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Amputation and Bone Cancer: Send in Your Survey Questions
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The Rainbow Bridge

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30 July 2009 - 6:25 pm
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Hey guys,  tomorrow my pawrents are heading to California to get their stuff and bring it back to my land in Colorado. They send their apologies if they aren't around as much for the next week. But when they return, hang onto your hats, they've got some big news for you.

In the meantime, here's something to consider: Recently, our friend Tazzie posted this in the Forums:

If I were more motivated, I might distribute a little survey each of us could complete to summarize how and what we did post-amp and post-chemo. We must have a larger sample of tripawds, however biased our group might be. . . than most vets will ever see.

When we read this, we thought "YES! What a great idea!" Every day Tripawd pawrents talk here about their different approaches to battling cancer.

Wouldn't it be great if we could gather everyone's experiences, treatments and then some, and compile it all into a survey / study?

If this works, we'll run the survey questions periodically to catch newcomers. We need your help though. Send us the  questions you think need to be asked for a survey like this. Questions like:

  • What is your dog's diagnosis?
  • Did s/he have a difficult time after surgery?
  • How long did it take until you were confident s/he was feeling good again?
  • What supplements are you using and when?
  • How was your dog the day he or she arrived home from surgery?
  • How was your dog the rest of the first week? (a) animal ?  (b) vegetable?   (c) sedementary rock?

Once we have a good amount of questions, we'll put them into survey format that everyone can fill out. When the data is collected, we will analyze and post the results.

So put your thinking caps on, and start listing your amputation and canine bone cancer questions today!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Livermore CA
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30 July 2009 - 9:49 pm
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How about something about the dog being mad at you?  Seems like there were a lot who faced the wall, wouldn't respsond, acted mad, blamed...the sort of thing that is so upsetting to the loving human who is having serious doubts about the wisdom of it all anyway.

And, when they won't eat, what we did to bribe them.

Cemil and mom Mary, Mujde and Radzi….appreciating and enjoying Today

Cemil's blog

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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31 July 2009 - 8:08 am
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Oh Geez, I love this idea.

Chemo - what type, how many treatments, side effects, would you make the same decision again

Recovery hell - what method(s) did you use to help them get around, how long was assistance required, what pain med, how long, side effects

What other challenges did you face at the same time - ie.) we needed to reduce Trouble's weight substantially to reduce the stress on the remaining leg

Did you get a second opinion & what prompted the decision

For those who have passed - how long past Dx, would you do anything differently,

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

The Rainbow Bridge

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31 July 2009 - 9:14 am
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Off to a great start, thank you! Keep 'em coming.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Winnipeg
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31 July 2009 - 9:34 am
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Hi Jerry

Thanks for moving on this. I'll probably add to general questions related to surgery recovery and chemo (funny that topic occurred to me just this very week, hehe!) later. Here are some general background questions that probably need to go at the beginning of a survey. It might be nice to get more medical details (other indications of spread at time of amp), although that will depend on our goals.

I think size and weight and age of dog might have a lot to do with the way it responds post-amp, which is why I include these questions.

Background info

1. Breed (or general type of cross): ____________________________________

2. Age: __________

3. Sex: __________        Spayed or neutered:     Yes _____    No _______

4. Weight (pre-amp):        ______lb    or    _____ kg

5. Assessment of weight:
a. Obese        b. Chubby        c. Normal        d. Lean

6. How long did you notice your dog limping (even if it was intermittent) before amputation?
<1 month        1-2 months        3-4 months        >5 months

7. Was there evidence of lung mets from the chest x-rays at the time of diagnosis?
Yes __________        No ______________

Here and Now

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31 July 2009 - 9:35 am
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Thanks everyone! Please try to provide some answer options along with your questions since a multiple-choice survey will be much easier to develop and tabulate, and be more likely to be completed by readers.

Michigan
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1 August 2009 - 1:57 pm
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On the background questions maybe something about whether the dog had any major health issues prior to the surgery.  Diabetes, thyroid and other conditions can definitely play a factor in how they and we handle the recovery process.

The Rainbow Bridge

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1 August 2009 - 5:11 pm
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Good thinking!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Northern Indiana
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1 August 2009 - 6:17 pm
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Here are a few thoughts.....................

Did your dog have a biopsy, if so what were the results? 

