucky situation and that is 1000% important.  I believe our pups know more than we do most of the time, so the attitude is so contagious. Sending you loving healing energy and keep linked to this site...it is such a godsend. 

Durham, NC
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19 July 2017 - 9:03 pm
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Hey Christine! I'm so glad you've decided to go ahead with the amputation. I struggled with that decision but here I am, two years later, still loving life with my sweet girl. You are SO far ahead of the game - I didn't have my poopicon_png together at all before Izzy had her surgery. 

Please keep us posted and let us know how everything is going. This is such a great community and resource ... we are here if you need us!!

Izzy sends smelly kisses to both you and Obie (she's really old and kinda stinky but also stinkin cute)!

- amy & izzy, too

Momma to the world's most beautiful American Bulldog, Izzy!! Lost her front leg to OSA 9/18/15. Diagnosed w MCT in June 2016. Celebrated her 1 year ampuversary with knee surgery on 9/18/16! MCT recurrence in Dec 2016. Happy & hungry til nearly 14, earning her wings on 7/31/17.

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20 July 2017 - 8:44 am
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That's terrific he's a good candidate! Sounds like you have a really great attitude, excellent friends who understand and a house that's ready to go. You're set! But of course if you have any questions at all just ask OK? We'll be here for you.

Oh and you may want to consider posting in Size and Age Matters during his recovery and afterward. It's a great place for other Giant Breed parents to see how similar dogs have done on three legs.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 July 2017 - 8:16 am
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It sounds like you've got an excellent plan in place for handsome Obie's recovery.  We used the Ruff wear harness and found it invaluable.  Keep in mind that one works well for rear legged amps because it doesn't come near the amp area incision.  It might not work as well for a front legged amp early during recovery because it might go over the amp site which you wouldn't want.  You didn't say if Obie would be a front or rear legged amp so just throwing that out there.  But after recovery and incision is healed it works well for both.  Keep us posted on when surgery day is we'll be here ready to support you and your boy!  Hugs!

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21 July 2017 - 12:50 pm
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Obie is scheduled for surgery Tuesday. He'll have his right rear leg amputated. She'll be leaving a bit of his hock for "cosmetic" reasons, but as with most, he will not have a stump. 

He should come home Wednesday. Since I work evenings, I'm arranging to pick him up at 10:30 pm and I managed to get Thursday off despite a severe staff shortage at work smiley

I'm all set here at home. So this weekend will be devoted to a little much needed grooming (which he will not be thrilled about) and a final 4-legged romp in the park Sunday with a friend who is a top-notch photographer. 

I plan to get a ruffwear harness for him because the surgeon suspects he may be one of those dogs that could always use a little help getting up due to his sheer size. Any thoughts, should I go ahead and order it since he's rear-leg amp? 

Thanks to all, I'll be posting updates once surgery day arrives! 

Christie & Obie 

Oberon the Newfoundland, born 8/26/09. dx osteosarcoma 7/11/17

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21 July 2017 - 1:01 pm
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dumainedog said
I plan to get a ruffwear harness...Any thoughts...

The Web Master Plus offers additional support and comfort. See more info, reviews and demo videos in the Tripawds Gear Shop.

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21 July 2017 - 4:33 pm
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My 6 year old lab mix, LB, could have his surgery as early as Tuesday. I'll be looking forward to sharing info/thoughts/feelings with you and everyone else.

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