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Libby's Results Are In and the Stitches Are Out!
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Fort Wayne, IN
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14 February 2013 - 2:17 pm
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Her biopsy result was no surprise...it's the monster...osteo.  We felt a little encouraged after the doc went over the pathology report though.  It was 1 paragraph long, filled with lots of medical jargon and she went sentence by sentence, explaining the meaning.  We will be working with her throughout Libby's ordeal.

The item that stuck out to me the most was something called "mitotic figures".  Libby's numbers were 1 to 3. The doc said she likes to see low numbers and Libby's is low.  She said that tells her the cancer isn't very aggressive.  We felt a glimmer of hope there.  She reinforced what we have come to believe...we made the right decision to amputate the leg.

She is very positive about everything we've been doing to help Libby by using supplements and changing her diet.  She gave us a copy of a homeopathic study, which I haven't read yet, as well as pages of info on osteo.  Having been here a couple of weeks, I felt I already had a good start thanks to the wonderful Tripawd community. 

I feel pretty strongly about doing the metronomic therapy and not doing IV chemo. She is going to fax info to my husband today regarding doxorubicin.  From what I gathered, she feels there is more success with that than cytoxan.  However, doxy is IV only (I think I have that right) and we feel pretty strongly about not doing that.  Our goal is start oral chemo on Monday.  She wanted to wait til then in case it upsets Libby, she will have several office days to help her and not have to deal with a weekend in there if we started today.

She's lost 5 lbs since surgery and I plan to keep it off.  She wasn't overweight when we started so I feel this is good.

Libby continues to be a rock star!  She played for the first time yesterday!  I bought her a new squeaky ball and we played catch in the back yard.  She had to lay down for part of it, but she did pawesome!  Someone here told me she would get her sparkle back and we are starting to see that a little more each day.

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

New York, NY
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14 February 2013 - 2:30 pm
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STUPID STUPID OSTEO!

It sucks to get the diagnosis even though you knew right?  The whole time I was waiting for the phone call, I kept thinking "well MAYBE it wont be........."

 

Sounds like you are working with a GREAT doctor.  That makes all the difference in the world!

 

As for as the doxorubicin, Jill's first treatment with doxy was yesterday as you saw from my post so I can't tell you much about our experience with it yet, except for the vein problem, but I will say her oncologist and the nurse who adminsters it and watches over Jill all day swear by it.  They told me yesterday that it is a dangerous drug to administer, so they wouldnt use it if they didnt thinking it worked so well.

 

Again, the chemo thing is such a personal decision, so I'm not at ALL telling you what to do, you have to make that decision as a family, I just wanted to let you about our experience :)

 

You are such a good doggy mama Amy :) and I'm so glad Libby is doing PAWSOME on three legs, she certainly is a ROCKSTAR

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

New Haven, CT
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14 February 2013 - 3:02 pm
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Ugh.  Osteo.  Been there.  Are there.  Doing that.  BAH!  Join the club.

I think, too, that dox is only IV chemo and that cytoxan or Palladia (spelling?) are the 2 major oral chemos.  I don't know much about Palladia, but others here have used it.  You may want to ask your vet/onco WHY s/he is prescribing the drug(s) s/he is.  It's a helpful question, we found.  Some on Palladia experienced unpleasant side effects.  I think it's the only FDA approved drug for canine osteo.  That sounds really good and sexy, but it's newer so the side effects are not as known.  Maybe?  Cytoxan has been around longer and I think for that reason, and its successes, is the reason it's Jackson's onco's choice.  I've continued to research where/how to get that drug and sought price quotes.  They range big time!  Still one of the best prices AND from a reputable, certified, solid pharmacy is DiamondBack Drugs.  When you find out what dosage she may be on, send them an email and get a quote.  I am NOT trying to push you into metronomics .  Rather, my advice here is to help you get potential costs.  Knowing Jackson's potential costs helps us to make a decision.  Did your vet happen to say how she'd be monitored?  Meaning, how much bloodwork and how often they'd be doing it?  What other drugs would they use - which NSAID?  An antibiotic, too?

Enjoy the stitch-freedom, Libby!  You are gonna LOVE your weekend of love and play and Sparkle!  Fetch on, dear!

