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Osteomyelitis or cancer?
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Member Since:
27 August 2023
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27 August 2023 - 1:48 pm
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Hello everyone,

found this space while doing some research for my 10yo dog, Milo. It is my first post here. The last weeks have been like a rollercoaster as we still do not have a clear indication of Milo's condition.

About 5 years ago he had surgery due to a car accident in his leg. The surgeon had put some metal implants. The clinic at the time never informed us about the need for them to be removed. Sometimes he would limp (after really long walks with running etc) but mostly everything was normal. No swelling whatsoever. 

Over the last month, around the treated area, the leg started swelling quite fast. The doctor initially prescribed some anti-inflammatory meds that helped and he could walk normally, but about 2 weeks ago the swelling went really bad. We went for an x-ray (link below) and it looked like osteomyelitis (infection of the bone near the implants) or signs of osteosarcoma. 

We did a blood test one week ago and came back normal. No elevated white cells etc. Can still the case be cancer with the bloodwork being perfectly normal? He also started antibiotics for osteomyelitis one week ago but the swelling did not subside. Around 3 days ago, a blood blister (image below) appeared in the area. We went to the vet and they treated it and made a biopsy and bacteria sampling at the same time. They told me that what they mainly found inside was not pus but what can be described as "cysts of blood" and some fatty tissue. I am waiting currently for the results. The vet is not very optimistic about the prognosis. 

In the case of cancer they suggested euthanasia and in the case of osteomyelitis amputation as it is very very difficult to try to remove those implants after so many years.

Has anyone had similar experiences with an infection? We are in constant agony as we still don't have a clear answer and can't stop crying. At this point, I am preparing for the worst. 

X-ray 1

X-ray 2

Swelling (blister)

New England
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27 August 2023 - 2:54 pm
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Hi Vg and welcome. Your future posts will not require approval.

I'm sorry to hear about what's going on with Milo. I do not have the expertise to give you advice, but others will. It's smart to prepare for the worst, but I hope you get good news from your vet. 

Virginia







Member Since:
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27 August 2023 - 5:17 pm
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Well crrreaaap....just made a reply and it wouldn't  take.  So doing this as a test real quick to see of this foes thru vendors I do another one.

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







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27 August 2023 - 5:33 pm
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Okay...are we go.....

First I'm sorry you and Milo have been on this crazy roller coaster ride. Hopefully we can help you get off and have you to smooth sailing on calm seas.

If I'm understanding this right. You and Milo are sort of in a hold pattern until the results come back from the culture and biopsy, correct? Another question, do they have Milo on any pain meds to help with that painful leg right now?

I certainly may not understand the whole situation, but I'm very curious about this.  ,Even IF  it is osteosarcoma, why would a Vet  jump to euthanasia.?   Amputation removes the bum leg, stops the pain and gives Milo a chance an extended  quality  time to ve Milo again!

As far as elevated WBC, FWIW, I  can only tell you that my Bet yeard ago told me that may...may...be ani indicator, but not necessarily. 

Regardless, I would definitely  get  a second opinion,  and maybe even have a consult  with an Oncologist. 

Hopefully  when the tests co e back you will jave a more clear path forward. When will the results be back?

Deep breathes and hang in rhere!  Stay connected. 

 

(((((((((((((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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28 August 2023 - 3:05 am
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Thank you for your reply. Yes, we are currently waiting, results should be available by Friday 1st of September.

For some context, I am currently in Greece and have been over the last year between Europe the US because of work. Was planning this winter to take Milo with me in the US as there will be more stability. He is currently staying in Greece with my family.

It is not uncommon for vets here to be more "old-school" in cases like that. I am currently contacting other clinics that I've found through recommendations. All I have done the last few days is research, from what I am reading also here, life expectancy after amputation and chemo can be a year and in some cases more. I am worried that I might put Milo through such an invasive and rough surgery only for him to gain a few extra months in pain. 

Waiting until Friday but the prognosis does not look good. I am happy that at least I found some people here who will push for the best outcome because everyone else I've talked to never gave me a plan b. 

