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I just found out my 2nd dog has osteo too!! | Presentation and Diagnosis

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I just found out my 2nd dog has osteo too!!
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6 December 2018 - 12:39 pm
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What is going on?? Ringo, my 8 year old labradoodle, was diagnosed in July. He had an immediate amputation, 4 rounds of chemo, and we were consulted for a clinical vaccine trial in November. At that trial, we found out he had lung mets and about 2 months. He still looks great, only an occasional cough. But we are on edge all of the time. 

Last night I noticed my other 8 year old doodle, Jake (his litter-mate), was slightly limping. Even though I felt like I was over reacting, I called the vet for an x-ray today. Guess what? Osteosarcoma. 

I’m so beyond upset. We were told Ringo’s was the most aggressive they had ever seen. Now Jake. But his is so early, barely noticeable on x-ray. But I don’t know if I can be as ready to amputate and go through everything again, knowing that we did that once already, and at a huge emotional and financial cost. We won’t starve, but we are probably close to $7k spent since July, now looking at that again. And it would have been another$3k for the vaccine if he had been accepted. 

Osteosarcoma does NOT appear hereditary, so they say. Just bad luck? Maybe Jake has a less aggressive form and can beat it. But it seems strange not to be connected, in which case, can I deal with another amputation and chemo and all for the same rotten waiting-for-the-end result?? 

Osteosarcoma sucks. I am convinced it’s something in food or something. We never used lawn chemicals or anything. I’m heartbroken. 

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6 December 2018 - 8:30 pm
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would you consider  cyberknife for this new case?  

Virginia
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6 December 2018 - 9:25 pm
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IT just sickens me to read this.  Unbelievable, flippin’ unbelievable!   I’m  so sorry you are facing this horrific situation .

I do want to address Diego’s situation  first.  Has the Vet offered  any treatment suggestions? You can ask about Palladia, Metronomics, Prednisone , a cough suppressant , etc

No one wants to hear their dog has mets, but it doesn’t  mean it’s  the end of the road any time soon.  Many dogs continue with a great quality life for quite awhile.  Jerry being one of them.  As you know, Ringo doesn’t  know he has mets and he definately  does not have a timeframe  stamped anywhere on his butt!!!  Ringo feels good and is thoroughly  enjoying himself. He’s basically symptom free.  The most impoetant thing you can do is stay focused  in the NOW with Ringo!  Do NOT let that piece of s**t disease interfere  with your time together .  Follow Ringo’s lead and enjoy the present.   Make every moment count.  No worries avput the tomorrows.  And spoil, spoil, spoil!!  Take lots of pictures and selfies too!  Give him a scoop of ice cream every now and then!  We’re  cheering for you Ringo!

And now Jake.  Just rotten, so rotten.  As Luke suggested,  check into cyberknife.

Unfortunately , you already know the drill with amputation and everything it entails.  As you know, it takes away the pain.  As you also know, there are no guarantees  with or without chemo.  Many opt out of chemo and go a more holistic approach.   Clyde recently  celebrated a two year ampuversary without chemo.

You have to much stress right now, so much emotion to process through.   Nothing about this is “fair” and I’m  just somebody you are dealing with all this.

Please stay connected.  I wish I could offer better support or more productive  suggestions.   For now, as uoj process everything , just continue to make each moment the best evee, for both Jake and Ringo!

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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6 December 2018 - 10:42 pm
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Oh my gosh I’m so sorry! Once is bad enough but twice…and in such a short time? Unreal. I know you must be feeling so overwhelmed, if there is anything we can do please let me know.

As far as not being hereditary….Well, I’m not exactly sure where you may have read that. But it is my understanding that if a disease like osteosarcoma is present in a particular line of dogs, it’s likely to be passed on to litter mates. Does your dogs’ breeder know about the two diagnoses? If they’re a responsible breeder they will stop that line immediately. Nobody should ever have to go through this disease and not breeding a line where it is present is one way to help reduce the risk. 

Whatever you decide to do we will support you in your journey with Jake. Please keep us posted OK?

