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Myxosarcoma / Amputation of Left Forelimb | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Myxosarcoma / Amputation of Left Forelimb
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18 September 2017 - 1:25 pm
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Hi Everyone,

I wanted to share Bender's (My English Bulldog) story and current status in hopes of finding more answers.

Bender initially presented with lameness in his left forelimb and underwent x-rays to determine the cause. The first round of x-rays showed no sign of cancer but indicated elbow dysplasia and arthritis.  He was prescribed Meticam for the inflammation and started on Cartrophen, Glucosamine HCI and fish oils right away.  

The lameness progressed and another round of x-rays were ordered 3 weeks later. Unfortunately, the radiographs showed signs of bone loss around the elbow. Bender was prescribed antibiotics for possible septic arthritis, blood test to rule out fungal infection and scheduled for a soft tissue biopsy.   

Within 2 weeks the biopsy and new x-rays were taken. Both indicated cancer and advanced histopathic stains were ordered.   7 days later the stains came back positive for histiocytic sarcoma (changed to Myxosarcoma post amputation).  He started Gabapentin (300 mg x 2 per day), Amantadine (100mg x 1 per day) , and Tramadol right away. I also layered in Curcumin for potential protective effects and to counter the skin dryness caused by Meticam. 

Our vet scheduled an amputation at the teaching hospital (only one in Canada) right away. Within the two week waiting period, Bender's lameness progressed and the limb began to atrophy. He also started to exhibit severe pain in the form of screaming and inability to get comfortable.  The day before the amputation Bender was flat out screaming in pain and required heavy sedation. 

The amputation included his front left forelimb and shoulder. The surgery was uneventful and he returned home 5 days later. The first few nights were amazing, we were dealing with a new dog that was free of pain. This quickly turned into a nightmare as he regressed into severe pain uncontrolled by any oral medications. We admitted him to the teaching hospital for better pain control and further testing. Everything checked out clean and they were unable to nail down a cause for the pain. The surgeon was leaning toward wind up pain resulting from fast disease progression and location around the elbow (involving nerves and bone) pre-amputation.  This resulted in extreme nerve sensitivity and pain. 

In a last ditch effort to control the pain, Bender is undergoing a 48-72 hour constant rate infusion of Ketamine & Opioids. They are also assessing the feasibility of a secondary nerve block (very hard to do because of the location).  

I really hope Bender returns home free from pain. Otherwise, we are left with few options and may have to let him go. I can't imagine losing my baby boy just after his 6th birthday. 

Please share any thoughts/feedback you may have.

PS. Thank you for Charlie’s and Ollie's story, they really helped guide the conversation at the clinic.

Here and Now

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18 September 2017 - 1:46 pm
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Thank you for sharing these details and best wishes for Bender! Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

While you wait for comments from others, use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you're sure to find lots of helpful feedback. You can also search all blogs here . Or, consider downloading the Tripawds e-books for fast answers to common concerns and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime!

Start here if you ever need help navigating the many helpful Tripawds Resources.

Virginia
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18 September 2017 - 3:07 pm
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Holy moly!  You and Bender have been through soooo much!!  Too much!!!

Glad you were able ro shsre Ollie's story with your Vets.  Ollie we t through a HORRID ordeal before they were able to pinpoint the cause.  And yes, it did require surgery, actually I think it was two.

Are your Vets open to going back in and trying to untangle any neve damage from the amputation, or do they feel like what they are dpi g is the solution?   I guess I'm really asking if the high dose pain meds/nerve block will actualw eliminate the issue, or will a surgery be required as it was for Ollie?

Thank you so much for informing us on what's gping o. With the ADORABLE Bender!!  

You now have your entire tripawd family sending all the pawsitive e ergy in the world to a rapid healing for your sweet Bender!!

As hard as this has to be, please hang in there!!  And if it means getting sexone and third opinions from other Surgeons, then that's what we'll do!!  You've seen what it's like to jave Bender pain free right after surgery (which was quite amazing in itself) and he'll get that way again!!!