Virginia







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28 August 2023 - 10:10 am
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Yes, assuming it is cancer, there is definitely  a "Plan b" that excludes euthanasia !

We'll wait for the results, but amputation  if cancer definitely  removes the pain and restores quality.   Recovery from the surgery itself is about two weeks.  Not saying it's a "fun time", but handled  with proper pain management   and keeping things slow and e2asy during  recovery..  Many dogs are able to get up and walk on their own within first couple of days....some need assistance,  some don't.  Recovery doesn't last furever.  Once the healing has taken place and stitches are out, you will be amazed at how quickly progress is made.WITHOUT PAIN!!!

And no one knows how mich time any of us have.  We always says statistics  don't  mean mich arpund here as every dog is different t.  Some go way beyond a projected statistic and some dont.

The. most important  thong is to make each mome t the best moment  ever and to love in the NOW.  Just like our dogs.  

Keep is posted and stay connected.

Hugs

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

PS. We've had members from Greece through the years.  Type in Greece in the search bar....hit "advanced search"....check the boxes to the right for all topics, all forums. Etc then hot search at vottom of those

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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28 August 2023 - 11:11 am
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Hello and welcome. I'm just catching up on your story right now, and am sorry you are going through this. Is Milo on any pain medication right now? It sounds like he needs to be, I would ask your current vet for something to keep him comfortable.

Unfortunately it's not uncommon to have osteosarcoma develop at the point of metal implants. While they don't always need to be removed, and I'm pretty sure rarely are unless it causes pain, we do see members who've had osteosarcoma happen after procedures like this, like TPLO surgeries.

Definitely get Milo to another practice that takes a more forward thinking approach. IF this is osteosarcoma, while it can have a grim life expectancy, you just never know how a dog will do. The pain of what your dog is going through is much worse than the actual recovery. Recovery is also not as horrible as we imagine, as long as pain management is good. And once that bad leg is gone, the dog can go back to being happy and pain-free. Sometimes dogs will outlive the prognosis, even up to years later. Our dog Jerry lived two more years (without chem) and spent those years happy and out of pain. 

See our Tripawds Quality of Life Survey results for some insight on how people feel about their dog's life on three. 

Let us know what questions you have, we are here to help!

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28 August 2023 - 5:37 pm
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Thank you everyone for the support. Yes, he is on pain medication. It was administered on Saturday and will last 2-3 days. After that, we are checking again to administer more. We are also monitoring his appetite and he eats well apart from dry food (also the weather is really hot here). 

It is really impressive of Jerry to live two more years!

The Rainbow Bridge



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28 August 2023 - 6:21 pm
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Oh good I'm glad he's on something right now. Sounds like he's being monitored closely which is terrific.

I hope you aren't too badly affected by the wildfires.

And yes Jerry wasn't the only dog to outlive his prognosis, there are others and some as long as 7 years. It's all a big crapshoot, you never know.

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6 September 2023 - 8:48 am
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Update on Milo

Lab results came back and it is indeed osteosarcoma. Vet insists on putting him to sleep because the prognosis in these cases is bad and the dog will only suffer. We have decided not to follow this route. Have scheduled an appointment tomorrow for a thorax and abdomen x-ray to see for any potential metastasis. What are the other recommended exams to assess the condition and see if the dog is a good candidate for amputation? Is bone scintigraphy always required?

I feel like I am racing against time now and want to move as fast as possible. Feel that we have waited for too long for a. the antibiotics to see if it was an infection and b. for a biopsy. 

 

Also have started putting together a supplementation protocol (apocaps are on the way 😛 ). Will follow up on that depending on the results of the next examinations. I am confident that with the right treatment, Milo will have a good chance. 

 

P.S. Thankfully we haven't been affected by the wildfires. Also we have currently a big storm all over the county that put an end to all the remaining fires. 

Virginia







Member Since:
22 February 2013
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6 September 2023 - 9:45 am
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While I'm sorry to hear it's osteo, I'm quite angry that the Vet is pushing  euthanasia.   Absolutely  fire that Vet and get Milo into another one asap!  