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Fort Wayne, IN
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14 February 2013 - 3:28 pm
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Erica, the same thing has repeated in my mind.."maybe, just maybe..." *sigh* pffffffft

I will be anxious to hear how Jill does over the next few days.  I know you're not trying to sway me.  I feel very "unjudged" here and that's terrific :)  I like to study a subject from all angles and arm myself with as much info as possible so thanks for your input.

Katy, she gave me a schedule for oral chemo.  I need clarification though.  For some reason, I thought the oral chemo was given every other day at home.  She said something about bringing her in and they would give it to her.  She said the first week every other day and then every 3 weeks?   She did give me the option of doing it at home if I preferred.  She also mentioned checking the blood work but now I can't recall.  I know we will talk again to set everything up so I'm just waiting for that fax from her with more info.

As far as an NSAID she mentioned Metacam but she was fine with Rimadyl.  She said Metacam had some anti cancer agents in it?  She also said I could continue on the Rimadyl if I prefer. The only reason I would is because Libby does well on the Rimadyl.  Doxycyline for antibiotic.

As far as IV vs. oral...what resonates in my mind is what I've heard here over and over...it's quality not quantity.  If Libby loved going to the vet I wouldn't hesitate to leave her there all day. But she visibly shakes and pants no matter how much they love her up and and they DO love her there.  We just want to make every day count for her.  We will have some concrete plans by days end tomorrow...hopefully :)

Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 February 2013 - 5:12 pm
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Amy I'm so glad to hear that her sparkle is coming back! There's no better feeling after going through such an ordeal.

Yes, oral chemo is a pill, that you can give her at home. Most often it's done every other day, sometimes every day. The chemo you would bring her into the vet's for isn't oral, it's IV, and that's the doxorubiciin. As far as I know it's only done with IV, so maybe I'm confused?

As far as I understand, both Metacam and Rimadyl have anti-cancer properties in them. Again, I could be wrong  but I believe that I've read this about NSAIDs when used during metronomics .

You are doing a great job looking at all of your options and weighing the pros and cons. No dog could ask for a better pawrent. Keep us posted on how tomorrow goes.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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San Diego, CA
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14 February 2013 - 6:01 pm
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That does sound encouraging about the low #s/not aggressive thing! And great to hear she is getting her sparkle back.

We did all our MP at home. We did it every day. Of course - things change though. That was a year ago, and back then they were recommending 4 to 6 IV chemo treatments, but now I see 4 is the new go-to number. So, what we did may not necessarily be relevant anymore, even though it was only a year ago.

Sounds like you are on top of things with her and she's getting great care!

Jackie, Angel Abby's mom

Abby: Aug 1, 2009 – Jan 10, 2012. Our beautiful rescue pup lived LARGE with osteosarcoma for 15 months – half her way-too-short life. I think our "halflistic" approach (mixing traditional meds + supplements) helped her thrive. (PM me for details. I'm happy to help.) She had lung mets for over a year. They took her from us in the end, but they cannot take her spirit! She will live forever in our hearts. She loved the beach and giving kisses and going to In-N-Out for a Flying Dutchman. Tripawds blog, and a more detailed blog here. Please also check out my novel, What the Dog Ate. Now also in paperback! Purchase it at Amazon via Tripawds and help support Tripawds!

New Haven, CT
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14 February 2013 - 7:00 pm
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Amy, there is confusion, so please post back with what that fax holds.  It sounds like, from your info, she's proposing both metronimics and IV chemo.  Metronomics can be done every day, but I guess some girl dogs get bladder issues from it, so some onocs like to give it every other day.  You can always try every day and back off or vise versa.  Yes, both of those NSAIDS have anti-cancer properties.  They are anti-inflammatories - cancer lives off the stuff and makes its own, so having any NSAID on board is good.  Since like Libby, Jackson has tolerated rimadyl (=carprofen) really well, he's on carprofen.  I'd be more inclined to keep her on a drug that works for her.  Also, Jackson's chemo does NOT take all day.  It's an hour appt.  I wait in the lobby for like 20min.  If dox is recommended, Libby will be there all day, but Jackson gets carboplatin.  Again, ask why dox is/was recommended and not other drugs, such as carboplatin (for IV chemo) or cytoxan or Palliadia (for oral chemo).

Looking forward to hearing more!  In the meantime: play on, Libby!  You earned it!  Piss off your parents with that new squeeky bal!!!!

