TRIPAWDS: Home to 12717 Members and 1458 Blogs.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG

Osteosarcoma in Saint Bernard - Is it fair to her to amputate? | Presentation and Diagnosis

JUMP TO FORUMS

Join The Discussion

Learn about life on three legs in the forums below. Browse and search as a guest or register for free to take advantage of member benefits:

  • Instant post approval.
  • Private messages to members.
  • Subscribe to favorite topics.
  • Join the Live Chat and more!

free tripawds account tripawds member log in

K9 Immunity Plus — Hope For Dogs With Cancer

Get help with Dr. Dressler’s Dog Cancer Kit

Looking For A Harness?

EzyDog Tripawd Convert Harness

Shop Tripawds Gear for the best harnesses for three legged dogs!




A A A

Please consider registering
Guest

Search

— Forum Scope —




— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Register Lost password?
sp_Feed sp_PrintTopic sp_TopicIcon-c
Osteosarcoma in Saint Bernard - Is it fair to her to amputate?
sp_NewPost Add Reply sp_NewTopic Add Topic
Ranedrops
Guest
1
28 October 2008 - 6:37 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hello. I came across this site due to my 7 1/2 year old Saint Bernard being diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in her left front leg about 2 weeks ago.  Her lung xrays were clear at the time.  She had blood work done and has elevate levels in her liver enzymes which we were told that research has shown it to mean a poorer prognosis. Her level was 347.

We have been told she has approx. 1-2 months to live without treatment and even with treatment the prognosis sounds so grim.  The treatment they recommended was amputation followed up by 4 rounds of carboplatin chemo.

We have met with a surgeon and an oncologist.  We were told that large breed dogs do not usually do as well as smaller dogs with the amp.   Also, that her being a 7 1/2 large breed dog is against her as well as her liver enzymes being elevated.  They recommended xraying her hind end to check for significant arthritis or hip dysplasia and if she has either one than she would not be a good candidate for the amputation.

She is on Rymadil and Tramadol right now which has helped her pain.  However, in the last 2 days I’ve noticed a difference in her limp, it is more pronounced.

 We are totally confused as to what to do.  She is such a loving, sweet big baby.  We want to do what is right for her.  If anyone can share their experience with a large dog and how being a tripawd worked out for them it would be appreciated.

The oncologist recommended putting her leg in a sling for a few days to see how she does on 3 legs before amputating.  However, the surgeon says that it will not truly mimic an amputation because of the bulk of the sling bandages around her barrel & front leg.  She reccomends cutting back her pain med to see how she fairs with using the other 3 legs before the surgery. What do you suggest?

We made a tentative appointment for the amputation for next Wednesday. First they would xray her hind end and we also requested chest xrays again since it will be 3 weeks since her diagnosis.  If all is clear then we could authorize the amputation to proceed.

Any advice on how to deal with this situation would be great.  We want to do what is right for Belle but it sounds to us like she isn’t a good candidate.  Is this all really against her?  Should we not proceed?

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 23900
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
2
28 October 2008 - 7:13 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Thanks for asking, you have every reason to be concerned. But ask yourself, is it fair not to amputate?

Check out our giant breeds gallery to see other large dogs who have done just fine after amputation. See the blog post about Panda, the happy three-legged Saint Bernard. And remember that amputation is the only way to ease the pain of bone cancer in dogs. The pain of surgery may only last a week or so. The tumor pain will only get worse.

We’re not vets, but we don’t think a sling is a good idea. With the leg still there, she will try to use it. Every dog’s story is different. Whatever you decide, prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best, keeping in mind that the most important thing is quality of life not quantity. 

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Member

Forum Posts: 1896
Member Since:
22 August 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
3
28 October 2008 - 7:25 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hello,

My name is Pam and our Mastiff Tazzie had her front leg amputated 2 months ago, and she gets around great! Jerry will be posting a video of her on this site soon.

I am a vet, and I do not think it is fair to the dog to put her front leg in a sling.  First of all, this will hurt a LOT since you have to flex the leg to sling it.  She could also fall and hurt herself or even fracture at the tumor site.

