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Hello everyone. My name is Sharon, and my 11 year old boy was just diagnosed on Thursday with bone cancer. Our vet only took xrays, but is fairly positive it is cancer. We were referred to GVS in Atlanta on Abernathy Rd. for a second opinion and to discuss options.

 

Baxter was in fairly good health until about a week and a half ago when he started limping. I thought he sprained his leg running on our property. But it didn't get better, and Wednesday night when I asked him if he needed to go outside, his back legs collapsed under him, and he couldn't put any weight on his front left leg.

 

My husband and I are not sure what to do...if we should just try and make him comfortable, or talk about amputation. We are mostly concerned with what Baxter's quality of life will be like as an older dog, trying to adapt to only 3 legs. And we wonder what kind of pain he will go through with amputation, and chemo.

 

Any comments are welcome at this point.

 

Thank you in advance.

Sharon

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Does your vet have any idea what the problem is with Baxter's rear legs? Was that collapse a one-off thing, or does he frequently have rear-leg issues? That's something to take into consideration when you're evaluating how well he'd do as a three-legged dog.

 

My understanding, from what others have posted here, is that the amputation doesn't carry the sort of long-term trauma we might expect. One doctor has described greyhounds as "having three legs and a spare" because their build makes them better candidates for recovery and mobility after amputation than other breeds might be. But if Baxter is going to have further trouble with his rear legs, that could be a problem.

15060353021_97558ce7da.jpg
Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter. In my opinion, age alone is not a reason to decide against amputation. Other things are much more critical: are there already visible lung metastases, overall health of the hound, any orthopedic issues that would make being a tripod too difficult, is the dog petrified of the vet (if so, can accommodations be made to mitigate this), can the owners spare the money ($4000 to $12000 depending on the follow on care that is selected).

 

Most greys recover well from amputation and live a very happy life afterwards. My Joe even caught a squirrel as a tripod and was very, very pleased with himself. Chemo is not as hard on them at it is on humans, mostly because they receive a smaller dose. The goal is to reduce the spread for a few years, versus a much longer lifetime for a human. Also, since dogs can't understand why they are sick, the goal is to adjust the chemo so there are little to no side affects.

 

The median time of survival with amputation and chemo is about 14 months. The most common reason for letting them go is lung metastases. I am told that these are not very painful, so the dog has no to little pain for the remainder of his life.

 

It used to be that without amputation, median time of survival was measured in weeks, not months. However, there has been more use of radiation, pamidronate infusions, and chemo in non-amputees. I have not heard any official new median time of survival, but I have heard anecdotal stories that many dogs survive longer with these treatments. With the exception of chemo, the treatments are still intended to reduce pain levels, thus extending life. There is some evidence that pamidronate does indeed strengthen the bone, but no studies have been done on this that I know of. There are several people on GreyTalk who report some success with herbal treatments. I believe most, if not all, oncologists will say that amputation and chemo provide the best chance of longer-term survival.

 

Cost definitely has to be considered. Amputation typically costs between $2500 and $6000. Chemo can be $1000 to $8000. There are wide variations in costs depending on the area of the country. If you are within driving distance to Columbus, Ohio I highly recommend that you bring Baxter to Ohio State if you decide on amputation. They are the primary center for bone cancer research and treatment in greyhounds. A local family may be able to put you up during your stay if you desire. Whatever you do, have the amputation done at a facility that has an ICU that has a veterinarian physically there 24/7. Also, be absolutely sure that they use Amicar (aminocaproic acid) for 5 days. This is a drug that is only used in greyhounds and humans, so many vets have never heard of it.

 

If you decide on radiation, pamidronate and/or chemo, instead of amputation, your costs will still be quite high. These costs can be more than the cost of the amputation.

 

This is a horrible disease. It is almost always fatal, even with aggressive treatment. There are truly no guarantees, no matter what treatment you choose. Your decision is somewhat philosophical. Do you provide aggressive treatment, no matter what the cost, to extend his good quality of life as long as possible OR do you let him go soon, keeping in mind that he has no concept of time or worry about how long he will live.

 

I chose to do aggressive treatment. I got another 20 months of incredible quality time with my sweet Joey. I don't regret my decision at all. Did Joe realize that I bought him this extra time with me? No he didn't. Did he have a great year and a half? Absolutely. I made my decision as much for me (perhaps even more for me) than for Joe. But there really isn't anything wrong with that, because Joe had an excellent quality of life. As soon as he didn't, I let him go.

 

Based on what I have read on GreyTalk, it seems that most people are content with the decision they made -- whether it was amputation/chemo or palliative care. There really is no right and wrong decision. Others here have said this, and I believe it: "There is no wrong decision. Whatever decision you make will be out of your love of Baxter and the needs of your family."

 

Jane

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I'm so sorry Baxter has been diagnosed. There is just too much of it with our babies. Sending hugs to you. Whatever decision you make, if you make it out of love, is the right one.

 

So glad all of you are doing so well so far!!!! :yay :yay

 

can't believe it's been 3 months now since we let Nube go. And we're still dealing with this same nasty cancer (not Larry, can't say who it is, it's a houndie and person close to me and they have not made it public yet :( :( :()

 

sending hugs to all. I didn't realize a new thread was started, I have to subscribe to this one now!

Kim and Bruce - missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter's likely diagnosis.

