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Hemangiosarcoma point of origin left, front elbow..... | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Hemangiosarcoma point of origin left, front elbow.....
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22 March 2018 - 11:24 am
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Hello everyone!

Late October 2017 our 12 1/2 year yound ACD mix Nila jumped off the blanket chest from taking a nap (she loves to nap there and look out the window) and started limping. After checking her over, we noticed there was some "hard swelling" on the inside of her left, front elbow. She is an energetic girl and we thought it might be trauma, but just didn't seem right. We called our vet and he agreed to try some anti-inflammatory and pain meds. So, we did. Well, the limping subsided, but the area of "hard swelling" had not improved. As soon as we stopped the meds, the limping returned. So, we took her to see the vet on November 6th. Just by visually looking at it he was thinking possibly Fibrosarcoma or Neurofibroma. We scheduled surgery to have it removed on November 13th and send out for histopath. Upon seeing the mass, he wasn't sure what to think. She recovered really well and was pretty much back to normal (with a slight limp since the leg was all wrapped up) that evening.  Well, when that came back it was Hemangiosarcoma. We were all shocked. So, amputation was a consideration. All of her xrays were clean, bloodwork was really good and heart and lungs sounded good. We started her on some supplements at this point. Well, it came back in the same location. So, we decided to de-bulk it on December 18th. The surgery went well and she was pretty much back to normal (with a slight limp since the leg was all wrapped up) that evening. We did notice a hard "mass" behind the right, rear knee and a soft mass behind her right armpit area. January 17, 2018 she started limping on her right rear leg due to some pitting edema. By January 21st the point of origin was growing again, but not causing too many problems. On February 10th, the point of origin ruptured. We scheduled surgery for February 12th to de-bulk again. When our vet did the surgery, he said he didn't think we could de-bulk again with any success due to the cancer starting to invade the tissue in the area. He also noticed her mobility in that elbow was compromised by about 50%. She once again recovered well. The next day, the suture line ruptured and our vet didn't think he could re-suture it with any success. So, we started cleaned it daily, applied Vetericyn and re-wrapped with a surgical dressing and Co-flex. She was doing better and within 2 weeks it was pretty much healed. About the same time that healed she once again had pitting edema in the right, rear leg. So, we kept a compression bandage on it and it started to resolve. During this bout, she started to knuckle on her right, rear foot. By March 11th, the point of origin was once again getting larger. On March 14th it started to rupture and on the 19th she got her bandage off and we had a mess! There is lots of necrotic tissue and we don't want to have complications with gangrene or infection. She is on antibiotics along with Tramadol and her supplements. She also had pitting edema in the front leg (this has been off and on, as well as 2 times in the right, rear leg). So, we kept a compression bandage on it which helped. She is still in great spirits, eating and drinking, smiling, wants to get around on her own (but let's us help her) and still wanting to live a quality life! We recently did the pinch test on her back foot and there isn't a lot of feeling there. We're not sure if she pinched a nerve or what happened, but she does still use it, just 60% of the time it's knuckled. We've looked at the "Walkin' Bootie Splint to help with that. At this point we need to make a decision about amputation.  Our concern is more issues with the back leg could reappear. We've also consider the possibility of needing a quad cart for her. So, I'm just looking to this group for some thoughts and input. Nila just isn't ready to take her journey across Rainbow Bridge . We will not selflessly keep her around just for quantity of time without quality! Thanks in advance! Bev and Nila

P.S. We already have a 12 1/2 year young Pibble that had his left, rear leg amputated at about 4 months of age and have also had other tripawd foster dogs in the past heart

The Rainbow Bridge

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22 March 2018 - 1:08 pm
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Hi Nila and family, welcome.

It's nice chatting with you in the Tripawds Chat ! I'll summarize my thoughts here so that others can chime in with their own ideas:

1) When a situation isn't as straightforward, it's always wise to get another opinion about whether or not a dog is a candidate for amputation. Nila has a few things going on so if at all possible, do get a referral to a board-certified orthopedic vet. You just want to be sure the knuckling isn't caused by a larger issue like degenerative myleopathy or something neurological. 

2) She sounds like such a spunky gal! That spirit of hers will help her go far, should you decide to amputate. And you have a great, can-do attitude as well! Clearly it runs in the family 🙂

3) I wouldn't go the cart route until you consult with a canine rehab therapist. Being that you're in a rural location, you may be able to find one who can work long-distance with you. Either way, remember the Tripawds Foundation may pay for your first rehab visit .

I hope this helps. Stay tuned for insight from others!

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22 March 2018 - 1:27 pm
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Thanks Jerry! 

1-I don't think the knuckling is from DM (we had a previous foster dog that had that) or neurological since she's showed no other symptoms. That is my non-professional opinion.

2-She is a great girl...very opinionated too 😉 If she was done fighting and letting me know she was ready, I have no problem honoring her request. She is just not there. Still wants to hobble out to potty and insists on doing most of the walking on her own. We do carry her up and down the few stairs most of the time, but sometimes she's pretty quick or sneaky and does it without us. 

3-No, we're not thinking of going from amputation right into a cart. We want to try that Bootie Splint (unless someone else has other ideas for something similar) first while she would be healing and getting used to being a tripawd versus a hobbling quadpaw. We just can't take the chance of the rupture getting infected and causing further issues to her health.

Hope to hear from others, but will probably be calling our vet today to discuss. I'm not so sure he's completely on board since she's 12 1/2 and it's hemangio. However, you'd never know she's 12 1/2 and hemangio is what it is. We're already 6 months since we found the mass. The supplements I think have greatly helped and staying on top of things. That's why I don't want to put off amputation for long........it seems our only option to continue the fight right along with her.

