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Great Pyr with osteosarcoma. To amputate or not?
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12 November 2017 - 10:31 am
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Hey Friends,

I was looking for some advice from the community about my Father’s dog. He’s not the most computer savvy, and I have a tripawd myself, so I figured now would be a good time for my first post. My father has a dog named Ivan. He’s an 8 year old Pyr rescue from Kentucky and I adore him. As much as I love him, I only get to see him a few times a month, as I do not live with my Father. 

Two weeks ago my Dad told me he found a lump on Ivan’s left hind ankle joint. I then found out Ivan also started limping around the time my Dad found the lump (he waited to tell me that). Long story short, my Father finally took him to get X-Rays on Tuesday, and Ivan has a large tumor on the ankle joint. Osteosarcoma.The small lump is now almost the size of a tennis ball, and he’s putting almost no pressure on his leg while he walks. 

My Father is gathering the funds to get his chest xray, bloodwork and amputation done. He’s so focused on getting that done, he’s not asking the vet the right questions and not looking at the larger picture. I’m also doing everything I can to see what’s best for Ivan, and this entire ordeal is so overwhelming I sometimes don’t know how I can figure this out. As I’m sure you all know, just finding out and diagnosing these issues is extremely expensive, so even that is taking longer and Ivan is losing time. 

Ivan is an 8 year old neutered Great Pyrenees. He walks up to 5 miles a day and is in otherwise great health. He’s still happy, he’s still eating, but he is now on pain meds.

One vet told us just to amputate the leg right away and worry about how if it spread later, but as much as I just want Ivan to be out of pain, I think that is cutting corners and I’m concerned about his quality of life.  

Even if his cancer has not spread yet, and his right leg is healthy enough to support him, should we put an 8 year old, 91 lb dog through that surgery? Does his cancer have a high chance of showing up somewhere else in the next 3,6,12 months? And do most dogs need chemo even after the tumor is removed? My dad didn’t ask any of these questions to the vet, i’ve been calling them myself but I was curious as to what other people wound up doing for their dog/been told to do. 

I’ve asked a few vets myself and got different answers. I’ve read articles, books, and I’m completely overwhelmed trying to save this dog. His tumor is a ticking time bomb and my dad is retired, so what should have been done on Wednesday is being put off until he can afford to do it. What I’m most curious to know about are the personal experiences of people who have faced the choices my family and I are now presented with. I’ve heard enough of what Dr’s have to say right now, and I just need feedback from real people.  

Thank you so much

Guardian to Nikolay the tripawd, Co-Guardian to Ivan the tripawd.

Silas Sebastien 2009 - 2017 

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12 November 2017 - 11:53 am
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sebastien said
I’m concerned about his quality of life.

Welcome and best wishes for Ivan! When it comes to osteosarcoma, amputation is one of the best ways to help improve quality of life. While it will not get rid of the cancer, it will get rid of the pain.

What I’m most curious to know about are the personal experiences of people…

Please search these forums above and search all blogs here for plenty of feedback from others with Great Pyr dogs.

Yes, larger dogs tend to have a more difficult recovery, but with proper rehab the vast majority adapt quickly. We have had many members with giant breed dogs exceeding 200 lbs.

PS: Be sure to have your dad check his email for important details about his Tripawds ASAP application. You might also consider sending him the Tripawds e-books which he could read offline and use to visit numerous direct links filled with helpful information. Or, bookmark Jerry’s Required Reading List and start here if you ever need help finding the many helpful Tripawds Resources.

Please keep us posted. Your future forum posts will not require moderation.

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12 November 2017 - 4:08 pm
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Hi Ivan and family 🌺

This is such a difficult time for you, a time of uncertainty on what to do, which route to take …

I was there with my girl Eurydice, a 5 year old (at the time) 170lb Great Dane and had to take quick decisions as she was diagnosed with a most likely osteosarcoma scenario.

All I can say and I’m sure others will say is the one thing I knew I had to do for her was getting rid of a pain which would never go away no matter how much pain medicine she would be given, a sort of pain which would only escalate in time.

So, even with the heaviest of hearts I went ahead with amputation and never ever regretted having done it not even for one second.

