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Thought on 2nd surgery & chemo
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Member Since:
22 January 2011
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27 January 2011 - 3:44 am
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Hi everyone,

It's day 5 post amp for my 11 yr old rottie, Kali. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Day after her surgery they found another tumor in her right front leg. They gave a couple options and we're feeling overwhelmed.

Option 1 is to do nothing and to just manage her pain as humanely as possible.

Option 2 is to get chemo

Option 3 is to surgically take out the tumor without having to amputate that leg

Option 4 is to do the surgery & then chemo after

Option 5 is to receive BISphosphonates (sp?) & chemo

Option 6 is the BISphosphonates by itself

(I remember reading about bisphosphonates somewhere in the forum but can't find it anymore :/

I wanted to get some other people's opinions since there's so many options and getting overwhelming ugh

27 January 2011 - 8:54 am
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Hi Kali and pack,

Welcome to Tripawds.  I see you also started a blog for Kail- and she has new shoes!

You sure have your hands full with a second tumor- the original diagnosis is tough enough.

Did the vets tell you what kind of tumor is in the right leg?  Is it also OSA?

HERE is a thread that has some links to discussions on bisphosphonates.



Karen and the pugapalooza


p.s. you will not have to wait for future posts to be moderated as long as you log in, it's just the first one that has to wait.

Edmonton, Alberta
Member Since:
11 January 2010
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27 January 2011 - 9:21 am
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Kali and pack, I can only imagine how overwhelming this must be for you; the original diagnosis and all the decision making involved with that; the surgery; and now another tumour and an entire host of other options to consider.

Part of your decision I'm sure will depend on what type of tumour it is. Karen's already asked, is it OSA?

I empathize with the distress and confusion you must be feeling right now. I don't have any advice, but I am sending many many good wishes to you as you struggle through yet another decision-making process.


Catie -

Birthday – November 4 2003

Amputation – January 13 2010

Crossed the Bridge – June 2 2011

 Catie Caitlin 

27 January 2011 - 9:23 am
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I don't have anything helpful to offer, just wanted to say I'm sorry about the second tumor. Kali is beautiful & looks terrific in her new boots. I'm sure you'll get more help from others who have more experience with your treatment options.


Member Since:
14 April 2010
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27 January 2011 - 1:49 pm
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Sorry to hear about the additional diagnosis. Which leg was amputated with the first surgery. Do you know if the cancer has spread at all. I'll be honest, I don't have any experience with your options, but I am going to say I think you need to have an idea of what the status of the cancer is in the rest of her body, and that means you need to have some real good conversation with your vet, hearing everything they would say, good or bad. Hopefully you are comfortable with him/her and trust their advice. One of the first things I think needs to be considered is quality of life for the dog. Will doing a second surgery make it difficult for her to walk for a while, can you handle that both mentally and physically. Some dogs have side effects with certain meds and depending on the dosage you would need for pain management , that could be a possibility.  These guys usually respond really well once the initial healing stage  has past, so by no means am I saying don't consider any of your choices,  I am going to assume that any of those options are going to be expensive, are finances something you need to consider. Kali is going to require some extra time and attention, do you have that depending on what option you choose. I'm just throwing things out that I would think about if I was in your position. The one thing we say around here is there are no wrong choices, we make a decision based on what we think is best for our buddies and hope the outcome is what we intended, this journey is not an easy road, sorry that you got double whammied. Overwhelmed is a word we are all familiar with around here and know that feeling, it's what makes coming here so good, hopefully it takes some of that feeling away and helps you along the way. You'll get support from everyone here no matter what you decide, but my gut tells me you and your vet need to have a good discussion about everything involved. Good luck, Spirit Gus and Dan   

My buddy Gus had a left front amputation on April 7, 2010 and lived a great life until July 26,2010

Member Since:
22 January 2011
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27 January 2011 - 5:25 pm
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts.. everyone's support is greatly appreciated. She got diagnosed with osteosarcoma & it was her left hind leg that got amputated & it's her right front leg that they found another tumor in.

I just ordered her K-9 immunity plus & hopefully it helps her as much as the other dogs I've read about. I was also looking into the BARF diet as well .. does anyone have any input or results from it?

@Dan- Yes, definitely all those questions will help us put things in perspective.. It was really nice of you to list them down ... sometimes things get so overwhelming that I stress about if I've forgotten to think about something.