Nila and Bev

Michigan
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22 March 2018 - 8:00 pm
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Our Cassie had arthritis & bulging discs in her back & was knuckling  ...  we got a Toe Ups boot for her and it helped some.  I'll have to go measure it to see what the size is (our vet staff measured her and ordered it, so I don't know what size we have).  The purpose is to pull the toes upward while they're walking, but really can only be on for a few minutes at a time when you first get it.  You can build up the time eventually. https://orthopets.com/product/orthopets-toe-up-device/

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

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  

Donna.png

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23 March 2018 - 8:56 am
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Hi Nila and Bev!

I have no insight in matters of this nature but I wanted to wish you luck in your journey. It sounds like you are covering all the bases. I do agree strongly that with all of the different things you are facing, another opinion from a reputable vet that specializes might be the best way to start. I think if you can pull the whole picture together and know exactly what you are dealing with that it will better help you to make the decisions necessary to move forward. 

I wish you luck on this journey, sending hugs and healing wishes heart

Jackie and Huckleberry

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

Virginia
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23 March 2018 - 11:39 am
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paws120 said
Hi Nila and Bev!

  I think if you can pull the whole picture together and know exactly what you are dealing with that it will better help you to make the decisions necessary to move forward. 

Ditto all the suggestions for a second opinion.  This has to be soooo confusing and frustrating.  Certainly faced with some  "unique" challenges.

Clearly Nila is a strong and determined gal and clearly you love her so very much.

Sorry I don't have any specific inight either.  You k ow Nila better than anyone a d you will always do what's best for herheart

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 March 2018 - 6:15 pm
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Thanks Donna! So, did it work well for Cassie? I had not seen that version before and it's much better than the one I saw where it's an open toe and the "band" that pulls the toe up go in between the toes. Although, this version is a bit pricier it sounds like the same thing with the short amont of time. Depending on how things go, it might benefit her for us to get one like that too so the muscles and all don't become used to just 1 "boot" style. We did order a Walkin' Bootie Splint and are still looking at full support quad carts just in case. We did schedule the amputation surgery for this coming Monday. Due to the rupture, we can't hold off and risk any infections or anything else going wrong. Do you know if people sell their used wheelchairs/carts on here? I just thought about that, but haven't looked.

Thanks, Nila and Bev

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23 March 2018 - 6:21 pm
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paws120 said
Hi Nila and Bev!

I have no insight in matters of this nature but I wanted to wish you luck in your journey. It sounds like you are covering all the bases. I do agree strongly that with all of the different things you are facing, another opinion from a reputable vet that specializes might be the best way to start. I think if you can pull the whole picture together and know exactly what you are dealing with that it will better help you to make the decisions necessary to move forward. 

I wish you luck on this journey, sending hugs and healing wishes heart

Jackie and Huckleberry  

Thanks Jackie and Huckleberry! Due to the rupture, we needed to make a decision in a short amount of time. My vet was concerned due to the knuckling in the other rear leg, but I reassured him we weren't taking this lightly. We've been discussing it for quite some time just in case it came to this and since the rupture on Monday there were only 2 options. In Nila's mind there was only 1 option because she's still in it to win it and we're right there with her smiley

Nila and Bev heart

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23 March 2018 - 6:41 pm
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Tripawds Angel Exchange  This is where people share things. You might want to read up on some of it. I think some things need to be fitted and I know nothing of it. Others here can probably help better.

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

Michigan
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25 March 2018 - 8:39 pm
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Can you measure her foot?  I'd have to look at ours & measure it, but if it's the right size, you can pm me your address & I'll send you our boot.

We're not allowed to sell things here, but we can gift things on the Angel Exchange page.

Donna

Donna, Glenn & Murphy  http://murphyh......pawds.com/

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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26 March 2018 - 6:34 am
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paws120 said
Tripawds Angel Exchange  This is where people share things. You might want to read up on some of it. I think some things need to be fitted and I know nothing of it. Others here can probably help better.

Hugs,

Jackie and Huck  

Thanks Jackie and Huck! I'll take a look. 

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26 March 2018 - 7:24 am
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midnighter94 said
Can you measure her foot?  I'd have to look at ours & measure it, but if it's the right size, you can pm me your address & I'll send you our boot.

We're not allowed to sell things here, but we can gift things on the Angel Exchange page.

Donna  

Hi Donna! Thanks so much for your kind offer for Nila! What part of her foot do you want me to measure? Nila is an Australian Cattle Dog mix. Her foot is a around 2" wide and just under 2 1/2" long (roughly). 

Thanks again!

Here and Now

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26 March 2018 - 11:03 am
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luvdogz said

What part of her foot do you want me to measure?

Watch this for tips on how to measure for Ruffwear dog boots:

How to Measure for Dog Boots Video

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27 March 2018 - 5:53 am
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Just wanted to let everyone know that Nila had her amputation surgery yesterday....when I received the call from the vet, surgery went well and she was already up and starting the next chapter in her tripawd life....when I picked her up, she walked in on her own....she came home and got a good drink, a few treats and went potty....got her meds and supplements in her last night....this morning she's already been out to potty, ate a little breakfast, got a drink and is happy and smiling....seems she has forgoten that she just had major surgery yesterday....we'll be working on that back paw knuckling....now to begin healing and more spoiling, tlc and lots of heart

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27 March 2018 - 6:12 am
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That's great news!  I'm so glad it went smoothly 💖

She is eating, drinking, and getting around. You can't ask for more than that! Lots of loving and rest for both of you, this part is behind you 😎

Hugs,

Jackie and Huckleberry ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......pawds.com/

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