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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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Regrets about Chemotherapy
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csmpez
16
23 January 2010 - 1:54 pm
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The oncologist wants to use IV Carboplatin every three weeks for five sessions at roughly $1000 a session. Did I say Annapolis is expensive?!?! I asked about the others but she feels that Carboplatin gives the best outcome w/less side effects.

Scott, Charlotte & PEZ

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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17
23 January 2010 - 2:25 pm
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Hi Family of Pez

Yes, it is good and I am relieved that your Onco wants to use Carbo. Should be the safest unless you are a real oddball like me (I decided to break into a very large bottle of Advil as a youth - well let's say that was not particularly beneficial for my kidneys . . .).

It is odd that my oncologist was SO expensive for surgery and things like x-rays, yet the Carboplatin was far cheaper than the alternatives (Cisplatin and Adriamycin). It used to be expensive, but apparently it is now pretty cheap (I think because it is made synthetically but Pam needs to correct me on that).

The Cisplatin was going to be $1319-1385 (Canadian dollar, currently about 0.95 U.S.) per treatment, due to the dialysis they use to prevent kidney problems (we did not use that form of chemo). Doxyrubin (Adriamycin) was $590 per treatment. They did not give me an estimate for Carbo and I can't find a bill to see the cost. But other people have mentioned a cost similar to yours. If the cost is a big issue, you can try to find a vet to administer the chemo.

And when do they want Pez to begin chemo? About two weeks after surgery? Or sooner?

csmpez
18
23 January 2010 - 9:14 pm
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I'm not sure when they want to do the chemo, most likely 2 weeks after surgery. We're thinking the surgery will be next week, but we're not sure yet. One surgeon is on vacation until Feb 1st, the other surgeon is going on vacation on Tuesday and all while PEZ is walking around with a fractured leg. smiley6

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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19
23 January 2010 - 9:48 pm
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Well if you have decided to proceed, I'd let the good Drs. know that you want it done as soon as possible. They cannot let a dog hop around with a fractured leg in good conscience. And if chemo does not begin for another two week, you don't need to sweat that decision now.

Member Since:
20 May 2009
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20
24 January 2010 - 8:50 am
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I was more than a little stunned by your chemo estimate.  We paid about $1200 total for four carbo treatments.  Truthfully, we could not have afforded what you were quoted so our decision would have been made for us.  Have you checked around to see if someplace else can do it cheaper?

Debra & Angel Emily

Debra & Emily, a five year old doberman mix, who was diagnosed with an osteosaecoma. She had a right rear leg amputation on May 19, 2009. On November 10, 2009 she earned her wings and regained her fourth leg.

Wesley Chapel, FL
Member Since:
13 September 2009
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21
24 January 2010 - 9:13 am
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Honestly, if we wouldn't have been so limited by finances, we would have probably tried some sort of chemo for Jake... Maybe he'd still be here with us today... but I guess we'll never know now...

Angel Jake's Mom

Jake, 10yr old golden retriever (fractured his front right leg on 9/1, bone biopsy revealed osteosarcoma on 9/10, amputation on 9/17) and his family Marguerite, Jacques and Wolfie, 5yr old german shepherd and the newest addition to the family, Nala, a 7mth old Bengal mix kittie. Jake lost his battle on 11/9/2009, almost 8 weeks after his surgery. We will never forget our sweet golden angel… http://jakesjou.....ipawds.com ….. CANCER SUCKS!

csmpez
22
24 January 2010 - 10:47 am
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Yeah, we were a bit stunned too about the chemo estimate. But figure amputation will be between $2500-$3500 and each chemo treatment around $1000 for Carboplatin (the oncologist said it's the most expensive, but the best according to her). Problem is this place seems to be the only one that everybody is referring to for chemo treatments. And as far as their good conscience, I haven't seen that side yet with regards to this place. However, there's not many surgeons out here that are available or willing to do the amputation.

Scott, Charlotte & PEZ

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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23
24 January 2010 - 10:52 am
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We asked Trouble's primary care vet to do the surgery and administer the chemo.  We probably came out a little cheaper that way.  You have to have undying faith in that individual, but it can work.  Dr F consulted with an oncology teaching hospital about treatment plan and chemo recommendaiton/dosage.  It worked for us and we had someone we knew cared for the patient.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Las Vegas, Nevada
Member Since:
14 August 2009
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24
24 January 2010 - 11:34 am
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Debra said:  "I've also daydreamed about going back in time and running over her leg so it would be amputated before she got cancer so you can't really go by me."

 

Hahahahahahaa  – That was funny!  (unless you were serious! Surprised)

Her Retired AvatarComet - 1999 to 2011

She departed us unexpectedly  January 23, 2011 at the age of 12 1/2.

She was born with a deformed front leg and a tripawd all of her life.


Member Since:
22 August 2008
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25
25 January 2010 - 8:42 am
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I would ask your primary vet if they would feel comfortable giving the carboplatin.  The drug is much cheaper now that it is generic.  My Tazzie weighed about 185# and drug cost for her was $120.00.  Of course the oncologist needs to charge for their time and services but $1000 does seem pricey!  Some internal medicine specialists will also give chemo injections so it might pay to look around a little. 

