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How to Cope with Osteosarcoma Lung Mets Signs in Tripawds

Does your Tripawd have osteosarcoma? If so, you probably always wonder if the cancer has gone to the lungs. We constantly worried about that when Jerry was living with bone cancer. Although all animals are different, osteosarcoma lung mets signs generally present in similar ways.

Please see our June 2020 article, “An Update on Treating Lung Metastasis in Dogs” for the latest updates on treating lung metastasis.

If Your Dog or Cat has Lung Mets, Here’s What to Do

lung mets signs in dogs

Osteosarcoma lung mets signs are a common worry among Tripawd parents. And who can blame them? This cancer usually travels to the lungs after it attacks bone. Usually mets present as a dry cough or hack, accompanied by breathing irregularities.

The disease usually doesn’t go to the lungs of cats with osteosarcoma. But as Jimmi the TriKitty can tell you, unfortunately there are always exceptions.

Once osteosarcoma goes to a dog or cat’s lungs, statistically that means the disease has progressed to the final stages — but not always. Our Jerry lived almost eight more months after we found his lung mets. And we’ve had a few Tripawds members who lived with lung mets for over two years.

Don’t despair if your dog or cat has lung mets.

canine, osteosarcoma, lung, mets, symptoms
In memory of Tripawd Hero and Cancer Warrior Otis.

First, talk to your vet about what to expect next. Even if you opt out of a surgery like a lung lobectomy to remove osteosarcoma tumors, or microwave tumor ablation there are many things, both holistic and conventional, that you can do to help alleviate lung mets discomfort. Begin your research by checking out these Tripawds Resources:

Metronomic Therapy for Canine Osteosarcoma Metastasis: Jerry’s Experience

This Tripawds Discussion Forum post is a must-read. It began when we shared Jerry’s lung mets experience. It’s evolved into a lengthy ongoing discussion filled with articles and tips to cope with mets both surgically and holistically.

How Do I Know if My Dog Is Breathing Normally?

Otis’ mom Tess contributed this helpful description of lung metastasis symptoms that he presented during his cancer journey. 

“I thought this might come in handy if anyone is ever searching on this topic in the future.  First, mets can cause respiratory difficulties in at least three ways, according to the emergency vet on Saturday night . . . “

Examples of Cats with Osteosarcoma (and Lung Mets)

cats, tripawd, osteosarcoma, signs
Crumbles the Kitty with Osteosarcoma isn’t worried.

Osteosarcoma in cats is relatively rare in the animal kingdom and lung mets in cats is even rarer. Unfortunately the Tripawds community is seeing more felines with osteosarcoma (about a half dozen since 2012). If your cat has osteosarcoma, these TriKitty Member Blogs can help in the overall journey. Right now, however, Jimmi is the only cat who presented with lung mets.

Tripawd Tuesday: Jill’s Joyful Journey

In December 2012, Jill the Tripawd Cancer Fighting Kitty underwent amputation surgery for osteosarcoma — an exceptionally rare condition in felines. Jill’s Mom Erica was one of the first two feline members to bravely join our dog-centric community.

Jimmi’s Story: 14 year old cat with Osteosarcoma Lung Mets

Jimmi’s parents write: “A cat scan was done prior the surgery and sadly it turned out the cancer has already spread into Jimmi’s lungs, the scan showed one metastasis and about 4 suspicious micro spots around it. The oncologist recommended to amputate nonetheless cause the MTS are little and Jimmi otherwise in very good shape for his age”

Crumble’s Blog: The First Steps Toward Recovery

In their blog, Crumble’s people say: “Less than 48 hours later and the call came.  Osteosarcoma.  My heart stopped. The vet Benedette (Bebe), carefully and calmly explained what this means for cats – not the terminal sentence it is for a human, not as aggressive as in a dog, but nasty, and in need of rapid action if there was to be hope of a cure.”

Cat osteosarcoma here…need help

Here’s a Forum post from Cami and Rocky. She writes: “The general vet seemed to think amputation was not going to be a good option for him based on the aggression of the disease.  This is so rare in cats that I do not know if they have a lot of examples to base his situation upon. I fear we will put him through amputation only to have it metasasize.”