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7 December 2018 - 5:57 am
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Thanks for your words of encouragement. Yes this SUCKS. If I could figure out how to do the Avatar, I’d post a pic of their beautiful faces. The vet is who said they don’t feel it’s genetic, so that is all I was going on. My boys were just from a litter from a family pets; not a “breeder” per se (we had tried rescue but denied everywhere since we had little boys at the time). 

I don’t know much about cyberknife, I’ll ask. We feel under immense pressure to act- only I noticed a slight limp on Wednesday, diagnosed Thursday, and today he’s really limping. It’s SO fast, unreal. The wanted to amputate today but we needed a day to process.

My thoughts waiver constantly: 1) amputate. I am not mentally prepared to go through that first week. It’s awful. At least, Ringo was. But it seems unfair to not give Jake the same chance to fight that we have Ringo. But to try to get one boy through surgery while another is probably internally declining from lung mets is SO hard

2) let them both go. Together. They were born together and have been bonded from day 1, never apart. BUT Ringo isn’t ready right now (but I know that could change on a dime) and Jake is obviously hurting, so he would need to go sooner than later.

We are crushed.

Virginia
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7 December 2018 - 10:10 am
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My heart breaks for you as you agonize over this kick in the gut situation.

There are no right answers. ..and there are no wrong amswers.  You no ow your dogs the best.   You know yoir personal situation the best.  We are here for you regardless.

I will add a couple of thoughts to piggy back on your post.  .  As you’ve  noted, neither Ringo or Jake are “ready to go”.  Jake’s leg hurts, but pain meds can help with that for a bit as you process everything .

And I want to stress again, no one knows how much “time”  Ringo has.  Could be longer, or, could be shoeter.  Itmos truly an unknown.  I know my Happy Hannah for extended quality  time even AFTER symptoms of tiredness (which is not pajnful) and some changes in breathing pattern…again, not painful and ,manageable  with Prednisone

As daunting as it is to handle recovery  for Jake, you are MICH better  prepared emotionally.  You know what to expect and I think that takes the stress level down a lot!!!  Plus,  Jake’s recovery may even be easier  than it was for Ringo ….every recovery is different 

Not trying to slant one way or another….just pointing things out.

We’ll continue  to help in any way we can.

Extra hugs and sending you calm and clarity ❤

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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7 December 2018 - 10:27 am
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ringo7 said
If I could figure out how to do the Avatar, I’d post a pic of their beautiful faces.

Update your user profile here to add your user avatar, or follow the link in your Forums profile where you add a signature and set other options.

Here are detailed instructions for adding photos to forum posts . If you don’t already share photos online somewhere, you can start a free Tripawds blog any time and upload them there. Need further help? Post in the Tech Support forum and we’ll be happy to help!

I don’t know much about cyberknife… 

Tripawds Forums Search results for ‘cyberknife’ (37) Use the Advanced Search above to refine your forum search results with specific phrases, and you’re sure to find more helpful feedback from others.

From the Tripawds News Blog : Cyber Knife Gives Hazel More Happy Days

You can also search all blogs here .

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7 December 2018 - 10:49 pm
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Hi all,

Lurker since September but first time post to weigh in on our experience with stereotactic radiation (sometimes called CyberKnife depending on the facility). Before all that, I want to say how sorry I am that both of your dogs have been diagnosed- it’s just truly unimaginable and my heart goes out to you. It’s so cruel and unfair. 

First, there are two options for stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT). The first is called curative or definitive SRT. It’s high dose radiation given over one to three treatments and it’s intended to completely eradicate the primary bone tumor. The second option is palliative radiation. It’s lower dose radiation also given over several days and intended only to control the pain for a few months. It will not control the progression of the primary bone tumor for longer than a few months and then you’re back to square one. They do not recommend chemo if you go this route since it is not intended to be “curative” like amputation or curative SRT. It is cheaper, by several thousand dollars, than curative SRT. 

Our dog’s (Pee Wee, 62 lb, almost 15 year old lab mix) case is slightly unusual as she has scapular osteosarcoma which made it easier for us to choose curative SRT versus amputation as there is a much lower risk of pathological fracture due to the fact that the scapula is not a weight bearing bone. Additionally, Pee Wee displayed only very subtle changes in weight bearing on her affected leg and no symptoms of overt pain discernible by us or specialists before diagnosis so that also made it easier for us to choose this route. Lastly, we live in Denver so we only had to travel about an hour north to Fort Collins to access this treatment at CSU which also made this a viable option for us. 

