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Signs We Noticed With Carrier

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It's seems that every few days here on GT someone is either posting about their dog limping or have received the dreaded diagnosis of cancer. It sucks. :(


As you know our Carrier is battling this cruel disease and I would say that he is doing quite well :). However, the reason for this topic is because I wanted to share with you what we noticed with him in the beginning in the hopes of others catching this earlier than we did. We are fortunate that by the time he was diagnosed, the cancer hadn't spread to the rest of his body - at least we couldn't find it anywhere else.


Here is the log that I kept over that time. It's a bit long and detailed, but I hope it helps you. I don't want to scare anyone in rushing to the vet for an xray, but I wish we took the xray sooner and went for a second opinion sooner. Hind sight is 20/20 I guess... I am just relieved that we weren't too late and still had options for him.


We had so much trust in Vet #1, who is a certified chiropractor as well and she totally missed the diagnosis. When I read this log, I am angry with myself that we didn't get second opinions earlier but we were hopeful ...and I am also angry that I didn't come to GT for more advice on this, but I am sure that you would have pushed me for a second opinion sooner...but again, we were lucky (so far) that it hadn't spread. He was limping since August and wasn't diagnosed until Oct 15. That is a long time for the cancer to grow :(


If there was any advice that I would give if your dog starts limping, is go and get the xrays if you can, right away and have them sent to OSU if your vet isn't 100% sure. The second opinion at OSU is free. The reality is if it's cancer, it's going to be there no matter what and the sooner you catch it the more options you have. When we got the second opinion, I was crying even before the xray was taken, because I knew it was cancer... it just kills me that Carrier had to wait for so long to be diagnosed.


Praying for all the dogs and families that are going through this. :grouphug




Carrier's Log


July - noticed a lump in the armpit. Vet aspirated it and it was all blood. A hematoma. But Carrier is not active enough to cause such an injury to his armpit - ie, falling on something or banging into something to cause such a hematoma, so it concerned me some. We were told not to worry about it and it went away after a few weeks.


Ran a lot either on the July 31 or Aug 1 – not sure if this caused an injury or not, but worth mentioning.


Friday August 3.

Noticed muscle spams in chest - figured it was from the run he did a few days before


Tuesday August 7

Went to vet for an adjustment – was dragging his front leg a bit and was fine after the adjustment


Friday August 10.

Noticed muscle spams in chest


Saturday August 11

Started whining while standing and noticed muscle twitching / spasm.


Sunday August 12

Was in pain – called Vet to see if we could have some metacam – he seemed to settle, so we decided not to get him any.


Monday August 20

Urgent adjustment – started dragging front right leg and shoulder look right out of place


Wednesday August 22

Started on Metacam and gave him valium


Thursday August 23

He is now on valium and metacam and can’t walk on his own. Peeing is taking forever and once he does get up it takes him forever to sit down – over 40 minutes usually. Last night was not good – we had a wicked thunderstorm come through – that last 1.5 hours from 3:30 to 5:00 and he was trembling like crazy, which didn’t help the fact that he was already extremely tense and out of whack.


Thursday Aug 23

Regular vet wasn’t available, so we got him in with an animal chiro that was recommend by our regular vet – by the time we got home, his shoulder had already popped it back out again.


Saturday August 25

Appointment with vet – shoulder was out – she popped it back in. Recheck on Wednesday


Tuesday August 28

Back to the vet as he was in a lot of pain – Dr XXX decided to take an xray – came back clean but his sterum was out of place. So because of the sternum it threw everything else off – his shoulder blade, joint and 4 ribs on that side

Continue on codeine and valium and now on deramaxx

***NOTE - this xray was not clean - she told us it was, but in her notes, which were forwarded to the second opinion vet, noted lysis of the bone in that area. We only found this out in October.


Wednesday Sept 5

Recheck appointment - Didn’t hold the adjustment.

continue with current drugs


Monday Sept 10 – first time to hold adjustment for more than 5 days... promising.

Had last Deramaxx on Wednesday Sept 12 and no codein or valiuum since the 11th.


Friday Sept 14 –

Physiotheraphy and massage – very gentle massage and only range of motion while laying down was down.

Enjoyed the massage and seemed comfortable afterwards.

Was starting to slightly drag his foot again on Friday evening.


Saturday Sept 15 –

Started limping more prominently and noticed that the lump (hematoma) in his armpit was larger and easier to find/feel.

Came home in the afternoon and his whole body was shaking - light massage wasn’t helping and if I caressed him gently his whole back end would stand up on end.


