Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Our oncologist is recommending we go ahead with another carboplatin. We are 7 months post-op, and last chemo was about a month ago.
Sounds like lots there are lots of options, but surgery is definitely not one of them - at least from my perspective. Already decided I wouldn't put Tipper through that again.
The bone irregularity is definitely causing pain. So, hopefully I'm not crazy going ahead with this treatment right now. We're in a wait and see. If one or two carboplatin knock things back again, we can do metronomics .
I'm not expecting miracles - just don't want my baby to be in pain - and he definitely is. Thought it was just arthritis. 🙁
Money is tight, but I won't allow it to be an obstacle to Tipper's quality of life. The bone issue is around the center of his spine and he's in quite a lot of pain. The carbo could definitely be palliative for him. Radiation is possible too.
When I asked the oncologist if I should just let Tipper ride the disease out, she was emphatic that she has helped many patients that were far worse off.
At the start of this journey, I had not planned on pulling out all of the stops on this. I had planned to go through the normal standard of care then let fate take its course. No regrets right now.
I definitely don't want to sacrifice quality for quantity. I *think* I'm in the right mindspace right now. Doing nothing = definitely more bone pain, probably growing exponentially.
On the bright side - the pain is NOT arthritis which means it CAN subside.
One thing remains certain - I will DEFINITELY need a summer job!
Thanks. I'm just hoping it's the right thing to do to continue treatment. Or restart it, or whatever. I know that the "right" answer is different for everyone and that there are no wrong answers. This morning was the first time he's ever come to me and told me he really was ill. I can't explain but that he woke me up to tell me. I know he's been in pain for a while, but I knew for sure this morning that it was more than arthritis. I suppose I'll have to trust him to tell me whether this treatment helped or not.
The doctor mentioned Palladia, but that sounds expensive and not very helpful. I'll ask about biophosphonates.
It's just scary how everything can change on a dime - so fast. A month ago his report read probable remission.
Drats I'm sooo sorry, that's a shocker. But wow Tipper does have some great care by you and his oncologist. Who is your vet? Just curious.
You're on the right track by following your gut instinct. We'll be here for you with any concerns or worries, or better yet to celebrate the awesomeness that is Tipper! He has lots of rockin' & rollin' on 3 left to do, so all of us are cheering your pack on!
22 February 2013
Sorry to hear Tipper is having new challenges. You obviously have Tipper's QUALITY at the forefront of everything you do.
It's important to remind ourselves of what we decided at the beginning of this journey as far as where we would "draw the line in the sand" qirh further treatments. You seem to have a good handle on that.
Is the vet saying met in the lung and is the "bone issue" a met? And the.vet.us saying additional chemo would help in this instance? How many treatments has Tipper already had? I'm just asking out of curiosity and as an option for others should something similar arise.
What course of pain meds is Tipper on now to keep him comfortable until his treatment kicks in?
Would love to see pictures of Tipper and pack! The avatar picture is precious.
All.paws crossed for good extended quality time for you and Tipper. One day at a time...and all full of.lots and losts of loving.and spoiling!! Just like always!
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!
We go to ACIC in Canton, MI. Dr. Obradovich is smart and empathetic and wonderful. She explains every option, answers my questions - sometimes the same question multiple times! She does talk a little faster than my ADHD brain can support at times, so after I'm a few hours out from the experience, I start second-guessing.
@Benny 55 - Thanks for reminding me to remind myself of my objectives at the start. Much like amputation was a no-brainer, the additional chemo treatment felt like a no-brainer on Thursday at our appointment, even though it was the LAST outcome I expected. I went in expecting there to be no change in the x-rays and to head out with a referral to Dr. Petty's pain clinic! Seven months ago, I wouldn't have seen myself making the decision I made this week, but seven months ago, I had a whole lot less knowledge. I think my original thinking is still in sight.