Jill’s Metronomic Protocol

Jill the cancer-fighting Tripawd kitty’s mom Erica provided many informative pieces about feline osteosarcoma. In this Discussion Forums post she says: “I am starting this thread in the hopes that one day another kitty mama will need some information on metronomics in kitties, specifically for osteosarcoma.”

Veterinary Clinical Trials

You may be able to find a veterinary clinical trials with the goal of obliterating or at least alleviating symptoms of osteosarcoma lung mets. You don’t even need to live near a veterinary teaching hospital for some of them. Check out these Tripawds Resources to see if there’s a veterinary osteosarcoma clinical trial near you:

Vet Cancer Clinical Trials is a searchable database of veterinary cancer trials around the U.S.

Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium is network of twenty academic comparative oncology centers to assess novel therapies through clinical trials.

Share Your Osteosarcoma Experience

If your dog or cat has osteosarcoma, please consider starting your own Tripawds Blog. It’s a great way to process the diagnosis and receive support. As a bonus, you can help new feline or canine osteosarcoma members in the future.

And if you have current osteosarcoma lung metastasis tips and recommendations, please share them below so we can all learn. Thank you.











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33 thoughts on “How to Cope with Osteosarcoma Lung Mets Signs in Tripawds”

  1. My bog ragnar (Rottweiler x german shep) nearlt 7 yeaes old was dignosed with osteosarcoma just under 4 weeks ago and had his hind leg amputated the next day,
    Its been the hardest journey we have ever endured as he is my life..
    They said there was no sign of mets in his lungs on the day of amputation but i have not been happy with the after care and advice they gave us or the compassion shown, theyve mad me feel like an absolute pest and like im overreacting i feel like his breathing has been laboured so have taken him to two other vets and they refuse to do more xrays on his lungs saying if its o ly been a mo th mets wont be picked up that will be in a couple months time, theyre telling me theres no use going throug chemo as it wont help, and i just have to enjoy my short time i have left with him…
    I will not accept this, and i will foght till the bitter end to give my boy what he deserves, hes saved my life multiple times and i will not give up kn him.
    Is there any advice or information on what i can do to stop or slow the “inevitable” mets or further tumors…
    I have just gotten him started on skme new pain meds and he has been on a generous dose of isolated high grade cbd oil (no thc).
    Do i keep fighting for chemo, or will it just make his remainjng time worse…
    Thankyou so much for your time guys.
    Im absolutely broken at the thought my boy may be taken from me.

    • Adam, we are sorry to hear that you and Ragnar are having such a ruff time! Please post in the Forums so we can help you better OK?

      We encourage you to talk to an oncologist if you haven’t already. I’m not sure who is telling you that chemo wouldn’t help, an oncologist would likely never say that unless there are significant metastasis signs appearing. So please post in the Forums, we can point you in the right direction to at least get a consultation with a board-certified oncologist who can give you a better idea of what is realistic treatment for him and what is not.

  2. Our 15 year old shepherd beagle mix was diagnosed with osteosarcoma of the jaw 11 days ago. Our vet wanted to put him under anesthesia to further examine his jaw and possibly remove several teeth that had been affected. We decided we needed some time to process his diagnosis so took him home with antibiotics and heavy duty pain meds. He had an appointment this morning so the vet could examine his jaw again. The mass had grown to twice the size in 10 days. The vet was certain that this agressive of a tumor had already metastacized and that our sweet Odie was in a great deal of pain. We made the unexpected and difficult decision to end his suffering humanely this morning. I wish we would have seen signs of this cancer sooner. Odie was such a stalwart little dude. He never acted like he was in pain or like anything was wrong. Our first indication was a drooping of his right cheek. I thought maybe he had had a stroke. This has all happened so quickly. We are devastated.

    • Oh Susan! Our hearts ache for you and your family, we are so sorry about Odie. Please know that you did everything possible for him. Cancer can be so mean and unpredictable, it does things like this sometimes and it’s so unfair. I hope in time you can take comfort in knowing Odie had the best life a dog could hope for. He did not suffer and he left this earth with dignity. Listen closely, he’s going to send you a sign and tell you that he’s all good at the Rainbow Bridge. Our deepest condolences are coming your way.

    • Hi Susan, I’m so sorry to hear about Odie, it’s just not fair is it?

