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Emma's back leg amputation!
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The Rainbow Bridge



Member Since:
25 April 2007
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15 December 2022 - 1:06 pm
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You are so welcome. I'm so glad she was able to get some therapy. As for timeframe and wheels use/time, that's something that your physio can answer since she knows Emma better. I do know that when it comes to acupuncture, you can expect to see results after 3-4 sessions in most dogs.

When it comes to walks, therapists tell us shorter and more frequent walks are best. 20 minutes per walk is on the high end for even the most fit dogs, and those with wheels. Try to give her lots of breaks within that 20 minutes.

Underwater therapy is nice but it's not the only tool as you know. In fact we've had physios tell us that it's far better to do a combination of therapies. Treadmills are more of a thing for the pet parent than the dog, in that the pet parent gets more enjoyment out of it than the dog gets benefits!

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6 January 2023 - 1:36 pm
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Happy new year to everybody!

I have some good news, as Emmas single back leg has got stronger and more stable. She has gained muscles and I am very happy about that. She had her last chemo on the 2nd of november and is starting to look beautiful again.

This week I went to see a new vet, who offers mistletoe therapy against cancer. I want to try this and she did get her first mistletoe extract injection. Sadly, we noticed that she has a swollen popliteal lymph node about 3-4 cm large. The vet offered to perform a biopsy, in order to find out more about it. I am not sure if I should do this, as a possible cancer there could be spread by doing this? 

This is really worrying me. smiley6 

The Rainbow Bridge



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6 January 2023 - 3:56 pm
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Hoppy New Year to you as well! What a great way to start the year with Emma getting some mojo back!

That mistletoe therapy ... I could swear my sister in law (a stage 4 breast cancer survivor for the last EIGHT years!) has participated in some kind of treatment like that. Got any links to share?

Regarding the biopsy: there is some evidence that messing with a primary tumor can spread metastasis, but it's not 100% conclusive.

Is your vet the oncologist too? Sounds like your vet offered a fine needle aspirate? If so, the risk of spread is probably pretty minimal. But it's a good question for an oncologist.

I guess the question is, if you found out that it is cancer, would you be willing to treat it with chemo, radiation, whatever the recommendation is from the oncologist? If not, and you would just manage palliatively with pain control and comfort care (no shame in that choice) there is probably no point in the biopsy. But definitely worth discussing with the onco. What did your vet say?

Virginia







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6 January 2023 - 8:30 pm
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Glad that the beaut Emma is doing well, jas regained somemmiscles and is looking more beautiful than ever!

The vet offered to perform a biopsy, in order to find out more about it. I am not sure if I should do this, as a possible cancer there could be spread by doing this? 

As Jerry said, basically if you are willing to pursue other treatments (if they are available), then it may.... may.....be worth the risk of the biopsy.  Keep in mind though, biopsies are often inconclusive anyway.  

Otherwise, if it really wouldn't  change the outcome (not necessarily  treatable,  or the treatment would  interfere  with the great gains in quality,  etc), then you can continue  to pursue living each moment to the fullest, free of Vet poking and prodding,  can add palliative  care as needed, etc.

As Jerry suggested, maybe a fine aspirate needle could be an option withoitrisk of spreading anything "bad".

When you can, do let is know more about the mistletoe  therapy, okay?

Extra 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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8 January 2023 - 1:59 pm
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Is it common for Tripawds to have swollen popliteal lymph nodes?

Can this be a kind of reaction, to the new stressing situation, for the single leg...?

I suppose we will have to ge and see the oncologist again. They wanted us to come back and do a chest x-ray every month, which I was not really keen on, because I feel like I dont want to do any further treatments at the moment. 

I found this link on the mistletoe therapy: mistletoe-therapy.org 

The vet said it is manufactured in Germany and I hope to find out more, the next time we are there.

The Rainbow Bridge



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8 January 2023 - 5:06 pm
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Well, I'd have to say that it's probably not related to the amputation itself. It definitely worth a discussion with the oncologist, just to rule out any other conditions.

Try not to panic. We tend to always jump to the worst conclusion when we have a dog with cancer, it's hard not to! But hopefully the reason for it could be something as simple as a minor infection treatable with antibiotics. Let us know what they say OK?

Yes keep us posted on the mistletoe therapy!

