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My girl Zanzi
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21 September 2018 - 6:42 am
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Hello all.

I’m really sorry to meet you all under these circumstances but I’m also very happy I found this forum cause it seems like the friendliest one and most helpful I have ever seen.

So my beloved girl Zanzi (Rhodesian Ridgeback) was diagnosed with bone cancer on Wednesday, 19/09/2018 on her front left leg.  She started limping about 10 days ago and I’ve noticed the swelling a day later. X-ray did not show anything on the lungs but I know chances are slim it hasn’t metastasized yet. It’s worth mentioning that she never had any health issues in her life until now and she is weighing 49kg / 108lbs.

I’ve heard the options the 4 vets that I spoke with gave me and I’ve done a lot of research the last few days. I have actually learned a ton of things off of this forum. The only new option that one of the vets gave me was to proceed with chemo without amputating the leg. She said she had a similar case a few years ago in which they had one chemo protocol for one year and then switched to a different protocol on the second year. The dog was generally fine during these two years and only had minor side effects on the actual days the chemo was performed. He eventually died from heart failure about 2 years after the initial diagnosis. 

Zanzi is 9 years and 3 months old at the moment.

I’m considering all options but to be honest I’m very stressed out right now.

I know, I know…. BREATHE right??

Just wanted to get it of my chest.

We will make our decision by Monday the latest.

Just letting you know that we live in Greece.

Please pray for Zanzi.

Thank you very much in advance.

The Rainbow Bridge

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21 September 2018 - 9:30 am
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Zanzi and family, welcome. We are so glad you decided to join us, but of course sorry you had to find yourself here. Of course you are stressed out, it’s a very scary time filled with uncertainty. Lots of us can relate.

It sounds like the veterinarians believe Zanzi is a good candidate for a life on three legs? That’s great news! As you struggle with the decision, keep in mind that chemotherapy is optional, the important thing is to help eliminate the source of the pain, which is unfortunately the tumour on the leg. Most dogs do really well after amputation and go on to have a great quality of life. Some will beat the odds, and some will not. But the important thing is that whatever time they had left was spend without pain, and enjoying life again. Chemotherapy won’t guarantee a longer life, but the odds go up when a dog does receive it. 

I encourage you to review Jerry’s Required Reading List for a look at our ‘best of’ articles about making the decision and what to expect after surgery. And ask any questions you would like here, we are ready to help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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21 September 2018 - 12:07 pm
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Aww, Rhodesian  Ridgebacks are such great dogs.  Your .love fot her comes shining through.  

Can definitely  tell you’ve  been researching  this site because you already know Rule #1.  BREATHE!!! And don’t  let Rule #2 pass you by, EAT CHOCOLATE!

Getting the “news`” and then trying  to decide  on the best option  for Zanzi IS stressful, and scary, and full of uncertainty.  You are doing  a great job of getting  different  opinions  and doing your research.  Once you do decide  on a path forward, you will feel a sense of relief and you will feel more confident.

Not sure about the chemo for a year, etc rhe Vet was referencing.   Maybe others will have insight.  We all do know, that amputation  removes the pain immediately.   Well, that’s  not to say that recovery from major surgery doesn’t hurt,  but pain meds will help with that.

As you’ve  seen by reviewing this site, you already know dogs handle  three legs really well!  And so will Zanzi!  

Just keep things chunked  down for now.  Stay connected  and let us know any questions  you may have!

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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21 September 2018 - 11:25 pm
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What were the four options you were given? Was one of them cyber knife radiation?

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22 September 2018 - 5:09 am
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luke4275 said
What were the four options you were given? Was one of them cyber knife radiation?  

Thank you all three for your kind words  Luke I was actually given 3 options not four  

First to leave it as is and last as much as possible on painkillers with the danger of course of fructure etc  

Second was amputation if there is no visible metastasis yet in order to relieve the pain, with or without chemo afterwards.

Third and very unpopular from what I can see was the option I described above with only chemo. 

Unfortunately from what I know radiation therapy is not available in Greece  not even on humans  I’ve read about knife radiation but no option for us. Now I don’t know the exact situation in the States regarding pet insurance etc but we don’t have that in Greece either and cost is a major factor, not because I wouldn’t give everything for my love Zanzi but because maybe I might not have it 🙁

Thank you everyone again 

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23 September 2018 - 4:39 am
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Hi sweetie pie 🌺

I am so sorry you and Zanzi have to join us here but now that you have we welcome you and will all help guide you on your journey the best we can.

First, I’d like to point out to you that generally the older the dog is, the best chances he has of having a longer life with cancer.

I don’t know if this is “recognised” as such by science but we have seen it here and I have certainly seen it outside tripawds and virtually always, that is the case.