      My dog Bobby (an 8 year old Beagle Mix) has just been diagnosed (two days ago) with osteosarcoma originating on the jaw. The tumour has already spread to his skull and he finds it difficult to open his mouth to eat. It’s also been confirmed that they found mets on his lungs, so between that and the size of the mass on his jaw/head, there is nothing they can do except give him pain meds. I’m so scared of what we are about to go through, what to expect and how to know when it’s time. I hope we can be as brave for Bobby as you were for Odie. xx

  3. Hi everyone,
    Rebecca here, I’m new to the forum. My nine year old golden, Chewy, was diagnosed with rear leg osteosarcoma at the beginning of November. At the time there was no sign of spread. We did the amputation mid november, and when we went to start chemo dec 10, the vet said that it had spread and was in multiple spots. We’ve started the first round of chemo to try and slow the progression, and are on day 8 of the first round. I’ve noticed a light cough, and she’s doing it multiple times throughout the day. (Prior to today she would maybe half that light cough once a day, when she got up after sleeping for a few hours.) Does this mean the chemo isn’t working and the cancer is spreading rapidly? I’m really worried about my girl. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Rebecca. We are sorry to hear about Chewy’s lung metastasis. Sounds like you have a great vet team looking out for her. It’s hard to say what her coughing could be. Yes it could be mets but it could also be something she accidentally inhaled, so try not to panic right now. Mention it to your vet when they are back in the clinic. In the meantime please post in our Tripawds Discussion Forums for more feedback from the community and check our thread about metronomics and lung metastasis. See you there!

  4. Yesterday my 8 yr old Ridgeback mix was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her front leg and unfortunately it showed up on chest x-rays also. I am waiting on the biopsy results to be certain. The vet mentioned amputation but I can’t seem to find any information on dogs where the cancer has spread and whether amputation is even a possibility. I will talk to the vet in the next few days when the results are back but was wondering if anyone had any input.

  5. Our amazing pup, Desmond (or Desi to most), is a year and a half old Golden Retriever. He was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in his left front leg about a month ago. He had been limping since the middle of February, but the vet kept telling us it was just a shoulder strain, until we finally pushed for an x_ray. After a very painful bone biopsy & having to watch our poor boy suffer in immense pain for two weeks, we got the call. It was cancer. The decision was so easy. Taking his leg meant no more pain, so that is what we did. The vet’s office took x-rays and bloodwork one week before surgery & both were clear. Of course, we were told the osteosarcoma could have spread microscopically, but nothing could be seen by the naked eye. We are now five weeks post surgery & Desi is doing AWESOME! He had a few complications with the incision (the vet had to go back in to remove some necrotic tissue & there was some infection present), but as of today, our sweet, playful, & loving boy has been returned to us. He also started his chemo pill today, so we are going to see how that goes. The oncologist said that his osteosarcoma was caught very early & now we are starting with a clean slate. I pray every single day (sometimes more than that) that the lung mets hold off for as long as possible. I worry about every sound Desi makes when he is breathing. I just worry about everything. We are thinking of starting him on CBD oil as well to add in a holistic approach to the chemo pill. We have already put over $6,000 with the biopsy & the amputation surgery, so we are not able to do the full chemo regimen, so I think adding in CBD oil can only help. All this being said, we are enjoying every single moment with our fur baby, b/c we never know when the last one will come.

    • Thanks for sharing Desi’s story. You are an amazing Tripawd parent! We wish you lots of great, hoppy time together on three. Let us know if we can help at all!

    • Rhianna, how is your pup doing? Have you had any secondary issues? I have also had a young pup, Bagheera, get the dreaded diagnosis and went through the amputation process. She is 3 months removed from surgery and sprinting all over the place, but I worry of what’s to come. At the time of amputation, her lungs were clear, but that doesn’t always mean much. I haven’t noticed a cough or any other issues, and I am hopeful that I get another year or ten with her. I hope Desi is still living cancer free.

  6. My dog has just been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma (back leg). The leg will be amputated the day after tomorrow and he will then begin chemotherapy. The vet will x-ray his chest first (I am so hoping it has not already made it’s way there). I’m so glad I have found this blog because now I know I’m not alone. What I can’t come to terms with are the statistics and the inevitably bad prognosis. My heart goes out to those who have lost their special babies to this hideous disease. I will take on board the “be more dog” mantra – thank you for this forum.

