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Bone mets in spine: treatment?
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31 October 2018 - 9:30 am
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We haven’t posted for a little while.  Bottom line:  Does anyone know a way to treat metastatic lesions in the spine?  Beam radiation will damage the spinal cord, and surgery to remove a section isn’t an option.

Our dog, Bree, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in Jan. 2017.  We did stereotactic radiation with carboplatin chemo, and it worked for a little while.  When the tumor started growing again, we amputated (Sep. 2017) followed by doxorubicin chemo.  We’ve done 2 vaccine trials off study (UF and the new one from UPenn), and use the same supplements many here use, including artemisinin .

Unfortunately, metastatic lung and bone lesions were found recently.  We started vinorelbine chemo and zolendronate (biphosphonate), but the prognosis is very poor.

Our entire family prays for her every night.  I always tell people that the only thing I know that’s kept Bree alive and well is God working in her.  He has answered our prayers in a way we didn’t expect.  My 7 year old daughter reminded us of this after the new finding when I said there’s not much we can do.  She said that’s not true:  we can still pray.

I’ve looked all over, and UF doesn’t have any options, but does anyone know of a way to treat the bone mets in the spine?  I think that’s bothering her the most now.  Any other thoughts for treatment?  She’s generally happy right now at least.  We want her to be able to get around easier, and our prayer is God heals her fully.

The Rainbow Bridge

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31 October 2018 - 10:01 am
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Heyyyy, it’s good to hear from you but I’m so sorry about the news. That is a heartbreaker.

Now, I have some thoughts but first, give Bree a big smooch from us. Your girl is such a fighter and a rock star in kicking cancer’s butt! superstarThe power of your love and prayer have helped her enjoy a great life on three legs, she is the true meaning of living with cancer, not dying from it. She has beaten the odds all along and is proof that there is no such thing as a guaranteed prognosis. Nobody can predict the future and she’ll be the first one to show them.

You probably already know this but spinal mets are so rare. When they happen it’s a real let down and can make us feel so hopeless. But your sweet daughter is right: you can do things. You find your center of gravity and hope by praying. You manage Bree’s symptoms with the infusions and pain medications. And you give her the life that all dogs dream about. That my friend, is doing a heck of a lot. So never doubt your ability to do something to help her.

Unfortunately, I am not familiar with any treatments to eradicate spinal mets. What did your oncologist mention to you, other than the bisphosphonates ? If they didn’t already refer you to one, I would suggest meeting with a pain management specialist who can help you treat the symptoms with acupuncture, massage, and other modalities that can help her continue with a good quality of life. If you don’t know how to find one near you (the IVAPM website search can be confusing), just let me know.  A hospice veterinarian can also do a lot to help manage symptoms.

And as you walk this next stage of the journey with her, try to remember that nobody can predict how long she will have, and that Bree is still the same dog you always knew. All she wants is to feel good and make her people happy. That’s all that matters to her, always. I know you can do it!

Keep us posted and let us know how we can help.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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31 October 2018 - 11:53 am
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Great perspective, thank you.  

Neither the UF oncologists or one we’ve worked with in another state have given us any other options.  They discussed with radiation oncology, who said radiation will effectively paralyze her (I’m sure there’s a statistical chance she would recover but they seemed pretty confident it was not worth pursuing).

I’ll look into acupuncture some more.  Our local vet does it.  Thankfully she doesn’t seem to be in much pain.  The concern I have is that it’s hard for her to stand and move on her back legs.  It’s like she doesn’t have the strength.  It could be pain too (she’s quite stoic), idk.

Yes, you’re absolutely right about a prognosis.  We were given 3-4 months in January of 2017.  If God can raise a dead man, he can heal a dog (and he has kept her well almost to the 2 year mark).

Virginia
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1 November 2018 - 11:06 am
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Not only is Bree a RockStar, so is your enlightened  daughter!  Love her attitude, as well as yours!  

Brew has already proven she doesn’t  have a timeframe stamped anywhere on her butt. She sure doesn’t  pay any attention  to  prognosis-schmognosis!

Is Brew on any pain meds?  May have missed it, but, of not, definitely  get her on some.  It may make a difference in her mobility.  Rene has given you some good suggestions  too. 

If her pain is managed, you  might also check in our Gear Shop for a cart.  That way she could still get outside, take short walks, hop in her cart and enjoy being chauffeured around!

Keep us posted on your Miracle Dog Bree…..and co to us to follow your daughter’s great “treatment plan”!

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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1 November 2018 - 5:23 pm
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Wish I had something to offer but I can do what your daughter said, pray- so prayers are headed your way. Sometimes the youngest of us have so much wisdom.

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14 November 2018 - 4:01 pm
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have you considered  thc?  I use this and cbd for simon

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15 November 2018 - 5:11 am
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What is thc???

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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15 November 2018 - 8:36 am
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Just wanted to let you know Bree informed us Bree has gone to Heaven.   See her link below:

https://tripawd…..taxidermy/

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!

Here and Now

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15 November 2018 - 11:20 am
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eurydice said
What is thc???  

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the intoxicating substance in Marijuana and Cannabis derivatives.

This is not to be confused with CBD, which studies have shown to have more beneficial effects.

Find many articles about cannabis for pets in the Tripawds News blog .

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