 

I can only second all of the advice you've already gotten. The one thing I would recommend is not to do a bone biopsy if that is suggested. Bone biopsies are very painful, can further weaken the compromised bone and often yield inconclusive results anyway. If you need more detail about the lesion, an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate is less-invasive and is similarly effective as a diagnostic tool (this is what OSU does).

 

You probably feel like you are in a whirlwind. The one thing I can tell you is that you will make the right decision. Only you and your husband are able to determine what that will be; don't let anyone (even the vet or oncologist) try to railroad you into a course of action that you are uncomfortable with. The rest of us will be here to cheer you and Baxter on, and try to help lift you up during the hard times, because this journey is nothing if not a rollercoaster.

Wendy with Twiggy, fosterless while Twiggy's fighting the good fight, and Donnie & Aiden the kitties

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Hi all. I have been hesitant to post here, because, well, frankly I did not WANT to be here. Denial? Maybe, probably, OK, yes. :(I have been posting in H&M about Opie's rib tumor. We do not know if its osteosarcoma, or what. Aspiration, xrays and biopsy have not yielded any definitive diagnosis. But it is some sort of cancer. While a rib tumor appears not to be nearly as common as on the leg, a few GH people have chimed in with their experience with osteo on the rib and chondrosarcoma. Our frustration has been with not having an exact diagnosis, which obviously would effect our decision on what to do. And frankly seeing the costs posted here, will make our decision all the more heartbreaking, as $5000 plus is not in the cards for us. We have an appt. with a surgeon on Wed. to see what the rib removal surgery entails - although we had pretty much decided against (nobody here has done it), but felt we owed it to ourselves and Opie to at least get all the information. We have seen an oncologist, who suggested we at least speak with the surgeon. It has been 3 weeks since we first started with a needles aspiration, and have done xrays, and full biopsy, and still results are inconclusive. But the lump is there, and large, and showing on the exray on his rib.

After being his normal happy self through out all of this, Friday he stopped eating, after breakfast. He has continued to drink. We have given him Pepsid, as he does get acid stomach from time to time. He also has continued to eat his turkey neck piece, but nothing else. Just now DH hand fed him raw hamburger, and he did take some of that. We had some company over last night, and he went from person to person for pets, and then periodically lay on his bed. But also Friday night he started coughing at night - more like hacking dry heaves sort of cough. Some liguid (bile?) has come up. He does continue to drink. We are trying to not take him to the evet today, particularly since DH just got him to eat some hamburger. I fear this is connected to the rib cancer, but don't know. Oh, for the record, his xrays taken on the Dec. 3 did not show anything in the lungs at that time, just on the rib.

To say that we are devastated is an understatement, and trying to figure out what to do, as things are changing daily. We are overwhelmed with sadness, and for all the choices we have to make, and where to go from here. I just received digital copies of xrays from our vet, and was going to send those and copies of the reports to OSU. Is there anything else we have not done yet, something anyone would recommend?? :(:(

Mom to Toley (Astascocita Toley) DOB 1/12/09, and Bridge Angel Opie (Wine Sips Away) 3/14/03-12/29/12

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Guest BaxtersMom
Does your vet have any idea what the problem is with Baxter's rear legs? Was that collapse a one-off thing, or does he frequently have rear-leg issues? That's something to take into consideration when you're evaluating how well he'd do as a three-legged dog.

 

My understanding, from what others have posted here, is that the amputation doesn't carry the sort of long-term trauma we might expect. One doctor has described greyhounds as "having three legs and a spare" because their build makes them better candidates for recovery and mobility after amputation than other breeds might be. But if Baxter is going to have further trouble with his rear legs, that could be a problem.

Our vet seemed to think the rear leg issue was neurologic....that maybe he strained something trying to adjust for his limping. We still have to get a second opinion and possible MRI to verify whether or not the cancer has spread to his spine.

Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter. In my opinion, age alone is not a reason to decide against amputation. Other things are much more critical: are there already visible lung metastases, overall health of the hound, any orthopedic issues that would make being a tripod too difficult, is the dog petrified of the vet (if so, can accommodations be made to mitigate this), can the owners spare the money ($4000 to $12000 depending on the follow on care that is selected).

 

Most greys recover well from amputation and live a very happy life afterwards. My Joe even caught a squirrel as a tripod and was very, very pleased with himself. Chemo is not as hard on them at it is on humans, mostly because they receive a smaller dose. The goal is to reduce the spread for a few years, versus a much longer lifetime for a human. Also, since dogs can't understand why they are sick, the goal is to adjust the chemo so there are little to no side affects.

 

The median time of survival with amputation and chemo is about 14 months. The most common reason for letting them go is lung metastases. I am told that these are not very painful, so the dog has no to little pain for the remainder of his life.

 

It used to be that without amputation, median time of survival was measured in weeks, not months. However, there has been more use of radiation, pamidronate infusions, and chemo in non-amputees. I have not heard any official new median time of survival, but I have heard anecdotal stories that many dogs survive longer with these treatments. With the exception of chemo, the treatments are still intended to reduce pain levels, thus extending life. There is some evidence that pamidronate does indeed strengthen the bone, but no studies have been done on this that I know of. There are several people on GreyTalk who report some success with herbal treatments. I believe most, if not all, oncologists will say that amputation and chemo provide the best chance of longer-term survival.