ACL tear in right hind leg 12/5/12 and scheduled ACL repair surgery 12/21/12. Pre-op xrays revealed osteosarcoma. Amputation 12/28/12.  Chemo (carboplatin) started Jan 10, 2013 and ended on April 5, for a total of 5 doses. He handled carbo like a champ!  No side effects.  We started metronomic therapy at his third chemo and have been also doing some holistic treatments.  He's a lively, playful 10 year old huskie-boarder collie and a very proud member of the Winter Warriors!  Our love. Our funny little guy!

Sydney, Australia
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14 February 2013 - 7:44 pm
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I really hope the mitotic figure is a good sign for you.  We were told that Magnum's cancer was aggressive. The mitotic figure was 39.

 

Sounds like you have done your research.  Wishing Libby a speedy recovery.  Good luck with the treatments.

Karen and Spirit Magnum

Magnum: 30th May 2002 to 5th May 2012. Lost her back left leg to osteosarcoma on 5th Sep 2011. Lung mets found on 20th Mar 2012 but it was bone mets in the hip that ended her brave battle. Magnum's motto - "Dream as if you'll live for ever, live as if you'll die today" (James Dean). Loyal, loving, courageous and spirited to the end. My beloved heart dog, see her memoirs from Rainbow Bridge ...... http://princess.....pawds.com/

Fort Wayne, IN
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14 February 2013 - 7:51 pm
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Thanks, ladies.  I appreciate all the kind words and advice.

Katy, they do not use carbo.  I was interested in that because of what I've read here about the shortened length of vet visit. They aren't onco docs but she said we could take her to Purdue or MI State if we so chose for carbo.  She said they use cisplatin and doxy all the time.  I didn't get the fax...rats!  If hubby doesn't have it by late morning tomorrow I'm going to call because I forgot to ask for treatment cost estimates too.  

Yep, I'm pretty settled on keeping her on the carprofen since she tolerates it well.  I'm fuzzy on the oral protocol, we talked about so many things but I know I will be able to talk with her again tomorrow.

Her squeaky ball is music to my ears! :)

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

Fort Wayne, IN
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14 February 2013 - 8:01 pm
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Thank you for sharing that information, Karen. Your Magnum is beautiful.  I'm sorry for your loss.

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14



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14 February 2013 - 8:02 pm
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I am sorry about the diagnosis of Osteo.  It sucks.  But it sounds like you have a plan in place :)   Good luck Libby & keep proving cancer wrong.

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
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07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

05/04/2006 -  Bosch, Sassy's pal, earned his wings 03/29/19  fought cancer for 4 months.

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

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14 February 2013 - 8:13 pm
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I'm sorry about the osteo diagnosis. I hope the numbers are a good sign and am glad that libby is having some fun play.

New York, NY
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14 February 2013 - 8:36 pm
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amya said
 

I will be anxious to hear how Jill does over the next few days.

 

First 24 hour update for ya: Acting totally normal, jumped up on the couch for treats the second I got home.  She was playing for a while, now shes sleeping, but not conked out like last night.

I'll let you know how she is in the coming days :)

 

I understand what you are saying about not wanting to leave her there when she hates the vet so much.  I wouldn't want to either.  As for leaving her all day, I only leave her there all day because I have to go to work, otherwise it wouldn't take as long.  They do have to stay longer when its doxy and not carboplatin, but not all day, only about an hour, hour and half (again though, this is the vets call, so check with them if you are even considering it)

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

The Rainbow Bridge



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14 February 2013 - 9:46 pm
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amya said

She said they use cisplatin and doxy all the time. 

Lots of vets do. Here's one forum post that can help you learn more about it:

Cisplatin and Doxorubicin Side Effects in Dogs

 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Fort Wayne, IN
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15 February 2013 - 6:37 am
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Thanks, Erica.  I see your situation.  I'm glad Jill seemed herself in just a day.  Nothing helps more than hearing first hand accounts from other people even though I know each case can be unique.

Thanks, Jerry.  I read through the link.  That helped get some things straight in my head.

Liberty (Libby) was diagnosed with OSA on 1-22-13.  Right front amputation on 1-31-13. No IV Chemo. Metronomic Therapy started 2-19-13 along with supplements and some home cooking. Lungs clear until 1-06-14.  She's still her happy, hoppy, bossy self.  Living the dog life to the fullest and a proud Winter Warrior. :) RIP my Libby 4-21-03 to 3-19-14

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