What tests were done pre op such as chest xray, abdominal CT, lab work, etc?

what drugs did your dog receive post op and any problems?

what does your dog eat pre op and post op?

what treatment after lung mets found?

Grateful for every moment we had with Paris…..no regrets!

Honoring her life by opening our hearts & home to Addy!

macsmom
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5 August 2009 - 7:52 am
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Bone Cancer Dogs yahoo group has a database that is open-ended and includes dog name, breed, age, sex, location of tumor, age at diagnosis, and current status, and while it's nice to have open-ended questions, a survey would be good to compile the info.  Their database only has some of the information filled in which is frustrating, but it's nice to hear people's stories. Maybe we can have that board connected to it???  Just brainstorming here.

Questions:

  • Age of diagnosis
  • Age of lung mets
  • What would you do differently (check box)?  Amputate sooner/later/not at all, do chemo, don't do chemo, etc.
  • What non-traditional treatments or supplements have you done since diagnosis? (for each, are they effective?) High protein diet, raw diet, K9 Immunity, accupuncture, etc.

I think this is a great idea!  I searched all over everywhere it seemed for something like this to help me make some decisions.  Excited we can do it for others!

Kirkland, WA
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5 August 2009 - 8:40 am
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How about:

"What complications did you have after surgery?  Bleeding, bruising, nausea, crying, etc?"

"Is there anything you would have done differently during recovery?"

Here and Now

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Seattle
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11 August 2009 - 3:03 pm
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This is such a great idea!! In addition to all of the questions above, I would like to expand to questions about the time after the recovery from the surgery itself. We were told to expect Willy to last between 4 and 6 months after diagnosis (even given the amputation), since we did not do chemo. Jerry lasted much longer, and we are wondering how common that is among those of us contributing to this board. (Willy is in month eight from presentation, month seven from surgery--with no symptoms of lung problems.) So--maybe questions like the following (trying to supply the multiple choice options!):

(Assuming that we've already asked about time between limping and diagnosis and surgery. And we've already asked about chemo and other treatments. And we know how old the dog is.)

How far post-amputation are you now (or were you when you passed)? A. 0-4 months; B. 5-9 months; C. 10-14 months; D. 15-19 months; E. 20 + months

Once the surgery site had healed, how was the recovery process? How long did it take to be able to take normal (what does that mean to you) walks? A. within the first month; B. by the end of the second month; C. by the end of the third month; D. never, we now only walk a short distance for elimination business.

Are you still taking normal walks (and if not how long has it been since you've stopped)? A. yes, we are still taking normal walks; B. no, we had to stop within this last month; C. no, we had to stop two months ago; D. no, we had to stop three months ago.

Were there occasions of depression or poor appetite?A. no; B. yes, but fewer than 3; C. yes, between 4 and 10; D. yes, more than 10.

What brought you out of those occasions of depression or poor appetite? A. nothing obvious; B. special food; C. change of routine.

Did your pawrents take special care to stimulate you (given that we can't all take off for an extended road trip--darn it!). A. more car rides; B. new games to play; C. new routines for stimulation; D. special play dates with other dogs or people.

Did you monitor the possibility of lung mets with xrays? A. No; B. yes, but only with symptoms; C. yes, periodically regardless of symptoms.

Willy--diagnosed with osteosarcoma January 5, 2009 (amputation January 27, 2009) left us just after his 11th birthday on December 2, 2009 to join all the other brave tripawds. We'll always love you!

The Rainbow Bridge

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11 August 2009 - 3:24 pm
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Oooh, this is fantastic, thank you! We really appreciate your providing the multiple-choice selections, it really helps us out.

I think we'll keep this topic going for a while longer so we can keep getting more good questions like this. Thanks everyone!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
Latest Tripawds News
Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Harrisonburg, Va
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14 August 2009 - 10:32 am
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I think the survey idea is great and would be extremely helpful for future people.  It's kinda hard to think of something that hasn't already been mentioned, but ones that I personally would like answered are

1. Which period of recovery were the hardest for both you and your dog? (first 3 days, 4th-7th day, 8th-11th day, 11th-14th day, 2 weeks +)

2. Which day in recovery was your dog noticeably better?

3. How long after amputation did you see your dog act his old self/do the things he used to do?

I know that each case is different, but a base timeline might be helpful and bring peace of mind to some.  Smile

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