 

Cost definitely has to be considered. Amputation typically costs between $2500 and $6000. Chemo can be $1000 to $8000. There are wide variations in costs depending on the area of the country. If you are within driving distance to Columbus, Ohio I highly recommend that you bring Baxter to Ohio State if you decide on amputation. They are the primary center for bone cancer research and treatment in greyhounds. A local family may be able to put you up during your stay if you desire. Whatever you do, have the amputation done at a facility that has an ICU that has a veterinarian physically there 24/7. Also, be absolutely sure that they use Amicar (aminocaproic acid) for 5 days. This is a drug that is only used in greyhounds and humans, so many vets have never heard of it.

 

If you decide on radiation, pamidronate and/or chemo, instead of amputation, your costs will still be quite high. These costs can be more than the cost of the amputation.

 

This is a horrible disease. It is almost always fatal, even with aggressive treatment. There are truly no guarantees, no matter what treatment you choose. Your decision is somewhat philosophical. Do you provide aggressive treatment, no matter what the cost, to extend his good quality of life as long as possible OR do you let him go soon, keeping in mind that he has no concept of time or worry about how long he will live.

 

I chose to do aggressive treatment. I got another 20 months of incredible quality time with my sweet Joey. I don't regret my decision at all. Did Joe realize that I bought him this extra time with me? No he didn't. Did he have a great year and a half? Absolutely. I made my decision as much for me (perhaps even more for me) than for Joe. But there really isn't anything wrong with that, because Joe had an excellent quality of life. As soon as he didn't, I let him go.

 

Based on what I have read on GreyTalk, it seems that most people are content with the decision they made -- whether it was amputation/chemo or palliative care. There really is no right and wrong decision. Others here have said this, and I believe it: "There is no wrong decision. Whatever decision you make will be out of your love of Baxter and the needs of your family."

 

Jane

Hello Jane...thank you so much for responding to my post. We are at a loss still, as to what to do for Baxter. Unfortunately, cost is a deciding factor, and we will most likely not go for the amputation. His lung xray was clear, so for now there is no metastasis of the cancer in his lungs. Have you ever heard of this type of cancer being treated with neoplasene? I have a referral for a Holistic vet in Alpharetta, but my husband is not convinced it will be a good treatment for Baxter. I am willing to try it, but can't convince him...meanwhile, the clock is ticking.

Sharon

 

I'm so sorry Baxter has been diagnosed. There is just too much of it with our babies. Sending hugs to you. Whatever decision you make, if you make it out of love, is the right one.

 

So glad all of you are doing so well so far!!!! :yay :yay

 

can't believe it's been 3 months now since we let Nube go. And we're still dealing with this same nasty cancer (not Larry, can't say who it is, it's a houndie and person close to me and they have not made it public yet :( :( :()

 

sending hugs to all. I didn't realize a new thread was started, I have to subscribe to this one now!

Thank you.

 

Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter's likely diagnosis.

 

I can only second all of the advice you've already gotten. The one thing I would recommend is not to do a bone biopsy if that is suggested. Bone biopsies are very painful, can further weaken the compromised bone and often yield inconclusive results anyway. If you need more detail about the lesion, an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate is less-invasive and is similarly effective as a diagnostic tool (this is what OSU does).

 

You probably feel like you are in a whirlwind. The one thing I can tell you is that you will make the right decision. Only you and your husband are able to determine what that will be; don't let anyone (even the vet or oncologist) try to railroad you into a course of action that you are uncomfortable with. The rest of us will be here to cheer you and Baxter on, and try to help lift you up during the hard times, because this journey is nothing if not a rollercoaster.

Thank you so much for all of your support. I've read some of the stories posted, and it just breaks my heart. I just don't want him to suffer.

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Hi all. I have been hesitant to post here, because, well, frankly I did not WANT to be here. Denial? Maybe, probably, OK, yes. :(I have been posting in H&M about Opie's rib tumor. We do not know if its osteosarcoma, or what. Aspiration, xrays and biopsy have not yielded any definitive diagnosis. But it is some sort of cancer. While a rib tumor appears not to be nearly as common as on the leg, a few GH people have chimed in with their experience with osteo on the rib and chondrosarcoma. Our frustration has been with not having an exact diagnosis, which obviously would effect our decision on what to do. And frankly seeing the costs posted here, will make our decision all the more heartbreaking, as $5000 plus is not in the cards for us. We have an appt. with a surgeon on Wed. to see what the rib removal surgery entails - although we had pretty much decided against (nobody here has done it), but felt we owed it to ourselves and Opie to at least get all the information. We have seen an oncologist, who suggested we at least speak with the surgeon. It has been 3 weeks since we first started with a needles aspiration, and have done xrays, and full biopsy, and still results are inconclusive. But the lump is there, and large, and showing on the exray on his rib.

After being his normal happy self through out all of this, Friday he stopped eating, after breakfast. He has continued to drink. We have given him Pepsid, as he does get acid stomach from time to time. He also has continued to eat his turkey neck piece, but nothing else. Just now DH hand fed him raw hamburger, and he did take some of that. We had some company over last night, and he went from person to person for pets, and then periodically lay on his bed. But also Friday night he started coughing at night - more like hacking dry heaves sort of cough. Some liguid (bile?) has come up. He does continue to drink. We are trying to not take him to the evet today, particularly since DH just got him to eat some hamburger. I fear this is connected to the rib cancer, but don't know. Oh, for the record, his xrays taken on the Dec. 3 did not show anything in the lungs at that time, just on the rib.

