In January, 2010, doctors didn’t think Fortis would make a good Tripawd.
Trying to envision 10 year-old, 150 pound Cane Corso living life as a canine amputee while battling bone cancer, was difficult for Fortis’ vet to imagine. He only gave Fortis a “4” out of “10” in rating him as a candidate for amputation.
But Fortis’ Dad, Brett, knew better. He knew that Fortis had the drive and enthusiasm to face any obstacle, head on and with dignity. “Fortis,” says Brett, “Is my hero, my best friend, and I love him more than words permit. He is a fighter for sure. . .”
Nearly one year later, Fortis has beaten the odds, despite a leg injury and even after lung mets were discovered.
Fortis celebrated his 11 month ampuversary yesterday.
On behalf of this entire community, we send our love and biggest hoppy dances out to Fortis in Austin, Texas!
How Fortis Fights Cancer
We asked Brett if he could share some of the facts surrounding Fortis’ diagnosis, treatments, and his overall philosophy for coping with bone cancer. Here’s what he had to say:
Type of cancer: Osteosarcoma
Diagnosed: 01/23/2010, right rear leg amputated on February 3, 2010.
Age: 10 yrs
Chemo Treatments? Chemo was not given mainly for two reasons. First, I wasn’t totally convinced of its effectiveness. Secondly, Fortis injured his remaining knee shortly after his surgery.
I was not going to put him through another surgery. I felt there was a high likelihood that his body would fail him before the cancer reappeared.
Of course, I was wrong and this hasn’t been the case. So now, I am left with wonder as to whether I made the right choice. I have really struggled with this subject. I go back and forth on how I feel about chemo. I’m not positive I even know for sure what I would decide today if the journey was just beginning.
Lung Mets Discovered: 08/13/2010
Medications: NSAID’s Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and Piroxicam, Fentanyl Patch and Tramadol (for post surgery pain relief), Zeniquin and Cephalexin (Antibiotics), Beano and Pepcid AC (for gas and upset stomach), Prednisolone (started on 09/03/2010 “lung met burst”). Accupunture and chiropractic treatments (monthly).
No side effects.
Fortis’ Diet and Supplements? Wellness Core Grain Free Kibbles (main diet), Wellness wellbites and biscuits, NB Beef log, raw meat (as snacks and treats), Glucosamine (Joints), K-9 Immunity, K9 Transfer Factor, K9 Omega (Initially were given).
What Do You Contribute Fortis’ Longevity To?
I suppose I would most contribute Fortis’ longevity to love, prayer and the stress free environment we have tried so hard to give him.
Secondly, early detection and the amputation. The amputation removed the main tumor and Fortis’ end would have surely come much earlier otherwise.
I also feel the chiropractic and acupuncture treatments have helped to keep him as mobile as possible.
Lastly, I feel an active lifestyle has greatly contributed to his longevity.
The consistent swimming, car rides, trips to the park, and outdoor time around the house has aided in weight control, muscle tone, and most importantly an energetic, alert and high spirited Fortis in my opinion!
Brett and Fortis’ Advice for Coping with Bone Cancer
My advice would be to educate yourself and your family as much as possible.
Tripawds is not only a great source of information but the compassion and support of this wonderful community will give you strength and comfort during the tough times.
Seek second opinions when possible and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Knowledge is your greatest defense against fear, guilt, and worry. Don’t let these emotions rob you of your joy and happiness. Remember, there are no right or wrong choices.