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Osteosarcoma What To Expect?


Guest Dana
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Guest Dana

My Beautiful Grey was diagnosed yesterday with Osteosarcoma in his right hind leg. I took him to the vet on Tuesday for a slight limp that had started just a few days before. Of course, I did all of the paw checking, feeling his toes, pads, and up his leg but there wasn't any visible injury and he didn't seem to have any pain while I was checking him. Well, my worst fear was confirmed. We have chosen to keep him comfortable, opting to not amputate and try chemo. I am absolutely heart sick. I have cried endlessly since I took him Tuesday and they told me what they suspected. John Curly is a very sweet and timid Grey. He is 2 months shy of his 7th birthday. I have been blessed by God to have him for 4 short years. I have two different pain meds for him and I am going to try to stop crying in front of him and spoil him even more than I do for the rest of his life. Can any of you that have gone through this tell me what to expect? The vet says a couple of months. I will not let him lay in pain. I find it heartbreaking to look at his beautiful eyes knowing what is coming. Any advice or words of wisdom would be more than welcome. ~~John's Mom

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No medical advice......just want to say that I fully respect and admire your decision to consider his quality of life. That take HUGE strength. My prayers are with you. Enjoy every minute of your time with him.

gallery_22387_3315_35426.jpg

Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
The WFUBCC honors our beautiful friends at the bridge. Godspeed sweet angels.

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Guest Greytluv

:grouphug:kiss2 Sweet boy :candle :candle

 

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I have no experience with this but I'm sure someone here will advise you

Edited by Greytluv
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I am so sorry that your introduction to the wonderful world of GT is under these circumstances! You will have much support and advice. The only advice I can offer is what others have said many times - talk to your Vet now about pain management. It is crucial to stay ahead of the pain. There are many meds and med combos that can be considered but you will have to see what works best for your boy.

 

I hate this disease with a passion and wish with all my heart that you have many more good days with him. Don't hesitate to ask for help or support.

Remember, he lives in the moment and has no clue about his future for which you are already grieving. Spoil him rotten and make each day a gift. He's just way too young!grouphug.gif

 

 

Linda, Mom to Fuzz, Barkley, and the felines Miss Kitty, Simon and Joseph.Waiting at The Bridge: Alex, Josh, Harley, Nikki, Beemer, Anna, Frank, Rachel, my heart & soul, Suze and the best boy ever, Dalton.<p>

:candle ....for all those hounds that are sick, hurt, lost or waiting for their forever homes. SENIORS ROCK :rivethead

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Hi Dana (assuming Dana is your name) - You've come to the right place for support and advice. I am going through this with my 11 year old girl Neyla right now and I am by no means alone. First, I want to say how sorry I am that you have to go through this too. It's so unfair how many greyhound lives osteo takes from us, and often how quickly. If you need more support, there is another group on yahoo called Circle of Grey that many of us have turned to. I recommend joining that group is well. Once you have, you can request a special healing blanket that each member receives for free.

 

I also wanted to let you know that there are options that don't involve amputation. Radiation and bisphosphonates (Fosamax if given orally or pamidronate if given via IV) are both options for pain management with lower risks of side effects. There are also natural supplements that can help slow progression of cancer or boost the immune system to help him fight it off like mushroom extract for hte former or large doses of fish oil for the latter. There is one in particular that shows a lot of promise that I am also using: Arteminisin. There's a yahoo group specifically for this (artemisinin_and_cancer). Diet is also a big factor - cancer feeds are carbs so eliminating carbs or at least grains from his diet may help.

 

You can find some good info about all fo this as this site to: Bone Cancer and Dogs.

 

I jsut want you to know you have some other alternatives to help manage pain or fight of the cancer if you want to look into them, but unfortunately this disease is very aggressive, especially in younger dogs so your plan to spoil him silly regardless is a good one. As things progress, I think you can expect to have to find other drugs or higher doses to manage his pain. Most people seem to start with Tramadol 2x/day and an NSAID like Deramaxx or Rimadyl one time per day. Ultimately, switching to Tramadol 3x/day and adding in a drug for neurological pain like Gabapentin may provide more relief. Some people also use pain patches. You should also expect swelling in the area at some point.