Sunday Sept 16

Walking very slowly and limping hard – dragging foot and having trouble sitting down normally. But wasn’t panting or crying.


Monday Sept 17 – 4 am

woke up and was crying to go outside. was licking his lips and swallowing a lot – as if he was going to throw up. I thought he might be hungry, so I gave him half a can of soft food and two codeine to help with the pain, as he was panting a lot. He was also burping a lot. Probably due to the air that he swallowed.

Also gave him two valium because his was having muscles were spasms in his chest.

Settled down after about an hour and slept until 6:30 and had breakfast without problem.

8AM. was comfortable lying down – had vet appointment at 9am, sat in the car the whole way and didn’t want to get up.

Vet adjusted him – sternum was out but popped back in while she was working on his upper part of the right shoulder. As she worked her way up from, his wrist, elbow and shoulder – each joint was sore and he yelped. Shoulder was extremely sore and he was crying in pain.

I pointed out the bump in his armpit and she aspirated it. A full vial of blood came out.

It was decided to test for Lyme and all tick diseases and do a full blood panel. The blood wasn’t clotting in time that was considered normal, so a Von Willebrand test is also being done.

Put on Rimadyl and Doxy (in case it is Lyme) and to continue with codeine and valium as needed. Vet said it was okay if he had a massage last that night as he had a lot of knots in his back.


Monday – during the day – he was quite tired from the vet visit and slept until late afternoon. Was able to walk on his own without stumbling over – because he was now using his front leg more.

Gave him Doxy with dinner

Had a one hour massage and really enjoyed it.

Gave him Rimadyl after the massage. Was walking with limp but strong determination at bed time.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Had an uneventful night. Woke up, stretched as best he could and was walking well – with limp still but not dragging his foot.

Was shaking all over a little bit, so gave him a valium after breakfast.

Was good before Tim left for work.


September 24

Another vet visit with vet – adjustment


October 6

Another vet visit with vet – adjustment

He was walking better before we can. She adjusted him and claimed that he his shoulder was out and when she put it back he screamed in pain for a long time (20 seconds).

I asked about the swelling in his shoulder and she said that it was the same as the other one it was just a little more prominent because of the muscle atrophy. She asked to see him walk outside. He walked worse then before he came in to she her and was panting a lot.

NOTE - every time we saw this vet, I asked... "can we say for sure that it's not cancer?" the answer she gave us, was "yes."


Oct 7-8 was on codeine and valium (Max dosage) – he was in a lot of pain and was whining a lot.


October 10

Second opinion by another chiro

Upon exam he noticed that Carrier had a pinched nerve in his neck which was causing the leg pain. Upon adjustment, he walked well


Oct 13

Was good until Oct 12 evening and then seemed uncomfortable, gave him a valium on Friday night. Oct 13 afternoon appointment with chiro #2 – walked great afterwards.

But I was not convince and went for a second opinion to another vet and for another xray.


Oct 15 – swelling in shoulder is prominent - massive atrophy. xrays with vet #2

Cancer diagnosed.



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Thank you!



lorinda, mom to the ever revolving door of Foster greyhounds

Always in my heart: Teala (LC Sweet Dream) , Pepton, Darbee-Do (Hey Barb) , Rascal (Abitta Rascal), Power (Beyond the Power), and the miracle boy LAZER (2/21/14), Spirit (Bitter Almonds) 8/14

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Wow, thanks. Your journal is so detailed. I wish it would never be needed but I think it might help other greys get an earlier diagnosis.


Thank you.

Elphie, Kulee, Amanda, Harmony, Alex (hound mix), Phantom, Norbet, Willis (dsh), Autumn (Siamese) & Max (OSH) & mama rat, LaLa & baby Poppy! My bridge kids: Crooke & Mouse (always in my heart), Flake, Buzz, Snake, Prince (GSD), Justin & Gentry (Siamese), Belle (Aussie/Dalmatian mix), Rupert (amstaff) and Fred, Sirius, Severus, Albus, George, Hagrid, Hermione, Minerva, Marilyn, Wren, Molly, Luna, Tonks, Fleur, Ginny, Neville, Bill, Percy, Rose & Charlie (rats)

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Guest BlueCrab

Thanks for the detailed info. It's a real bummer to keep reading these stories but it really is a wake-up call to pay close attention. DH is Trixie's primary 'walker'. He doesn't read all the stuff on here that I do, so I've got him under strict instructions to pay close attention if he ever notices anything "off".


