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11 yr old greyhound with osteosarcoma
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Vacaville, California
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30 December 2016 - 8:46 pm
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My wonderful 11 year old greyhound Sessy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on her left back leg last Monday.  She started limping about a week before.  X-rays of her lungs are clear, but I realize there are still probably small cancer cells  there already.  I have amputation scheduled for this coming Monday.  Even though I have the surgery scheduled I'm still agonizing over whether I'm being fair to her......I'm one of those people that beats herself up over any decision I make for the animals I love!!!!

Right now she doesn't feel bad because she is on pain medications.  One minute I'm happy with my decision to amputate.......the next minute I worry that I should let her go now while she's her happy self.  The level of guilt over either decision are equally painful.  Of course all my friends who have never been in this position all say not to amputate....even the head of greyhound rescue I got her from says don't amputate.

Would appreciate any input especially from other greyhound parents.  If I do amputation I would also do follow up chemo.

Thanks from Sessy's crazy mom Gayle

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

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30 December 2016 - 8:56 pm
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Thanks for posting Gayle! Others will surely chime in soon. Drop by the chat, we're still there. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

TIP: Subscribe to this topic to be notified of replies.

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30 December 2016 - 8:58 pm
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sessy said
I'm still agonizing over whether I'm being fair to her...

Then follow her lead. Our best advice is to Be More Dog. That's a link to our keynote address at the 2012 Greyhounds Rock conference.

Virginia
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30 December 2016 - 10:46 pm
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Hi NOT Crazy Gayle! Okay, maybe allmof us here are a little...er..."touched" in the head! We ALL understand the agony of trying to make a decision because of this piece of crap disease! We understand! We are all jere ro support you and give you as much firsthand information as possible to help you be more at peace with whatever decision you decide!!

You will make a decision out of love for your sweet Sessy and that is ALWAYS the RIGHT decision!!

Whike your friends haven't done the research you jave, or will. Without the insight you are abput to gain here, amputation sounds way to drastic for the "uninformed". Actually, it sounds kind of drastic even after you're more informed!!

The main purpose of an amputation is to remove a very painful leg! Dogs are very stpic. If they limp, it hurts. And the pain generally escalates lretty quickly. There is also a fear of fracture.

And yes, unfortunately we've had several tripawd Greys here. Nixon, a senior Grey, loved a quality pain free life for over two years!! If you search under members for ohmynixon you should be able to find the blogs/posts.

If the Orthopedic Surgeon think she's a good candidate, then she shouldn't have any problems. Recovery is no picnic a d can be pretty rought for a week or two! It is MAJOR SURGERY and it hurts! And like any surgery, it has risks. Talk all that over with the Surgeon. Obviously, allmof us here felt like we jad to take those risks in order do give our dogs and cats extended QUALITY time!!

Dogs don't give a rip about a diagnosis! They don't care about days on a calendar and Greyhounds dontw jave a timeframe stamped anywhere on their butt!!

Dogs live in the moment, I. The NOW, free from worries! You'll learn to BE MORE DOG very quickly on this journey.

If you jave hardwood floors, you'll want non slip scatter rugs for traction. Some people prefer yoga mats. You'll want raised food bowls to help eliminate strain.

No going up and down stairs, no jumping up on sofa. Jist rest, rest, rest, short potty breaks and more rest.

Most dogs come home with Tramadol, Rimadyl, Gabapentin and an antibiotic. Some dogs come home with a pain patch. Usually a 24 hr Vet keeps them at least one night to monitor them and to make sure they are mobile.

Just a couple of pointers to get you started.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We understand the stress, the fear, the uncertainty, the nausea, the sleeplessness, the fear...yeah, I mentioned fear twice!! I hadn't joined this community prior to my Happy Hannah's amputation. I was soooo scared and u sure, I cancelled her first surgery!! Her recovery was rough. It took me three weeks before I could say I did this FOR her and not TO her!!

Just keep things chunked down for now. Get the surgery done. Get her home and get the recovery underway. You can deal with the chemo decision a couple of weeks from now.

STAY CONNECTED!! Yiur new crazy family is right here by your side!!!

Lots of 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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30 December 2016 - 10:53 pm
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Gayle I'm so glad you joined us! I met you and Sessy at UC Davis yesterdaysmiley. She is a darling, sweet thingheart The clinical trial coordinator saw me and we chatted about my dog (who was apparently being goofy in the back and making everyone laugh) and she said they were going to talk to you. Does Sessy qualify for the trial?