To say that we are devastated is an understatement, and trying to figure out what to do, as things are changing daily. We are overwhelmed with sadness, and for all the choices we have to make, and where to go from here. I just received digital copies of xrays from our vet, and was going to send those and copies of the reports to OSU. Is there anything else we have not done yet, something anyone would recommend?? :(:(

Hello, my Baxter was just diagnosed last week. We do not know the exact type of his cancer yet. None of us want to be here, and I, like you, am in denial because he just seems so healthy otherwise! Also, like you, the high costs asociated with treatment are just not in the cards for us, either, and that makes it even harder and more heartbreaking.

I've had many reassuring comments on my post from last week saying that whatever decision we make, as long as it is made out of love for our boy, will be the right decision. I don't feel that, because of money, he won't get the care he deserves.

I wish you and your family peace...and love to Opie.

Sharon

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I am very sorry to read of Opie's and Baxter's diagnosis.

 

For Baxter's mum, there has been some good quality time achieved through some protocols other than amp and chemo. Neylasmum or FedX's mum can provide you with details of what they tried and had successes at. The key, is pain management and keeping Baxter as pain

free as possible which can be challenging until you get the right quantity of meds accurate. Then you need to keep a close eye on

him for pain spikes and or when gradual increasing pain, you will have to adjust the meds as applicable. You also should speak to

your vet about the quality of the bone that has cancer now so that you are aware of the chances of a fracture. There are no

guarantees no matter what your vet says but sometimes the x-rays show major deterioration and that may affect your decision.

 

For Opie's mum, I have been following your other thread and feel at a loss to offer any advice as I have never experienced cancer

in a rib with my pups. I am sorry you are going through this as it seems like a less common area for cancer for those of us on GT. As for Opie's current change, is it possible the meds he is on are affecting him in some way? Some of the meds can be hard on the

stomach and that will cause them not to eat.

 

Good thoughts for you both and please give a hug to your pups 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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Does your vet have any idea what the problem is with Baxter's rear legs? Was that collapse a one-off thing, or does he frequently have rear-leg issues? That's something to take into consideration when you're evaluating how well he'd do as a three-legged dog.

 

My understanding, from what others have posted here, is that the amputation doesn't carry the sort of long-term trauma we might expect. One doctor has described greyhounds as "having three legs and a spare" because their build makes them better candidates for recovery and mobility after amputation than other breeds might be. But if Baxter is going to have further trouble with his rear legs, that could be a problem.

Our vet seemed to think the rear leg issue was neurologic....that maybe he strained something trying to adjust for his limping. We still have to get a second opinion and possible MRI to verify whether or not the cancer has spread to his spine.

Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter. In my opinion, age alone is not a reason to decide against amputation. Other things are much more critical: are there already visible lung metastases, overall health of the hound, any orthopedic issues that would make being a tripod too difficult, is the dog petrified of the vet (if so, can accommodations be made to mitigate this), can the owners spare the money ($4000 to $12000 depending on the follow on care that is selected).

 

Most greys recover well from amputation and live a very happy life afterwards. My Joe even caught a squirrel as a tripod and was very, very pleased with himself. Chemo is not as hard on them at it is on humans, mostly because they receive a smaller dose. The goal is to reduce the spread for a few years, versus a much longer lifetime for a human. Also, since dogs can't understand why they are sick, the goal is to adjust the chemo so there are little to no side affects.

 

The median time of survival with amputation and chemo is about 14 months. The most common reason for letting them go is lung metastases. I am told that these are not very painful, so the dog has no to little pain for the remainder of his life.

 

It used to be that without amputation, median time of survival was measured in weeks, not months. However, there has been more use of radiation, pamidronate infusions, and chemo in non-amputees. I have not heard any official new median time of survival, but I have heard anecdotal stories that many dogs survive longer with these treatments. With the exception of chemo, the treatments are still intended to reduce pain levels, thus extending life. There is some evidence that pamidronate does indeed strengthen the bone, but no studies have been done on this that I know of. There are several people on GreyTalk who report some success with herbal treatments. I believe most, if not all, oncologists will say that amputation and chemo provide the best chance of longer-term survival.

 

Cost definitely has to be considered. Amputation typically costs between $2500 and $6000. Chemo can be $1000 to $8000. There are wide variations in costs depending on the area of the country. If you are within driving distance to Columbus, Ohio I highly recommend that you bring Baxter to Ohio State if you decide on amputation. They are the primary center for bone cancer research and treatment in greyhounds. A local family may be able to put you up during your stay if you desire. Whatever you do, have the amputation done at a facility that has an ICU that has a veterinarian physically there 24/7. Also, be absolutely sure that they use Amicar (aminocaproic acid) for 5 days. This is a drug that is only used in greyhounds and humans, so many vets have never heard of it.

 

If you decide on radiation, pamidronate and/or chemo, instead of amputation, your costs will still be quite high. These costs can be more than the cost of the amputation.

 

This is a horrible disease. It is almost always fatal, even with aggressive treatment. There are truly no guarantees, no matter what treatment you choose. Your decision is somewhat philosophical. Do you provide aggressive treatment, no matter what the cost, to extend his good quality of life as long as possible OR do you let him go soon, keeping in mind that he has no concept of time or worry about how long he will live.

 

I chose to do aggressive treatment. I got another 20 months of incredible quality time with my sweet Joey. I don't regret my decision at all. Did Joe realize that I bought him this extra time with me? No he didn't. Did he have a great year and a half? Absolutely. I made my decision as much for me (perhaps even more for me) than for Joe. But there really isn't anything wrong with that, because Joe had an excellent quality of life. As soon as he didn't, I let him go.