Prayers for Carrier and hugs for you both! :bighug

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Thank you so much for sharing your journal notes with us. If I ever need it, this will be very helpful. I am sure others will find it helpful too...


Keeping you and Carrier in my thoughts daily. :bighug


Kerry with Pippin (Paid Vacation), adopted 4/15/2017
Missing the best wizard in the world, Merlin (PA's Paris), the biggest Love I've ever known, and my sweet 80lb limpet, Sagan (Leon B) :brokenheart :brokenheart, every single day.

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wow, thank you for that! :grouphug


it makes me sad to think of all his adjustments...they must've hurt :( and how awful that the vet never mentioned there being something amiss in that first xray.


my own personal rule is if your dog is limping for more than 3 days with no improvement...xrays asap.



Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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I started going back & looking at my daytimer when I started noticing things about Dear...then when I read about the type cancer he had...it was as if I'd copied it from the website. He didn't have bone cancer, he had hermangio sarcoma which is a blood vessel cancer & the symptoms pop up suddenly. Then I kept a diary of how he did afterwards, and until the very end...again it was like I'd copied it down.

I suggest everyone keep a diary on their dog when they're ill like this.

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Guest HeatherDemps

Thank you for sharing this with everyone.


Reading about all of these signs makes me hopeful that we have caught the cancer early with Dempsey. He limped for a day right after Thanksgiving and was put on Rimadyl for just a few days. He did not limp again until right before Christmas and the x-rays showed the bone lesion then. The oncologist said that he has not yet lost much muscle tone in that leg either. Other than the two occasions where he limped, we did not see any signs at all. Even reviewing it mentally now, nothing stands out. I hope that these insights from others is helpful to people who may have to face this disease in the future.

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Thank you - I'm sure this will be useful for many people. We had a similar experience, in that the first vet we saw told us the x-ray was fine and that it was just a sprained shoulder; the second vet we saw, the same day, looked at the same x-ray and saw something suspicious, which was diagnosed as OS a couple of weeks later after a second x-ray.




When a relationship of love is disrupted, the relationship does not cease. The love continues; therefore, the relationship continues. The work of grief is to reconcile and redeem life to a different love relationship. ~ W Scott Lineberry

Always Greyhounds Home Boarding and Greyhounds With Love House Sitting

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Thanks for doing this thread - I am going to print it out and read it and do this too with my aging pups. I'm always thinking that I'm over analyzing or being paranoid about things...


Try not to be hard on yourself... you did all the right things for Carrier. He is a lucky dog :inlove

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Took some moxie to post your story. Thank you.


And thank you, too, for always being there for your boy.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thank you for your journal. I'm sure reliving this is a nightmare.


Prayers for a miracle.



ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Oh, Eva, please don't beat yourself up over this. I completely understand the pain of going over and over it in your head thinking, "if only I had done something different..."


Jesse also began limping in the middle of July. July 15th to be exact. You see, I have a journal, too. Except that when I took Jesse to the vet on July 16th, we did get an x-ray. In fact, it was my vet who first suspected cancer. Not only do I trust my vet COMPLETELY (she is a very close friend that I have know since high school) I saw the x-ray myself - it was clean. He had a small fragment (or joint mouse) that we assumed was calcification from early arthritis.


Jesse also went on pain medication and limped off and on for the next 3 1/2 months. The last time it was 6 weeks between limps and I almost thought it was gone. But when the limp returned and didn't go away, we went in for another x-ray. That day, the vet tech had a hard time taking the x-ray. She told me that Jesse was being really good, she just couldn't seem to get a good picture. As it turns out, she couldn't get it dark enough because the bone was so badly destroyed. At that point, we couldn't even make out the normal 'starburst' pattern and when the amputation was done four days later the surgeon said that the bone was so soft that they were able to cut it with a scalpel.


Luckily, Jesse also has no sign that the cancer has spread. The lymph node they removed during his amp was clean and his last chest x-ray taken just this past Wednesday before chemo shows no visible mets.


So now I pray every day that Jesse, Carrier, Darcy, Wilson, Dempsey and all of the others currently fighting will beat this horrible disease. And as I sitting here writing this with tears streaming down my face, I am giving you advice that I find impossible to take myself. Don't blame yourself for this. It is obvious that you love Carrier very much and you always did what you thought was best for him.


In the end, it's in God's hands and we are just doing the best we can with these wonderful, amazing companions that he has loaned to us. One day, they (and we) will be back in His hands. Until then, we need to continue to enjoy every day for the gift that it is.

Measure wealth not by the things that you have, but by the things you have for which you would not take money.

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