Lots of love and 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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18 September 2017 - 6:25 pm
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Thanks for the positive thoughts and encouragement. 

The surgeon feels like a second surgery would be too risky because it is a forelimb amputation. The nerves are cut almost flush with the brachial plexus and further resection would require drilling into the bone and pulling them back. Since major nerves are in this area, it could stop heart/lung function. 

It looks like Ollie's case was a rear limb amputation and less risky to resect the nerves further.

Bender is currently doing well on the CRI and resting comfortably.  We hope to keep him sedated for another 24-48 hours before reversing the infusion and transitioning to oral medications. With regards to oral medication, we are going to try pregabalin vs. gabapentin in hopes that it is more effective (newer drug showing better success in humans). 

I really hope this works. Ketamine CRI has shown decent results in humans with unresolved chronic pain. 

Virginia
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18 September 2017 - 9:36 pm
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Thanks so much for taking the time to layout Bender's situation.  It's a first for me in my time here, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything!

It sounds like you have a really good knowledgeable team of Vets who are very much on top of Bender's situation!

We're all hoping with all our hearts Bender can get his pain managed with this well thought out protocol they are using.  All paws are crossed.

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!

Livermore, CA
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18 September 2017 - 9:45 pm
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Sending strong, positive thoughts for Bender! 

Please stay close and keep us posted on Bender's progress.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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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19 September 2017 - 8:07 am
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Thanks Sally & Karen.

This pain management strategy is very experimental in animals. I hope it works and helps pave the way for other uncontrolled pain cases. 

I searched this forum high and low and was unable to find any similar cases (aside from Ollie and Charlie). 

Are there any vets/surgeons that can chime in? 

Virginia
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19 September 2017 - 9:04 am
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Hop over to the ASK A VET thread and possibly you can get some insight.  We have a very kind "volunteer Vet who offers information. She came here originally because her Mastiff (Tazzie)  needed an amputation for Osteo.  She has stayed here to help others.  It may take a day or so before she responds, but hopefully she can help.

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!

Virginia
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19 September 2017 - 9:07 am
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Hmmm......still not avle ro see thr photos.  Hang on, a techie person will come along and help.   Can't wait to see more Bender!!

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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19 September 2017 - 10:14 am
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Bender said
This pain management strategy is very experimental in animals...

Pain management can certainly be tricky. You will find many helpful pain management posts, podcasts, and an infographic to help identify pain symptoms in the Tripawds News blog

FYI: Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don't already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we'll be happy to help!

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19 September 2017 - 11:19 am
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some pictures of Bender 🙂 

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Livermore, CA
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19 September 2017 - 1:19 pm
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LOVE that last picture!

MY door, MY porch, MY ball.

Bender is quite a trail blazer and it sounds like your vet is on the cutting edge of pain management.  He is in the best possible hands.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

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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18 September 2017
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19 September 2017 - 1:26 pm
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I really hope so. Bender is truly a fighter.

Before this cancer mess, Bender had multiple surgeries for entropion and bladder stones. He always bounced back very quickly and exhibited little to no pain.  

Virginia
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19 September 2017 - 1:34 pm
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I'M IN LOOOOOOOVE!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂    HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOOOOOVE!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂    OMD!!!  CUTEST MUG EVVVVVER!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂   CUTEST EXPRESSIONS EVVVVER!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Yeah, agree with Karen:  MY door!!!!!    MY porch!!!!!   MY ball!!!

And DEFINITELY MYYYY. KONG!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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!

The Rainbow Bridge

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19 September 2017 - 2:52 pm
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Oh what a sweetie! I just now got caught up on his story. I hope he's feeling better today!

I'm curious about the pain management methods the vets are trying. When Bender is all better and healed, I'd love to learn more and possibly interview his vets. But first, we're sending lots of pawsitivity that he starts feeling good again.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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