With the pain gone she got a happy new life for 13 months and 1 week.

Of course, chances always were I wouldn’t be able to control her disease and I’d lose the war at some point.

Having said that, there are cases of dogs who get into total remission, it is rare but it happens.

The important thing, for me and my beloved dog was not having her in pain and enjoy every day we were blessed to have together.

 And that we did.

We went the chemo route and later on the homeopathic route. 

Having chemo or not is a very personal matter, some of our dogs here lived a long life with chemo, others didn’t and the same goes for the no chemo option.

But whatever the route is with amputation their quality of life is restored as the pain is totally gone.

Yes, in most cases at some point metastasis show up, normally in the lungs but that is something which should be considered “secondary” as Ivan will not be aware he is ill.

All he wants is to live each day to the full, pain free and surrounded by his loving family.

Time is a human concept, if he gets to live 6 months, 1 year, 2 years these are all “human numbers” Ivan lives in the now not in the tomorrow. 

You and your Dad can make sure he will have a happy life by doing the surgery and standing by your boy during recovery which can be tough, yes, but doesn’t last forever.

And you have us all rooting for you, guiding and helping in every way we can, you can count on it.

We’ve all been there and we’ve all tried to learn to Be More Dog and live in the moment. 

You can do this and so can Ivan.

Sending you a big hug and lots of cuddles 😘🐮✨💫🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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17 November 2017 - 5:09 am
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Ive just had my 8 yr old pyrenean amputated front leg, before this he had a ctc scan by the orthopaedic specialist who is also the surgeon, he phoned me while raph was still knocked out for scan, said he also scanned chest not found secondaries so reccommended amputation and said chemo afterwards would improve his chances of not getting secondaries or at least postponing them for at least over a yr on average. Hes one week now post op, can get up by himself hop round garden and pee etc ok already, im ordering a support for remaining front leg, specialst said kindest best option go straight on to amputate without waking him so imsaid ok, alternative was save him further pain and put to sleep, its a very painful fadt spreading illness. The ftc costs lot more than x rays but gives exact picture whats there, ive had ctc on my teeth they can totate the augmented 3 d image in all directions and get detailed giew all around tumour and ither leg and chest where secondaries start up. 

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17 November 2017 - 5:14 am
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I was lucky had insurance but as  8 yrs i have yo pay one third myself, best get it done fadt if want good results, some vets will do a payment plan. Or maybe put on a credit card, if going to do it at all need to do straight away, 

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23 November 2017 - 11:52 pm
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eurydice said
Hi Ivan and family 🌺

This is such a difficult time for you, a time of uncertainty on what to do, which route to take …

I was there with my girl Eurydice, a 5 year old (at the time) 170lb Great Dane and had to take quick decisions as she was diagnosed with a most likely osteosarcoma scenario.

All I can say and I’m sure others will say is the one thing I knew I had to do for her was getting rid of a pain which would never go away no matter how much pain medicine she would be given, a sort of pain which would only escalate in time.

So, even with the heaviest of hearts I went ahead with amputation and never ever regretted having done it not even for one second.

With the pain gone she got a happy new life for 13 months and 1 week.

Of course, chances always were I wouldn’t be able to control her disease and I’d lose the war at some point.

Having said that, there are cases of dogs who get into total remission, it is rare but it happens.

The important thing, for me and my beloved dog was not having her in pain and enjoy every day we were blessed to have together.

 And that we did.

We went the chemo route and later on the homeopathic route. 

Having chemo or not is a very personal matter, some of our dogs here lived a long life with chemo, others didn’t and the same goes for the no chemo option.

But whatever the route is with amputation their quality of life is restored as the pain is totally gone.

Yes, in most cases at some point metastasis show up, normally in the lungs but that is something which should be considered “secondary” as Ivan will not be aware he is ill.

All he wants is to live each day to the full, pain free and surrounded by his loving family.

Time is a human concept, if he gets to live 6 months, 1 year, 2 years these are all “human numbers” Ivan lives in the now not in the tomorrow. 