 

Based on what I have read on GreyTalk, it seems that most people are content with the decision they made -- whether it was amputation/chemo or palliative care. There really is no right and wrong decision. Others here have said this, and I believe it: "There is no wrong decision. Whatever decision you make will be out of your love of Baxter and the needs of your family."

 

Jane

Hello Jane...thank you so much for responding to my post. We are at a loss still, as to what to do for Baxter. Unfortunately, cost is a deciding factor, and we will most likely not go for the amputation. His lung xray was clear, so for now there is no metastasis of the cancer in his lungs. Have you ever heard of this type of cancer being treated with neoplasene? I have a referral for a Holistic vet in Alpharetta, but my husband is not convinced it will be a good treatment for Baxter. I am willing to try it, but can't convince him...meanwhile, the clock is ticking.

Sharon

 

I'm so sorry Baxter has been diagnosed. There is just too much of it with our babies. Sending hugs to you. Whatever decision you make, if you make it out of love, is the right one.

 

So glad all of you are doing so well so far!!!! :yay :yay

 

can't believe it's been 3 months now since we let Nube go. And we're still dealing with this same nasty cancer (not Larry, can't say who it is, it's a houndie and person close to me and they have not made it public yet :( :( :()

 

sending hugs to all. I didn't realize a new thread was started, I have to subscribe to this one now!

Thank you.

 

Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter's likely diagnosis.

 

I can only second all of the advice you've already gotten. The one thing I would recommend is not to do a bone biopsy if that is suggested. Bone biopsies are very painful, can further weaken the compromised bone and often yield inconclusive results anyway. If you need more detail about the lesion, an ultrasound-guided fine needle aspirate is less-invasive and is similarly effective as a diagnostic tool (this is what OSU does).

 

You probably feel like you are in a whirlwind. The one thing I can tell you is that you will make the right decision. Only you and your husband are able to determine what that will be; don't let anyone (even the vet or oncologist) try to railroad you into a course of action that you are uncomfortable with. The rest of us will be here to cheer you and Baxter on, and try to help lift you up during the hard times, because this journey is nothing if not a rollercoaster.

Thank you so much for all of your support. I've read some of the stories posted, and it just breaks my heart. I just don't want him to suffer.

 

I'm sorry to hear about your pup's potential diagnosis. Re: Neoplasene, I remember reading some pretty unpleasant things about the potential side effects back when Neyla was diagnosed, but that was quite some time ago. You may want to visit the artemisinin yahoo group linked to in the first post of this thread. A lot of people in that group are using other alternative therapies and I know there were some people who used Neoplasene and some discussion as a result. Once you're a member, you can search through the archives for old posts or start a new thread asking about it. I've never heard of anyone on here using it, but of course I could have missed something. Also, most of us are dealing with osteo in a limb rather than a rib, although I remember at least one other pup who had it in the rib.

 

FYI, I believe the prognosis for chondrosarcoma is much better than for osteosarcoma and might support the surgery. Have you sent the pathology results to OSU to get their input? That might be wise if you haven't already. They can also outline treatment options for you, etc.

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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Sharon, I just had to pipe in. I chose amputation. I drove out to OSU from NJ, 9 hrs, stayed with a wonderful wonderful greyhound person, who charged me no money (I brought food), stayed with me at OSU during the surgery and pretty much handled all the difficult stuff while I was worrying over my Diamond. JoeJoesMom is who helped me. She has a lot of connections at OSU.

 

But, the most important piece of this is............my Diamond was 12 yrs old! I specifically went out there because they do see so many greys and I wanted their opinion on if she could handle being a tripod. Her age weighed heavily on my mind, but she acted 7. They agreed that age is just a number. She was strong enough for a front leg amp.

 

She lived 6 months pain free until unfortunately OS hit another leg. She never got lung mets. And she was happy. Very happy. I would do it again.

 

So please, look at Baxter's overall health, not his age. Good luck. And remember, whatever choice you make is out of love for Baxter. It's never the wrong choice.

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Sharon, I just had to pipe in. I chose amputation. I drove out to OSU from NJ, 9 hrs, stayed with a wonderful wonderful greyhound person, who charged me no money (I brought food), stayed with me at OSU during the surgery and pretty much handled all the difficult stuff while I was worrying over my Diamond. JoeJoesMom is who helped me. She has a lot of connections at OSU.

 

But, the most important piece of this is............my Diamond was 12 yrs old! I specifically went out there because they do see so many greys and I wanted their opinion on if she could handle being a tripod. Her age weighed heavily on my mind, but she acted 7. They agreed that age is just a number. She was strong enough for a front leg amp.

 

She lived 6 months pain free until unfortunately OS hit another leg. She never got lung mets. And she was happy. Very happy. I would do it again.

 

So please, look at Baxter's overall health, not his age. Good luck. And remember, whatever choice you make is out of love for Baxter. It's never the wrong choice.

We live in Georgia, so I don't know how feasible it would be for us to drive (probably 20 hours) to OSU. I'm hoping there is a hospital locally that has experience with Greys. I love my Baxter, and I want to do the best thing for him. Like your pup, Diamond, Baxter acts like he's still 6 years old! That is what's making this so hard :L(

Thank you so much for your input!

Sharon

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Sharon, you might want talk to Dr Toby Carmichael at Lake City Animal Hospital at 770-974-3536. LCAH (in Acworth) is the hospital that does all the vet work on SEGA's incoming greyhounds. I think Dr Toby would be a good source for a second opinion and advice, even if you decide to do surgery elsewhere.

