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Vinny's Hemangiosarcoma | Treatment, Recovery and Oncology

Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Vinny's Hemangiosarcoma
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Canada
Forum Posts: 9
Member Since:
17 July 2014
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17 July 2014 - 6:51 pm
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Hi Tripawd mums & dads!

I just wanted to introduce myself and say thank you so much for this forum! My boy Vinny went in for his amputation this morning and his doctor recommended I do some reading here on this site. I am so glad he did! I’ve spent all day reading it, while I wait to be reunited with my fur baby. After spending some time here, I feel extremely encouraged and more confident in his recovery. I just wanted to share a bit of our story, since I feel so inspired by everyone else’s.

We’ve had ongoing testing for about 2 months now with a tumour that presented itself on his hind leg around his lymph node. We started with two needly biopsies, X-rays and bloodwork with no real answers. But the tumour kept growing. Now, I know cats are good at hiding pain, but Vinny’s attitude and habits didn’t change at all – he was eating, drinking cuddling and using his litter box fine. Until one day last week the tumour seemed to have doubled in size over a period of two days and all of a sudden he was dragging his leg. 🙁 

I immediately took him to emergency and they did a series of punch biopsies. Results came back yesterday as a hemangiosarcoma – an extremely aggressive malignant tumour. It is more common in dogs, but accounts for less than 2% of all cancers in cats. The recommendation (which we had already discussed) was full amputation of the leg. The doctor got me in super quick, and I dropped Vinny off this morning at 7am. The doctor called me back at 3pm to say the surgery went very well – and also the CT scan did not show any signs that the cancer had spread. (Yay!) It seemed fairly localized, so we’re looking good for now. Vinny will be there overnight tonight, and hopefully he can come home tomorrow, but maybe one more night.

Apparently a hemangiosarcoma diagnosis in dogs is quite grave, and often symptoms don’t present themselves until it’s too late. But according to the doctor, and what I’ve been reading, the prognosis in cats can actually be quite good. There is very little research, because it’s so uncommon in cats, but there was a small study done that showed very promising results, when the the proper treatment is done.

So, I expect he will recover quite well. He’s had a few health issues before and he’s always been very resilient and tolerates surgeries and medications all very well. I just can’t wait to see him and hug and kiss him again. I was hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. I’m just so happy that he will be coming home. I’ve got his cozy hideout all set up for him in my walk-in closest, where he already loves to nap. He’ll be in recovery for a couple weeks, then he will start a few treatments of chemotherapy, which will discourage any more growth of the cancer. 

Here’s my boy… He’s 7 years old, about 19 lbs (he’s already working on losing a couple), but he’s mostly just a big fluff ball, with a bit of maine coon in him. He’s definitely a big gentle giant. He loves cuddling and being around people. He also loves to play fetch – haha! :)

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And here he is with his bro (my other boy) Milo: 

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Thanks everyone so much for sharing your stories, and thank you for reading mine. :) It’s already been very therapeutic and helpful to both read and share.

Love Vinny and his human, KJ! <3 xox

Check out Vinny Boy's progress - PrinceVince.tripawds.com

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 24918
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17 July 2014 - 7:13 pm
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Vinny and family, welcome, we’re so glad you joined and are finding the community so helpful. And I’m SUPER glad that you got great care for Vinny, you’re both so fortunate to have a great vet team on your side!

Well as awful as a cancer diagnosis is, you’re in good company, we can certainly relate to your experience. Whatever we can do to make it easier, just meow :)

I’ve never heard of hemangiosarcoma in cats, that is a first here, so I know we’ll all be very curious about how your treatment and recovery proceeds. YAY for a better prognosis than the one that most dogs get! Thank you so much for taking time to share your journey. I hope you’ll consider starting a Tripawds blog so your story can provide even more comfort to new members some day, have you seen all of our kitty blogger who’ve joined us lately?

Well, Vinny is one handsome dude. People are going to fall even more in love with him now that he’s a Tripawd!

Keep us posted on his recovery, let us know if there’s anything we can do to help OK? Oh, your future posts won’t need approval so post away!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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Los Angeles, CA
Forum Posts: 3554
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17 July 2014 - 7:30 pm
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Hello Vinny and family,

 

I am so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. My girl, Shelby, was a dog and had hemangiosarcoma. It is indeed a wicked and evil cancer but Shelby outlived the prognosis and I feel confident your Vinny will do great! Cats seem to do really well. We have a few other tripawd kitties! 

We are here for you and look forward to learning more about you and your family!

Alison & her Shelby fur-ever in her heart 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Virginia
Forum Posts: 978
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26 January 2014
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17 July 2014 - 7:43 pm
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Oh my Vinny is one adorable kitty!! I second Jerry’s “YAY” for that prognosis. I also love that your vet pointed you towards Tripawds, its definitely the best resource out there. Keep us updated and inundate us with pictures of that cutie pie! 

