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Osteo AND lung mets...pre-amp surgery
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13 February 2017 - 8:08 pm
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Twiglet was diagnosed with osteo in his right front wrist last week, amputation scheduled for today, but put on hold as he as 9-12 dime-size mets in his lungs.

He's a greyhound shepherd mix, 9 years old, otherwise fit and fiesty.

He's been on the trifecta of gabapantin, tramadol and rimadyl since friday and doing well. Studies say chemo isn't much success at this point, I've read about Dastanib in the forums, but that says it takes several months to kick in.

Amputation without visible lung mets and no chemo show results at 2-3 months.

I've heard a month with Twiglet's situation. Trying to evaluate if amputation, given the lung mets, will be worth it if he's got a month or less anyway.

Anyone else had lung mets pre-amp? I assume you amputated, or you wouldn't be here 🙂

Thanks

The Rainbow Bridge

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13 February 2017 - 8:11 pm
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Hi Twiglet and family, welcome to the club nopawdy wants to join. I'm in the Tripawds Chat room right now with another member so please hop over. I'll be back in a sec for feedback.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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The Rainbow Bridge

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13 February 2017 - 8:44 pm
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I'm back.

First, know that even if you don't amputate you are more than welcome to be here. Not everyone chooses amputation and we support people and animals during palliative care as well.

The news about the mets must have really been a huge blow, I'm so sorry. Had any x-rays been done prior to this latest one? I'm wondering if they grew super fast between x-rays?

It's a difficult decision when mets present. Many members have dealt with that same issue, it's not an easy decision. There's an oncologist who believes that even with mets, amputation should be done to alleviate the pain:

"Diagnosis is Cancer, Now for the Treatment."

In my opinion, whether metastases are detected or not at the time of diagnosis, surgical amputation of the affected limb in an otherwise asymptomatic dog is something I will recommend in nearly all cases. I didn’t always feel this way, and this stance is something I’ve adopted through my years of working as an oncologist trying to medically manage the discomfort of dogs with bone tumors.

What do your vets think about Twiglet's odds for a fast recovery? What's his health like right now? Has he been evaluated by an orthopedic vet? If he's strong and energetic, he's likely to have a good recovery. With a fast recovery behind you, every day could be icing on the cake.

And if you choose otherwise, that's OK too. Find a good pawspice vet practitioner who can guide you in proper pain management for this stage of osteosarcoma. Make him comfortable and live each day to the fullest as long as you can. 

The best thing you can do is have a heart to heart with him to find out what he wants. And remember, time means nothing to animals. They just want to feel good and be with their favorite humans each and every day.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Virginia
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13 February 2017 - 9:23 pm
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So sorry you find yourself in this situation full of so much uncertainty.

As usual, Jerry has given good links and insight. As noted in the link, Vets are now revisiting amputation as an option if mets are present. The main goal of amputation is removing the pain. Obviously, we all hope for more extended quality time and, of course, an opportunity to blow statistics out of the water.

Whatever you decide, your decision will be out of love for Twiglet (great name) and that is ALWAYS the right decision!!

Twiglet, as you said, is otherwise "fit and healthy"! He apparently is showing no symptons and that's good.

I can only add that "statistics" don't mean much around here. Sometimes dogs can get even "much more" time...and sometimes "less" time. This whole journey is pretty much a crap shoot.

Just please know we are all here for you and want to support you anyway we can. Continue to ask questions here and, hopefully, you can gain more clarity and lroceed with a plan.....whatever that plan may look like.

Lots of love and 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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14 February 2017 - 3:29 am
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I don't have any experience with your particular situation but I wanted to just put my slant on things to maybe offer some comfort. My Zuki (10yr old GSD) didn't have mets when we amputated and we went with chemo being told to expect approx. 11mnths which we figured that was a pretty good deal, so we went ahead. The reality is after him being fantastic on 3 legs for 5.5mnths suddenly he couldn't use his remaining hind leg at all. He was still fine in himself eating, cuddling and toileting but he could only drag himself along with his front legs. We suspect it was a blown disc or a secondary spinal tumour that caused it. At first I was angry, felt I had been robbed of time with my boy but I don't regret any of my decisions with regards to his treatment. I guess the essence of my thinking is that no matter what route you choose best for twiglet and your family there are no guarantees with this horrible disease, all we can do is make them as comfortable as possible and make the most of every day living it more dog. Love and dote on them because that is all they know, they don't worry about statistics. With the amputation twiglet will be out of pain after 2 weeks of recovery from the surgery, there are dogs in the community that have smashed the statistics to live happily for months with mets or secondary tumours. If you choose the palliative care there are lots of stories of hope where people have used alternative therapies to slow that rate of the cancer and have bought their pooches some more time. Ultimately none of us know how long we have, we just have live each day to its fullest.

I wish you and twiglet all the best and there is a wealth of support for you here whichever path you take

Karis and Zuki with wings

xx  

Zuki Wuggafer 30/09/06 - 11/11/16. Right hind tripawd due to Osteosarcoma. He had a strong 5 and half months as a tripawd but unfortunately a secondary issue with his spine ended our battle. He loved life, loved our family and was the best dog I could ever ask for. Truly my first love, forever in my thoughts and heart.

Read our story: http://zuki.tripawds.com/

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14 February 2017 - 7:04 am
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Hello - glad to see you here - this is Lisa Marie from Ohio Lurcher Project page on FB.

While there is no cure in this story, do take a look at Eurydice the Great Dane and her travels in Europe 9 months post amp and several months post appearance of lung mets - true she did not have mets prior to amp, but they really haven't slowed her down much and she is enjoying a pain free life post amp.  

You can also take a look at my blog in signature below for some evidence of the wonderful summer Pofi enjoyed post amp and pain free.  I have not updated since we thought we were in the clear at end of September, but I am also, like Zuki's person, one who would not have made a different choice with regard to amputation.

