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To chemo or not to chemo...
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Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
7 January 2019
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8 January 2019 - 12:19 am
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My sweet athletic boy was diagnosed with a sarcoma, still waiting on the results since his amputation December 19, 2018. Not knowing what type of cancer, I am curious to know if there are in fact success stories of longer than a year without chemo. Chemo is poison. And poison kills both bad and good cells. I let them take his leg, and a part of me cannot bare the thought of now poisoning him, especially having known humans with cancer and who after removing the cancer with no chemo (breast and lymph nodes) they continue to live cancer free.. so, how far off can it be for my sweet boy? He will be 9 this month and is a malamute lab mix weighing 70lbs, front right amputation. Strong, lean and now, terribly depressed. 

Anyone have positives without chemo?



The Rainbow Bridge

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8 January 2019 - 10:55 am
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Hi Banditosmomma, welcome. I’m so sorry about the diagnosis. Many of us have been there and felt the emotions you are experiencing. It’s not an easy path but you have come to the best place for support from people who get it.

When it comes to chemotherapy, it’s a highly personal choice. Many people choose that path for their Tripawd, many do not. It’s all about what is right for you, your Tripawd and of course your beliefs about it. If you feel as strongly as it seems that chemo is not the way to go, then it may not be the best choice for Bandito, because all he wants is for you to be happy. But before you decide, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

Chemotherapy treatment for animals is not at all like it is for humans. For people, chemotherapy blasts the heck out of the cancer cells in order to get rid of the disease. When it comes to dogs and cats, chemo is about managing the disease to ensure quality of life, because their life span is so much shorter than ours. The chemotherapy treatments rarely make them sick or lose their fur. Usually the biggest side effect is nausea, maybe diarrhea for a few days. Rarely do they need hospitalization because of side effects. 

I encourage you to at least meet with a veterinary oncologist to discuss options for Bandito. Once you have the information you can feel so much better about whatever path you take for him.

As for longevity prognosis . . . we have seen Tripawds go through chemotherapy and live years, and we have seen them live only months. There are no guarantees at all, but statistically speaking chemo gives dogs and cats longer at living out their lifespan and beating the disease. The irony is, that statistics still can’t predict how your own dog will do, since your dog wasn’t part of those studies. Cancer does what it wants in the end, but many people feel better about doing all the medical treatments available to try to beat it. 

And one more thing to consider: nobody can predict how long we have. With or without cancer, the most important thing is to live life to the fullest the way Bandito does. We call this learning to Be More Dog .

There are no right or wrong choices here. Do what feels best for you and Bandito. Once you have that confidence in your heart, together you can kick cancer’s butt for as long as he is able.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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8 January 2019 - 1:43 pm
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Hello and welcome.

I second what Jerry said about getting all the information and all treatment options available.  In my mind knowledge is power! 

I had two Pugs who between them had 3 cancers.  Maggie lost a leg to mast cell cancer.  I did do chemo for that cancer and although her prognosis was 6 to 9 months with chemo she lived almost 4 years.  Unfortunately she developed a second aggressive cancer in her mouth which for many reasons I chose not to treat, she lived only 3 months after that diagnosis.  I don’t regret either treatment decision but in both cases I got all the treatment options from our oncologist before I made my decisions.

Mag’s little sis Tani also developed mast cell cancer although it was not on her limbs.  We treated at first by just removing the tumors. A few years later the cancer came back and although I started removing tumors they were coming too fast and I decided to stop.  3 vets recommended chemo and I chose not to since she had a variety of other ailments, but again I had seen our oncologist to make sure there wasn’t a new treatment out there.  Tani lived to be almost 15 and although had around 14 MCTs throughout her life we never did chemo and she did not pass from cancer.

Do your research and then decide what is best for you and your pup.  You might want to write down you decision making process, I did that with Maggie and it helped me a lot when we got to the end of her journey and those ‘what if?’ thoughts pop into your head. 

No matter what path you take this community will support you!

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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10 January 2019 - 5:39 pm
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Hello, so sorry about Bandit, our dog Calvin has a high grade soft tissue sarcoma, and had his leg removed Dec. 20. Have you called to check on the lab results? We got ours back after 8 days. Surely you should be getting them soon. I think that will play a large part in what you decide. Hopefully it is not as bad as they originally thought, maybe a low grade soft tissue sarcoma. We have ultimately decided to start chemo next week, after going back and forth daily for three weeks. Since we did take his leg, we feel terrible putting him through more, but his prognosis without it isn’t good and I want him to live to have as many good days as possible. Definitely talk to your oncologist and ask all the questions. We did and she was very reassuring. A large percentage of dogs have little to no side effects, and if Calvin does we have agreed to lower the dosage or stop the chemo at any point, that made me feel better. It is just such a hard decision. Good luck, and whatever you decide to do you are making the best decision for you and your pup. 

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15 January 2019 - 10:21 am
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Hi Bandit and Furmily

im sorry to be late coming to this forum, but i just wanted to add Stewies chemo experience with you…

Stewie was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in July of 2017, we started a Carboplatin chemotherapy (6 sessions) as soon as his stitches came out. We wanted to do everything possible to try and hold back the inevitable return of his evil disease!! 

The only side effects that Stewie went through were tiredness and he lost all of his undercoat. He is a (almost 9 year old) Bernese/Rotty/Retriever cross and he finds it gets a bit chilly outside these wintery days. 

Stewie is a survivor of 1 1/2 years now and we are overjoyed to still have him hopping happily with us, hopefully into his old age. We will never know if it is the chemo that is helping him survive or whether it is Stewie’s (and ours ) luck of the draw! 

Wishing you all the best in whatever you decide to do for your boy.

heartStewie and his Furmily. 

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

Forum Posts: 1078
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15 January 2019 - 10:31 am
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banditosmomma said 
He will be 9 this month and is a malamute lab mix weighing 70lbs, front right amputation. Strong, lean and now, terribly depressed. 




I also want to add that all of us here on TriPawds understands your heartbreak! We completely get it!!! But it is critical that we show our pups that we are in control when they are not… they live in the moment with us and we focus on so many other things than what is in front of our noses… if we are feeling down and depressed, they will take that on and live in that moment with you! Try to remain calm and positive for your boy, he will adjust amazingly well when you are strong for him. And then you can go into the proverbial bathroom, like many of us have and cry our little hearts out, after we are hooman and can’t help ourselves can we

Take good care and go and give your boy a massive hug and tell him that you did this for him and not to him!!!! 

heart Petra and Stewie.

On July 10/17 I became a Super Tripawd! You can find out more about my Pawrents Allensong but first Check out my 🎗 journey Super Stu Remember...“live in the moment!“  

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