 

I admire you for already thinking about not crying in front of your boy. It's the best conclusion we can come to, but ti took me a little while to pull myself together. I still have my moments, especially when I suspect something might be (more) wrong, but for the most part I have been enjoying each wonderful day we still have together - I think that's the best thing you can do. We've had lots of new toys, special treats, walks when she can handle them, playing, new games (Doggie Casino is the favorite), and now a certain doggie gets to lick my ice cream bowls and breakfast plates clean. :)

 

Feel free to PM me if you want to ask about any of the treatment options I mentioned, or if you just need support. Try to take care of yourself as you move forward - it can become very difficult to have your own life b/c you want to spend every minute with your baby.

 

Jen

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I am so sorry - this diagnosis is always terrible but even more so in such a young boy.

 

I too chose the palliative route. The most important issue is pain management - make sure that your vet really knows what they are dealing with and are prepared to help you with changing medication schedules as the pain increases.

 

Somehow I got through - not sure I would have without the support here - although I think I will miss Suzy every day of my life. I got the best advice from really dear friends here on GT - celebrate every day, take a million pictures, spoil him rotten and never let him see you cry.

 

:grouphug

Deb, and da Croo
In my heart always, my Bridge Angels - Macavity, Tila the wannabe, Dexter, CDN Cold Snap (Candy), PC Herode Boy, WZ Moody, Poco Zinny, EM's Scully, Lonsome Billy, Lucas, Hurry Hannah, Daisy (Apache Blitz), Sadie (Kickapoo Kara), USS Maxi, Sam's Attaboy, Crystal Souza, Gifted Suzy, Zena, and Jetlag who never made it home.

http://www.northernskygreyhounds.com

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Sending you and John Curly grouphug.gif and strength. Enjoy every minute with him, and what the others have said, he is in the moment and try not to let him see you cry. I'm so sorry for a boy so young sad1.gif

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

Angels: Pal :heart. Segugio. Sorella (TPGIT). LadyBug. Zeke-aroni. MiMi Sizzle Pants. Gracie. Seamie :heart:brokenheart. (Foster)Sweet. Andy. PaddyALVIN!Mayhem. Bosco. Bruno. Dottie B. Trevor Double-Heart. Bea. Cletus, KLTO. Aiden.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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I went through this with my bridge angel Clark. Each dog is different. As others have said pain management is the most important concideration. Make sure you know in advance what you can double up on if needed. My vet told me what medication we could increase and how high we could go. This is very important if your vet is not a 24 hour clinic.

My heart goes out to you and your handsome boy. Spoil him and take lots of pictures.

Sue ,Sky and Dood, Bridge angels Clark, Gypsy, Dreamy and Sneakers, Oshkosh,WI Heartbound Greyhound Adoptionsept2013sigcopy_zps8ad6ed09.jpg<p>

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Guest Dana

Thank you SO much EVERYBODY who has replied, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I am hurting like crazy, not everybody understands how a pet can mean so much to you. I am completely in love with him. He has been my constant companion. Thank you everybody for both the advice and the prayers, you will never know what that means to me right now. Love to all, Dana

Edited by Dana
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Dana, I'm sorry that you are also faced with this 'monster'. Jen (Neylasmom) has given you some very good advice. Joining Circle of Grey will allow you to say or ask anything you want, there is a LOT of support there for you. It is a group dedicated to Greys with cancer only.

We have Jamey, who is now 10.5 years old and was diagnosed in May of 2009. He had his front right leg amputated June 4, 2009 and he just celebrated his first anniversary post amputation. We are among the few lucky ones here, we fully realize this. While we chose to amputate, we realize this is not possible for everyone and we respect your choice. Just love John for the remaining time he has with you.

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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I am so sorry for you and your John.

I do hate cancer. It is the thief who robs us, everyday, of those we love.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul, Fuzzy and Shine
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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Dana, I'm sorry you had to join the OS club. It's not one I would want anyone to join.

 

I wish I could give you more advise other than support. But I chose to amputate. (it was the front leg of a 12 yr old girl and she had a wonderful 6 months before OS reared it's ugly head in another leg. Her lungs were clear the whole time)

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John's mom - I am just so sad for you. :cry1 I lost my heart dog to nasal cancer in February. Like you, I swear I cried constantly in front of him (how could I not?). All I can say is I let my boy go sooner rather than later, with his dignity intact. The look in John's eyes will tell you when it's time.