We'll be talking to her specialist for the next couple of days to really think about what we're going to do.. I'm just scared that if we go through the surgery that she won't be able to get around well. She's already healing so nicely from her amputation right now & finally walking around the house with her new booties! Sigh ... so many things to think of .. but we're really glad that we found this site to help us



Member Since:
22 August 2008
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27 January 2011 - 7:19 pm
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I would do the pamidronate (bisphosphantes) and consider radiation on the leg with the tumor if you can afford it.  Metronomic chemotherapy might also be a good option here.


Member Since:
20 May 2009
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27 January 2011 - 7:47 pm
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I'm so sorry that you are facing a second cancer in addition to your initial diagnosis.  Truthfully, I would do what Pam suggested based one thing - she is a vet who is also one of us.  She has both the heart and the head of canine cancer.  Please keep all of us informed.


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.

Calgary, AB
Member Since:
30 January 2010
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27 January 2011 - 10:30 pm
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I just read your blog and am so sorry that you have the double dose of cancer news. I really liked, and respected, Pam (Tazziedog)'s advice.

On a brighter note, Kali is one stylin' pup in her new boots!! Sounds like she's coping really well with the amputation surgery, keeping my fingers and paws crossed for some better news on the horizon.

Angel Tai's Mum Laura

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.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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28 January 2011 - 8:26 am
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Dan laid out some quality questions to be considered.  I think it is paramount that there is a full screening and you know if there are internal mets you may also be dealing with.  My initial response would be try the chemo, but after reading Pam's response, I'd lean in that direction.

Pam is the vet in the group, but also has personal experience with osteo and cancers. To my knowledge she has never steered any of us in the wrong direction.  I highly respect her opinion.

Lots of good thoughts to you, I can only wish you the very best.

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.

Member Since:
22 January 2011
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28 January 2011 - 10:40 am
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Thanku everyone for all of your thoughts! It really means alot! smiley

@Pam- I'm not sure if there's a place here in Anchorage that offers radiation. If not, you wouldn't suggest the surgery still & just go for bisphosphonates & chemo?

I'm also worried on how she'll be able to walk if she gets surgery on her ulnar bone since that's where the tumor is.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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28 January 2011 - 12:18 pm
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Just a side thought on radiation.  It is no picnic.  I had a friend whos dog had radiation for a cancer (not bone) and the leg had an ugly oozing raw sore that had to be wrapped and medicated.  So even with radiation, there is going to be some pain walking on the leg.

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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28 January 2011 - 1:27 pm
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Dear Kali's Family,

It's so obvious the love you have for Kali (iluvkali – is an adorable profile name)!


I am deeply saddened to hear of your baby having a tumor.  You did everything right by amputating and to find out that you now have to start considering more options, well… just sucks from unfairness!  My heart goes out to you.  And I'm just so deeply sorry.


The only thing that I can offer is …dig deep in your heart and ask yourself if putting your special baby in her senior years through any procedures/surgeries/recovery  – is it for you or is it for her?  And if you still feel after thinking long and hard it is for her sake and she will not suffer in her senior years, then by all means do what needs to be done to help her.


Please forgive me if my words seem uncaring.  They are not meant to be.  I faced the dreadful and sudden decision of letting my precious 12 year old Comet go or doing emergency surgery just last Sunday.  Doing surgery would have been for me, not her.       


True and pure love will guide you into making the right decision for your beautiful Kali. 

We are here for you and will support you 100%.

My thoughts are with you,

Comet's mommy   


 (I hope I get a "pass" because of grief.)

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 January 2011
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28 January 2011 - 1:51 pm
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@comet's mommy- you don't need a free pass! I totally understand you! We've been asking ourselves that question.. It's constantly on our mind. We keep thinking that we just don't want her to suffer any more than she has to :/ & that we'd like her to just enjoy however much longer she has with us. That's why I get really nervous thinking about her getting another surgery when she just went through a major one just last week. Thank you for your thoughts! 🙂

@Pam- I forgot to ask, would getting chemo next week be too soon for Kali?

Member Since:
22 August 2008
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29 January 2011 - 9:45 am
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I would probably not pursue more surgery.  Pamidronate and chemo seems reasonable and I usually start chemo 2-3 weeks after amputation although some dogs here have had it sooner.


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