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Post amputation osteosarcoma, what signs to look for? | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

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Post amputation osteosarcoma, what signs to look for?
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12 February 2018 - 5:00 pm
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hello! Our Stella had her amputation surgery just after Thanksgiving last year. She's doing well. We have chosen to do no other interventions beyond surgery, but I am concerned about what happens next. Her lungs looked clear at the time of surgery.

Are there signs we should be watching for related to progression of the disease? Or, just relax and hope for the best for our girl? 

I'd appreciate a roadmap of some sort so I know what to expect.

(She's been a bit less active the past couple days, but I'm thinking that's related more to the ice and weather conditions than her current status... she's never been fond of ice, going out in the cold or in the wet.)

Schofield, WI
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12 February 2018 - 6:04 pm
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 I wish it were as easy as getting a road map....but it isn't.  Dogs can present many different ways.  And this journey in and of itself makes us hyper-vigilant and can make us worry about EVERYTHING!  Best advice I can give you is go with your Mommy gut!  If you really think you see something get her in.  I figured as long as our Max was eating good and was happy in life we were ok. I'm thinking all our dogs had some less more inactive days with many reasons for them.  For now just go with the flow and try to relax and live, love and laugh each day.  To worry about the tomorrow's in life only rob you of the todays.  You know your beautiful girl so well well and you will pick up on anything that changes. Trust yourself...Stella is!  Hugs!

Virginia
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12 February 2018 - 6:19 pm
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Absolutely cold and ice can make us all a @ittle more blah!!  So no worries there at all!

And YAY for Stella Blue feeling good and enjoying her pretty self on three legs! 🙂

And just so you know, many dogs go the "no additional intervention" route and celebrate many milestone ampuversaries!!  Gosh, I don't want to get the name wrong but Rio just celebrated a two year ampuversary with no chemo, no additional treatments, etc.

And I'm not being "flip" with my response to yiur wuestion and others may give you a different more specific "answer".  IF the disease progresses, it shows up in different ways with different dogs.   The "roadmap" for now is just to continue to make every day count, Be More Dog , BE MORE STELLA!!!    To worry about the tomorrows robs you of the beautiful time you have together today.

stellablue said
 Or, just relax and hope for the best for our girl? 

Yes, there is no reason at this point to feel any other way.  Stella is happy (but obviously tired of the cold and ice) and is still being Stella!! 🙂   Some animals hibernate in the wild  in the Winter for a reason!!

HAPPY ALMOST THREE MONTH AMPUVERSARY SWEET STELLA BLUE!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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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12 February 2018 - 7:02 pm
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Thanks! I appreciate the reassurance, and certainly understand that we are all different in such things. I'm as worrier though, especially when it comes to those I love!

She's enjoying her new status as a couch-dweller... used to be only by special invitation, but now I've seen her (usually firm about such things) Papa giving her an extra pillow for comfort... only problem is she takes up so much room on the couch there's no space for her people!

We're hoping for the best.

Virginia
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12 February 2018 - 7:27 pm
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Oh yeah, we all understand being worriers, that's for sure!!   So welcome to the Worry Wart Club!!  WWe all do it so well here!!  You're among friends! 🙂

And the great lesson that very few have mastered,is learning that  all the "worrying" in the world never makes a difference!    Most times what we worry about never happens, sometimes it does.  Regardless, worrying never changed the outcome anyway!!  I'm still working on the lesson!

Tripawds can get away with anything and everything!! 🙂   They are just so darn cute!   What was off limits with four-legs is now welcomed and applauded with three legs!! 🙂   Yep, it's now Stella's couch and you are the ones invited up when she so decides!! 🙂

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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12 February 2018 - 8:51 pm
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Are there signs we should be watching for related to progression of the disease? Or, just relax and hope for the best for our girl? 

It's a little of both really. First, relax, and yes, hope for the best. We did that for our Jerry (by opting out of chemo) and had no regrets. At the same time, the worries about what to expect next were always in the back of our minds.

So yes, you can look for signs of metastasis like excessive coughing, lack of appetite and stamina (probably the three most common signs of metastasis that we've seen among members) and if your gut instinct tells you something is not right, then by all means, go to the vet. But the only way to know for sure if the cancer has progressed is by taking a set of x-rays, so you need to be ready for that. And if you get bad news, you need to know what you will or won't do as far as treatment goes. Try to decide that now, so you won't be as panicked if you get the news you don't want. When we found out Jerry had mets, we proceeded with metronomics , and felt like we were doing something to slow down the mets (it did, for a while). 

But don't obsess. Panicking over every little "odd" behavior often leads to chasing your tail for no reason. Just do a good job listening to your gut feeling and if you really need to know for sure, get the regular chest x-rays every three months to put your mind at ease. And of course, follow Stella's lead, she's happy and herself as always, so run with that and live life to the fullest just like her!

Hope this helps.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 February 2018 - 1:14 pm
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Thanks so much! This is helpful.

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20 February 2018 - 11:33 am
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Coughing, I think, is the most prevalent sign. Rocky's vet told me to listen for coughing. But instead of spreading to the lungs, Rocky's spread down his side. He started getting hard tumors along his side and back that turned out to be his OSA. I think we were a relatively rare case though. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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