Milo is so lucky to jave you  advocating for him!!  Good job!!

Do you have access to Certified Orthopedic  Surgeons?  That would be the best route to make sure Milo is a good candidate for amputation.  Often just xrays of the lungs are the addtional  steps taken.  If people have the fiances they also add CT scans for abdomen..

This was while ago, but my Happy Hannah only had the lungs xrayed and of course, the leg.  No biopsy  was offered and no additional  abdominal  scans were offered.  She had a glorious year plus two months of pain free quality life.

Don feel like you've wasted time, okay?  In ma y cases, like my Happy Hannah,  dogs are often treated at first for a sprain or arthritis for a month or two.    I know Milo presented differently,  but just letting you know  you still jave proceeded at a rapid pace.

And yes, I used Appcaps roo.  Check out our  Nutrition Blog for other suggestions.

Keep  advocating fir Milo!!!  One member here had a Great Dane who had to go through three Vets to find one who said the dog was a good  candidate.  

The first two said euthanasia was the only option. And thank goodness she found that third vet because Atlas the dog lived an additional 2 years!!!

Stay connected  and update when you can!! We're  all on Team Milo!!

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!

New England
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6 September 2023 - 11:30 am
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I'm angry on Milo's behalf that your vet is pushing euthanasia with a cancer diagnosis.  Yes, cancer will eventually be terminal.  That doesn't mean there aren't good times left before it reaches that point!  I hope your second opinion is less bleak.

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6 September 2023 - 12:02 pm
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Thank you everyone for the support it means a lot, consulted a second vet. Will come back on Friday with the X-ray results. We will also assess the possibility of any arthritis and then proceed with an amputation. Will book probably at the School of Veterinary Medicine in Thessaloniki. They are the ones with the best expertise for these cases and for any other tough surgery in the country. 

The second vet mentioned 2 cases with the same diagnosis that she had in the past. Both proceeded with amputation, one did chemo after one did not. Both of these cases lived a long healthy life after. 

Virginia







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22 February 2013
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6 September 2023 - 1:06 pm
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Soooo glad you are with a different clinic now!!!   

And just an aside, even 9f Milo has arthritis  or even hip dysplasia,  that usually  is NOT a "deal breaker" when it comes to amputation.

A d yes, some dogs do chemo, some don't.   We can only tell you that it's basically a crap shoot when it comes to longevity.   Some vest the odds with it, some don't.   Some beat the odds without it, some don't. 

Milo doesn't have a timeframe stamped on his butt.  He doesn't  count days on a calendar.  All he cares about is a quality pain free life full of your spoiling and loving.

You are giving him a chance for quality and thst is what we all would want.  And yes, we've had some cancer survivors who kicked that piece of crap disease to the curb!!  Great Dane Queen Nova passed from old age after beating cancer successfully for over five years!!!!  Dobie Nitro for four years and passed as a senior! Murphy, for four or five years and di pass from a different cancer.

Let is know how the appointmen goes, okay?  Soooo glad you jave dumped that other Vet.

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!

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 September 2023 - 1:08 pm
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Super glad you aren't affected by those wildfires. Yay for the storm and rain. WHEW!

I just caught up on your news about osteosarcoma and your vet's reaction. smiley7GRR! Find a new vet, please. That's like saying just go ahead and euthanize any living creature with cancer because eventually it will kill them. ACK! Sorry, that got me riled up as I'm sure it did for you. Good for you to go with your gut feeling and find another opinion.

A dog with cancer doesn't necessarily mean they are not a happy dog when the cancer is not advanced. As you can see here, many dogs will have a great quality of life until the cancer returns, if it does. With osteosarcoma it probably will but as @mischief said, they can enjoy many good times before that happens. 

And YES! Go with the vet school if you can. We are always in favor of vet teaching hospitals. They have the brightest minds and most advanced technologies and protocols. You are so lucky that it's an option for you.

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