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Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
21 April 2017
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21 April 2017 - 6:31 pm
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My sweet Riley has had a problem with her right knee for some time.  She first saw the vet in August of 2016, but x-rays showed nothing, and it settled back down.  January 2017, Riley's knee was troubling her again, and we started the current round of veterinary care.  It has taken months - and a variety of procedures to isolate the problem.  Synovial cell sarcoma is the latest, and the most recent test came back positive for histocytic sarcoma.  

She is still getting around quite well on four legs, but without amputation her prognosis is likely poor.  Surgery is scheduled for next week, and we will know more after that occurs.  We met with an oncologist today, so feel that we have a treatment plan tentatively in place.  

This website has been a wonderful resource, and has helped me to absorb a bewildering amount of information.  When your dog faces a surgery of this magnitude, there is a steep learning curve, for sure.  I hope to learn all that I can to make Riley's adjustment easier.  She is a wonderful, cheerful dog, and I would love for her to stay that way for as long as possible!

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 23090
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22 April 2017 - 8:07 am
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Hi and welcome! Your future posts won't need approving so post away!

We are sorry you and Riley are dealing with this but glad we could be helpful. She is such a lucky girl to have such great humans looking out for her. If there is anything we can do to make your journey easier just let us know!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Forum Posts: 15720
Member Since:
22 February 2013
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22 April 2017 - 11:28 am
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Awww, love Riley's avatar picture...can't wait to see more!

You've come to the right place for support and insight! We understand like no others can!

It's not easy getting to this decision, but you now have a plan and you will be getting rid of Riley's pain and that's a really good decision!!

STAY CONNECTED! YOU AND RILEY ARE NOT ALONE! You've been reading through the forums so you are probably better prepared than most. Let us know what questions you may have and how we can better support you.

And remember, Riley doesn't care about any ole' diagnosis and he doesn't count days on a calendar! All ne cares about is being loved and spoiled by you....And I knkw he's getting plenty of that! 🙂 🙂

Lots of hugs

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

PS. Stock up on CHOCOLATE...It helps! 🙂

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!

Forum Posts: 2000
Member Since:
14 February 2016
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22 April 2017 - 3:23 pm
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Welcome to the community!  Will be thinking of you and Riley next week.

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

Forum Posts: 5
Member Since:
21 April 2017
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23 April 2017 - 3:29 pm
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Thanks, everyone.  We still have a couple of days before surgery, so are in full-on spoiling mode!  

Riley is bopping around very well.  She goes up and down stairs multiple times a day, and did a very short walk today.  If sufficiently motivated, she can run pretty fast - using all her legs.  The fact that she is exhibiting only a very slight limp makes the decision for surgery that much harder.  But we are hoping that by removing the affected leg sooner rather than later, she will have a better prognosis

I am concerned about after care, and how to handle my own reaction to her surgical wound.  From all that I've read, it looks as though we are in for a rough first week or two, maybe longer.  Any advice for the first couple of days? After the biopsy surgery, we coped fairly well.  The Ruffwear harness was a big help, and we had no major issues.  Additionally, we got her a sort of onesie for after her surgery.  It saved her having to wear the dreaded cone, and looked adorable too.  I will modify it for her altered shape.  We have put rubber backed carpet mats over our tile floors to improve traction .  Will use the same setup as before, with a mattress on the floor in a downstairs bedroom.  We have elevated food and water bowls.  Is there anything else I should be using for her comfort?  Does anyone here use those DAP scented calming collars for after surgery?


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Member Since:
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23 April 2017 - 4:32 pm
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Hi Riley and family 🌹🐶

It seems you've got everything pretty much covered, well done !

It is a very large incision indeed so just don't look at it more than you have to to check it's healing properly. 

Concentrate in giving Riley as much reassurance and pawsitive energy as you can as she will be following your lead.

Recovery doesn't last for ever, the majority of our babies have steadily improved since stitches are removed.

Until then the golden word is rest, rest, test !

Riley can make this and do can you !

Keep us posted and ask any questions, big or small, we are all here for you and Riley.

Sendjng you a big hug and cuddles 😘💕🐶

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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23 April 2017 - 9:41 pm
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Our Murphy was misdiagnosed for several months before his biopsy then ultimately surgery.  He was also able to walk on his leg as long as he was on pain medication and anti-inflammatory.  After surgery, the biopsy came back as histiocytic sarcoma, and the lymph node they removed also came back positive. 

Yes, the first 2 weeks or so are usually the hardest to get through.  Most dogs spend 1 or 2 nights in the hospital, but once in awhile they come home the day of surgery - that can be difficult for you.  Make sure that you give the pain medications around the clock - space them out a little bit for adequate coverage.  Murphy came home on Tramadol, Rimadyl & Gabapentin.  Some dogs come home with a Fentanyl patch and sometimes antibiotics.  You can apply an ice pack wrapped in a cloth to the incision for 10-15 minutes at a time a couple of times a day.  We used a t-shirt to help keep Murphy's incision clean.  They often become picky eaters, so whatever you can get Riley to eat - canned food, cooked food - I cooked rice & poured chicken broth over it then added chunks of chicken to it.  She's going to be sleeping a lot and just short leashed potty breaks - no long walks & no jumping on the furniture.

Stay in touch - we'll be here for you!


Donna, Glenn & Murphy

Murphy had his right front leg amputated due to histiocytic sarcoma at 7 years old.  He survived 4 years, 2 months & 1 week, only to be taken by hemangiosarcoma at 11 1/2 years 6/12/17  


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