Edited by KF_in_Georgia

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Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
Jane (WW's Aunt Jane from Trent Lee and Aunt M); photos to come.

Missing Silver (5.19.2005-10.27.2016), Tigger (4.5.2007-3.18.2016),
darling Sam (5.10.2000-8.8.2013), Jacey-Kasey (5.19.2003-8.22.2011), and Oreo (1997-3.30.2006)

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I am just popping in to give a Lucy update. I was talking with Kyle about Charlie, who was our inspiration and had 21 great months post amp, and realized that Lucy may be one of the longest surviving osteo pups on GT now, at 22 months post amp, which is astonishing to me because she was only 4 when diagnosed. She's still doing great and is the happiest tripod you'd ever meet! There are no signs of recurrence and we are grateful for every day. My heart breaks every time I read about a new diagnose or bridge angel and I truly wish Lucy's outcome was the norm. I get too teary if I spend too much time on the H&M board so I'm not here much, but feel free to PM me if anyone is contemplating amp and needs someone to talk to. There's a lot of heartbreak with osteo, but there is hope, too.

 

Hugs to everyone.

It's always encouraging and hopeful to read about Osteo hounds surviving longer than any estimated survival rate! Congrats to Lucy for beating the monster I call osteo! Our Maggie-Mae is 4 years and 1 month post amp! She is, like Lucy, the happiest tripod! She loves life....she never misses a meal, plays with the younger hounds and enjoys our daily walks. It's amazing to us and at this point we have to say she has kicked cancer's butt! Dr. Couto gave us a prognosis of 6 months to a year after amp and chemo. I would have never imagined in a million years that she would be with us this long. We are truly blessed and treasure every single moment we have with her.

 

To all that have newly diagnosed hounds...my opinion is that if your hound is a good candidate for amp and is in otherwise good health and you have the funds to do amp and chemo, then do it! It's a gamble but once they recover from the surgery you will find your hound to be just as happy as ever. Losing a limb does not affect dogs as it does humans. Dogs adapt very quickly without a limb. I have met quite a few tripod dogs(limbs lost due to osteo) and they all, to me, seem like the happiest dogs ever! Almost as like they know they were given a second chance at life and are living it to the fullest!

 

I don't spend a lot of time on GT or in H&M...but like Jess, I like to stop by every now and then to remind others facing amp and chemo that there is always hope!

 

This was taken last week when we were putting up our Christmas tree....check out the smile on her face! That's one happy hound! :)

 

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Suzie Collins

Owner/Artist Skinny Hound Designs

Greyhound decals, magnets and signs.

Fur kids: Isabelle and Petey

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Sharon, you might want talk to Dr Toby Carmichael at Lake City Animal Hospital at 770-974-3536. LCAH (in Acworth) is the hospital that does all the vet work on SEGA's incoming greyhounds. I think Dr Toby would be a good source for a second opinion and advice, even if you decide to do surgery elsewhere.

Thank you. We'll give him a call.

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Baxter's Mom - I am so sorry to hear abut your diagnosis with Baxter. It seems like you might have some options with the amputation, and some places to get second opinions. Cancer is taking so many of our babies, and my heart is breaking.

 

Update on Opie, I just posted this on FB:

 

We just returned from the vet, and we now have rimadyl & tramadol (sp?), plus something for his stomach. He did take treats at the vet, which is very rare, so we know he is hungry. The nodule on his back leg has grown in the past week, and there are now big swollen lymph nodes (3) on the inside of the leg. He does flinch when our vet was feeling underneath from back legs, along stomach. This is NOT good. We are VERY sad, and I have cancelled the consult with the surgeon this week, as surgery will not be an option now. Also got a quick reply from OSU, and they too said it would be a very difficult surgery, and I have just written them back with this latest news. Also send our xrays, as I was not able to attach them to the initial form, as they were too big. They have a Drop Box, for putting them in. Since this now appears to be spreading, and fast, we have to face the fact that we are going to lose him. My heart is breaking in tiny pieces, but I know I have to be strong for him right now. :(

Question for you all - is there any herbal supplements I can give him? Where do I get this Artemisin (SP??), and do you think I should give it to him?

Mom to Toley (Astascocita Toley) DOB 1/12/09, and Bridge Angel Opie (Wine Sips Away) 3/14/03-12/29/12

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Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter. In my opinion, age alone is not a reason to decide against amputation. Other things are much more critical: are there already visible lung metastases, overall health of the hound, any orthopedic issues that would make being a tripod too difficult, is the dog petrified of the vet (if so, can accommodations be made to mitigate this), can the owners spare the money ($4000 to $12000 depending on the follow on care that is selected).

Most greys recover well from amputation and live a very happy life afterwards. My Joe even caught a squirrel as a tripod and was very, very pleased with himself. Chemo is not as hard on them at it is on humans, mostly because they receive a smaller dose. The goal is to reduce the spread for a few years, versus a much longer lifetime for a human. Also, since dogs can't understand why they are sick, the goal is to adjust the chemo so there are little to no side affects.

The median time of survival with amputation and chemo is about 14 months. The most common reason for letting them go is lung metastases. I am told that these are not very painful, so the dog has no to little pain for the remainder of his life.

