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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Birdie has osteosarcoma
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Member Since:
26 April 2023
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18 May 2023 - 8:41 am
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The pathology came back that it is osteosarcoma. The vet said it was the lowest cell count she had ever seen. Almost like she didn’t even have it. It’s not in her blood cells, no metastasis, and no dead cells either. So it’s the best diagnosis to have with cancer. I wanted to know what Birdie’s chances would be if I didn’t go the route of chemo or radiation. Does anyone have any other options? I just can’t afford that after biopsy and amputation. I also don’t want her to suffer. I also don’t want to put her down. 

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18 May 2023 - 9:32 am
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It’s not on her lymph-nodes either. I kept asking what if I decided not to go with any treatment and they wouldn’t give me an answer. They just kept pushing their prophylactic/preventative treatments. Does anyone have any advice for me?

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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18 May 2023 - 9:39 am
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Interesting, and encouraging, is that the oncologist found this to be almost like she didn't have it. All things considered, this is relatively good news

. Now, as far as chemo, there are no guarantees one way or another when it comes to chemotherapy. We have seen some dogs beat the statistics with no chemo, and we have seen some dogs not. We have seen some dogs beat the statistics with chemo and we have seen some dogs not.   

Many, many, are in the same boat financially and do not proceed with chemo. Additionally, there are other reasons people don't proceed, especially if a dog hates going to the vet, hates car rides, etc. You have already done more than many can do by proceeding with an expensive amputation. So we all have to draw the line when it comes to our financial capabilities etc.

When you get a chance, look up  The Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr Dressler. There are alternative Therapies to help support a dog with cancer diagnosis. K9  Immunity is a mushroom based tablet that   many hete have used .

The most important thing on this journey regardless of what treatments may or may not be used, is to make the most out of every single moment that you have with birdie. She is not worried about her tomorrow's, she is not counting days on a calendar, she lives in the now and just wants to absorb all your loving, spoiling, and delicious treats. She's a tripod Warrior, not a statistic. She's her own dog. She's fit, vibrant, and continuing to live life the fullest without that bum leg.

How is Bertie doing now as she has gotten further away from recovery? Is her   sparkling personality starting to come back yet?

(((((((((((((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!

Virginia







Member Since:
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18 May 2023 - 9:44 am
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What specially  did they mean with.  

  prophylactic/preventative......chemo ????

Where do you live? Perhaps we can get you in touch with a holistic veterinarian who is open to other options.

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 May 2023 - 9:46 am
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Thank you for your kind words! This community has been a godsend. Birdie has been doing amazing since her amputation. She has her usual spark back and only having three legs hasn’t phased her one bit. She got her staples out this morning and is more that happy to be rid of that awful cone of shame . I guess I am just having a hard time trying not to feel guilty if I decide not to choose a treatment going forward. They took the cancerous leg off and she medically shows no sign of having active cancer in her body. I just wonder if anyone else has had this dilemma-to treat or not to treat to keep cancer from returning. 

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18 May 2023 - 9:48 am
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They meant treatment to keep cancer from coming back. They said because she is so young(16 months) osteosarcoma can be aggressive. I know treatment doesn’t guarantee curing cancer completely, but if there are no signs of cancer anywhere in her body, do I really need to consider treatments right now?

Virginia







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22 February 2013
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18 May 2023 - 10:04 am
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Oh gosh, get rid of that guilt feeling right away. That is a waste of some valuable energy that you need to use to focus on your sweet Birdie continuing to have a wonderful life. She would not want you to have that kind of feeling at all. She is just so grateful that you are giving her such a loving and caring home. And again, sadly there are many people that would not have even been able to afford the amputation and would have had to put their dog down very, very quickly because of the pain.

Without going into detail, I can assure you from firsthand experience that there have been things I have not been able to do for my dogs because of finances. It eats away at your gut, darkens your heart  and makes you question wherether you should even have dogs or not if you cannot afford to give them the best treatment, the best diagnostics, Etc I just share that so you know that I do understand the emotions you are feeling. Do I have any answers per se, not really.

What i can say about chemo is, again, there truly are NO guarantees with or without!   I'm sorry that it feels like the oncos are pushing for chemo,. It certainly not a guarantee in any way shape or form that the cancer will not return. So that should not be the impression they are giving you. Yes, statistics show that longevity may, and I emphasize may, increase the longevity some. Again though, that definitely is not always the case!

