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Our Shadow And Osteo


Guest bowiebears
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Guest bowiebears

In May, we adopted 2 more greyhounds, Sheba & Shadow, both 10 years old who'd been together for 6 years.

 

Shadow, the boy, had a limp when we got him which he'd had for a long time, ti seems.

 

Since Sunday, he's been limping much more severely and holding up his right paw as much as possible.

 

Trying to be good dads, we took him to the vet today to check things out, hoping it was merely arthritis or a soft tissue injury.

 

The short-long of it is: Just had a call from the vet. Bad news.

The Xray seems to show classic osteo bone erosion.

 

I'm not sure what we will do from here. Of course the 2 most likely options are amputation and/or chemo-therapy, or just keeping him as comfortable as possible till it's time for him to go the bridge.

 

I am of course more than a bit upset and unsure about the next steps (to say the least). I had hoped never to have to post anything like this. Shadow is our 7th grey, so it's not entirely surprising to have osteo afflict us....nonetheless, I'm already very down about his eventual passing.

 

Many thanks in advance for any support and words of wisdom from you all.

 

 

--Isaac & Jeff, with Azalea, Grant, Sheba & Shadow

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No advice, just lots of hugs for all of you. I'm sorry the news wasn't better.

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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I'm so sorry. :(

 

The "good" news is that if this has been going on since before May, he may have a slower progressing tumor than many who get this disease. It does seem that the disease is much more aggressive in younger dogs. There are a lot of options for pain management now if you decide not to opt for amputation and chemo that may give you some additional months, as well as some more promising holistic options. I always recommend this site as a good place to start to get a good overview of your options. I know it can be overwhelming trying to sort out your options while dealing with your anger and grief.

 

Hugs to you and kisses and extra biscuits for Shadow. :grouphug

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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 bigorangedog

I'm so sorry to hear about your boy. If you're considering an amputation, please take a look at the link in my signature to my blog post on what to expect with a leg amputation in a greyhound. We have had 5 greys with osteo in the past year and a half. Two of them underwent amputations (Whitey and Apollo). Sadly, we only got 6 months post-amp with each of them, but in both cases they were good months, pain-free until the very end. Whitey's amp was in November 09 and Apollo's was in Feb 10, so if you look back at our old blog postings during those months, you can see additional photos.

 

If I can help in any way, please don't hesitate to ask. Wishing all the best for Shadow.

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Guest Flysmom

It is a hard decision to make: Palliative Care vs. Amputation and Chemo. I never had the choice with Fly because the Cancer was already too far advanced.

 

You know Shadow best!! I know that Cisco would be ok after an Amputation, but Poncho would not be ok. Do your research, talk to people who choose either and then go from there. Contact Dr. Couto at Ohio State and get his opinion!

 

Please, know that no matter what you decide that nobody here will look down on you!

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In May, we adopted 2 more greyhounds, Sheba & Shadow, both 10 years old who'd been together for 6 years.

 

Shadow, the boy, had a limp when we got him which he'd had for a long time, ti seems.

 

Since Sunday, he's been limping much more severely and holding up his right paw as much as possible.

 

Trying to be good dads, we took him to the vet today to check things out, hoping it was merely arthritis or a soft tissue injury.

 

The short-long of it is: Just had a call from the vet. Bad news.

The Xray seems to show classic osteo bone erosion.

 

I'm not sure what we will do from here. Of course the 2 most likely options are amputation and/or chemo-therapy, or just keeping him as comfortable as possible till it's time for him to go the bridge.

 

I am of course more than a bit upset and unsure about the next steps (to say the least). I had hoped never to have to post anything like this. Shadow is our 7th grey, so it's not entirely surprising to have osteo afflict us....nonetheless, I'm already very down about his eventual passing.

 

Many thanks in advance for any support and words of wisdom from you all.

 

 

--Isaac & Jeff, with Azalea, Grant, Sheba & Shadow

I am so sorry to hear about Shadow. My boy, Joe, was diagnosed in July. I elected to do amputation and chemo for him. I thought you might like a summary of this possibility.

 

You should be aware that osteosarcoma (OS) commonly metastasizes to the lungs. Only mets that are at least 1 cm can be seen on x-ray. Typically if the lung x-ray isn't clean, the

vet recommends against amputation and just pain control (or possibly radiation) is done. Radiation typically isn't done to extend life, but to relieve pain.