It used to be that without amputation, median time of survival was measured in weeks, not months. However, there has been more use of radiation, pamidronate infusions, and chemo in non-amputees. I have not heard any official new median time of survival, but I have heard anecdotal stories that many dogs survive longer with these treatments. With the exception of chemo, the treatments are still intended to reduce pain levels, thus extending life. There is some evidence that pamidronate does indeed strengthen the bone, but no studies have been done on this that I know of. There are several people on GreyTalk who report some success with herbal treatments. I believe most, if not all, oncologists will say that amputation and chemo provide the best chance of longer-term survival.

Cost definitely has to be considered. Amputation typically costs between $2500 and $6000. Chemo can be $1000 to $8000. There are wide variations in costs depending on the area of the country. If you are within driving distance to Columbus, Ohio I highly recommend that you bring Baxter to Ohio State if you decide on amputation. They are the primary center for bone cancer research and treatment in greyhounds. A local family may be able to put you up during your stay if you desire. Whatever you do, have the amputation done at a facility that has an ICU that has a veterinarian physically there 24/7. Also, be absolutely sure that they use Amicar (aminocaproic acid) for 5 days. This is a drug that is only used in greyhounds and humans, so many vets have never heard of it.

If you decide on radiation, pamidronate and/or chemo, instead of amputation, your costs will still be quite high. These costs can be more than the cost of the amputation.

This is a horrible disease. It is almost always fatal, even with aggressive treatment. There are truly no guarantees, no matter what treatment you choose. Your decision is somewhat philosophical. Do you provide aggressive treatment, no matter what the cost, to extend his good quality of life as long as possible OR do you let him go soon, keeping in mind that he has no concept of time or worry about how long he will live.

I chose to do aggressive treatment. I got another 20 months of incredible quality time with my sweet Joey. I don't regret my decision at all. Did Joe realize that I bought him this extra time with me? No he didn't. Did he have a great year and a half? Absolutely. I made my decision as much for me (perhaps even more for me) than for Joe. But there really isn't anything wrong with that, because Joe had an excellent quality of life. As soon as he didn't, I let him go.

Based on what I have read on GreyTalk, it seems that most people are content with the decision they made -- whether it was amputation/chemo or palliative care. There really is no right and wrong decision. Others here have said this, and I believe it: "There is no wrong decision. Whatever decision you make will be out of your love of Baxter and the needs of your family."

Jane

This is such a great post, Jane, for those of us who are making our first trip down this road. Thank you for taking the time to put this here.

 

Sharon, I have a 10 1/2 year old with osteo, and I am opting to not do any of the aggressive treatments on my boy. He's not a good candidate for it, for a number of reasons. I also believe that just because we CAN do things doesn't mean we SHOULD. Every dog is different, and some tolerate each of the treatments differently; at the end of the day, you have to do what you think is best for your dog. Do not feel guilty for not pursuing every single option that is available. Baxter lives in the here and now, he doesn't think about the future (well, maybe when his next meal will come. ;) ) I think that sometimes we feel like we HAVE to do everything possible in situations like this, and it makes us feel guilty if we can't or won't. :grouphug

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Shannon, mom to Shae, Jesse James and Linus the Chinese Cresteds,and bridge angels Sydney Sue and Stewart.

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Sharon, I am so sorry to hear about Baxter. In my opinion, age alone is not a reason to decide against amputation. Other things are much more critical: are there already visible lung metastases, overall health of the hound, any orthopedic issues that would make being a tripod too difficult, is the dog petrified of the vet (if so, can accommodations be made to mitigate this), can the owners spare the money ($4000 to $12000 depending on the follow on care that is selected).

 

Most greys recover well from amputation and live a very happy life afterwards. My Joe even caught a squirrel as a tripod and was very, very pleased with himself. Chemo is not as hard on them at it is on humans, mostly because they receive a smaller dose. The goal is to reduce the spread for a few years, versus a much longer lifetime for a human. Also, since dogs can't understand why they are sick, the goal is to adjust the chemo so there are little to no side affects.

 

The median time of survival with amputation and chemo is about 14 months. The most common reason for letting them go is lung metastases. I am told that these are not very painful, so the dog has no to little pain for the remainder of his life.

 

It used to be that without amputation, median time of survival was measured in weeks, not months. However, there has been more use of radiation, pamidronate infusions, and chemo in non-amputees. I have not heard any official new median time of survival, but I have heard anecdotal stories that many dogs survive longer with these treatments. With the exception of chemo, the treatments are still intended to reduce pain levels, thus extending life. There is some evidence that pamidronate does indeed strengthen the bone, but no studies have been done on this that I know of. There are several people on GreyTalk who report some success with herbal treatments. I believe most, if not all, oncologists will say that amputation and chemo provide the best chance of longer-term survival.

 

Cost definitely has to be considered. Amputation typically costs between $2500 and $6000. Chemo can be $1000 to $8000. There are wide variations in costs depending on the area of the country. If you are within driving distance to Columbus, Ohio I highly recommend that you bring Baxter to Ohio State if you decide on amputation. They are the primary center for bone cancer research and treatment in greyhounds. A local family may be able to put you up during your stay if you desire. Whatever you do, have the amputation done at a facility that has an ICU that has a veterinarian physically there 24/7. Also, be absolutely sure that they use Amicar (aminocaproic acid) for 5 days. This is a drug that is only used in greyhounds and humans, so many vets have never heard of it.

 

If you decide on radiation, pamidronate and/or chemo, instead of amputation, your costs will still be quite high. These costs can be more than the cost of the amputation.

 

This is a horrible disease. It is almost always fatal, even with aggressive treatment. There are truly no guarantees, no matter what treatment you choose. Your decision is somewhat philosophical. Do you provide aggressive treatment, no matter what the cost, to extend his good quality of life as long as possible OR do you let him go soon, keeping in mind that he has no concept of time or worry about how long he will live.