Mom to Tripawd Angels Jake (2001-2014) and Rosco (2012-2015) and Tripawd Tanner. “Whatever happens tomorrow, we had today; and I'll always remember it”  

      

New York, NY
Forum Posts: 1412
Member Since:
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17 July 2014 - 7:46 pm
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Hello handsome VINNY!!!

My tripawd is Jill another tripawd kitty cat and also a tuxedo!  She lost her hind leg 19 months ago due to osteosarcoma, also very rare in cats.  Similar type of situation, pretty grave diagnosis in dogs, but “good” diagnosis in cats and very rare in cats…so I can relate to what youre going through!  I know it can be hard to get a diagnosis that might be had to research and your vet may not have seen before.

What I can tell you is this, Jill is now 19 months post amputation, 2 years post diagnosis and doing AMAZING.  She went through 4 rounds of chemo during that time as well.  Kitties do great as tripawds.  As a rear leg amputee you’ll find Vinny might have a hard time jumping UP rather than down, down shouldn’t be a problem at all.  Please visit Jill’s blog….go all the way to the beginning and you’ll see tons of videos and pictures I’ve posted of her recovery and progress.  Please please feel free to contact me with any questions you have at all!!  (her blog is http://jillsjou…..pawds.com/).

Let us know how the surgery went!

xoxo,

Erica & Tripawd Kitty Jill

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 York, NY
Forum Posts: 1412
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17 July 2014 - 7:49 pm
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OH also Jill was also 7 years at the time of diagnosis, she loves to fetch and LOVES to cuddle :)

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

Canada
Forum Posts: 9
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17 July 2014
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17 July 2014 - 8:56 pm
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Wow, thanks so much everyone for your super quick cheerful replies and encouragement! :)

I just created a blog on your recommendation, Jerry. Hopefully I can keep it updated with our progress. It’s at http://princevi…..ipawds.com – I’ve just used my original post above as my first blog post (with a few edits/additions).

As for the rarity and prognosis on the hemangiosarcoma – Vinny’s doctor told me that while he’s only personally seen a few cases in cats – their outcomes were all very positive. At first, I was concerned it would all be too much to put him through. But the doctor was very confident that the treatment would be worth it for Vinny and his circumstances. He has also been so helpful in answering every question I have and updating me about everything along the way. :) As well, since I had zero prior knowledge about all this, after reading about how well cats do with amputations – and also with chemotherapy – it has really helped boost my outlook too!

Another helpful thing that I’ve learned here is to really remember that cats aren’t humans – and we are very different species. So I think that is something very important to keep in mind through this. We simply have different experiences with these things and we cannot compare the two.

Thanks Erica – I’ve definitely been browsing your blog about Jill. :) What a sweetie! I love all the photos and videos. Just awesome! :) And thank you so much for offering your support. 

Lots of great stuff in the blogs section in general, I’ve also been reading about another kitty too – Fang! These personal stories are very helpful.

I’m really happy to be here. I’ll post any updates on Vinny on the blog I created. Thank you again! :)

Love Vinny and his human, KJ! <3 xox

Check out Vinny Boy's progress - PrinceVince.tripawds.com

Westminster, MD
Forum Posts: 1397
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31 August 2013
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17 July 2014 - 9:40 pm
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Hello Vinny and family,
I very much agree with Jerry, this is the first time I have ever heard of this cancer happen in a cat….your Vinny is very handsome, BTW!! I, along with Alison am very familiar with this awful cancer…..I’ve had 2 very precious Labs develop this cancer within 1 1/2 years of each other, one lost her battle very quickly, but my Polly outlived her prognosis by more than double the expectancy. We never gave up, and did everything humanly possible to beat this cancer.

I very much want to follow your battle with this, and hope Vinny can beat the odds, since hopefully the vet says his prognosis will be much better. Alison said it perfect, those kitties always seem to do well!

Wishing you and Vinny all the best and keep us all updated on his progress,
Bonnie & Angel Polly

Forum Posts: 825
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18 July 2014 - 2:13 am
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Hello Vinny and his pawrent!

So glad to hear that Vinny is doing well after his surgery and that you found this site – it has really been a blessing to all of us here :)

Tucker, my tripawd, is an 85 pound Lab who had his right front leg amputated ten months ago.  Tuck lost his leg to an invasive sarcoma and continues to love life on three legs.

Looking forward to future posts about your handsome Vinny.

Many hugs

Linda and Tucker

The Rainbow Bridge



Forum Posts: 24918
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18 July 2014 - 7:21 am
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Yay Vinny! Thanks for starting a blog, we’ve just added you to our Tri-Kitty blogger list! I’m so happy to know you’ll be sharing your story. Even if you don’t blog all the time, just an occasional update is so helpful to folks going through what you are.

And you are so right, we tend to forget that animals, dogs cats, etc., experience life so differently than we do. They’re so much wiser, they don’t let things like losing a leg get them down, they just want to feel good. Vinny and you make a great team, you have a lot to teach this world and our community.

We’d love to know who your oncologist is, feel free to post their clinic info in our “Veterinary Specialist Referral” section.

Thanks again!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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