 

Hugs to you.

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Thank you SO much EVERYBODY who has replied, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. I am hurting like crazy, not everybody understands how a pet can mean so much to you. I am completely in love with him. He has been my constant companion. Thank you everybody for both the advice and the prayers, you will never know what that means to me right now. Love to all, Dana

 

That is so true, that is why this is such a wonderful forum, because we do understand that. All it takes for me is to read about someone facing a loss of their beloved pet and the tears start falling. I'm so sorry that you are having to face this diagnosis, cancer is not anything I have any experience with but wanted to let you know that I do understand and care. One thing that was mentioned in another thread was a suggestion to start writing down those things in a journal that makes John Curly the special grey that he is to you. So many things of the little things that we think we will always remember sometimes get so buried in our thoughts that it is hard to bring them up again. This way you will always have something to look back on and remember.

grouphug.gif

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Guest MyBoys

Oh Dana, I am so sorry you and your sweet boy have to deal with this, I too have been down this sad road. All I can say is try to be strong for John and enjoy him every minute of everyday he is with you. :grouphug

Edited by MyBoys
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Guest BradyzMommy

Our boy Dexter was diagnosed just last month with OS in his left shoulder at the very young age of six. He had been uncomfortable for weeks and we thought it was only a pulled muscle. By the time he was diagnosed, he was in horrible pain. We felt that the best thing to do was to bring him home and set him free from his pain. The decision hurt like hell. In fact, it still does. It sucks. This disease really and truly sucks. I'm sorry that you and your sweet grey are going through this. :grouphug

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Guest Stripeyfan

I'm so sorry. I have no advice to add but sending lots of hugs and I hope you have plenty of good days yet to come.

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This is terrible news. I am sorry. Give John lots of love while you still have him and a special hug from me.

Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Guest Dana

Hi Dana (assuming Dana is your name) - You've come to the right place for support and advice. I am going through this with my 11 year old girl Neyla right now and I am by no means alone. First, I want to say how sorry I am that you have to go through this too. It's so unfair how many greyhound lives osteo takes from us, and often how quickly. If you need more support, there is another group on yahoo called Circle of Grey that many of us have turned to. I recommend joining that group is well. Once you have, you can request a special healing blanket that each member receives for free.

 

I also wanted to let you know that there are options that don't involve amputation. Radiation and bisphosphonates (Fosamax if given orally or pamidronate if given via IV) are both options for pain management with lower risks of side effects. There are also natural supplements that can help slow progression of cancer or boost the immune system to help him fight it off like mushroom extract for hte former or large doses of fish oil for the latter. There is one in particular that shows a lot of promise that I am also using: Arteminisin. There's a yahoo group specifically for this (artemisinin_and_cancer). Diet is also a big factor - cancer feeds are carbs so eliminating carbs or at least grains from his diet may help.

 

You can find some good info about all fo this as this site to: Bone Cancer and Dogs.

 

I jsut want you to know you have some other alternatives to help manage pain or fight of the cancer if you want to look into them, but unfortunately this disease is very aggressive, especially in younger dogs so your plan to spoil him silly regardless is a good one. As things progress, I think you can expect to have to find other drugs or higher doses to manage his pain. Most people seem to start with Tramadol 2x/day and an NSAID like Deramaxx or Rimadyl one time per day. Ultimately, switching to Tramadol 3x/day and adding in a drug for neurological pain like Gabapentin may provide more relief. Some people also use pain patches. You should also expect swelling in the area at some point.

 

I admire you for already thinking about not crying in front of your boy. It's the best conclusion we can come to, but ti took me a little while to pull myself together. I still have my moments, especially when I suspect something might be (more) wrong, but for the most part I have been enjoying each wonderful day we still have together - I think that's the best thing you can do. We've had lots of new toys, special treats, walks when she can handle them, playing, new games (Doggie Casino is the favorite), and now a certain doggie gets to lick my ice cream bowls and breakfast plates clean. :)

 

Feel free to PM me if you want to ask about any of the treatment options I mentioned, or if you just need support. Try to take care of yourself as you move forward - it can become very difficult to have your own life b/c you want to spend every minute with your baby.