  7. My dog George is 11 months a tripod last week. The cancer has moved into his lungs. We found tumors about a month ago. He is special diet, herbs and we do acupuncture every 2 weeks. These things are helping but he now has a horrible hack/cough that I am trying to treat. He is lot more tired now. Slowing down daily. It is 1 year since I found out he had cancer. His back leg muscles cramp up in the morning. We do our stretches and exercises. He has had 3 hip surgeries on the remaining hopper hind leg already. So, I am just happy it is still working. Thoughts on how to help his hack without any big drugs to purchase?

    • Wow George is quite a survivor. I’m sorry about the lung mets, it’s a tough situation. Your best bet to help him feel better is to consult with your veterinarian, who can guide you with an inexpensive medication to alleviate the symptoms. As we mention in the article, How to Help Coughing From Lung Mets, many of these remedies are inexpensive and over the counter. But please don’t give anything without talking to your vet first. Best wishes to you and George.

  8. Our dog, Sarah, had osteosarcoma in her back leg. She had the leg removed in November, and has been getting around well on 3 legs. She had chemotherapy. Well, a few weeks ago, she had a follow up and lung X-ray which showed Mets to her lungs. I’m so sad, I thought/hoped we’d have more time. She does seem more tired, and is sneezing/coughing some. She is still eating. I can tell she’s different. I just don’t want her to suffer or struggle to breathe. We are taking it day by day, but it’s so sad. The oncologist said she may have 3 months, but could not say for sure, depending on how aggressive it is. She did say there is some oral medicine called Paladia, but it’s $600 a month, and it may only give her 1 more month. We’ve already spent $5,000 on surgery and chemo.

    • Ssshhhh…don’t tell Sarah! She does not know she has cancer. And she will follow your lead, so it is important to remain strong and balanced around her. That is why we say it is important to Be More Dog. And that is not just some silly saying. Listen to the podcast, post in the forums for MUCH more support from others and feel free to call the toll-free Tripawds Helpline anytime.

  9. My Buddy Wigglebutt had his hind leg taken 12/17/15. And a x Ray last week shows it in his lungs. Had a bump on front,leg so took him in. The vet feels,the front leg is not cancer. In not so sure.

  10. Our Bloo seemed to be doing so well post amputation and chemo. He went through 5 carbo chemo treatments at full strength and was 6 months post amputation getting around like a champ. We thought he would break the statistics and live another year or so. Sadly, we were wrong. His xrays showed no visible mets at diagnosis. The outlook was good. One day, he started hacking, like he was trying to cough something up. I didn’t even think it could be the cancer spreading as he had been doing so well, I thought he had a peice of a bone lodged. The coughing got worse within hours and we took him in to the vet, expecting surgery to remove a blockage in his throat. Well, they did the xrays. He had two tumors. One pushing on his heart and one up high on his lungs that likely perforated, which is why he got bad so suddenly and so quickly. Sadly, we had to end his pain as it was not going to get any better for him, and we left shocked and destroyed with just his collar. We are still kind of angry for all we did, how little time he got. He took it all so well. We miss him so much. RIP Bloo.

    • Kristen, we are so sorry. Losing a beloved animal is hard enough, but when you think you’ll get more time together it’s even more heartbreaking. Please take comfort in your words “He took it all so well.” Bloo’s lessons about living to the fullest despite the circumstances one finds oneself in, is something that will continue guiding you in your own life. Your feelings right now are so normal, and if you want to talk, we are here for you in the forums OK? Thank you for sharing Bloo’s story with us. Our hearts go out to you.

    • Kristen, I am SO sorry for your loss. I believe we are in the same boat. Our Cane Corso had his amputation and just completed 3 chemo treatments like a champ. He has began to hack and will go into the Vet today–I believe its cancer mets also–so sad that its happening so soon. I too thought (and prayed) he would be “an outlier”, we will even be getting him a puppy soon to inspire him. Not sure how this road will go, hard to watch them suffer though

  11. Thank you for this very helpful post. We are very mindful of the risk for Crumble (and we love the picture you chose!) and it is a worry. Great to know what to watch for and that there options should the worse news come.

  12. You’ve really compiled some excellent links for support

    With appreciation,

    Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    PS. And that’s a lovely picture of Otis surrounded by light.

  13. Thank you, not only for remembering Otis, but also for collecting a series of very important and relevant posts together. Strange as it is, I recognized the x-Ray right away.


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