Is your dog overweight? Tazzie weighs 175 pounds post-amputation but she is not overweight.  She also had both of her knees repaired 2 years ago (ACL rupture) and had a pre-existing liver problem prior to surgery.  It is true that an elevated Alkphos can mean a poorer prognosis but I have seen dogs live 1-2 years after amputation even with this enzyme elevated.  Chemo is a good idea if you can afford it and if her chest rads are clear.  The sooner you can get her leg off the better her chances!

Only you can decide what is right for your dog.  Tazzie is 6 years old, but I know how painful bone cancer can be, and I just had to give her a chance.

Pam and Tazzie

Member
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
28 October 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
4
28 October 2008 - 9:00 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Is your dog overweight? Tazzie weighs 175 pounds post-amputation but she is not overweight.  She also had both of her knees repaired 2 years ago (ACL rupture) and had a pre-existing liver problem prior to surgery.  It is true that an elevated Alkphos can mean a poorer prognosis but I have seen dogs live 1-2 years after amputation even with this enzyme elevated.  Chemo is a good idea if you can afford it and if her chest rads are clear.  The sooner you can get her leg off the better her chances!

Only you can decide what is right for your dog.  Tazzie is 6 years old, but I know how painful bone cancer can be, and I just had to give her a chance.

Pam and Tazzie


Hello.  Thank you for the replies.  Belle weighs 134 pounds. She is a spayed female St. Bernard. The oncologist and surgeon both said she is overweight though I really don’t think she looks it.  They manipulated her hind end and said she has some stiffness which is to be expected in a large breed dog of her age.  However, she did not seem to be bothered by the maniupulation which was a good thing.

They also said she is considered older at 7 1/2 since she is a large breed, that her average lifespan would be 8-10 and that I may want to take that into consideration.

 If we do go with the amp then we will be doing the chemo as well.  They recommended 4 treatments of carboplatin.

I appreciate the the links to the large breed dogs.  It gives me hope.  I have heard from so many people not to amputate and just last night from a friend who had to go through the same thing with his Rottie last year.  Unfortunately, his rottie had a very difficult time after the amp and got very sick from chemo, my friend advised me not to put my Belle through such an ordeal. 

 I am so afraid of her being miserable and not having quality of life after the amp and chemo.  But then to think of not giving her a chance at all is heartbreaking. 

May I ask how long  did it take for Tazzie to get around on her own?

Thank you all for your advice and support.

 

Manchester, UK
Member
Forum Posts: 210
Member Since:
2 February 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
5
29 October 2008 - 5:50 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hi and welcome.  I’m sorry to hear of Belle’s diagnosis.

The way I look at is is this.  Without amputation, Belle has no chance of survival (pardon me for being blunt).  Long before the cancer gets her, the pain will become uncontrollable and the choice will, in effect, be made for you.

With amputation and chemo, Belle has a chance of having a good few months or maybe even years of a pain free, full life.

I’ve learned that it’s all about chances.  That’s all we can offer I think.  Some dogs are lucky enough to do well after treatment and some, sadly, don’t do as well for as long.

My dog Darcy is a large breed (Deerhound).  She’s not as heavy in weight as a St Bernard (obviously!) but she’s tall.  She’s 30" at the shoulder.  And she’s lucky in that she’s just celebrated her one year anniversary since diagnosis and amputation.

I know that ampuation is not an option for every dog with bone cancer but if it is an option and if the dog is the type of dog who doesn’t freak out at vet treatments and vet visits etc, I would certainly consider grabbing the chance.

Best wishes to you both, whichever decision you make.

Darcy – tripawd since 16th October 2007.

***Darcy would love to be your friend on Facebook - just search for Darcy Deerhound***

Member
Forum Posts: 262
Member Since:
28 July 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
6
29 October 2008 - 3:16 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hi

Titan, my bullmastiff is almost 6 years old. He had his right front leg amputated 8-4. He has been doing great. Our vet seemed negative because he was a big breed. Titan weighed 135 prior to surgery now he is 118 pounds. I think you know your dog best. I felt no matter what anyone said Titan has the will to live.He has 3 chemo so far and has #4 tomorrow. I wouldn’t do the sling I think that could cause more headache and stress for your baby.

Hang in there!!!!!!!

