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Osteosarcoma In Dogs


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To all of you who have experienced this dreaded disease,or have known others, are there any feel good success stories of cures or prolonged lives in these dogs?

Has there been anyone in that 5 to 10% margin of dogs with OS that did not metastasize? Has anyone beat the odds?

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This came over the greyhound email list a little over two years ago. The author is Dr. Stack, a greyhound-savvy vet in Yuma, AZ. I think she used to be a track vet at Tucson for a while. Anyway- she's very good with the breed.

 

Date: Sun, 2 Dec 2007 13:37:12 -0700

From: Don and Suzanne Stack <yumadons@GMAIL.COM>

Subject: MEDICAL: Tips from osteo survivor

 

<< Anyone out there have a long term cancer survivor, a year or more?

Could you please forward what treatments, feeding, medicines you did

that you feel might have helped your dog become a survivor. >>

 

 

My greyhound, Aussie, now 9 years old, is > 4 years post amputation

(Oct 23, 2003). His protocol:

 

Took x-rays just a few days after noticed him limping. Saw what looked

like osteo at proximal humerus (left shoulder). Did not waste precious

time with a biopsy - amputated the very next day.

 

Started chemo exactly 1 week post-amputation - the day we got biopsy

results back from the lab (we sent in the amputated limb for biopsy).

 

Aussie had 6 carboplatin chemo treatments. No problems except a low

WBC delayed the 6th chemo by 1 week.

 

He's taken 3.75 mg meloxicam (generic Metacam) ever since amputation

because he's got a bad arthritic hock in backleg on same side.

 

1 year post-amputation, I started him on 10 mg tamoxifen once daily.

Tamoxifen is the anti-estrogen drug that breast cancer survivors take

for the rest of their lives. Anecdotally, tamoxifen may be an

anti-angiogenesis drug (a drug that stops new blood vessels from

branching out from tumors). Tamoxifen can have some problems in girl

dogs but is OK for boys. Not approved nor or you likely to be able to

find out much of anything about it. I just started Aus on it because a

friend's boy osteo grey was started on it by Dr. Ogilvie (ex CSU

oncology guru). I figured if it's good enough for Dr. Ogilvie, it's

good enough for me.

 

Aus eats the same food as the rest of my dogs, "Enhance Hunter's Edge"

by ARKAT. We feed it because it's relatively cheap (we have lots of

big dogs) and does a greyt job keeping weight on my greyhounds with

once daily feeding. Relatively high in protein, fat, and calories.

Protein 24%, fat 18%, ~585 calories/cup. Aus doesn't get any

supplements or special treatment and is very fit (we live on 2 & 1/2

acres).

 

Suzanne Stack, DVM

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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There are a few ( very few) here on GT who have 1++ years, but most aren't so lucky.

 

We went the amp/chemo route and had 1 day short of 5 months.

 

I started a poll about that over the summer. I asked how long their dog lived a quality of life after doing amp/chemo.

 

The answer was very depressing. :(

 

ETA- I would more than likely not to it again.

 

5 months of which 3 weeks were he77 for her to adjust. 5 chemos - she lost 1 week each chemo. That's 8 weeks lost to recovering. Which left 12 weeks I had her. I might have had her 12 or more weeks with just pain management.

 

We all think our beloved family members will be the lucky one. I know we sure did.

Edited by RobinM

 

 

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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Guest SueG201

Bev in England has had great success with her Deerhound Darcy, I believe she is over the one yr mark, I lost 2 to osteo, I chose not to amputate

and one lasted 5 wks and my heart dog broke his leg while being exrayed at the vets, his bone shattered into a million pieces and I had to let him go right then and there worst day of my life

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I guess you can say we did with JC. He was 9 years old when the diagnosis came in December of 2000. We had his leg amputated (the site was in his 'wrist') and did 4 carboplatin treatments. We lost him in October of 2003 at the age of 12 - we never thought he'd see 12. He had a liver/pancreas mass which was never biopsied, so we'll never know for sure what it was, but our vet at the time told us that the liver and pancreas would be an unusual place for osteo to spread - it tends to prefer the lungs, so our best guess is that it was another type of cancer. We opted not to do anything further after finding out about the mass as those types of cancer are hard to treat and he'd already been through so much. When he began to show signs of discomfort from its growth, we let him go.

 

JC was a shy fellow and it was very hard to decide to go through with the treatment, plus he had some complications after surgery, but once he recovered he was a real trooper - went through the chemo well and after everything was said and done we felt like we'd made the right decision. He had almost another 3 years, and the majority of that time was good. He was a playful fellow almost right up to the end.

