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Arrow's Bone Cancer. Need Some Guidance


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Guest sethbest

My sweet boy Arrow was diagnosed yesterday with bone cancer in his shoulder. He had been limping on and off for about a week. I am heartbroken. He's been with me through some of my darkest times, he's like a brother and a son to me. Because I love him so much, and he is my puppy, I know I have to do the right thing for him and finish taking care of him to the end without breaking down.

 

Since it's in the joint and the shoulder (but not the leg oddly enough) the Vet said that amputation isn't an option, though I wouldn't have chosen it anyways since he's over 10 years old, and has some arthritis in his back let. He's on tramadol and carpofen for now, and the vet says he has a few more comfortable weeks.

 

I intend to take him to his favorite parks and on as many light walks as I can before he goes. I want to bring as many people that he knows to visit him as possible (he loves company). I do not want to drag out his life to the point where he is in constant pain and uncomfortable.

 

There are a few things that I haven't been able to find information on, and I hope someone here can help me with-

 

When is it time to go? It breaks my heart to even ask, but I don't want to wait too long. What are the symptoms I should watch for? The vet said light exercise should be fine, but the greyhound adoption group lady I spoke to was all doom and gloom about sudden fractures and said I should put him down immediately. I don't want to wait for him to become immobile, I already almost breakdown everytime I think that he will never run again, if he can't go on walks I don't think he will want to hang around. What are the signs I should look for. The vet said they can do a house call at the end of the work day, and I want him at home when this happens, or his favorite park, so I want to make sure I don't wait so long that he ends up severely hurt or in pain and has to wait for the end.

 

Couch- Arrow loves the couches. He is always plopped on one with his head on a pillow. He climbs on and off the couch using only his good front arm, so I'm not too worried about it hurting the bad arm, but just the same I'd like to here others opinions. We have two dog beds, and I'm considering getting a third so he has another place to lay, but he really loves to alternate between couch and beds.

 

Supervision- My girlfriend works 9-5 every weekday, and I have to go on repair calls randomly (i'm a freelance IT technician). I intend to only go to emergency calls for a while, not only is my head not in it because of this situation but I don't want to leave him home alone for any length of time. When he's on the pain medication he sleeps most of the time like a log, and even before he was on the medicine he wasn't very active until I got home (my sweet buddy wouldn't even eat his food until I got home most days). Should I have a sitter when I leave him?

 

Time- The Vet first said months, then when I asked him realistically he said weeks. Arrow is doing so well at the moment so this was a huge shock. How fast can this progress? I don't know how much to baby him, since he's still doing pretty well at the moment should I keep the pain meds dose low and keep him active until he starts to show it more, or is it already at the critical point since he is limping? I just don't know what to do or how to plan our time since I don't know his level of mobility, or pain, in the future, or when the end will be.

 

Burial or cremation- The vet said we could bury him in our yard if we wanted, or cremate. Immediately I thought the burial was the way to go, a return to nature and a place I could go to remember him. Everyone I talked to though said they went cremation and that I should too. It's not a cost issue. Are there practical reasons to this that I'm missing? Are there problems with burial that I'm not foreseeing?

 

The end- I was thinking that I would have as many friends and family come to the end as I could, provided it didn't happen suddenly. I don't know how I will be able to live past this, with or without the support, he means so much to me. I just want to do everything right for him up to the end, I've gotten him along this far and I want to do right by him up until I can no longer do anything for him. Does anyone have experiences with this that they could share, about how it went for them, and good/bad ways to do it.

 

I love him so much, and miss him already. Please any help you can provide, I need it to make sure he has as happy a remaining time as he can.

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Guest SueG201

my first grey had osteo in the shoulder, she only lasted about a week, I could not control the pain. Greyhounds are very stoic and will try and hide the pain. Let her go with dignity. I am so sorry you are going through this Cancer really sucks

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Please join GT's osteo thread. You will find lots of good info and advice.

 

I think every dog and every situation is different. I also think that by the time our hounds are diagnosed with osteo, they've had it for a long time and the illness is pretty advanced.

 

I let Phoenix go 1.5 weeks post diagnosis and Treasure was let go the same day as she went into respiratory distress while still at the vet's office. Phoenix was let go as soon as I had to increase his pain meds for the first time because I knew that if he was exhibiting pain, it was a lot worse than what I saw. There are others who lived happy lives for quite a while after diagnosis. It depends on the dogs and their people.

Edited by robinw

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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I am very sorry that Arrow has been diagnosed with Osteo. There is a thread named 'Osteo Thread' in H&M that you should join as it has a lot of good information and most important people that are going through exactly what you are. As for the time you have with Arrow, that is difficult to say. Often by the looking at the x-ray, a vet can see how badly the bone is eaten away and they can guess but that is the best they can do. Osteo can be very aggressive in some pups and slower in others, not sure why but you may have more time than you think. The most important thing for you to do for him is manage the pain which means providing meds that will keep him comfortable as Osteo is very painful. The second most important is love him every minute of the day you are with him, spoil him rotten and make memories. Finally the third most important thing is making the decision at the right time unfortunately there is no 'right time'. You do want to be aware that a fracture can occur so you need to manage Arrow's activities as much as possible. Depending on how far the bone is gone, just him getting up could fracture it or his bone may still have good mass and he could run around for the weeks or months he has left. It's best to be cautious IMHO and reduce/eliminate any running or active playing. Also there are some additional options for you if you are interested in them to help Arrow's pain and possibly have him around for longer. These are discussed in the Osteo Thread I mentioned earlier.

 

Again I am very sorry. We have been down this road as well however we chose amputation and chemo so a different path but the same evil disease so we understand how you are feeling.