Unfortunately, none of us has a magic ball or the ability to see into the future, so we are stuck with the doubt, the fear and the unknown. You know Sessy best. You can anticipate better than anyone how she might physically handle the surgery and recovery based on her current health. If my Fionn was not still relatively young and in good health otherwise, my decision would likely have been different. I did not  attempt any life prolonging measures with my other dogs due to their age, health and types of cancers. And the decision to let them go in peace was equally as hard as the decision to go ahead with Fionn's amputation. The "right" decision is the one YOU make- whichever way you go. NO ONE else gets a vote. I cannot tell you how many people thought and continue to think I am crazy to have done this. I care not a whit! I'm not going to lie, the first week post op was awful. I was sure I had done the wrong thing. I had difficulty physically handling my big dog on the stairs and the meds made him so loopy he had no life in him. But, by the second week things were MUCH better and it's been happy, happy joy, joy ever since. I wish you could have met him, but he got done early. Of course, he was still a bit sedated from his xray and laid like a lump in the middle of the lobby when they brought him out so not too impressive really! 

There are LOADS of wonderful people here for support. Hopefully someone with greyhound experience will chime in. Admin Jerry has some helpful links to get you all you need to know to be prepared if you do go forward with the surgery. There are a couple of elderly dogs who just had their surgeries and I think they all had other health issues as well. In the end, it's a crap shoot as to the time we will be given BUT, in most cases, that time is spent pain free. I know you think Sessy's pain is well controlled and maybe it is now, but it won't be for long. Fionn also responded well once we put him on tramadol and gabapentin before surgery. My neighbors thought he was all better. A few days before surgery his pain came back and no amount of meds were helping. Bone cancer is excruciating and, since dogs are so good at hiding their pain, knowing when they are experiencing it is difficult. See any number of posts (including many of mine) dealing with pain control after surgery. I was told by vets and my human patients that the pain of surgery is much less than the cancer pain and it is temporary. Removing the leg or euthanasia is the only way to take away the pain completely. 

I am in no way trying to lead you one way or another. Like I said, the decision you make IS the right one. And you need to get rid of the guilt. Easier said than done I know, but CANCER did this to Sessy, not you. You are only responsible for attempting to make the remainder of her life, however long that may be, all about quality of life. Dogs only know TODAY, THIS MOMENT. They don't grasp the concept of yesterday or tomorrow. Enjoy the NOW with her- that's all that really counts.

If you haven't found it here's a link to Fionn's blog. All the good, bad and truly ugly about his recovery. 

Blessings to you and Sessy. Please keep in touch whatever you decide. Maybe we will see each other again at UCD!

Nancy and Fionnheart

Nancy- mom to the FABULOUS Fionn. He rescued me in 2015 when he was 6. 

Right front leg amputation at age 7 for osteosarcoma 10/6/16. Taken too soon 6/12/17. Read about our journey here:

http://fionnsjo.....pawds.com/

Livermore, CA
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30 December 2016 - 11:25 pm
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Welcome to the family.  No matter what decision you make from here on out we will be here to support you and Sessy.

Her age isn't important- does she still enjoy her life, does it seem like she has life left to live?  You are the one who can make that decision. My pug Maggie was only 7.5 years old when she lost her left rear leg to mast cell cancer.  As a pug she was really only half way through her life expectancy at that point- still many of my friends and some family thought I was crazy for choosing surgery.

I did a search in the forums under Greyhound and got these results.  They might not all be about Grey's but at least some of them are.

It is a daunting decision, hard to come to grips with amputation.  Mag did not bounce back quickly and I thought I had made a mistake.  We got the bad news after the amp that the cancer was in her lymph system which is really bad for mast cell cancer- they gave her 6 to 9 months with chemo.  I was sure I had made a terrible mistake.  As it turned out Mag beat that cancer and lived almost 4 years. I realized that if I had not given her that chance she would not have lived nearly that long.  Another thing I learned and have tried to incorporate into my life is that dogs really live in the moment.  They don't know and they don't care that they have cancer.  They don't know someone said they only have a few months to live.  They want a full belly, some time at the park and a warm place to sleep.

No matter what you decide to do we are here to help.  The cancer journey is hard no matter how many legs you have- its helpful to have friends who have been there and can help.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

p.s. We have a Nor Cal group of Tripawd members who get together in Mill Valley a couple times of year.  I hope I get to meet you and Sessy.

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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31 December 2016 - 3:00 am
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The recovery from amputation is a hard two weeks, but most dogs bounce back really quickly and go on to have a great quality of life.  My Otis only lived about another 7 months, but they were 7 really good months and absolutely worth it!  

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.

