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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

Tripawds is the place to learn how to care for a three legged dog or cat, with answers about dog leg amputation, and cat amputation recovery from many years of member experiences.
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X-Rays show 2 bones involved and therefore rule out Osteosarcoma. Thoughts?
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Tricia
1
25 May 2013 - 8:03 pm
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My 8 year old lab mix showed lesions that appeared cancerous on X-Ray in BOTH his femur and shin.  The veterinary radiologist therefore felt this was not a cut and dry osteosarcoma.  With web research I found that osteosarcoma generally does not cross the joint space.  Does anyone know which bone cancers DO cross the joint space?  Or could this be a systemic bone cancer?  I would love to avoid the potentially painful bone biopsy and use other tests to rule out the remaining possibilities.  Please help!

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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25 May 2013 - 8:19 pm
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Welcome, please consider registering to take full advantage of these forums and your posts will not require moderation.

Have you consulted with an oncologist? If you are considering amputation anyway, there's really no need for additional painful tests beforehand since they can be done after the surgery to determine the specific cancer and recommended treatment plan.

Please keep in mind we are not vets, but you will find plenty more tips and recommendations based on many interviews with veterinarians and oncologists in the Tripawds e-books.

After registering, consider posting in the Ask A Vet forum or dropping the chat room where you'll often find others waiting to answer questions.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Tricia
3
25 May 2013 - 9:32 pm
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We have not seen an oncologist as our vet says they would need a bone biopsy before proceeding.  However the vet also says he would feel uncomfortable suggesting an amputation until they determine the type of cancer.   So we are stuck - can't treat, shouldn't amputate, without this often painful, sometimes inconclusive, and very expensive bone biopsy.  Our wonderful dog worsens a bit every time he goes for an x-ray or other treatment.  This is not the vets fault, our dog is just a homebody and I think the manipulations behind the scenes simply hurt.  So this is why I am trying to find some suggestions of canine bone cancer which crosses the joint line.  At least then I could be more informed.  Thanks so much. 

Orange County, CA


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14 August 2012
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25 May 2013 - 9:38 pm
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Synovial cell sarcoma crosses the joint. Did your vet not mention this? Are the lesions in the femur and the tibia right around the knee joint? Amputation would be the treatment of choice. There is not going to be anyway of knowing exactly what it is and what the best treatment options are without some kind of biopsy (be it a bone biopsy or FNA before surgery or a biopsy once the leg is amputated).

Right hind limb amputated 7/3/12 for OSA, started on alternating cycles of Carboplatin and Doxorubicin and oral Palladia. Single lung met 9/1. Met in the neck muscle removed 9/30. Large mass in sublumbar lymph node 10/2. Rescue chemo with ifosfamide 10/6. Mets to the rib and axillary lymph node 10/21. Started Leukeran and Pred 10/25. Wookie left this Earth for a far better place on 12/4/12. I miss you, Boo, you were my heart.

On The Road


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26 May 2013 - 8:41 am
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Tricia, please consider joining so your future posts won't require amputation. As you decide what to do next, ask your vet about pain management options if you haven't already. Here's a list of questions to ask your oncologist.

I would also ask the oncologist your questions directly so you're not wasting any time. If a biopsy is required, ask if a FNA (fine needle aspirate) is an option before a bone biopsy. Unfortunately, sometimes bone biopsies are necessary to determine what kind of cancer you're dealing with, however if the leg is already damaged beyond repair, and you know you're going to amputate anyways, a bone biopsy can be done after amputation.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

Orange County, CA


Member Since:
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26 May 2013 - 10:36 am
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jerry said
Tricia, please consider joining so your future posts won't require amputation. 

oh-my

Talk about a typo! winker

Right hind limb amputated 7/3/12 for OSA, started on alternating cycles of Carboplatin and Doxorubicin and oral Palladia. Single lung met 9/1. Met in the neck muscle removed 9/30. Large mass in sublumbar lymph node 10/2. Rescue chemo with ifosfamide 10/6. Mets to the rib and axillary lymph node 10/21. Started Leukeran and Pred 10/25. Wookie left this Earth for a far better place on 12/4/12. I miss you, Boo, you were my heart.

On The Road


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24 September 2009
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26 May 2013 - 10:54 am
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Silly Jerry... only first posts by members (and all guest posts) require moderation.

See Jerry's Required Reading List for lots of more more helpful links!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

In your heart, where I belong.
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9 February 2011
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26 May 2013 - 10:09 pm
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Tricia, I am not a vet, but Wookie there is. Still, as a companion to many dogs over the course of my life and a tripawd, I can tell you I will not do a bone biopsy unless there is no way to avoid it. It was suggested to me and I asked how the treatment would differ, depending on results. The answer was that treatment would be the same: amputation. There is no way I would put Dakota through anything that painful when amputation was still the only choice.