I can explain what I *think* Dr. O was saying, but I will probably still need to get an interpretation from our vet when we visit there for bloodwork next weekend. He has been amazing on this journey as well, talking me down on many occasions!
X-Ray three weeks ago showed definitely arthritis and possibly bone density for some reason- but it's around the area where there is likely scar tissue from the amputation, so Dr. O wasn't able to say definitively what it was. That would take a CT scan to be certain. On that x-ray, she labeled an area "suspicious lung lesion" - which at the time she wasn't sure about. I didn't even think she was sure it was a lesion.
This week's X-Ray showed that both sites had grown larger. With the comparison and with previous scans to reference, Dr. O concluded that both areas were malignant. I guess. Those weren't her specific words. I said "Cancer?" and she affirmed. (Did you know there are a LOT of words that mean "It's cancer"?
So, I think, yes, "bone issue" is a met. As is lung lesion. Most likely, but would need a CT scan to be sure.
Current Pain Meds: 50 mg Rimadyl 2x per day; 300 mg Gabapentin, 1x per day; 100 mg Tramadol, 2-3 x per day (Depending on whether I can get home early enough to get three rounds in)
Chemotherapy treatments - 6 Carboplatin post-amp. Last one March 8. Within a few weeks, pain across the top of his back started.
X-Rays April 18th showed possible arthritis/dense bone area and a "suspicious lung lesion"
x-Rays May 5th showed both of the above areas had grown. So, May 5th I opted for another Carboplatin treatment.
So here's the theory - as I understand it
The carboplatin did a superior job keeping osteosarcoma in check - xrays at 3 months and 5 months showed zero signs;
Since it apparently worked, another round or two will hopefully reduce the new bone tumor and help out in the lung.
If this step works, I'll start Tipper on metronomics . I'm not even sure why I decided against them in the first place. (Hindsight)
If this step doesn't help, maybe metronomics - but that doesn't seem very logical to me if the carboplatin doesn't shrink the tumor. Most likely, if neither area shrinks, just pain meds from here on out is what I'll do.
Radiation doesn't sound like it has very long-lasting effects for bone tumors.
Dr. O mentioned Palladia a couple of times, but it doesn't sound like you get a lot of bang for your buck for it, and I don't really understand anything about it yet.
I've read up on biophosphonates and will be asking about that as well. It does sound like biphosphonates are part of the metronomic protocol, though.
If it weren't for the bone met, surgery to remove the lung lesion would be a viable option, but there's no way I'd put Tipper through another big surgery. If it weren't for the previously amputated limb and the lung met, surgery on the bone met might be viable, but again, I wouldn't do it. With both, we're limited. But, still hopeful for some rockin' good times ahead.
6 January 2016
They just found a bone tumor and lung lesion on my dog too - so sad. What treatments have your been doing lately?
This was my post today:My almost 9 year old golden retriever Jake had amputation surgery on front right leg on January 12 for osteosarcoma . He has been doing great and went thru 5 rounds of chemo without a problem. In the last couple weeks he started walking slower and seemed uncomfortable but still happy! He went in for his last chemo and unfortunately the chest xray before his treatment revealed cancer in his lung and on his spine (new area). He did not get chemo and we are trying to decide on treatment options. He was already on Rimadly and Gabapentin. They just added Codeine for the pain from the spine/back legs and is tolerating it well. The oncologist recommended different treatment options. Our goal is to keep him as comfortable as possible to enjoy the rest of his life.
1-Pallada to stabilize tumor growth - May consider - Anyone have dogs that did this treatment after chemo?
2-Radiation - Probably wouldn't do this since cancer could be in other areas and would be considerable time and $ (especially after already doing surgery/chemo)
3-Zoledronate - Newer iv drug ( a bisphospate) for pain . Highly considering. Anyone have dogs that did this treatment?
4-Pain meds - Will continues on meds for now . Hope the sedation effect of increased doses will wear off and provide pain relief for Jake to enjoy good quality of life.