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12 January 2023 - 1:09 pm
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Emma received her 2nd mistletoe injection on Tuesday and the vet there said her popliteal lymph node looks like a lymphoma. Since last week it has turned harder and it is like a small round ball, which can be moved around a little.

So I phoned up the oncologist immediatetely and got an appointment for today. They did a chest x-ray first and it is clear! 

They took a biopsy at and sent it to university for evaluation.  I then got the phonecall at 16.30 with the shocking result. Emma has a lymphoma!!  I am just speechless.........

She said we can do chemo for this type of cancer, ohterwise Emma will only have 6-8 weeks. I just cant believe I am writing this!! 

Virginia







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12 January 2023 - 8:19 pm
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So hard to read this.  We are all shocked right along with you.

Try and take some deep breaths and focus on a couple of things.  First of all and most importantly  Emma is doing well, very well, especially  for a 14 yr young pup.  Add to that she has been on three for  half a year, handle Carboplatin like a Champ, handled hip surgery in the past.  Point  being, she has proven over and over she is her own dog. Emma does not believe in statistics  or in giving up!

From my limited knowledge, chemo can indeed possibly put her into remission.  I don't know the particular  kind so I don't know about side effects,  but I think it's an injection once a week.  Not sure how many are involved or the cost.  .  Prednisone is also prescribed to enhance quality even without chemo  Get your ducks in a row and run all the options by your Onco, and maybe others for a second opinion.

Everything else aside, at fourteen Emma is already headed into her sunset years.  Of course,  you do want to weigh  her natural life span progression against  how any treatment  could interfere  with her quality. 

Wish I could help you in some way provess everything and lower your stress level.  All I can say is to continue  to stay in the moment with Emma and remember  she in no way buys into statistics and has proven over and over she is a fighter.

(((((((((((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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13 January 2023 - 6:13 pm
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susi35 said
Emma received her 2nd mistletoe injection on Tuesday and the vet there said her popliteal lymph node looks like a lymphoma. Since last week it has turned harder and it is like a small round ball, which can be moved around a little.

So I phoned up the oncologist immediatetely and got an appointment for today. They did a chest x-ray first and it is clear! 

They took a biopsy at and sent it to university for evaluation.  I then got the phonecall at 16.30 with the shocking result. Emma has a lymphoma!!  I am just speechless.........

She said we can do chemo for this type of cancer, ohterwise Emma will only have 6-8 weeks. I just cant believe I am writing this!! 

  

Oh no! I'm sorry, this has got to knock the wind out of you. 

First, remember that Emma is still Emma. She is the same dog, but with a serious health condition of course. But her personality, her needs, her emotions, they are still 100% her. Nothing will ever change that.

Second, you are working with an oncologist now. Whether or not you decide to treat the cancer, at least you know what you are dealing with. There is some comfort in knowing what the enemy is, right? 

I am not an expert on that cancer, but I do believe it is one of the more manageable conditions. If treating it is an option for you both, then she can go on to have a good quality of life into her golden years. And if it's not an option to do the treatment, that is OK too. Cancer therapy is not inexpensive. And if you have to opt out, there is no shame there. We understand, completely. And so does Emma. Because all she wants is for her favorite people to be happy and relaxed about life. Of course easier said then done when you're not dealing with this diagnosis.

How do you feel about treating it? Is it an option? If not, did the vet give you any instructions for managing it palliatively? 

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14 January 2023 - 3:33 am
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Thank you for your support. Such a great help and reassurance and I dont know, what I would do without you. 

We keep saying, Emma is doing so well at the moment! I cant believe she is supposed to be so ill and going to die, in the next 6-8 weeks. 

She has improved her skills on three legs even further and managed to gain muscels in the last few weeks. Yesterday we were in the woods and did our 1,5 hour tour so happy and cheerful with the wheels. No sign of getting tired and so motivated! 

I said I am not going to do any further treatment, but this is a new situation and we are not dealing with a new tumor in her lungs.  I am not going to watch her dieing, without giving it a try. The oncologist says this type of cancer is more manageable than osteosarcoma and can be stopped by extensive chemo, in most cases! It think it is likely to come back within 8-22 months and some cases this never happens.

The expert, who did the evaluation, assumes this lymphoma is not a metastasis of the osteosarcoma. We are probably dealing with a new cancer!?

I am not sure, if I believe that! Do you actually see this happen here often, that dogs get lympomas next?