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Guest eaglflyt

I believe there's a few dogs at 2+ years after amp & chemo, and I remember one approaching/at their third year on this board. Some board members just participate sporadically, and some haven't participated in quite some time, so this is not an all-inclusive listing by any means.

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So there is some hope for a few.

 

RobinM - so so sorry, five months is way too short, after going through all of the aggressive treatment.

 

I think my best method of coping with this is denial. The more research I do, the worse I feel about the situation.

 

I hope that Dash and I will be the lucky ones.

 

Thank you for your replies.

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There's an interesting paper on the web, written by a fellow who was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme- the same cancer that felled Ted Kennedy. A diagnosis with GBM has poor prognosis- typically measured in months. Ben Williams was diagnosed in March of 1995; he's still alive, as of 1 November, 2009. That's pretty unusual.

 

Ben pulled out all the stops; none of the individual management protocols for GBM are all that good. But if you pull a little bit from column A, a little bit from column B, and so forth, before long- it all adds up. He's exploited all the chemo drugs that he thought appropriate, and- with the help of doctors willing to work with him- added a few more. On top of that, he's used supplements- melatonin, a mushroom polysaccharide called PSK, GLA, fish oil, vitamin D, etc. The guy didn't mess around; he learned everything he could, bundled together the approaches he saw fit, and- well, heck. He's 14 years less deader than when he began. 5-year survival is 2-5%; 14 years is all but unheard of.

 

http://virtualtrials.com/pdf/williams09.pdf

 

It'd be interesting to see what turmeric would do. There are some interesting hits on the web with "osteosarcoma" and "turmeric."

 

http://talentedanimals.com/blog/?p=55

 

One has to be careful with these different supplements, since dogs tend to expire from things we find perfectly harmless (chocolate, onions, etc.).

 

ETA: It's probably too late once the tumor starts to grow, but it is conceivable that switching to ketosis by feeding only meat and fat might be of benefit. In other words, a really "hard" form of "predator" model raw feeding, where it's ALL fat and protein. Interesting note from "Fat of the Land" by the Arctic explorer Wilhjamur Stefansson: the diet was 50/50 fat plus lean meat, for over a year at a time. We have a great butcher store that gave us a bucket load of trim fat (the country's so lipophobic these days) that will go to good use. Anyway- during the Bellvue experiment, Stefansson and Andersen settled in at about 2500 calories/day from fat, and about 500 calories/day from protein, with a trace amount of carbohydrate from the meat. Eating huge gobs of fat (provided carbohydrates are kept low) seems to be an excellent way to stay fit and healthy, believe it or not. Similar protocols have been used to manage cancer and epilepsy.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketogenic_diet

 

Unfortunately, that particular diet uses hydrogenated oils- very toxic stuff. "Natural" saturated and monounsaturated fats would be much better- beef, poultry, and coconut oil. The risk of pancreatitis is there in hounds that are not accustomed to so much fat; low-fat diets result in a poorly "exercised" pancreas, meaning not enough turnover of the pancreatic fluid. Net result: stones, caused by precipitation of the salts. Gotta exercise that pancreas with lots of fat in the diet, as with traditional Eskimos, Icelanders, American Indians, and African tribes like the Masai. Heck, the Eskimos used to feed their dogs the extra fat they couldn't possibly eat because the Arctic animals had so much of it.

Edited by ahicks51

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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I know that my Winnie's story is not the norm, and though she was an inspiration to many, sometimes I hesitate to give people hope that they could have the long term remission that she did. But you asked about success stories, and she is one of several that I know of, both on Greytalk, and the dogs of friends. To be honest, I don't know just why she is a success story. I just know what we did, and that, for whatever reason, it worked.

She was 8 when she was diagnosed in her right hind leg. X-rays showed that her lungs were clear of mets, and the biopsy said osteo (I would NOT do that again). We did the amputation within a month. We decided against chemo. I know this is not recommended treatment, but we had several reasons. Instead, we started a low carb, high protein diet, and supplemented with fish oil, pycnogenol, and artemisinin. And we had 3 1/2 quality years with her, years in which she was spoiled, indulged, and very loved. She ate steak every morning, and outran her 4 legged sisters in the dog park (while I held my breath). She went up and down 23 outside steps to get in and out of our house (we live on the second floor), about 5 times a day. She went to work with me, and she travelled to Gettysburg, Grapehounds, and several Deweys pulling me down the beach and into every doorway. She was the only dog we took with us to Statesville NC for my mother's memorial service. Because she LOVED a road trip! Just a few days before Dewey in 2007, she slowed down markedly, and finally, could not make it up the steps. She was in kidney failure, and that is why we lost her, just 1 month shy of her 12th birthday. I'm not sure why we were so blessed, but I treasure that time we had after her diagnosis, when in despair, I wrote her obituary poem. She fooled us all, and she beat the monster. She was a tough old girl, and I miss her like crazy.