You and your Dad can make sure he will have a happy life by doing the surgery and standing by your boy during recovery which can be tough, yes, but doesn’t last forever.

And you have us all rooting for you, guiding and helping in every way we can, you can count on it.

We’ve all been there and we’ve all tried to learn to Be More Dog and live in the moment. 

You can do this and so can Ivan.

Sending you a big hug and lots of cuddles 😘🐮✨💫🌟🌹  

Thank you so much for the kind words. We went in for surgery on Tuesday and discovered a met on one of his lungs, so it did spread. We were so overwhelmed at the time, and the veternarians acted like the mets met a death sentence with 6 months after amputation. We went home and thought about it. I did a lot of research about cancer treatments in dogs, and how there are a large number of older large dogs living happily and healthy with lung mets, even shrinking them in some cases. 

Even if he only has six months, he may as well get rid of the leg that’s only getting in his way. Now we are researching supplements. Does anyone here have experience with Apocaps ? I ordered them for my Dad’s dog, along with omega 3 fish oil and i’m looking into bloodroot too. 

Guardian to Nikolay the tripawd, Co-Guardian to Ivan the tripawd.

Silas Sebastien 2009 - 2017 

Virginia
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24 November 2017 - 9:03 am
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Will come backmlater, but just catching up and want tontell you yiu made the RIGHT DECISION!!  You made a decision out of love and you made a decision to remove the pain!! 

And I can also tell you taht, in the past many Vets did NOT do amputation if mets were present.  That has jist changed in recent years.  Bets not only know its important to remove the pain, but they also now EVERY DOG IS DIFFERENT and there are cases where dogs DO get great extended quality time even with mets!  No dog has a timeframe stamped kn their butt!

So good for you for making a gutsy and well researched decision!!!  Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks, so STAY CONNECTED!!!  If yiur like most of us, you’ll second guess your decision a dozen times duri g that first week or two!  That’s normal.  But Ivan WILL get through recovery and WILL feel so much better with that vum leg gone!

Ivan doesn’t cou d days on a calendar.  He just wants to be pain free and spoiled and getting extra treats and tummy rubs!!

I’ll be backmlater and others will chime in.  Just wanted to get a quick cyber hug out to you and yiur Dad and Ivanheart

Love and 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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25 November 2017 - 2:00 pm
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Hi sweetie pie 🌺

Yes, dogs can have really happy lives with lung mets!

There are drugs they can take, please discuss your options with the oncologist.

My baby lived 6 1/2 months with lung mets and I can assure you she was a really happy bunny 🐰

We tried some chemo treatments and eventually went the holistic route with acumpuncture, mesotherapy and supplements.

Much later we switched to cortisone and diuretics which worked wonderfully.

Don’t even think of these idiotic mets and enjoy life with your baby, you have lots and lots and lots of beautiful time ahead.

Sending you a huge hug and lots of cuddles to your cutie pie 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟😘

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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25 November 2017 - 8:56 pm
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eurydice said
Hi sweetie pie 🌺

Yes, dogs can have really happy lives with lung mets!

There are drugs they can take, please discuss your options with the oncologist.

My baby lived 6 1/2 months with lung mets and I can assure you she was a really happy bunny 🐰

We tried some chemo treatments and eventually went the holistic route with acumpuncture, mesotherapy and supplements.

Much later we switched to cortisone and diuretics which worked wonderfully.

Don’t even think of these idiotic mets and enjoy life with your baby, you have lots and lots and lots of beautiful time ahead.

Sending you a huge hug and lots of cuddles to your cutie pie 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟😘  

Thank you so much! We have an oncology appt on Tuesday to discuss options. I’ve gotten him omega 3’s, Apocaps (has anyone every used these before? We just got them in the mail yesterday) and I’m about to purchase some bloodroot. I heard it’s good for dogs with cancer.

Luckily we only saw one met in the X-ray, but I know there can be more. Even 6 happy months would be a huge blessing to have with him.

I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on Ivan’s new prognosis when we receive it on Tuesday. 

Thank you again for the hug and cuddle send 😉 🙂 <3 

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Guardian to Nikolay the tripawd, Co-Guardian to Ivan the tripawd.