 

If the lung x-ray isn't clean, this does not mean that there are no mets, it

just means that any mets are too small to see on x-ray. It is estimated that 90

percent of dogs with OS and clear lung x-rays still have microscopic mets in the

lungs. This is why amputation of the bone with OS is followed by chemo.

 

Amputation does remove the source of the severe pain. Typically the dog is back

to his normal self within about 3 weeks, although he might not have as much

stamina when walking. Amputation without chemo does not extend the life of the

dog (except that he will be without pain for a longer period of time so likely would not need to be put to sleep as soon). Typically you would

expect 2 to 4 months but this can vary greatly.

 

Amputation with chemo will give you about a year on average. Here are the

stats:

 

approx 50 percent live for 365 to 400 days

approx 10 to 20 percent live for up to 2 years

if you make it to two years, it is more likely something other than the cancer

will be the cause of death -- in other words, they will live long enough for old

age or something else to "get them".

 

It is most likely that lung metastases will be the thing that causes you to put

down a amputation / chemo dog. This is no where near as painful as the bone

cancer in the bone.

 

If you amputate, it needs to be in a hospital that has 24/7 care. Your dog will

likely be in the hospital for 3 to 5 days. They should follow the protocol that

OSU has developed. (Vet can contact OSU for protocol). Once the dog comes home,

the first week is fairly intense. You will want to sleep next to your dog and

be with them all the time during this week. After that it gets much easier and

things are quickly back to normal. They get along incredibly well without the

4th leg -- it is actually amazing and most people are surprised how well they do

after the initial healing is over.

 

Chemo in dogs does not have the major side affects that chemo in humans does.

Dogs are given less chemo. Most experience only minor, short-lived side

effects. They may be a bit lethargic or have a loss of appetite for a day or

two after the treatment. They may lose their whiskers but not their fur. A

typical chemo course involves 4 or 5 treatments spread over 2 to 3 months. This

means that your dog may want to sleep and not eat for 4 to 7 days over a 3 month

period.

 

I have not seen any of this in my Joe.

 

Since chemo is a poison, it can have some negative effects (rare but possible).

Depending on the chemo it could cause heart damage or kidney damage. However,

even if this did happen, your dog will have likely lived longer than it would if

you didn't do chemo.

 

Only you can determine what is right for your dog. Your dog might have other

health issues. They might have temperment issues that would make it hard for

them to be in the hospital. The cost is a valid concern. Amputation can cost

as much as $2800 to $5500 for the surgery and hospital time. Chemo can range

from $500 to $2500, even with free chemo drugs from OSU.

 

Hope this info helps.

 

Jane

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Here is info on how to contact Dr. Couto and his team. The email or phone consult is free, however a few people have been told they must sign up for the website ($50) and submit the request that way. Dr. Couto tells me that this is not true. However, if you are a member of their website, please submit your request that way because it will automate things and make record keeping for them easier. Certain chemo drugs are free; you would need to pay to have them administered.

 

Jane

 

Greyhound Health and Wellness Program

Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine

601 Vernon Tharp Street

Columbus, Ohio 43210

Phone: (614) 247-6757 or (614) 247-8490

Email: greyosu@osu.edu

Website: http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/GHWP.htm (registration and fee now required to get full access to this site)

 

This email goes to the team. If Dr. Couto is traveling, you may get a quicker answer from one of his team members. Drs. Marin and Zaldivar typically respond to greyhound owners. The consult is free but if you can afford to support the program please do so. You can sign up for full access to the website ($99 per calendar year, $49 per half) or donate through the giving page on the website. If you decide to donate, you can double your money by giving through the Greyhound Project. Just go to this website and scroll down to the appropriate donation button: http://www.adopt-a-greyhound.org/donate.shtml. They will match the funds that you donate.