 

I believe Barb Heisey's Bosha had at least 3 years (maybe more?), with amp and chemo. And Glynis Berger's Winslow will celebrate 3 years this February. They did amp and chemo as well. My friend Lilian's Grey Pharoah had 3 years post amp, with no chemo.

gallery_11446_3599_3864.jpg
Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
My Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Catsburgandhoundtown

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It is very uplifting to hear of dogs like Winnie, who fought and won the battle against this disease! Wonderful story! And, of course, the others you mentioned who are still going strong despite the grim prognosis of OS. Thank you for sharing.

 

AHicks51 - you must have a serious science/medical background to provide information in such detail. I will certainly research the websites suggested by you. What interests me the most is the concept of ketosis from low carb/high fat-protein diet. Queenwinniesmom also fed her dog a similar diet, with very positive results.

Very interesting! Super information!

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AHicks51 - you must have a serious science/medical background to provide information in such detail. I will certainly research the websites suggested by you. What interests me the most is the concept of ketosis from low carb/high fat-protein diet. Queenwinniesmom also fed her dog a similar diet, with very positive results.

Very interesting! Super information!

 

I forgot to mention- they charged us for the first bucket of beef trim fat ($25 for what must have been 20 pounds, easy), and we stopped by the next day- they gave us what must be 5 or 10 pounds for free- with the caveat that they wouldn't have it all the time.

 

Hyperlipid is an amazing blog.

 

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/

 

Given their druthers, humans on low-carb diets will end up around 80/20 calories from fat and protein respectively. Dogs would probably do well with a similar ratio.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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I don't know details but I know of a greyhound (whose owner is not on greytalk) who had amputation and chemo per Dr. Couto's instructions. I think she was 6 or 7. She lived to 13 I believe. I don't think it was cancer that got her.

 

I know that this is extremely rare but it is possible.

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Guest zoolaine

I think it is good to hear all the stories and learn about osteosarcoma before facing the monster with one of your own dogs. If one of mine develops it, I'm pretty sure I will go the amputation/chemo route (unless the dog is older or has other health issues).

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Guest MorganKonaAlex

My Morgan got 3 years after his amputation and it was LS that took him at 13.5. He did not have a cancer recurrence. His chemo protocol was 4 rounds of carboplatin. No change in diet; he ate kibble his whole life. The only supplement was a fatty acid that he was on previously and we continued it.

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Guest FastDogsOwnMe

I don't think I would do the surgery/chemo, but I totally respect those who do. It is good to know some do have success. Makes me contemplate what I would do a little more.

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  • 2 months later...

Not to drag up an old thread unnecessarily, but I am building a doggie wheelchair for a tripod; she's getting a bit weak in the back end, and while checking out her background, I found out she's 2-1/2 years post-amp for osteo. The owner went with amputation (right rear, if it makes any difference), radiation, and chemo. She's over 10 now, more like 11-12, but I forget.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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bevd's Deerhound Darcy is 3+ years post amputation for osteo.

Not quite....but getting there :)

 

Darcy was diagnosed and amputated on 16th October 2007, so today we are celebrating 29 months :confetti

 

darcy060310t.jpg

 

Edited for typo

 

Edited again to add that the statistics I was given by a UK cancer specialist were that osteo will have spread in 98% of cases before you know the dog has any problem at all. So the margin is 2%.

Edited by Bevd

Deerhounds Darcy, Duffy, Grace & Wellington, Mutts Sprout & Buddy, Lurchers Ned & Jake plus Ella the Westie + cats. Remembering Del, Jessie, Maddison, Flo, Sally, Stanley, Wallace, Radar, Mokka, Oki cat, Tetley, Poppy & Striker.

 

Please visit our web store at http://www.dogsndubs.com for our own range of Greyhound related clothing for humans!

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Diamond is only 5 months, but her xrays were clear last week.

 

While she had a couple of rough weeks the first two, she definitely has told me she's happy now. She is 12. Lost her front leg 2 weeks before her birthday. She's still going strong, tries to chase deer, and LOVES her ice cream at night.

I doubt she'll make it to 3 years, simply because she's already 12. But, she might surprise all of us.

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Guest greysonly

There are a few ( very few) here on GT who have 1++ years, but most aren't so lucky.

 

We went the amp/chemo route and had 1 day short of 5 months.

 

I started a poll about that over the summer. I asked how long their dog lived a quality of life after doing amp/chemo.