 

Jen

 

Jen, yes Dana is my real name and I thank you for your reply. You had SO much good information packed into your post that I took notes. I went today and got Mushroom Extract at our local Herb shop. I also ordered Arteminisin from a website as I read some really promising things about it. My goal is to keep him pain-free, well, no my goal would be for him to live out a long full life with us, but right now, my goal is to keep him pain-free and to slow the progression of this nasty cancer. I also got him almond butter and I am mixing the Mushroom extract with it. I am going to go this evening and pick up some salmon to mix into his food. Anything that I can possible think of to help. Also, the owner of the herb shop told me that sugar is a big no-no and also as you said any carbs. I will be steering clear of both. I wish you much luck with your Neyla and will be saying prayers for all of we Greyhound moms and dads. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to offer such good advice. ~~Dana

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Jen, yes Dana is my real name and I thank you for your reply. You had SO much good information packed into your post that I took notes. I went today and got Mushroom Extract at our local Herb shop. I also ordered Arteminisin from a website as I read some really promising things about it. My goal is to keep him pain-free, well, no my goal would be for him to live out a long full life with us, but right now, my goal is to keep him pain-free and to slow the progression of this nasty cancer. I also got him almond butter and I am mixing the Mushroom extract with it. I am going to go this evening and pick up some salmon to mix into his food. Anything that I can possible think of to help. Also, the owner of the herb shop told me that sugar is a big no-no and also as you said any carbs. I will be steering clear of both. I wish you much luck with your Neyla and will be saying prayers for all of we Greyhound moms and dads. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to offer such good advice. ~~Dana

You're welcome. If anything good can come of Neyla's dx at all, like helping someone else going through teh same thing, then I am happy for that. i encourage you to join the artemisinin yahoo group if you are going to use it. Just going with straight art is a good start, but I learned a lot on that group that I did not find information about anywhere else, particularly the increased effectiveness of it with curcumin. I actually haven't switched our protocol yet (we're giving 100 mg artemisinin + 40 mg artemether each night righ tnow), but once we iron out some stomach issues, i will probably change it. Of course, I also found the info a bit overwhelming so maybe it's a bad idea in that regard. :P

 

If you want another source of fish oil, the Grizzly salmon oil is good stuff. The holistic vet I consulted with said I could do double the dose that they recommend (it goes by pump based on bottle size, so for Neyla who is 56 lbs we do 6 pumps from teh 32 oz bottle/day). It's available on Amazon and I think Entirely Pets.

 

Thank you so much for the good thoughts and prayers for Neyla. I will be thinking of you and John as well. Please feel free to PM me if you have qx about the supplements or just want to talk. :grouphug

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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Guest aaspenwall

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this. I've been there myself. I can't offer any advice on the meds or supplements other than what's already been offered, but I will share from a comment I replied to another post recently:

 

I've lost two greys to osteo - one about a week post diagnosis and last year, my heart dog about 2-1/2 months after diagnosis. It is incredibly hard to get through that time no matter how long it lasts because you know that a more painful time for you is to come and because you struggle to analyze every change in them so you can try to make the right decision at the right time, without letting them suffer. Trust your instincts as far as knowing your dog and if he seems to be doing well and enjoying the majority of his time, be as happy as you can in those moments. But don't deny to yourself or anyone else that this stinks, and allow yourself to grieve as much as you need to both now and once your dog goes to the bridge. One thing that helped me immensely was that while my dogs were alive, I started writing lists of all the great things I loved about them, the silly things they did, even the weird scars, nicks, etc. they had from living their lives to the fullest. The act of just writing that all down helped me focus on how much the good of having them outweighed the pain of losing them. And it helped to do it while they were still with me because I could focus on their lives instead of their deaths. I still sometimes go back and read those lists and I'm so glad I recorded them because some of the funniest things I may have otherwise forgotten, but now it brings me such joy to have those memories recorded. When you're ready, consider adopting again. None can or will ever take the place of another, but they all add unique joy to your life and opening your home and your heart to another dog who needs both is a great way to honor the love you share with your special grey.

 

 

 

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