 

I chose to do aggressive treatment. I got another 20 months of incredible quality time with my sweet Joey. I don't regret my decision at all. Did Joe realize that I bought him this extra time with me? No he didn't. Did he have a great year and a half? Absolutely. I made my decision as much for me (perhaps even more for me) than for Joe. But there really isn't anything wrong with that, because Joe had an excellent quality of life. As soon as he didn't, I let him go.

 

Based on what I have read on GreyTalk, it seems that most people are content with the decision they made -- whether it was amputation/chemo or palliative care. There really is no right and wrong decision. Others here have said this, and I believe it: "There is no wrong decision. Whatever decision you make will be out of your love of Baxter and the needs of your family."

 

Jane

 

This is such a great post, Jane, for those of us who are making our first trip down this road. Thank you for taking the time to put this here.

 

Sharon, I have a 10 1/2 year old with osteo, and I am opting to not do any of the aggressive treatments on my boy. He's not a good candidate for it, for a number of reasons. I also believe that just because we CAN do things doesn't mean we SHOULD. Every dog is different, and some tolerate each of the treatments differently; at the end of the day, you have to do what you think is best for your dog. Do not feel guilty for not pursuing every single option that is available. Baxter lives in the here and now, he doesn't think about the future (well, maybe when his next meal will come. ;) ) I think that sometimes we feel like we HAVE to do everything possible in situations like this, and it makes us feel guilty if we can't or won't. :grouphug

Nube was also 10.5 when diagnosed and not a candidate for amp either. We did, however, do 3 radiation treatments and 2 kinds of chemo (one that wasn't terribly expensive, the other HORRIBLY costly). We spent nearly $5k and honestly? I don't know if it made much difference overall. It's hard to say. We were able to have 2 more months with him but I really believe we would have had them without all the treatments (which were quite hard on him too).

 

just do what you can. There's another hound that is very near and dear to my heart that just was diagnosed too, and her mom can't afford to do any treatment either, and I know feels bad about it. Letting her know how I felt about what we did do with Nube hopefully helped her feel better about only doing palliative care.

 

sending hugs to all.

Kim and Bruce - missing my sweet greyhound Angels Rainey (LG's Rainey 10/4/2000 - 3/8/2011), Anubis (RJ's Saint Nick 12/25/2001 - 9/12/12) and Zeke (Hey Who Whiz It 4/6/2009 - 7/20/2020) and Larry (PTL Laroach 2/24/2007 - 8/2/2020) -- and Chester (8/31/1990 - 5/3/2005), Captain (10/12/1992 - 6/13/2005) and Remy (?/?/1998 - 1/6/2005) at the bridge
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." -- Ernest Hemmingway

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For Baxter's mom: Most, if not all, of my knowledge comes from Dr. Couto and crew at Ohio State. With a few exceptions, they use primarily allopathic treatments. I have not heard them mention Neoplasene. Of course, I don't work there and I don't know everything they have recommended (not even a minute fraction of everything). So someone else would be much better to answer your questions about this. Neyla's Mom would be the person I would ask.

 

For Opie's mom: I am so sorry about your news. Love on him as long as you can, take pictures, make memories. It is just so sad when they have to leave us -- do your best to revel in his love now and grieve for him later. I know that this is so hard to do, but it will give you good memories well into the future.

 

Jane

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Has anyone heard from Mary Jo?

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

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Guest RICHandJUDE

Just for a little encouragement. We had to face some important decisions in 2010 with Santa and his Osteo diagnosis. We chose the amputation and chemo route. In a couple weeks it will be 27 months since his amputation. We have him checked by our oncologist every 3 months. So far, he is cancer-free. Santa got to meet Dr. Couto at our Greyhound Adoption of Ohio brunch in December of 2011. We still take a 'day at a time'.

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Just for a little encouragement. We had to face some important decisions in 2010 with Santa and his Osteo diagnosis. We chose the amputation and chemo route. In a couple weeks it will be 27 months since his amputation. We have him checked by our oncologist every 3 months. So far, he is cancer-free. Santa got to meet Dr. Couto at our Greyhound Adoption of Ohio brunch in December of 2011. We still take a 'day at a time'.

LIKE!! :-)

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Just for a little encouragement. We had to face some important decisions in 2010 with Santa and his Osteo diagnosis. We chose the amputation and chemo route. In a couple weeks it will be 27 months since his amputation. We have him checked by our oncologist every 3 months. So far, he is cancer-free. Santa got to meet Dr. Couto at our Greyhound Adoption of Ohio brunch in December of 2011. We still take a 'day at a time'.

LIKE!! :-)

Wish there were more experiences like this when having to deal with osteo.

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Just for a little encouragement. We had to face some important decisions in 2010 with Santa and his Osteo diagnosis. We chose the amputation and chemo route. In a couple weeks it will be 27 months since his amputation. We have him checked by our oncologist every 3 months. So far, he is cancer-free. Santa got to meet Dr. Couto at our Greyhound Adoption of Ohio brunch in December of 2011. We still take a 'day at a time'.

 

I love, love, love posts like this.

Valerie w/ Cash (CashforClunkers) & Lucy (Racing School Dropout)
Missing our gorgeous Miss
Diamond (Shorty's Diamond), sweet boy Gabe (Zared) and Holly (ByGollyItsHolly), who never made it home.

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