But we are here for you regardless of your choice as Jerry said above - here for you and for Twiglet.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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14 February 2017 - 6:41 pm
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I wanted also top point you to this thread if you had not seen.  Jerry put a lot of great posts to info on lung mets in general here.

Lisa, Minneapolis

On October 27, 2016, nearly 6 months after amputation, and 18 months since his cancer likely started, we lost Pofi to a recurrence of Soft Tissue Sarcoma in his spine quite suddenly.  His Daddy and I miss him terribly along with his canine sister, Mia, and two feline siblings, Lucia and Cliff.

Blog: Pofi, Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor Amputation

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15 February 2017 - 10:54 am
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Hi Twiglet and family,

I know it is extremely hard to cope with such a diagnosis but one thing is for sure, Twiglet is not aware of the lung mets and, if he is a candidate for amputation, it is guaranteed it will remove his pain fully. 

Recovery may be challenging until stitches are out but after that he should be able to enjoy life to the full for as long as possible.

I just spoke to a friend whose 9 year old Dane lost her front leg to osteo a little over two months ago. 

His girl has departed a few days ago due to problems unrelated to her surgery and her cancer but her dad told me he was so grateful for the few months they had together and Daytona, his girl, was as happy as a bunny and enjoyed life to the full every day. 

I think Twiglet will be grateful for each day with his family, I really do. 

Nobody knows how long one has (with or without chemo) this crazy journey is all about enjoying our days and living life to the full with our babies. 

Wish you all the best and please smooch that gorgeous doggie of yours for me heart

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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15 February 2017 - 3:13 pm
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Hi Jerry and everyone else who replied big-blink

It took me a lifetime to get back to you as we have been struggling. We have decided to "just" do palliative care, and in Twiglet's case, that means no amputation, even though I know amputation is definitely palliative, in that it provides pain relief.

I may live to regret my decision, but that's where we're at. I would regret it even more if we did the amputation and had to put him down a few weeks later. There is no right answer.

As to Jerry's question, no previous xrays have been done, so we don't have a benchmark.

This is a great site, and I shall continue looking for guidance on both traditional pain meds and alternative. Thanks! Twiglet and family xx

Virginia
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15 February 2017 - 3:43 pm
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Thanks for updating us while you have so much on your plate.

Palliative care IS a treatment! You know your Twiglet better rhan anyone and you are making a very, very hard decision out of LOVE!! NO REGRETS!!! Yeah, amputation is also "palliative", but it has far more "potential risks" than the path you are taking.

Twiglet is doing well on the meds you hsve him on now, and that's grest!! You probably have room to Increae them if necessary to continue to keep him comfy and happy!

One thing that might be helpful, and I think it was Karen (Put Maggie's mom) who has shared rhis. Write down why you are proceeding with palliative treatment. Why you feel like this is a better decision for Twiglet. Make a note of how unbearable it would be if it did turn out to be a matter of weeks, or less, if you had to out Twiglet down before he even got over the pain of the major sugery, must less fully able to adapt to three legs.

This process should help eliminate any "second guessing" or "regrets" in the future. There is a "right" answet when you make the decision out of love!! And this awful piece of crap disease CANNOT, CANNOT, C.A.N.N.O.T do a thing about you making a decision out of love and having no regrets!!!

Now go see how much you can spoil Twiglet even more than you did yesterday!! 🙂 🙂 Let him "sneak" something out of the trash...let him drink out of the toilet...let him take food off your plate while you are eating...and certainly give him ice cream, cheese pizza, cupcakes, even a few M&Ms!!! If Twiglet likes deer poop or bunny poop, bring him a spoonful!! 🙂

Look forward to hearing all the ways you are spoiling him WITH PICTURES!! We would love to see pictures!!

Love and 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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16 February 2017 - 1:00 am
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Hi Twiglet and family, So sorry you find your self in this situation.

Now its time to give Twiglet all the love you have and spoil him rotten.

Our Mya has been on chemo for about 6 months now and Xrays are now showing nodules in the lung and we have just started on a second protocol of oral chemo. after research, clearance from all 3 of my vets and my own personal history we have decided to add CBD { a non-psychoactive cannabinoid product } to Mya's diet, and saw a noticeable improvement in her energy, happiness, and over all health. We even believe her coat is a little softer?!? I had to go to a holistic vet to get a prescription for her CBD and wanted a professional opinion on the dose etc. but it is the exact same thing I can buy in most dispensaries with not much more that a drivers licence. We have unfortunately been hit with this devastating news again with what looks to be osteosarcoma in Mya's partner in crime, Macleod who started limping Monday night last night he couldn't sit still so I gave him one of Mya's CBD caps and he settled down a bit and went to sleep for the night in about an hour. Our vet appointment today was not promising and I plan to include it in what ever protocol we chose should this really be happening to us again. We are also giving him Tramadol for pain and an antibiotic in case there is an infection. Sadly we had to get a referral to bring Macleod to the hospital that Mya has been going to since last July. But we would have brought him to our local vet first anyway as she has been through this with her own dog not long ago as well as ours.

A lot of posts and blogs here tell the stories of our journeys in the game we have been thrust into. Answers to a lot of questions and relief to some of the stresses can certainly be found here.

Your dog lives for the day so show show him that every day is a great day.

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24 February 2017 - 4:20 pm
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When my Zeus was diagnosed, I also had the difficult choice whether to have surgery. In his case due to his part orthopedic issues, there was concern about whether he would be able to walk. Zeus also had a node in his lungs although it was inconclusive. 

Although I ended up having he tumor removed I did read a lot about radiation therapy and its palliative applications. There is a lot of good data on its use for pain management. That may be an avenue you want to look into.

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