Silas Sebastien 2009 - 2017 

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25 November 2017 - 9:00 pm
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benny55 said
Will come backmlater, but just catching up and want tontell you yiu made the RIGHT DECISION!!  You made a decision out of love and you made a decision to remove the pain!! 

And I can also tell you taht, in the past many Vets did NOT do amputation if mets were present.  That has jist changed in recent years.  Bets not only know its important to remove the pain, but they also now EVERY DOG IS DIFFERENT and there are cases where dogs DO get great extended quality time even with mets!  No dog has a timeframe stamped kn their butt!

So good for you for making a gutsy and well researched decision!!!  Recovery is no picnic for a couple of weeks, so STAY CONNECTED!!!  If yiur like most of us, you’ll second guess your decision a dozen times duri g that first week or two!  That’s normal.  But Ivan WILL get through recovery and WILL feel so much better with that vum leg gone!

Ivan doesn’t cou d days on a calendar.  He just wants to be pain free and spoiled and getting extra treats and tummy rubs!!

I’ll be backmlater and others will chime in.  Just wanted to get a quick cyber hug out to you and yiur Dad and Ivanheart

Love and hugs

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

Thank you for the kind words, Sally. I will be posting updates after Ivan’s oncology appt on Tuesday.

<3 

Guardian to Nikolay the tripawd, Co-Guardian to Ivan the tripawd.

Silas Sebastien 2009 - 2017 

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26 November 2017 - 1:13 pm
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Lovely picture, Ivan is such a sweetie pie 💓

I wish I could give him proper cuddles and not “internet” ones 💕💕💕

Eurydice didn’t take apocaps but Manni did and I believe still does.

He (and his Mom) are an amazing example of resilience and zest for life, he is still with us (YAY!!!!) 2 years after amputation, he’s as tough as nails and a real cutie too.

Hopefully Tina will see your thread and share her experience.

We’ll be waiting for your update and in the meantime send you an avalanche of kisses and cuddles 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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26 November 2017 - 1:18 pm
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Oh, you might want to ask your oncologist about cyber knife radiation (Hazel the Great Dane did it), bisphosphonates (Hazel did it too) doxorubicin (Eurydice did it) and vinorelbine, another drug my girl’s oncologist advised. 

If you want more details about any of these lung met treatment options let me know. 

Fingers and toes firmly crossed for you both 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

Virginia
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26 November 2017 - 7:18 pm
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LOOK AT THAT SMOOCHABLE MUG 🙂 🙂 🙂  SMOOOOOOCH!!   What a sweet and gentle looking Soul!heart

I zlso gave my Happy Hannah Appcaps, as well as K9 Immunity Plus.  Have no idea if he helped, but know it didn’t hurt!

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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27 November 2017 - 5:33 pm
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eurydice said
Oh, you might want to ask your oncologist about cyber knife radiation (Hazel the Great Dane did it), bisphosphonates (Hazel did it too) doxorubicin (Eurydice did it) and vinorelbine, another drug my girl’s oncologist advised. 

If you want more details about any of these lung met treatment options let me know. 

Fingers and toes firmly crossed for you both 😘😘😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹  

The leg tumor is so large that I’m not sure he’s a good candidate for radiation. I’m not 100% sure he’s a candidate for amputation, but he seems to be adapting well using only three legs, and he’s now on Rimadyl and I ordered him Dasaquin.

Do you have any other experience with treating lung mets with more than just chemo? I’ve been looking at supplements, diet, herbs and other things too. And he’s loving his new diet. Did the chemo really hurt your dogs immune system, or did they do okay with it? Ivan’s blood profiles are perfect, but I just worry about his overall health.

Thanks for the advice 🙂 

Guardian to Nikolay the tripawd, Co-Guardian to Ivan the tripawd.

Silas Sebastien 2009 - 2017 

Here and Now

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27 November 2017 - 6:12 pm
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sebastien said
Do you have any other experience with treating lung mets with more than just chemo?

We never did any IV chemotherapy with Jerry. You can read all about his cancer diet and supplements, before and after metastasis. After the mets showed up we focused primarily on metronomics and immunotherapy.

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