Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Our OES, Sully, had his front right leg amputated due to what was diagnosed as synovial cell/soft tissue sarcoma on December 15, 2021, after many months and misdiagnoses. At that time, Chemo was not recommended due to the low grade (2) and type of cancer identified via biopsy post-amputation.
Sully’s X-rays pre-amputation detected no Mets, but did show his cancer crossing his shoulder joint, which pointed to not-osteosarcoma.
Unfortunately, lung mets were detected during a routine X-ray last week. Sully was referred to an oncologist at BluePearl CARES in Langhorne, PA. We had our first visit today.
Sully was prescribed one month of Palladia to try. His oncologist wasn’t willing to try anything else. She also felt Sully perhaps didn’t have synovial cell/soft tissue sarcoma at all, but perhaps osteosarcoma, despite the fact that it crossed a joint AND the biopsy showed otherwise.
We are confused and sad, and would like to perhaps seek another oncologists opinion due to the discrepancy. Does anyone recommend an oncologist somewhere within driving distance of Harrisburg, PA who might be willing to try more aggressive/combo treatments or who could shed some light on what the heck is going on with Sully? We have his X-rays and pathologist report- we’d like to share with a vet and do a phone consult first if possible, just to see if they are really planning to give us options. We were saddened by the lack of options when we arrived today, after being told there would be something.
Thank you deeply for any help,
Teddi and Sully
Wow Teddi, I'm sorry to hear that the visit was such a disappointment. Good idea to get another opinion.
Are you willing to drive to the UPENN vet school? I see it's 2 hours away, but IMO worth the drive. We find that when a case isn't so straightforward, that university schools are a great place to seek opinions and possible cutting edge treatments. Their oncology teamis amaaaaazing and has developed some of the most advanced treatments for immunotherapy. They may have a clinical trial for metastasis that Sully could qualify for, like this one.
Thank you, Jerry! We found UPenn in our searches, too! We just asked Sully's surgeon for another referral there, AND I called and left a voicemail plus emailed today. We are going to make this thing happen! We are more than willing to drive there, especially if they will give us options.
I wish we wouldn't have wasted this week and the $$$$ on the oncologist yesterday, but will keep our fingers crossed for UPenn and the clinical trial you shared with us. As I told my husband when we were on our way home yesterday, my biggest regrets were not getting second opinions earlier. So we're going to do it this time.
Please tell me we're not crazy, right? There ARE other options out there that have benefited other dogs that have been talked about on this site? Something we could try? We have Sully on Palladia now. He got his first dose today. But it's SO expensive and if he does have STS/synovial cell sarcoma, Palladia does not seem like the right choice. I'll keep him on it for now because something feels better than nothing (and we already paid for it), but what the heck?! The oncologist was very intent on quality of life and preserving that. She said Sully had excellent quality of life now based on how he showed up in the clinic "on the outside", but also only expected him to live 4-8 weeks based on xrays, but was unwilling to treat? I am just so frustrated and confused. I keep swinging wildly between "she's the specialist, she's right, we shouldn't try" to "NO, I know there are options and I want to exhaust them as long as Sully is feeling up to it!". Ugh.
So, so grateful for this group and others who understand. Thank you.
22 February 2013
WOW!!! My head is spinny with the back and forth and jerking arou d you have been getting!!
I know there are options and I want to exhaust them as long as Sully is feeling up to it!". Ugh.
EXACTLY!!! Sully isn't giving up so dont you give up!!!
JERRY, Is t Penn , where where Shiloh....Shiloh the Scient Dog...got a lot of cutting edge treatment?? Darn, can't rem games specific, but his hooman drove a long way for the appointments. He took one dog there, and then a short time later his other dog got that crap. Anyway, he was pleased that he tried their options.
This is soooo out of my realm of knowledge and I certainly not a Vet and not giving Vet advice!! . I do know from this site, some dogs do have bad side effects from Palladia.....and some don't! Point being, if you can get thst appt at Penn quickly, maybe forgo a more Palladia treatments until you see them. .
When you KNOW you jave tried everything, explored all options, not only do you jave no regrets, but sometimes you get good results!!!
Quick side story. My adopted hound dog Bob had bladder cancer. Xrays looked awful...big tumor.almost blocking his urethra. After overnight stay st Bet on fluids, not eating for days, etc, and based on xrays, Vet thought time was imminent. I wanted to take him home and see of I could arrange a "home visit". I gave him fluids to keep him comfy, his appetite picked up, he started feeling better and vetter. At that point I think we added Piroxicam. Ues. He was incontinent but I didn't care!! Loooong story short.Bob got SPECTACULAR extended quality time for eight more months!!! .My wonderful Vet said that, based on the clinical tests, etc, it was just a matter of days. Based on his outward appearance when I sent her videos after being back home a few days, fluids, etc, she said outwardly he was doing great!!! And she said that is ALL that matters!!
ope that lofts your spirits a bit. Sully is Sulky right now and there is no reason for you not to pursue another opinion and hopefully more options,
And IF....IF...it comes down to "palliative care", that in itself has proven to add quality time because the dogs are kept comfortable and engaged. And when comfortable and pain free, they can still have a form of healing that can't be quantified.
Stay persistent with the Vet to send the referral....and we know you will. And then follow up with UPenn. persistently..and we know you will!.
Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!
Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!
Thank you so much, Sally! This is all incredibly helpful. We'll at least get this second opinion. At least then we'll know. We'll know we tried. And if two oncologists say nothing can be done, well, then we'll accept that and love Sully with all we've got for all the time he has left.
Goodness, this is so hard.
So thankful for you all!!
No you aren't crazy. When your gut instinct tells you that there's more to a story than what's showing up on the surface, then it's important to listen to that inner voice and do some more digging. I'm so glad you called UPENN.
I'm happy Sally shared that story with you. Bob's story is incredible! It's yet another example that statistics are not able to predict what will happen. You just don't know!
Yes, Shilo did get into a UPENN clinical trial. It was the early days of immunotherapy treatments. That adventure starts here in her blog. Later on, Dexter worked with UPENN too, and he beat the odds for nearly eight years!
I have no idea if there are other options for Sully, I'm not an expert. But I do know that if there are options, UPENN will know about it. So try not to look at the last oncologist visit as a waste of time. It led you to a more investigative path and like you said, no matter what, you will know you left no stone unturned.
Keep us posted on how things are going in the other topic.