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Tripawd Tuesday: Hazel’s Beating Odds with Osteosarcoma Palliative Care

Our Tripawd Tuesday feature is usually about a Tripawd, but today we’re celebrating a Great Dane who is not a Tripawd, and that’s a good thing! Meet Hazel, a nine-year old beauty who was not an amputation candidate. But she is beating the odds with osteosarcoma palliative care including cyber knife radiation therapy, carboplatin chemotherapy and pain management.

Cyber Knife Gives Hazel More Happy Days

Coping with any pet cancer once is tough. Dealing with it twice is unbelievable. When Hazel the Great Dane was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in November 2016, we were almost as shocked as her dads Joel and Ross.

Hazel has been a very healthy girl, sweet as can be.  Unfortunately, yesterday we noticed her limping on her front leg.  My automatic reflex was to immediately check out her legs for lumps.  Sure enough, she had a lump on her wrist in the exact same place and same leg as Moose presented over 10 years ago.  — Joel

You see, nine year-old Hazel is the couple’s second Dane to fight osteosarcoma. Their first was Moose, an extra special Tripawd with a dear place in our hearts. Moose was the whole reason why we proceeded with amputation for Tripawds’ founder, Spirit Jerry. We figured if Moose could be happy on three legs, than Jerry could too!

Loving Life with Osteosarcoma Palliative Care

osteosarcoma palliative care
Joel, Proton, Hazel, Ross. (Image: Claudia Craig)

Hazel’s diagnosis was upsetting, but one look at her happy life now, six months later, drives home the point that there IS life after a cancer diagnosis, even if your pet isn’t a candidate for amputation surgery. Hazel is under the care of the terrific vets in Carlsbad, California, at the amazing California Veterinary Specialists Angel Care Cancer Center. Here’s how she’s doing, according to Joel:

Hazel is doing amazing.  Since the cyber knife we have been able to wean her off all pain pills except the Piroxicam.

Other than the big lump on her leg (it has gotten big, but they said that is the bone trying to heal), you would not know there was anything wrong with that leg, no visible pain or favoring. Her bigger problem actually is her hind legs are weak and every so often they kinda go out.

But she is in great spirits, still loves our twice a day walks, all good . . . She finished her sixth round of carboplatin, no complications at all.

We know it will eventually get her, but so grateful to have had this time.  Hoping for a bit more too.

We are thrilled that Hazel didn’t lose her leg, she still got extra quality time and she continues putting smiles on the faces of everyone around her! AND we just heard that Hazel’s latest round of x-rays came back clean with no sign of metastasis anywhere. YAY!

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8 thoughts on “Tripawd Tuesday: Hazel’s Beating Odds with Osteosarcoma Palliative Care”

  1. Hi Joel & Ross,
    Wondering if you might be willing to connect/chat with me as we are battling osteosarcoma with our 6.5 year old Dane, Winnie. She underwent CyberKnife in September at Vet Cancer Group in Culver City (LA). Doing really well but has two fractures so we are considering amputation or limb-sparing and trying to gather as much info and testimonials/real stories as we can. Would love to speak with you if you’re open to it. Our perfect girl is a rescue from Indian Dane in San Marcos

  2. Final Hazel Update:
    We had to say good bye to Hazel last night. She fought an amazing battle. We are so grateful that we got a few extra months with her. Thanks so much for all the help and support!

  3. Update on Hazel:
    A couple of weeks ago, Hazel’s leg began to get much larger and developed a second lump. They told us that it is normal for the leg to get bigger as the bone is just trying to heal, but we suspected the latest growth was not good (she also started to favor the leg). We took her back to the California Veterinary Specialists Angel Care Cancer Center for evaluation. Unfortunately, it looks like the cancer is back at full force. Growing in the leg and also they found small growths in her lungs. After discussions with the staff, we agreed to do a second round of palliative radiation (traditional, not cyber knife) to try and buy her some more time without pain in the leg. They told us that most likely the lung growths would become a problem before the leg pain becomes too great. She is now on full pain med regiment. The radiation will take a few weeks to provide its pain relief. She is in good spirits, enjoying her normal day to day activities, but still favoring the leg a bit. We are hoping for more relief from the radiation in the next week or so. We hope for a month or two more of good quality time together. She will be 10 in August, which is not too bad for a Dane. Hazel and Proton send love and healing to everyone!

    • Thank you for filling us in Joel. We are sad to hear that she is facing this latest hurdle but really happy to hear she’s still in good spirits. All of us send lots of love and strength for many good days in Hazel’s future. Fight on Hazel! xoxo

  4. What a great story. So glad Hazel is doing so well! And that your pack is enjoying every moment of your time together.

  5. Ohhhh myyyy gosh!!! How in the world I missed your earlier lost in the dorums about Hazel is veyond me!!! ‘ I had the opportunity to catch up though!

    And yes indeedy, everyone here k ows a out the infamous Moose and how he literally gave Jerry extenw time and thus, the Tripawd Universe evolved!!! Talk about a mission in lofe! WOW!

    And now HAZEL is touching kives and giving inspiration to others when amputation isn’t an optio !!

    This is such spectacular news ro know Hazel is blazing a trail…just like Moose did! I think being surrounded by love sure does help too!!

    MAGNIFICENT JOB!!! Keep the good news comkng!


    Much love to all!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

    PS…Moose is a very good Guardian Angel 🙂

  6. Such good news about Hazel! This is timely for me, as my tripaw, Rosie, was just diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her shoulder. I’ll be seeking an oncology consult and exploring what options we have.


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