 

The Team:

 

Dr. Couto, Department Head, Greyhound Medicine, Oncology and Hematology

Dr. Lili Marin, Greyhound Health and Oncology

Dr. Sara Zaldivar, Greyhound Health and Oncology

Dr. William Kisselberth, Oncology

Dr. Cheryl London, Oncology

Dr. Cristina Iazbik, Blood Bank Director and Hematologist

Dr. Bridget Urie, Oncology Resident

Dr. Matt Sherger, Oncology Resident

Dr. Joelle Fenger, Oncology Resident

Dawn Hudson, Vet Tech

Ashley DeFelice, Vet Tech

Stacey Gallant, Vet Tech

 

Drs Marin and Zaldivar are originally from Spanish speaking countries. If you have trouble understanding them over the phone, you might ask for one of the other vets or vet techs to “translate”.

 

Dr. Couto's direct email is:

couto.1@osu.edu

His phone number is also 614-247-6757. If he is in town, he typically returns emails in the early hours of the morning.

 

You should know that (in my humble opinion) they need more staff. Unfortunately finances do not permit it at this time. They do 20 to 30 greyhound consults a day along with all of their "in canine" patients. Depending on their workload there may be a wait for the consultation. If you are contacting them on an emergency basis, please let them know.

If you want to make an appointment to be seen in person/canine, you can call the main number to set up a date/time. The main number for the veterinary hospital is 614-292-3551.

 

If you decide to visit OSU please contact me. I may be able to put you up in a local home, provide moral support, or just help with logistics:

 

Finewhipador-drool@yahoo.com

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Guest PhillyPups
:bighug To both of you and for Shadow. I have been blind-sided and my heart ripped to shreds by the same news you just got. Please know, you know Shadow and will do what you feel is best for him, and the decision will be made totally with love. You are the best DaDs Shadow could have. :bighug
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It's a tough call...you, as his Daddy, know him better than anyone. Having been through the same agony, I know exactly how you are feeling. When you've had time to sort all of this out, you'll decide what's best for your boy. grouphug.gif to you and Shadow.

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Blair, Stella (DND Heather), Lizzie (M's Deadra), Hitch (Hallo Dominant) and House (Mac's Dr. House)

Missing my handsome men Lewis (Vs Lowrider) - 11/11/01 - 3/11/09, Kevin (Dakota's Hi Five) - 1/1/06 - 4/18/11 and my cat, Sparkle Baby - ??/??/96 - 4/23/11

"The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is, in fact, the most precious and valuable possession of mankind." (Theodorus Gaza)

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I'm so sorry. You need to do what is right for Shadow & for you. When my Magic was diagnosed she had already broken her leg. It wasn't even in the diseased area, but I saw how she struggled and didn't see amputation for her or honestly, for me. Many prayers coming for Shadow.

Lynn

Missing Pepper,Magic,Kahlua, Hobbit Ziggy Jasper and Bella

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Guest Categrey

I am so sorry to hear this.Our boy Pilot was diagnosed very shortly before he went to the Bridge and it was mainly because the pain he was experiencing was so excruciating even with the pain meds.We could not see putting him through the surgery,chemo,then probably very little time before the end anyway. He had been very stoic until the end which is probably the reason we didn't know that something was seriously wrong until the disease had progressed to that point.You will know by his behavior and your close relationship with him what to do and how he would handle whatever course of action you decide to take for him.As many people have told us you have made his life full of affection and love which he had probably never experienced before and he is living in the day, everyday.

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I am so very sorry to hear about Shadow's diagnosis. We are battling the same disease and went the amp/chemo path as Charlie is only 7. If you have any questions about choosing this path, please feel free to PM me. If you are going the pain management path, I suggest speaking with Jen (NeylasMom) as she has been doing well with Neyla. Whatever you choose to do, know that we are all here for you and share your pain.

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 handpicked

Can I ask Shadow's racing name? I am doing a study on greyhound cancer and I would like to add him to my list. Thank you and I am sending you healing white light!!

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Isaac, if it's any help in your decision, I took my Diamond to OSU (from NJ) when she was diagnosed. Dr. Couto said that she was a good candidate to live as a tripod. So I did the amp.

 

She turned 12 yrs old 2 weeks after her amp and she had a very happy, pain free 6 months before that horrid disease hit her hind leg.

 

She motored around as if she always had just 3 legs. It only took 2 weeks for her to reach this point of comfort. I confess though, I did not want her doing stairs, so I built her a ramp which she gladly used.

 

Good luck in your decision. It's a difficult one.

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