 

Some who have started the chemo therapy have had to stop after a couple of treatments because Mets were discovered in the lungs that were not there before. Certainly not to say that's every case, but we do see it more than we would like.

Take some deep breaths and do some research here and Elsewhere for alternative therapies. You may want to check out our nutrition thread for some suggestions on supplements and nutrition to help boost the immune system.

And yes, it is good news that there is no sign of any spread elsewhere at this point, especially  not in the nodes or kings, so celebrate that!!

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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18 May 2023 - 2:31 pm
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Hey there just now catching up. Please don't feel guilty if you decide to opt out of chemo. Many people decide not to do it, or the decision is made for them because there just isn't enough money to pay for it. That is OK and Birdie will not be mad at you if that's what you choose.

We opted out of chemo for Jerry. He had osteosarcoma and only had an amputation. He lived two years! And many other dogs have beaten the odds here without doing chemo for osteosarcoma. Even with chemo, nothing is guaranteed. You will find plenty of examples of dogs who didn't live up to the prognosis with chemotherapy, sadly. And you will find many who lived way beyond, both with and without doing chemo. It is a total crapshoot.

There have been many advances in veterinary medicine over the last couple of decades, and one of them is in oncology. It's amazing what can be done now. But I just wish that more practices would explain to pet parents that oncology treatment is still optional, and you are not a bad pet parent if you cannot or don't want to do it. 

If there's one thing I've learned in being here for so many years it's that's everything is a crapshoot. And all our dogs want is for us to be happy, not stressed about paying bills for their treatments, and making the most of every day together. With or without cancer, we never know how long we have so making the most of it is the best medicine!

Livermore, CA




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18 October 2009
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18 May 2023 - 9:18 pm
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I've dealt with 3 cancers in two dogs and I ALWAYS ask what would happen if I didn't do anything.  I want to know what all my options are before I make a decision.  Of course with cancer the onc's don't have a crystal ball but they should at least be able to give you some stats and their experiences.

In those 3 cancers I chose to do chemo once and declined twice for a variety of reasons... but the most important reason is that I chose to do what was best for me and my dog.

Remember that you can never know what would have happened if you made a different choice- although we humans do spend a lot of time on that!  One thing I would suggest is that you write down your pros & cons and you decision making process.  Keep those notes somewhere in case you need to review.  Tri-Pug Maggie developed a second cancer a few years after she lost her leg.  I chose not to do any treatment and she passed 3 months later.  Little thoughts of doubt started to creep into my mind and being able to refer to my notes on my decision making process re-assured me.

One other thing- even if you had all the money in the world to do the most cutting edge treatment there is no guarantee that it would work. 

None of this is your fault, it's cancer's fault!  You do the best you can for Birdie and make every one of her days her very best day.

 

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

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

New England
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11 January 2022
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19 May 2023 - 6:13 am
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Not too long ago, there was someone else here asking for advice on whether or not to pursue chemo for their dog post-amputation.  Their vet had told them that there was a 75% chance that the amputation got all of the cancer, but that meant there was a 25% chance their dog still had cancer in their body.  My advice to that person was to consider that this mean there was a 75% chance their dog didn't need chemo.  If your vet said it's almost like Birdie doesn't have cancer, I would guess that means there's a higher chance than 75% that she doesn't need chemo.

I haven't been in the situation to have to make this kind of decision.  Only you can know what's right for you and your dog.   There is no shame in whatever choice you make.

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26 April 2023
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19 May 2023 - 8:03 am
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Thank you everyone that has given me advice on this. It’s definitely not an easy decision to make. I’m going to give myself a week before I make a definite decision, but I know I am not going the chemo route. I am researching holistic alternatives and immunity boosters as well. Thank you again to everyone in this wonderful community I am so thankful to have found. I will keep everyone posted on where Birdie and I go from here. 

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19 April 2023
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24 May 2023 - 9:10 pm
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Sending lots of love and prayers/good vibes your guys’ way! I am interested to hear about the holistic medicine route you’ll be taking, please let us know how everything goes. Fingers crossed. 🤞🏽

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