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Newly diagnosed nerve sheath tumor :( | Presentation and Diagnosis


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Newly diagnosed nerve sheath tumor :(
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Forum Posts: 2
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2 December 2016
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31 January 2018 - 6:21 pm
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We finally have a definitive answer. It started 18 months ago when Neo, our 5y/o boxer, started limping(right hind leg). Of course it was the usual "he' plays rough and probably strained his muscle". When it didn't subside our vet referred us to a neurologist. From the MRI we were told a possible lesion on the sciatic nerve. Tried steroids and when that didn't work Gabapetin 400mg 2xday was the answer. Or so it seemed. Fast forward to December 2017, the pain that Neo was experiencing suddenly was worse, pacing and panting. Tramadol and Carprofen was prescribed. Apparently arthritis is developing in his left hind elbow.

At first the additional meds helped but then it wasn't enough. On the 29th we went to another neurologist, who performed another MRI and compared it to the previous one from 18months ago. Nerve sheath tumor on the sciatic nerve and recommendation for amputation. Along with the above meds Amantadine and Fentanyl patch have been added. The tumor has grown towards his pelvis but hasn't invaded the spinal cord. She said that it's a slow growing tumor because of looking at the previous MRI.

We know this is the best answer but feel like failures for waiting so long, only because the gabapentin was working. The neurologist explained because the tumor is in his pelvic area the amputation will be his entire leg including the ball of the femur. She feels that Neo will do just fine.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

The Rainbow Bridge

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31 January 2018 - 8:31 pm
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Hey Neo's people, welcome. Please don't beat yourself up, Neo sure isn't holding anything against you. And if it's any comfort, many people here have been through the exact same scenario. The important thing is you got the answers you need to move forward, which you are doing. If your vet feels he's a good candidate for amputation surgery, that's pawesome! You have everything on your side for a speedy, boring recovery. 

It sounds like he will have a hemipelvectomy, which isn't all too uncommon. It's a bigger, longer surgery, but it sounds like you have a great team on your side to ensure everything goes great. 

If you haven't already checked out Jerry's Required Reading List or the Tripawds Start here page, I recommend hopping over there now. You'll find lots of ideas and things that will put your worries to rest, and help you prepare for the upcoming weeks. And my best advice is to remember that your attitude is so important during the recovery. The more confident and optimistic you are, the more he will be too. Neo will reflect every emotion you convey, so stay strong and know that he will be back to his old self in no time at all. And we of course will be here to help you every step of the way! 

Stay tuned for more tips from others OK? Hang in there!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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31 January 2018 - 10:37 pm
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susan818 said
We know this is the best answer but feel like failures for waiting so long...

You are absolutely not a failure! You found something that worked and life went on. I can relate to how you feel, my chy-chy had a lump on her rear leg that wasn't bothering her. Had it checked by a vet and they determined it to be a run-of-the-mill fatty growth, so we went on with our lives and monitored it. That was a year and a half ago; I had it tested again after it started bothering her more and turns out it was really a soft tissue sarcoma. It had slightly grown in that time, and what was once a simple tumor removal turned into an amputation only situation. You and I both did what we thought was best at the time, when that option no longer works you move on to plan B.

I do not regret any part of our journey. Just know that like last time, life will go on and your baby will adapt. It has been absolutely amazing to watch my girl take this all in stride. I never thought I could be more proud of her, but she proves me wrong every single day.

Couple things:

  1. Attitude is everything! The more positive you are, and act like nothing has changed, the more confident Neo will be. It really makes a difference in their healing.
  2. If you have wood or tile floors. Rugs. Lots of them. I got some of those connecting foam tiles (you know the kind they have for child play areas?) to make channels around the house. They work great! It's important for Neo to have traction .
  3. Keep a simple log after surgery. I found this useful to note how chy was feeling, when she got her meds, when she went to the bathroom, if she ate, etc. It seems a little excessive, but it helps to find patterns if meds aren't quite right or if there is a potty problem.

Keep us posted! We'd love to hear more about Neo and how he is doing smiley    


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1 February 2018 - 9:59 am
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You've gotten  great advice from Chy's mom and Jerry!! 

Apologies for a quick welcome, but just wanted to add this link above for you to check out also. 

And yes, many of us here treated the "limp" for a loooong time before the "official" diagnosis.  It wpuld come and go and the meds would take care of it off and on.  Until you've been on this journey, there's no reason to think these of and on limps that come and go are this pierce of crap disease!   We rely on oir Vets to direct us.

We're all cheering for Neo and look forward to celebrating many victorious milestones with him 🙂


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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1 February 2018 - 10:04 am
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Here's an adorable Bulldog who rocked a hemipelectomy!


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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2 February 2018 - 11:38 am
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Thank you! I appreciate the support. We’re reading the recommended links and in contact with our vet/specialists. Right now Neo is comfortable with the meds. We’re going to set up surgery soon and pray for the best! 

Thanks again and any other words of advice is welcome.

Susan 🙂

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2 February 2018 - 7:20 pm
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Gus is almost two weeks out from amp surgery - if you have any questions I’m happy to help.  Wonderful people here with great advice.  I wouldn’t have made it this far without everyone here!  And don’t be afraid of the surgery - I was terrified but Gus is doing great.  

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4 February 2018 - 8:47 am
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Hi Neo and Pawrents

As you can see, we all can relate to the “damn, I should have gotten him in sooner” scenarios! Stewie was limping on and off for a few months before he finally told us that he can’t ‘fake’ it anymore... Dogs are sooooo good at masking their pain (& cats for that matte!) for fear of being kicked out of their pack. They dont realize that we are here to help them right?

Chys Mum gave you some excellent tips and Sally gave you a couple of brilliant links, especially to Leroy the beautiful Boxer. The first couple of weeks after surgery will be tough on both of you, but please know that we are all here to offer support or just a shoulder to scream at!! 😉

Neo will need an area where he can stay comfortably rested for the two weeks. We closed off an area in the living room for Stewie, thankfully he isn’t a couch surfer and therefore no fear of him jumping over it. I spent the first week on the couch with Stewie as the nights were  pretty tough and Stewie needed comfort and assurance that he was doing as well as he should be. 

Having super tasty foods on hand is going to be key, as some pups lose their appetite either because of the pain or the meds... so having all those foods that he likes and youve never allowed him before, now is the time to put them on his dinner plate! 😉

I’m not going to tell you not to fret, its what we do best as pawrents, but please be assured that Neo will do fantastically during surgery and will learn very quickly to rock this Tripawd thing! He will be teaching you a whole new set of tricks! 😉

Best of luck to you in the coming days and know that we are here...

All the very best

Petra, Stewie 🐾 and his Pride >^..^<

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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12 February 2018 - 12:58 pm
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Hope he is doing well!  As stated by others we've all been there and had the regret that maybe we could have caught it sooner. Our boxer mix Ava was diagnosed with a nerve sheath tumor this past December and surgery as well of her right front leg.  Prior to the diagnosis we too thought it was a pulled muscle or arthritis and proceeded with medication until she was given the cancer diagnosis.  She is 7 1/2 weeks (wow!) post amputation, pain free and ruling the household as she is the queen 🙂

You are moving in the right direction and right moment for him!  Hugs!

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