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Help! I don't know what to do about my 13yo who is otherwise ill! | Size and Age Matters


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Help! I don't know what to do about my 13yo who is otherwise ill!
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Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
3 March 2017
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3 March 2017 - 3:27 pm
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Hello all.  I just found this site while researching about rear leg amputation due to cancer.

My Oscar, a 13yo beagle, was diagnosed in 2013 with some localized cancer in his hind foot.  The oncologist was not concerned with it spreading, and at the time it didn't bother him.  But it has grown the point where the skin has ruptured.  Vet is suggesting amputation, and i think when we spoke a few years ago, the thought was amputation at the hip.

If he was just old, I would say ok, do it.  But Oscar is special - he has Chagas' disease, which has caused congestive heart failure, diagnosed around 6 years ago.  Vet's opinion at that time was that he was already on borrowed time (with the Chagas diagnosis) and didn't expect him to live 6 months.  With nothing to lose, we put him on raw diet and he's been able to thrive.  

But now this.  Yesterday, my regular vet wrapped his oozing foot and now he won't walk on it at all.  And so he's not moving around.  He's very unsteady on the one foot.  I'm concerned about how I would be able to help him gain strength after amputation.

I appreciate any supportive words or stories anyone can provide.  

Durham, NC
Forum Posts: 405
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16 September 2015
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3 March 2017 - 6:05 pm
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Hi there, Emily is it? I'm so sorry to read about Oscar's illness and your dilemma but we are here to support you!

I wonder, do you know what kind of tumor it is? I'd guess Mast Cell? My wonderpup Izzy had her front leg amputated back in Sept 2015 at the ripe old age of 12 due to Osteosarcoma. There wasn't any evidence of lung mets, so given her age, I decided to do no more than the amputation. This past June, I found a lump between her pad and toe on her hind foot - Mast Cell disease. I couldn't amputate or operate at all so we tried predinisone and Palladia and had a complete response. The Palladia lost it's efficacy after about 6 months and we've now got a huge, weepy tumor. I'm trying traditional chemo but so far, the response isn't spectacular. 

I mention all of this because it doesn't sound like your vet had tried any drug therapy. Of course, that may not be an option but I wonder if even prednisone would knock it back a bit? When Izzy first started the pred, it shrunk the tumor noticeably withing a week. Maybe ask about those options? If amputation is the only solution presented, you might get a second opinion but in the end, only you know what is the best solution for you and your sweet baby.

No matter where the journey takes you, we are happy to listen, share our stories and lift you up. That said, just one small request? A picture of Oscar!!!

~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.

The Rainbow Bridge

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4 March 2017 - 12:49 pm
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Emily, Oscar and family, welcome. Your future posts won't need approval so post away OK?

What an amazing story Oscar has! He's sure beaten the odds. WOW.

But now this is such a tough situation. It's relatively easy for most to decide when there's a young healthy dog involved. Honestly I'm just not sure what I would do if we were in the same situation with our dog. But here's what I would consider about Oscar's situation:

What does the vet think about Oscar being a good candidate for surgery? 

What is Oscar's personality? Is he a spunky old dog that doesn't let anything keep him down? Or is he anxious and nervous about new situations?

How has Oscar done at the vet's and during any other medical procedures, and after? Any complications?

And finally, I would get another opinion from the oncologist if you haven't already. Oh, and please make sure Oscar has good pain medication right now, that sounds very painful. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Schofield, WI
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4 March 2017 - 5:06 pm
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Amy and Jerry (Rene) have given some good advice.  Sorry I can't be of any help advice wise but want to lend some hugs and support.  We're here to support whatever direction you choose to go!

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