So, your Zanzi is ahead of the game being a mature pup. 

As for chemo without amputation I haven’t heard of that, I wonder if they mean metronomics which consists on a low dose of oral chemo combined with an anti-inflammatory and sometimes an antibiotic (my girl had antibiotic but it seems some oncologists are against it now) 

The administration of these drugs is done daily or every other day, generally.

But then again, as I understand it, this protocol is given after amputation or after radiation, not when the leg and tumour are kept.

If the leg and tumour are kept, this means the primary tumour is doing its evil job sending micro metastasis to other parts of the body and also the pain will escalate and spiral out of control very quickly.

One important thing to realise is there are no drugs which can get rid of osteosarcoma pain 100%.

I am no vet but as I see it if you keep the leg (and as you cannot do radiation) your Zanzi will be in a lot of pain soon.

Age is no big deal and she is small compared to lots of others here (including my Great Dane Eurydice 77kg and huge) so you shouldn’t be scared, sweetie, surgery can be done and your Zanzi can have a wonderful life on three, with or without chemo afterwards.

I am adding a link of some of Eurydice’s travels here, hope this will show you how our babies can do sooooo well on 3.

Sending you hugs and tons of cuddles to your girl, please keep in touch 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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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23 September 2018 - 4:44 am
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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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23 September 2018 - 6:09 am
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eurydice said
Here it is:

https://tripawds.com/forums/anything-goes/eurydices-travels-in-europe-5-months-after-amputation/  

eurydice said
Here it is:

https://tripawds.com/forums/anything-goes/eurydices-travels-in-europe-5-months-after-amputation/  

Thank you so much for replying  

Sweet Eurydice was one of the first stories I read here  She is such a sweetheart and kudos to you for giving her the best chance she had and living life to the fullest. 

Concerning the chemo without amputation she said it was given every three weeks so I don’t think it was what you described  

I’m leaning towards amputation at this point without chemo afterwards and changing her diet to full raw along with K9 immune plus, good fish oil, Turmeric Curcumin , coconut oil etc..

What is your opinion on that?

Thank you so much. 

I will post some pics of sweet Zanzi shortly.

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23 September 2018 - 1:55 pm
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Zanzi says hello to all of you and thanks you beforehand :)Image Enlarger

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23 September 2018 - 3:33 pm
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Ohhhhh …

Zanzi is such a sweetie and has wonderful loving eyes 💓

I can see she has lots and lots and lots of love to give, on four legs or three 💕🐾💕 

I am still puzzled about the proposed chemo regime, every three weeks is what we normally do post op if we opt for IV chemo (carboplatin or doxorubicin).

But I was told IV chemo would not work if the primary tumour was left in place. 

I think the main thing is stopping pain and amputation will ensure that is the case. 

Chemo is a personal choice and so is raw food and supplements, there is no right or wrong decisions as there is simply no way of knowing if whichever route we follow will work or not until we try it.

Personally, I went for chemo because I wanted to fight the fight with the most powerful weapons available. 

Others followed the holistic and supplements route and I am sure they will share their experience with you. 

Follow your heart and get that painful leg out of the way so Zanzi can enjoy life to the full.

We are all with you and so is my adored Angel Eurydice 💕🐮💕

Sending you an avalanche of kisses and a tornado of cuddles to your gorgeous girl 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 :-) 

The Rainbow Bridge

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24 September 2018 - 12:00 am
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What a pretty girl thank you for sharing!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Read my story here.

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Virginia
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24 September 2018 - 4:08 pm
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She’s  BEAUTIFUL !!!    You can just see how gentle she is!!!  Made my day😊

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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24 September 2018 - 8:30 pm
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Oh what a beautiful girl Zanzi is! Whatever you decide know that we’re all here for you. Keep us posted!

Valheart

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2 October 2018 - 3:16 pm
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Hi Zanzi and family 🌸🐾

How are you both doing?

What did you decide?

Can we help in any way?

Hugs and kisses, 😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

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 October 2018 - 6:34 am
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Hello all and sorry for being late.

After talking to many differenent vets and having all kinds of tests done I was finally told that Zanzi is qualified to go through with amputation.

It is scheduled for next Wednesday and although on one of the lung x-rays they saw a very small “shadow” (sorry don’t know how it is called in English), two different vets assured me that even if it is metastasis (which they are not sure at all it is) it is so small and doesn’t have any obvious symptoms yet like coughing or tiredness etc that she is certainly qualified for surgery.

Her appetite is great, she is moving quite well and she is playful although she likes sitting a lot due to her condition.

Thank you all very much for your concern. Will get back to you if I have anymore questions between now and Wednesday heartheart 

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