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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25 October 2008
Hi Rocky. Thank you for registering and joining the Tripawds community. We are so sorry to hear that you have been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, but as you can see, you have lots of support here.
On Wednesday night, we are having an "Ask the Vet" chat session in our Forums, where you can ask our vet about chemo.
We can’t tell you whether or not to have it, but we can share our stories to help you make a decision. In my case, I didn’t have chemo right away after my amp in 11/06. There were lots of reasons why, but mostly because I had such a poor prognosis, and the closest vet doing chemo was 6 hours away. My pawrents didn’t want what they thought were my last few months, to be spent driving back and forth, so they opted to treat me with supplements, and love, lots of it.
Surprisingly, I shocked the doctors by going well beyond my original 4 month prognosis. In March, 2008, we learned that I had lung mets. At that point, my pawrents looked into the Metronomic Protocol for me, which they really liked, because I could be on it while we were on the road traveling. It was a good decision, and it worked for me until October of this year, when I crossed the Rainbow Bridge .
So, everyone is different. It’s a hard decision to make, we know. If you can do the chemo, and have the financial resources to do it, there is a stronger pawsibility that it will help prolong your life than if you went without it. Chemo will usually do that, and dogs always have a better chance if the chemo is done right away.
But if doing chemo isn’t going to work for your situation, don’t be hard on yourself, becuase there is always a chance that you can still have a great quality of life without it, through supplements, diet., etc. Either way, with our without, nothing is guaranteed, but as long as your pawrents can give you a fighting chance as best they can, that’s all that matters.
Should I get the chemo ?
Good question. One everyone asks, with no easy answer. Be sure to search the various other discussions about chemotherapy options in these forums, especially this one titled to Chemo or not to Chemo.
First, get high quality chest x-rays and discuss the chemo options with an oncologist or specialist. If the lungs are clear, chemo maybe a good decision, if it is affordable for you. OS is aggressive and will return, but chemo will buy you more time. And if Rocky can’t handle it, you can always stop after the first treatment.
Best luck in your decision, thanks for asking!
22 August 2008
I am sorry that Rocky has osteosarcoma! As you know, this is a very aggressive cancer, and chemo rarely cures it but can slow down the rate of metastasis to the lungs or to other bones. Jerry is right, the choice may be good for one dog but not for another. There is no point to giving traditional chemo drugs like carboplatin if the cancer is already elsewhere, but the metronomic protocol may keep the mets smaller.
Do you have a copy of the biopsy report? Dogs with very malignant, undifferentiated cells tend to have earlier metastasis even if chemo if given. Young dogs and those with an elevated Alkphos (this is a bloodtest measuring a bone enzyme) also tend to fare poorly. This does not mean you shouldn’t try chemo with these dogs, but it might help you make your decision. Carboplatin is a generic drug now, but still costs about $500-$1000 per treatment for most big dogs.
Your vet/oncologist should be able to help you make your choice.
Pam and Tazzie
25 April 2008
I agree this question is better left to the pro’s. Pam who is a vet has given you ways to determine what is recommended for you situation. There is more info on this site and most teaching hospital have trials if your a candidate. What does your oncologist recommend? Based on your decision there is some prognosis info on the vet site
Kim & Angel Buster
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
2 October 2008
Hmm… first reply seems to have dissappeared…
For what it is worth, I was really anxious about giving my Sophie chemo, but she has gone through her first round of carboplatin with flying colors (knock on wood!). She ate a little extra grass for a few days, but had energy, was happy… I know that’s not always the case, but it seems dogs generally tolerate it MUCH better than people (and are put on lower doses). Also, ask your vet, but I just learned that there is now a much cheaper way to get Carboplatin, the agent that is often considered the least harmful and very effective, but has traditionally been prohibitively expensive for many people.
Keep gathering info, talk with your vet, and whatever decision you come to for Rocky will be a good one. We wish you and Rocky all the best, and hope you keep us posted!
Christine & Sophie