Dakota did not have bone cancer and we were virtually certain of that before the amputation. Biopsy of his amputated leg confirmed he had a stage 2 soft tissue cancer. Like your dog, D was a homebody with tons of anxiety about going anywhere. I also tried to minimize vet visits for him, so we did the minimum pre-op stuff, lopped off the leg, and never looked back.

Shari

From abandoned puppy to Tripawd Warrior Dude, Dakota became one of the 2011 February Furballs due to STS. Our incredibly sweet friend lived with grace and dignity till he impulsively raced over the Bridge on 12-15-12.

Dakota's thoughtful and erudite blog is at http://shari.tr.....pawds.com/


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22 August 2008
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27 May 2013 - 11:21 am
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It is true that OSA does not usually cross a joint space.  What part of the country do you live in?  There are some fungal diseases that can affect multiple bones. I would also be concerned with hemangiosarcoma (HSA) which can occur anywhere.  I would probably xray the chest and ultrasound the abdomen and if those tests are clear and fungal disease is unlikely then I would amputate and biopsy the lesions.

 

Pam

Tricia
10
28 May 2013 - 6:16 am
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I cant thank all of you enough for your replies.  You are a light in our lives!  TO answer the questions, the chest xray was clear (though the vet said it might be microscopically there already).  We have not had an ultrasound.  The vet did not suggest synovial cell sarcoma himself but said he would call an oncologist today since the dual bone involvement was odd for an OSC.  He said he did not want to amputate and then find out that it was a systemic problem.  I believe the lesions are both close to the knee.  We live in New York so my research suggested fungal infection unlikely but thank you for that suggestion.  We would feel so much better with an FNA plus blood work and urinalysis or lymph node tests  to rule out systemic cancer.  Is this reasonable to ask?  Do any of you have any thoughts on who should perform the amputation - the vet or the oncologist?  Or is it always the vet?  I just want to do the right thing.  Many many thanks.

Tricia
11
28 May 2013 - 6:18 am
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By the way fyi to tripawds admin - I just registered but am still showing up as a guest.  Thanks for everything.

On The Road


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28 May 2013 - 6:41 am
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Tricia said
I just registered but am still showing up as a guest.

You must log in when visiting the forum, or you the system will not know you're online and you will be identified as a guest. After you log in for the first time as a registered member, your first post will also require moderation. After that, all posts will publish immediately.

Oncologists do not normally perform surgery, only ongoing cancer treatment. "Regular" vets may or may not perform amputations based on their surgical expertise. We always recommend finding a qualified specialist or certified orthopedic surgeon to perform amputation surgeries. See this video interview for information and important questions to ask.:

How to choose a veterinarian for amputation surgery.

You'll find more helpful tips and questions to ask your vet in the Tripawds e-books.

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

New York, NY
Member Since:
3 December 2012
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13
28 May 2013 - 11:28 am
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Hi Tricia,

 

Where in NY are you?  I live in the city, if you are close by I am happy to make a recommendation.

 

Erica

Jill is a 9-year-old tuxedo kitty. She was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in June 2012 on her toe in her right hind leg. Her leg was amputated on 12/12/12 and she completed four rounds of chemo (2 of Carbo, 2 of Doxy) in April 2013. "Like" Jill's facebook page: https://www.fac.....tty?ref=hl Proud member of the WINTER WARRIORS!!!! Her blog can be read at http://jillsjou.....ipawds.com. xoxo

Virginia




Member Since:
22 February 2013
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14
28 May 2013 - 4:53 pm
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.Tricia, your pup sure is lucky to have such a diligent and loving mom!! I'm sure he's feeding off your strength!

I may have missed this, but do you have him on any paid meds? If not, your vet could give him so stung while you sort all this out.

Wishing you the very, very best and please keep us posted.
Do you have an pictures of your pup? Would love to see them:-)

Sally and Happy Hannah

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!

Tricia
15
29 May 2013 - 7:00 am
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HI All,

I live in Northern Westchester County, NY.  THank you so much for your concern - Bo is on pain meds.  The weird thing is he does not act sick at all - no crying or whining, just kind of laying around (who can blame him with the limp?)  He still wants to play and has a great appetite and temperment.  The radiologist said that the x-ray is inconsistent both with osteosarcoma and  synovial cell sarcoma.  The bone lesions in the tibia are clearly destructive; the spots on the femur are puzzling.  We don't live where a fungal infection is likely; and he said if its a bacterial infection then the leg is likely to need amputation at this stage anyway.   One other thing the our vet mentioned was nutritional abnormality. I should have asked him to elaborate but I had him on the phone for so long I started to feel guilty.  He has been awesome.   Today he talks to oncologists to see if they have any insight.  He still feels a bone biopsy is the best way to go, better than blood, urine, lymph node or other tests.  I guess with this thing being kind of weird I am starting to lean that way.   The radiologist actually asked to be kept in the loop because this is something he has never seen!  This says alot since all he does is look at x-rays.    We are stumped!  

Thanks!Tricia

 

P.S. Pictures later today or tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!  BY the way does anyone know anything about bisphosphonates ?

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