Pam

Kirkland, WA
Member Since:
2 June 2009
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26
25 January 2010 - 11:12 am
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The fact that the amputation would be twice as much at the specialist, and the fact that the CBC tests every week after chemo were twice as much at the specialist, I am wondering if the actual chemo was twice as much at the specialist....hmmm...I've never thought about that before!  Anyhoo, it does seem that specialists tend to charge more because they are highly trained and have tons of experience, but $1000 seems pretty pricey.  Do you qualify for Care Credit?  Above cost though, I think finding a doctor you are comfortable with is a higher priority.  At Michigan Veterinary Specialists, where we took Jack, they treated him like he was part of their office staff - greeted him when he came in the door, talked about him when he wasn't there (I can't tell you how many times we heard "oh!  we were just talking about him!" when we could come in for appointments,) and the vet tech that cared for Jack was his one true love.  When we moved, we had techs that weren't even the primary oncology techs crying.  It made the whole ordeal so much easier to handle.  When we got to WA, we had 1 oncology visit out here.  I hated the doctor.  She was cold, overworked, and acted like if we didn't do things her way, there was no hope (that was 4 months ago, tyvm!).  It pretty much sealed the deal that we weren't going to do any more treatments.  A doctor that will listen to what you have to say, is willing to try new things, and is honest but gives you hope...nothing can beat that.  If you find a vet you like better than the one that is being recommended to you, I would suggest asking if they feel comfortable administering chemo (if they have experience with one chemo over another, perhaps you could look into a different protocol so you could use them).  I know you probably have a lot to think about, but I think the most important thing is to feel comfortable with any decision that you make, whether it be to do chemo or not, the type of chemo, and the treatment facility. 

<3 Laura and Jackers

Calgary, AB
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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27
31 January 2010 - 10:33 pm
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If this helps at all...I have just finished my 2nd dose of chemo (doxyrubicin) with 3 more to go. My oncologist reviewed all of the pros and cons with my pawrent and even though cost was not a factor she recommended Doxyrubicin instead of Carboplatin as the mean survival rate over one year is about the same but over two years is actually greater. The cost in Canada is about $800 a session including all the associated exams and blood tests. Luckily I have had limited side effects, 1 bout of nausea and diarrhea which lasted for less than 1 day, after the first dose, and so far nothing at all after the 2nd. My pawrent put me on K9 Immunity and Transfer Factor right away and switched me to a grain-free diet (treats and all). I started my chemo treatments two weeks after my surgery, which seems to fit the protocol. We'll have to wait and see if the chemo helps to keep the nasty cancer cells at bay but in the meantime I am loving life!! TAI

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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28
1 February 2010 - 9:07 am
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Tai

Is your onco alternating Doxyrubin and Cisplatin or doing just Doxy? Are you going to Western or the CARE place (can't quite remember the names).

Calgary, AB
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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29
3 February 2010 - 6:16 pm
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Sorry its taken a while to reply but I was away. Tai is on straight Doxy. She is being treated by Dr Victoria Larson at the CARE centre and I am very happy there. Dr Larson is super and always makes the time to explain everything very well. I am doing Tai's bloodwork tomorrow so I'm going to ask about the home chemo as a follow up. Dr Larson did mention that there is a new chemo drug (sorry I can't remember the name) that is being tried for cancer that has metastisized. It is FREE, although I'm sure you still have to pay vet costs to administer it. Apparently initial studies have shown that it is even better tolerated in dogs than most of the other chemo drugs but because it is so new there is no longevity data available yet. We have talked about trying this if Tai's cancer results in mets at a later date. Meanwhile Tai has suffered no ill effects from her second dose at all.

Tai – 9 yr old lab. Diagnosed Osteosarcoma Dec 18/09. Front right leg amputated Dec 21/09. Started chemo Jan 7/10. Lung mets discovered Sept 16/10. Valiant to the end on Oct 26/10 when cancer reappeared in a leg and we made the decision to set her free. Forever in my heart where not even cancer can take her from me.

Winnipeg
Member Since:
13 July 2009
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30
3 February 2010 - 7:07 pm
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Hi Tai

That all sounds good. We went to the other place. Surgeon was great. Not so happy with onco and chemo. Sarah found Dr. Larsen to be very helpful (informative and compassionate) with her Jake who was the one suffering a primary spinal tumour.

I have not heard about the chemo drug you mention, unless it is a form of metronomics or anti-angiogenesis treatment (e.g., Cytoxan perhaps). Jackers used Doxy the way that you are using it, but most dogs on this website use between 4 and 6 treatments of Carboplatin as their regular treatment. I wish I was in Calgary to meet Tai. Some of Tazzie's best friends are in Calgary and I'm sure they would love to meet Tai. Maybe send me a PM to let me know what part of town you live in.

Tazzie did have some nausea and major hair loss from Doxy. Great if Tai is not having those woes.

Tazzie's Susan

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