 

The answer was very depressing. :(

 

ETA- I would more than likely not to it again.

 

5 months of which 3 weeks were he77 for her to adjust. 5 chemos - she lost 1 week each chemo. That's 8 weeks lost to recovering. Which left 12 weeks I had her. I might have had her 12 or more weeks with just pain management.

 

We all think our beloved family members will be the lucky one. I know we sure did.

 

 

I too had these same results Robin did :( except my boy only lasted one month after amputation. His lungs and everything were clear when we did the amputation. Then we started on Chemo he only had one round and then he started coughing. It had spread that quickly to his lungs :( I know you need to really follow your heart and do what you feel is right but I would more than likely would never do the amp/chemo again. I think I would have had longer with him if I went the other route but I guess you never know with cancer. I too agree that I did not want to listen to the odds I just wanted to save my baby and I wanted to believe my baby would be the lucky one :(.

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I too agree that I did not want to listen to the odds I just wanted to save my baby and I wanted to believe my baby would be the lucky one :(.

This is the problem, isn't it? If we look at the stats, we know there are only going to be a few lucky ones - but who knows whether it will be yours or mine or someone elses? Some *do* make it and the majority do not but when faced with the decision, it's very hard to say "well, most don't so I'll not take the chance" because (and I am speaking personally here) I would find myself wondering if mine had been destined to be one of those lucky ones.

 

(I have been on 'the other side' and lost a dog to fibrosarcoma just 6 weeks after his diagnosis - amputation was not an option for him).

 

I'm very sorry for all those who have suffered losses :grouphug

Deerhounds Darcy, Duffy, Grace & Wellington, Mutts Sprout & Buddy, Lurchers Ned & Jake plus Ella the Westie + cats. Remembering Del, Jessie, Maddison, Flo, Sally, Stanley, Wallace, Radar, Mokka, Oki cat, Tetley, Poppy & Striker.

 

Please visit our web store at http://www.dogsndubs.com for our own range of Greyhound related clothing for humans!

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Guest greysonly

I too agree that I did not want to listen to the odds I just wanted to save my baby and I wanted to believe my baby would be the lucky one :(.

This is the problem, isn't it? If we look at the stats, we know there are only going to be a few lucky ones - but who knows whether it will be yours or mine or someone elses? Some *do* make it and the majority do not but when faced with the decision, it's very hard to say "well, most don't so I'll not take the chance" because (and I am speaking personally here) I would find myself wondering if mine had been destined to be one of those lucky ones.

 

(I have been on 'the other side' and lost a dog to fibrosarcoma just 6 weeks after his diagnosis - amputation was not an option for him).

 

I'm very sorry for all those who have suffered losses :grouphug

 

Very true I wish they all could be the lucky ones. :( I love hearing stories of the ones that do make it and have many years past amp those are the stories that give us hope for this ugly nasty cancer.

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Guest EmbersDad

ember did not make it to the 5th round of chemo. i, like robin, would most likely rethink my position if it happens again. it certainly was difficult watching ember right after surgery. the chemo days usually wiped her out as well. now i see ember live on in my heroes darcy and winslow. they carry on the fight for her, and all our other absent friends.

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Hoping that we're NOT jinxing anything here....

 

Jamey had his first symptoms mid April of 2009- crying for about 10 minutes- no limping, we thought it was a cramp. 2 weeks later, the same, so we had X-rays done. There was a "something" in the middle of his humerus, not the normal area, not what osteo normally looks like. Because of this treatment was delayed. June 4th of last year, Jamey was in for X-rays on his leg when it broke, at the vet's, as they were turning him over for another X-ray view. His leg was amputated that same afternoon. A week later we found out that is WAS osteo. He had 5 treatments with doxycycline, that were also delayed due to an infection that he had 2 weeks post surgery. He did develop some kidney problems due to the chemo, but they are under control, being treated with medication.

Jamey had an appointment with his oncologist last week and his lung X-rays were still clear. That is 9 months post amp, 11 months post-first symptoms. We are hoping that our little osteo-fighter will continue to fight!

His quality of life is just fine, he does everything on 3 legs.

Tin and Michael and Lucas, Picasso, Hero, Oasis, Galina, Neizan, Enzo, Salvo and Noor the Galgos.
Remembering Bridge Angel Greyhounds: Tosca, Jamey, Master, Diego, and Ambi; plus Angel Galgos Jules, Marco and Baltasar.

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Here's an article about several long-term osteosarcoma survivors. It's called Dogs of Hope: Long-term Osteosarcoma Survivors. Fifty one months was the longest when the story was written in 2004. There must be more success stories by now. May Jamey be like one of them. :goodlucklinky

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