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Mastiff - 155lbs QUESTIONS before amputation!
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20 September 2017 - 10:04 pm
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Our 155lb English Mastiff, Samson (7yrs) is in the process of being diagnosed (confirmed) with osteosarcoma.  Chest xray tomorrow, then possible aspiration for confirmation.  We are searching for more specific experiences of mastiffs of this size with osteosarcoma.  I haven't found any good info.

We have yet to see an oncologist, hopefully next week. Have a lot of reservations about amputation because he is so heavy around chest, and a taller Mastiff at that.  Concerned having an amputation may put him at more risk for injury and pain. Any experiences or information that would help?

Thanks!

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 September 2017 - 10:00 am
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Hello and welcome to you and Samson. Your future posts won't need to wait for approval so post away.

 We are searching for more specific experiences of mastiffs of this size with osteosarcoma.  I haven't found any good info.

Oh gosh, we have tons. Although they might not all be 155 pounds, many were close, some weighed even more, like Tazzie, Mastiff to Tripawds' Fairy Vet Mother Dr. Pam. See:

Forum Search Results for "Mastiffs" and "Osteosarcoma"

and the Tripawds News Blog Stories About Mastiffs

and finally, member blogs with stories about Mastiffs

There's a lot to search through but you'll see that they can be very, very happy on three legs. Of course all dogs are different and there are no guarantees, but most do get along well. I'm so glad you're going to see an oncologist, because then you can learn all your options and find out if he's a good candidate. How does your vet feel about him being a good candidate? How do you feel? Do you think he has the stamina and spirit to bounce back? Recovery often depends as much on the pet parent's attitude as it does the dog, so if you feel good about it, he will too.

Stay tuned for more information and feedback from the folks in this wonderful community! 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 September 2017 - 10:20 am
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Tazzie weighed about 190 pounds before having her RF leg amputated and she was also quite tall but she was not overweight.  I had reservations because she had surgeries on both of her knees for torn ACL ligaments but she ended up doing very well.  I kept her in the hospital for 3 nights to give her extra time to recover and I was careful about long flights of stairs afterwards but she surprised me and lived an extra 14 months after chemo.

Somewhere on this site is a YouTube video of her hopping around on three legs.

Pam

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21 September 2017 - 10:33 am
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tazziedog said
Somewhere on this site is a YouTube video of her hopping around on three legs.

Ahhh, one of our favorite memories!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 September 2017 - 11:11 am
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Just a quic addition to add to the "big doggy list".  Rufus, a 175 lb Newfie.  I'll try and find more of his info.  Although Rufus did just recently headed to the Bridge, he mastered three legs just fine.

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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23 September 2017 - 12:56 pm
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Hi Samson and family 🌹

I am really sorry you find yourselves here but be assured there is absolutely no reason why your Mastiff should not do well on three legs.

My girl Eurydice was a huge Great Dane, she weighed 170lb and measured 98cm to the base of the neck.

She lost her right front leg to osteosarcoma and hopped reeeeeally fast for 13 months and 1 week plus she was as happy as a grossly oversized bunny. 

Check her videos out on Tripawd Tuesday Eurydice the Great Dane Changes the World and you'll surely feel reassured about how well our babies can do on three.

This journey may be scary but truth is our babies surprise us and teach us life is great even without that spare leg...

We are all here for you so please do keep in touch and let us hold your hand and help you along the way.

Sending you and Samson a big hug and lots of 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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25 September 2017 - 12:50 am
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Hi Samson and family 🌹

Just checking on how you are, was the X-ray ok ?

Did you do the biopsy ?

Thinking about you and sending you lots of pawsitive energy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime, we are right here for you, always  😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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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26 September 2017 - 7:24 pm
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eurydice said
Hi Samson and family 🌹

Just checking on how you are, was the X-ray ok ?

Did you do the biopsy ?

Thinking about you and sending you lots of pawsitive energy, please do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime, we are right here for you, always  😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹  

Got us into oncologist today, all options discussed, blood and urinalysis today, stomach ultrasound and biopsy tomorrow. Then discuss a plan after reviewing results.

Did anyone do a consult with orthopedic doc to examine strength of joints etc?

Our boys are praying, but don't understand the idea of prognosis with cancer. When we have a plan, we will discuss with them 🙂

Virginia
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26 September 2017 - 7:56 pm
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And ya' know what?  Samson doesn't understand a word about prognosis, diagnosis, statistics, or days on a calendar!!  That's onenof many thousands of great things about dogs....all that matters to them is living in the NOW and being spoiled and loved!!  And Samson clearly is getting plenty of that!! 🙂

This rype of surgery on such a big guy needs to be done by an Orthopedic Surgeon.  Generally they are well versed in how well dogs will handle three legs. That's not always a guarantee, but a pretty good start.

M.ore often, we might see a challenge where some dogs already have some arthritis and the might be concern avout how well they will do.  Almost always, those dog do better than the expectations!

Just one observation about the biopsy. Many times they come back inconclusive and can often be quite painful.  Often xrays are fairly conclusive when properly read vy a Radiologist.    None of this is always the case but just wanted to throw it out there.

You're doing an excellent job ofresearch andall the work ups to be able to make as informed a decision as possible.

You know we HAVE to have pictures!!  adding images

Hugs to all! 'And your voys sound precious!  How old?

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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28 September 2017 - 10:24 am
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Hi Samson and family!

I hope all is going okay and you are figuring out the best choices for Samson?! 

We are the fortunate pawrents of our big boy Stewie. Stewie had his LF leg removed due to Osteosarcoma. He is a Bernese/Rottweiler/Retriever cross weighing in at 50kg. Not quite the heavy weight Champion that Samson is, but he is very front heavy. My husband and I were also very concerned about his amputation, as he had shown signs of neck issues. But we figured that the ONLY WAY TO TAKE AWAY HIS PAIN, was to take away his leg!