For the actual treatments, Pee Wee went under general anesthesia the first day so the radiation oncologist could do a treatment planning CT to determine whether or not SRT would be an option. What they’re looking for is to make sure there is enough healthy bone surrounding the tumor and minimal degradation related to the tumor to give the dose necessary to blast the tumor while minimizing the risk of pathological fracture. They review the CT images slice by slice to make sure they have enough good bone to work with. For the next three days Pee Wee underwent general anesthesia for the treatments and was discharged about an hour after each treatment was completed. They also started her on carboplatin on the second day of radiation and gave her a zoledronate infusion to strengthen her bone. She tolerated everything really well which was a relief. Total cost for everything was about $5800. We were told the survival times are similar with amputation or curative intent SRT by multiple specialists. 

In the three months since we haven’t noticed a real change in Pee Wee’s weight bearing on that leg which isn’t really a huge issue for us since it was so subtle to begin with but if she had been painful or overtly lame before radiation and that wasn’t better pretty immediately afterwards that would be a huge problem. My understanding is that they generally they see a larger improvement in pain and functioning after the treatments but I can’t speak to that personally. Her tumor has definitely shrunk though and the area is progressively less hot to the touch. She was hiking five miles with us before treatment and immediately returned to the same activity level afterwards. 

Unfortunately it was suspected that Pee Wee’s cancer had already metastasized to the lungs at the time of the treatment planning CT but there was no way to confirm it as the spots were so small so we decided to proceed with the treatment anyways. Metastasis was confirmed on X-ray the end of October. Given the rapid progression and the fact that she hasn’t been able to tolerate Palladia (a post for another time), we are unlikely to make it to the point where you’d see most of the side effects of the radiation so I can’t weigh in on that aspect of things but there are some side effects, though rare, to consider. We don’t regret the path we chose though. For us, it was a good option given the lack of pretreatment pain, location of her tumor and the lower risk of fracture, immediate return to her pretreatment functioning, and easy access to a hospital that offered the procedure. 

There is a blogger, KB, who went through this with her dog about 7 years ago and also went the SRT route. Her dog’s primary tumor was in the ulna I think so you might check out her blog to read her thoughts. It’s http://www.romp…..ogspot.com. If you look back starting December 30, 2011 you’ll find the start of the radiation conversation. 

If you have any other questions I’m happy to give more information. 

Best of luck to you and your sweet pups,

Heather, Paul, and Pee Wee 

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7 December 2018 - 11:44 pm
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Thanks so much for chiming in Heather! Your radiation therapy experience is so valuable for everyone here.

I will be back in my office tomorrow with more feedback. Keep up the great work as Pee Wee’s parent!

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8 December 2018 - 12:19 am
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$5800 for curative cyberknife. Etc. Well done.   Remember when you do cyber knife the goal is to get the same result as amputation. So if you add in that price versus amputation and everything associated it sounds like a win-win to me. Especially if you start very very soon as symptoms show

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8 December 2018 - 4:32 am
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If you decide you don’t want to go through amputation again (which I understand) and cyberknife would be too expensive: I would like to throw bisphosphonates in the mix here. Talkte your vet about it but they may be a way to hold off the pain for quite a while so maybe it’s worth checking out. 

Hugs

tina 

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.

Manni's blog -dogblog-

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8 December 2018 - 10:52 am
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I love this community! Yes, bisphosphonates may be helpful as well. We’ve had many members here achieve success with this therapy. Although it won’t cure the cancer, oftentimes the pain can be managed for a while with it.

Thank you for enlightening me about how vets view genetics and osteosarcoma, didn’t realize that and I’m going to investigate that perspective more.

The pressure to do something is immense, I understand totally. The pain from osteosarcoma is horrific, so the faster you decide on something, the better. Not all recoveries are stressful or awful, there is always that chance that Ringo may sail through it. Many dogs do.

I’m so sorry. We send all our love to your family for a decision that works best for all of you. We’ll be there for you no matter what you decide.

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