Heidi and Titan

Member
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
28 October 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
7
29 October 2008 - 3:48 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Thank you all for your support.  We have confirmed the apointment for amputation for Belle for next Wednesday.  It will be done that day as long as her chest xrays that they will take before surgery are clear.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 23900
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
8
29 October 2008 - 6:50 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Good luck Belle, we will be thinking of you and sending lots of love. Keep us posted.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Member

Forum Posts: 1896
Member Since:
22 August 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
9
30 October 2008 - 7:46 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Tazzie was in the hospital for 4 days and was walking on her own the day after we took her home.  She did not like the sling but we use the Ruffwear harness that we purchased on this site to move her in and out of the van. We still do not let her do stairs, and she wears a bootie on her front foot due to a pressure sore that she developed post-op.

She has tolerated chemo well and is due for #3 this weekend.  We have been very happy with our decision to amputate since she is not in pain and acts just like her old self.  We don’t know how much time we might have; we just try to make every day great!

Pam and Tazzie

Member
Forum Posts: 262
Member Since:
28 July 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10
31 October 2008 - 12:22 am
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Good luck Belle we know you can do it!

Heidi and Titan

Member
Forum Posts: 387
Member Since:
27 July 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11
11 November 2008 - 8:12 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hiya Belle!

We’re keeping our fingers and paws crossed that everything goes smoothly with the amputation.  I think you are making a very smart choice; you have already gotten some opinions from the vet, Pam, on this site and all the other folks who have been through these procedures with their dogs.  Good luck, and please keep us posted on how things are going for your beloved Belle.

Your friends, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Mom (Vicki)

Leslie
Guest
12
26 December 2008 - 12:33 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

We are going through the exact same thing.  Sarah is 7 years old, weighs 115 lbs and got diagnosed a few days ago. She is scheduled for the amputation on New Year’s Eve.  On her x-rays before the biopsy it showed that her lungs were clear. When the vet does the surgery he is going to take the lymph nodes and check for cancer in those. We are so scared and nervous about how she will handle the surgery and afterwards.  But we never doubted our decision to amputate.  We love her so much and don’t want her to be in any pain.  We understand everything that you are going through with Belle.  I read your post and it is almost identical to ours. Knowing that someone else is going through this and being able to read what is happening and the results is very helpful.  Thank you for sharing your story and I hope that everything goes great with Belle.

The Rainbow Bridge

Forum Posts: 23900
Member Since:
25 April 2007
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
13
26 December 2008 - 4:18 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Leslie said:

Knowing that someone else is going through this and being able to read what is happening and the results is very helpful.


Thanks Leslie! That’s the exact reason for keeping up this website. Please feel free to start your own topic and share Sarah’s story. FYI: If you register, your posts will appear immediatly without requiring moderation.

Aslo check out the story of Panda, a three legged Saint Bernard in the blog. And don’t miss our post about giant breed dogs and amputation, complete with photo gallery! Make sure you meet Tazzie the tripawd too.

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

Support the Tripawds Foundation!

Member
Forum Posts: 387
Member Since:
27 July 2008
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
14
26 December 2008 - 5:59 pm
sp_Permalink sp_Print sp_NewPost sp_QuotePost

Hi Leslie & Sarah,

We will be thinking of you on New Year’s Eve day.  You are very kind and wise to do the amputation to end Sarah’s pain and suffering from the bone cancer.  Please do think about starting a new thread (or topic) and joining tripawds.com as a member so that everyone will see your updates quickly and know how Sarah is doing.  Welcome to what I feel is the greatest website there is for dogs going through cancer, amputation and treatments.  We’re here for you, we promise.

Love, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Mom (Vicki)

Forum Timezone: America/Denver

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: paws120, rebeccac
48 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Devices Used: Desktop (46), Phone (4)

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1005

Members: 12742

Moderators: 2

Admins: 3

Forum Stats:

Groups: 4

Forums: 23

Topics: 15014

Posts: 211373

Administrators: admin, jerry, jim

Moderators: betaman, krun15

Tripawds Blogs is brought to you by Tripawds.
HOME » NEWS » BLOGS » FORUMS » CHAT » YOUR PRIVACY » RANDOM BLOG