Minneapolis, MN
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31 December 2016 - 11:30 am
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Hello, Gayle:

My boy was an 11.5 year old Malamute Greyhound mix (a sled dog Lurcher of sorts) who lost a front leg to soft tissue sarcoma at the beginning of May.  We lost him 6 months later, but amputation gave him and us a wonderful and cherished summer together.  Less walks than before, but plenty of activity - he went to the off leash dog park to romp and play and even do the occasional zoomie pretty much every weekend from 2 weeks post amp to 2 weeks before he passed.

I wish you and Sessy a very successful procedure and a smooth recovery and much more time to be more dog.

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

Vacaville, California
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31 December 2016 - 9:12 pm
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Thanks everybody........this group is amazing.  Thank you Nancy for telling me about the group.  It really helps to know that others are out there that understand what you're going through.  I'm 95 percent sure I'm going ahead with the amputation on Monday.  It still doesn't feel real, so tomorrow I'm spending my day with Sessy spoiling her.  maybe  move some furniture around to make things easier.

Nancy and Fionn.......I tried getting into UCDavis for the surgery....but they couldn't fit me in for three week. We're having the operation done early Monday at Sage Veternarian hospital. We may come back to Davis for the chemo.  Hope I run into you again.

Gayle and Sessy

Gayle - mom of beautiful greyhound Sessy.  Sessy diagnosed with osteosarcoma on 12/26/16, left back leg amputated on 1/2/17.  Feline siblings Mooshe, Tinkerdude, Odie and Bean

London, UK
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1 January 2017 - 12:34 am
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What an adorable avatar pic! OMD, just the sweetest face! You've had great advice from everyone, so really just wanted to offer support and say we are here for you and Sessy. Have a great day spoiling her. Spoiling is fun. You have lots more spoiling to come.

Thinking of you!

Meg, Clare and Elsie Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Elsie Pie, & Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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1 January 2017 - 11:31 am
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Gayle, I so glad you found someplace to do the surgery sooner. I was lucky that there was a cancellation at UCD and Fionn could be seen sooner than anticipated. 

Lots of advice on the blogs and forums here about how to prepare for the post op period. Since Sessy is older, booties of some sort may be helpful for her when she's on a slippery surface like the vets office. I have used the rubber Pawz, which will do in a pinch but they make their paws sweat. I got mine at Petsmart. I much prefer Grippers Dog socks. You have to measure her foot, but they stay on and have cloth inside so less sweating. Yoga mats or something similar for any hard floors at home. A harness (and you may find one you like better than the one I showed you) will be invaluable. 

She may lose her appetite for a bit and since she's got no teeth (seriously Tripawd-land, since she has no teeth it makes Sessy EXTRA cute!) have on hand whatever especially temping and delicious foods you think she would eat just in case. Have help on standby if you need something. You probably won't want to leave her side for awhile so stock up on groceries for yourself too. Sally would recommend having chocolate handy and I like to combine that with wine, but these are just suggestionsaw-shucks

Cold and hot packs. I found a moldable clay pack at Walmart that can be used cold or hot. I used it as a hot pack (you microwave it) and frozen peas for the cold pack.  

Look at incision pictures. Seriously. Otherwise you will likely be shocked and upset when you see her. Well, you will be anyway, but being prepared for it will help you not be upset in front of her. Enjoy your day of spoiling and please let us know if you need anything! 

Healing thoughts and blessings from Nancy and Fionnheart

Nancy- mom to the FABULOUS Fionn. He rescued me in 2015 when he was 6. 

Right front leg amputation at age 7 for osteosarcoma 10/6/16. Taken too soon 6/12/17. Read about our journey here:

http://fionnsjo.....pawds.com/

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1 January 2017 - 1:04 pm
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Gayle - your Sessy is beautiful!  Though I had very little time to make a decision about Tai, I completely understand the worry and the second guessing - when I told people her leg had been amputated, I was sure I heard negative judgement in their replies - but none of that matters!  You know your Sessy, trust that you will make the best decision for her.  And absolutely spoil, spoil 🙂

One of the best pieces of advice came to me from this site, to Be More Dog - and though I still worry, I am getting better at that.  This site is a fantastic place for experience, advice and support.

Will be thinking of you.

Tracey & Tai

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2 January 2017 - 3:39 am
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Thinking about you and Sessy today😀

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.

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2 January 2017 - 7:05 am
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Sessy, SMOOCH, SMOOCH, SMOOCHES! While you get everything sorted out and dream of pink elephants and Kill Barney, know that TriPawd Nation is sending all pawsitive thoughts and healing energy! Sessy, you are toooooooooo cute. Good thing you are in CA and CharlieBear in GA because I am pretty sure he would just be in luuuuuuuuuuuuv with her! Best wishes, hugs, and PyrPaws all around!

Minneapolis, MN
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2 January 2017 - 7:43 am
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Sending positive vibes and mojo this morning for Sessy!

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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