The oncologist says Emma is in good shape and condition for her age and therefore its possible... only worry is,  the new chemos takes many weeks. We are in the lucky position to afford everything possible, but you still have to consider, if it makes sense to put her through this. 

Emma is priceless to us and we would do everything for her. We have already spent huge amounts of money for hip replacements (8.000) followed by 11 years of hydro therapy and now this... 

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 January 2023 - 12:01 pm
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It's AWESOME that Emma is doing so well! A strong body makes it so much easier to bounce back from illness. She has a LOT on her side.

The thing about doing any kind of chemo is that you can always stop if you don't like the side effects. If it's in your ability to cover the costs, there's no harm in trying. Vet oncologists always keep quality of life as the #1 priority, they would never guilt you into continuing with therapy if a dog was miserable. We've never seen that happen here.

Yes, lymphoma is pretty manageable. In fact we've had one vet tell us once that cancer in general is like any kind of chronic illness that just needs management. If you can get a grasp on what it needs to behave itself, the patient can have a good quality of life. My own sister in law was diagnosed eight years ago with metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. She has managed her illness like nobody's business, and continues thriving and doing so well. She proves to me that yes, managing cancer and having a good quality of life are doable in some cases.

As for dealing with a secondary cancer, unfortunately that's not too uncommon around here.

Always remember that a prognosis is an average based on other dogs, not Emma. There is no crystal ball to say she will pass on in 6-8 weeks. You just never know in this crazy game of cancer. We've seen dogs survive incredible odds, so stay hopeful.

Virginia







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14 January 2023 - 7:59 pm
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You're gotten good input from the Onco, as well as Jerry's input and sound guidance.  And you yourself have done a good job of assessing the situation while recognizing  Emma's individuality.   The fact that Emma continues to still improve in her skills, her muscle tone, etc speaks volumes avout her fitness and zest for life.

When you can, do you mind sharing whatmtype of chemo the Oncomis suggesting, what, if any potential side effects?  Additionally,  just confirm that this particular  chemo can be stopped without any lingering ramifications IF necessary.  Also, can the injections be done with an actual "appointment " so you don't  have to leave her there all day with each injection?

Thanks for sharing the information with us, as well as the mistletoe info.

We are all cheering for Emma!  She is sich a loved girl💖

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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25 January 2023 - 2:22 pm
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Here is the link for the mistletoe therapy: http://www.helixor.com

Emma has received 4 injections so far and I can report it definitely makes her feel better and noticed a boost of extra energy for the following days. The vet has shown me how to inject in her neck and I can actally do it myself at home.

What else is going on.... The oncologist has planned a total of 16 chemos (8 Vincristin, 4 Doxorubicin, 4 Cyclophosphamid) within 25 weeks. In addition 4 weeks of Prednisolon!

That just sounds so so scary!!! How is she going to take that many chemos? The oncologist must know what she is doing.

Emma has received her 1st Vincristin last monday and needed cerenia for the following three days. They allow me being there with her all the time, as Emma cant handle my absence. I always give her a good massage, when the chemo is going into her body. The excellent news is that the lymphoma has already decreased in size significantly, which is just awsome.  

This monday she got Cyclophosphamid and I am delighted she is fine! No side effects! 

Next monday Vincristin again....

Virginia







Member Since:
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25 January 2023 - 2:49 pm
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Absolutely  thrilled to read this update on our RockStar Emma👏

Thanks for sharing the protocol of everything  and the mistletoe link.  Fascinating. 

Being able to be with Emma during all the injections,  etc is such a bonus.   With soooo many treatments requiring  her to be at the Vet,  I know it beings her great comfort having  you by her side.....and comforting  for you too!

Keep on keeping on Emma!  We're  cheering for you👏

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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25 April 2007
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26 January 2023 - 11:18 am
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Drats that link to the mistletoe therapy is bad. 

I'm so glad she is tolerating the therapy! And VERY cool that the vet let you stay with her during treatments, a lot won't do that which is a total bummer.

I didn't realize that treating lymphoma involves such a complicated "recipe" of chemo medications. Thanks for educating us.

It sounds like a ton of chemo, but remember that animals get a very low dose compared to humans. The vets' goal is to put quality of life as the first priority, so they keep the dosages pretty low in order to manage the cancer and make it behave, without overtaxing the patient's body.

Hope things keep going well. Give Emma extra smooches from us!

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