Although Stewie had a problem with fluid build up around his incision site (a Seroma), he bounced  back (literally!) to his (new normal) self in no time! He is now almost 3 months post amp and he is doing incredibly well. He isn't running marathons anymore, but he is sire one of the hoppiest puppies on this planet!

If Samson does need an amputation, know that you have lots of support on this site... We have all been in your shoes and want to help in anyway we can. The first two weeks are the most difficult, both physically and mentally on you both, but with the guidance of your vet for proper pain management and LOTS of bedrest, he will do just fine!

Sloppy kisses from Stewie👅🐾
& all the very best from his adoring pack,
Petra, Paul, & his feline siblings, Mr. Spike, Chester Molester & Miss Lily 🐾🐾🐾❤️.
http://stewie20.....pawds.com/

Sloppy kisses from Stewie & massive cuddles from Mum, Dad & his Prideful Pack Spike, Chester & Miss Lily. Super Stu was diagnosed with OSA July 5th. He became a Super Tripawd July 10th 2017. He did brilliantly through 6 rounds of Carboplatin & continues to bring Joy & Hoppiness to his family and friends. But most of all he teaches us all to continually “live in the moment!“  Check out Stewies journey at  http://stewie20.....pawds.com/ 

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1 October 2017 - 2:51 pm
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Hi Samson and family🌹

Just wandering how you are and whether you decided which route to take. 

As for the orthopaedic vet, others here have checked it but I think only when there were problems in the joints to start with. 

If Samson is ok he should not have difficulty to adjust to three legs. 

If you did go for a biopsy when will you have the results?

Thinking about you and your cutie pie and sending you both kisses 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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7 October 2017 - 3:53 am
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Hi Samson and family 🌺

How are things going???

Thinking about you and sending you kisses 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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16 October 2017 - 11:05 pm
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Hi everyone..still trying to figure out the forum, etc. Thank you for the replies and support you have given.

Samson is still doing well on Rimadyl once a day, or not even that, has no limping. Caught this pretty early at first sign of a limp. However, to prevent having to go through a fracture, we have decided to amputate on Friday, then chemo. We were able to get a sample from needle aspiration instead of a biopsy, saw a surgeon, and have been in process of researching our decision.

Our boys are starting to 'get' what will happen, but have been very honest with them. We are praying for Samson's resilience and enjoy watching him chase bunnies in the backyard and bark with the neighbors dogs.  

We are needing advice on:

Best ramp for a truck (not a minivan), where to get inexpensive runner mats (we have hardwood floors), and whether he will need a boot for his front foot, and if so, how often to wear it.  Also, your experience on the bandaging of the amputation site post-op.

I have purchased a harness with good chest support. I feel it will help us support his weight in the beginning.  We already have a busy life with two growing boys, so not looking forward to how much craziness the coming weeks will bring. So any general insight into what our first few weeks will be like would be actually very helpful.   

Thanks again!

Kim

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16 October 2017 - 11:48 pm
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Hi Kim, thanks for the update. We're glad that Samson is holding his own and things are moving along so he can start to feel good again. Look out bunnies! Put those ear plugs in neighbors. Samson's coming back in a big way real soon!

Regarding the ramp....has he ever used one before? Not all dogs take to them, and we see lots of folks returning ramps. Does the harness you purchased work like the Ruffwear Webmaster Plus, with a handle on top? If so that may be all you need to lift him up into your truck and while getting out so he has a soft landing.

Carpet runners...glad you're thinking of them. We find that Costco has some really inexpensive ones (around $12 each) and you can always use yoga mats too. 

Boots...has he ever worn boots before? If not he may not need them. See how he gets around on the traction you've laid down. Boots are great for ice and slippery surfaces but for a long-term indoor solution they're impractical for most people. Remembering to put them on the dog is the biggest challenge.

Bandaging....that really depends on the vet. Many front-leg amputees come home with compression bandages to minimize the chances of a seroma fluid build up. Rear leggers don't because it's hard to bandage there. If he doesn't come home with one, that's OK too, but if you're more comfortable with one so your boys don't panic, then let your vet know you'd prefer one for Samson.

The first few weeks aren't always ruff, but they can have ups and downs. Samson may be low-energy and low appetite for a while until the meds work their way out of his system. In general larger dogs take a little longer to bounce back but they do get the hang of it.

The best thing you can do is play it by ear and day to day to see how he does. Just remember that the faster you can normalize the situation, the faster he will see that life is normal again. Too much babying (hand-feeding, doing everything for him) and messing up the routine can be detrimental when it comes to amputation recovery. For that reason, we don't encourage things like sleeping on the floor but many here do it. That's entirely up to you. Just follow your instinct and you can't go wrong. And of course come here to ask any questions you'd like,that's why we're here. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 October 2017 - 12:07 am
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Jerry, 

He has never needed a ramp, but the truck is a bit higher than minivan, and sometimes he has been hesitant to 'walk' out of it. So just curious if anyone knew of a sturdy ramp for this weight. We may just make one to throw in the back of the truck.

Yes, I purchased that exact harness with an extra support for chest. He's about 42-43" girth...so barely made it for an XL. I expect we may need it initially, and as time goes on.

Yes, he's worn boots before in the TX hill country, but not very long. Hopefully rugs will be enough, and won't have any other problems with paw from wear and tear.

As for sleeping on the ground with him...nope! I like my bed way too much.  That's one battle we actually won with him LOL!! No bed for you, Sammy!

BTW, how do they do swimming after amputation? 

Thanks!

Kim

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