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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I am very sorry for Arrow's diagnosis. Our lovely Sadie was diagnosed with shoulder cancer and we let her go after a week. She began to whine when laying down or getting up, we knew it was time.

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Am so sorry for the bad diagnosis. Arrow will let you know when it is time. Hugs to both of you.

"Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the day comes God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man."

Persian Proverb

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I am so sorry. You ask greyt questions - ones that most vets are unable to give us good answers for.

 

When is it time to go? The pain from bone cancer is excruciating - I believe it is time to let them go when you can no longer control the pain without drugging so heavily that it affects the grey's quality of life.

 

Couch- Mine stopped getting on the couch/bed when it became too uncomfortable to do so.

 

Supervision- As long as you are able to give the pain medication on schedule, Arrow can be left alone.

 

Time- honestly in a shoulder, I wouldn't say months. Maybe a few weeks.

 

Burial or cremation- A very personal choice.

 

The best advice I got with my first experience with osteo - "Enjoy every moment you have together, take a million pictures and never let him see you cry. " is now my mantra along with "better a day too soon than a day too late".

 

Hugs to you and Arrow.

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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Osteo sucks. I found that I just "knew" when it was time to let Trinkett go. There is a look that she gave me, which I can't describe, but you will know when you see it.

 

As to burial: number one, make sure it's legal to do in your area. The odds that someone actually comes by and stops you are low, I will admit, but you can never tell. And number two.... you run the risk of something finding the body and digging it up. Possums, skunks, coyote, other dogs, all love carrion. Which I would find pretty distressing if it happened. In your case, you might want to think about cremating, planting something, and sprinkling/burying the ashes at the plant. That way you will have a living reminder of Arrow.

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My blog about helping Katie learn to be a more normal dog: http://katies-journey-philospher77.blogspot.com/

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How sad. Yes, they often give us a subtle sign that enough is enough and they just aren't going to be able to enjoy tomorrow.

Treasure him in these days that remain and let him go as soon as you feel able to cope with the decision on the grounds that letting them go to the Bridge one day too soon is so much better for all concerned than a day of misery too late. Promise him that you will teach your next dog all you learned from him. Terminal ilness care sucks, always.

 

When Considering Euthanasia ask yourself these questions: (Written by a vet)

 

1) Is the dog free of distress, pain or discomfort, and could the pain be controlled?
2) Can the dog walk and balance fairly well?
3) Can the dog eat and drink without vomiting?
4) Is the dog free of inoperable tumours which are painful?
5) Can the dog breathe without difficulty?
6) Can the dog urinate or defecate without difficulty or incontinence?
7) Does the dog have an owner who is able to cope physically and
mentally with any nursing that may be needed?

If treatment is not possible then answering 'No' to any of those questions means there is no blame in having the dog put to sleep.

Next, ask yourself if it was yourself in your dog’s situation, would you actually wish to continue living? Better a day too soon than a day of misery too late.

 

Then ask your vet if they think it is time to consider letting the dog go. If not then how long and what to watch out for in the quality of life equation.

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I am so sad and sorry to read this. Take pictures, make memories and keep each day special. You will know from a look in the eyes when the time is right. You are your dog's best friend. He looks to you to give you peace and comfort.

 

I have only one remark: if you bury in your yard, and you move, you are leaving your pet behind. I took our dog's ashes with us when we moved. Our mover said it was the first time, that he could remember, that he packed ashes.

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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My heart goes out to you. It is clear from your post how very much you love Arrow and want to do right by him. You have received so much good advice already, the only thing I would add is a thought that many of us here have when faced with a similar decision: It is better a day too soon than a day too late. You will know. Arrow is living in the moment and although it can be difficult, you should try to do the same and smile and laugh and love him up every single minute. You will know when it's time.

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'm sorry to hear about Arrow's diagnosis. I've been there with my girl Neyla. She was also diagnosed with osteo in the shoulder of a front leg. We had 7 months after her diagnosis doing palliative care only, for which I am incredibly grateful. We did have some ups and downs, mostly at times when she'd have some breakthrough pain and I'd need to work with the vet to get her meds adjusted, but for the most part especially during the first 5 months she was her normal happy self. I have video of her running and playing in our condo, going on (albeit shorter) hikes with us, etc.

 

No one can predict how long you will have with your dog. There are people who as you see gets weeks and there are some who get well over a year. The latter is less common, but as we become more aware of osteo and are catching it earlier, I think people are getting more time. My personal theory is that osteo grows very slowly for a long period of time, a year maybe two and then at the end, it grows exponentially fast. In the past, people were only becoming aware that their dog had it at those later stages, but now we're more proactive about getting x-rays done when our dogs start limping and catching it while the progression is still slow. For us, we saw NO visible changes on the x-rays until 5 months post dx. There are also better palliative care options than there have been in the past. Now, in addition to oral medication, you can choose to do IV pamidronate or radiation treatments. The latter are purely for pain management. The same is said of pamidronate but there is some evidence that pamidronate may also slow the growth of the cancer and/or help repair/regrow bone where the cancer has eaten it away.

 

If you want to consider those treatments, you need to consult with an oncologist. I recommend you do this anyway as they seem to generally be much better about prescribing the correct doses of medications (and not holding back on the amounts you are instructed to give) because they understand that this is a terminal disease and the number one priority has to be pain management. Regardless of whether you work with an oncologist or your primary vet, you will want to have extra medication on hand and instructions on how to increase them incrementally should something happen (as it almost always seems to) during non-office hours. The best combination of meds seems to be Tramadol, an NSAID (sounds like you are using generic Rimadyl, I prefer Deramaxx myself but whatever works for your hound is fine), and Gabapentin. If you don't have all three, make sure you get them. You will want to add in Gabapentin before increasing the others (and you may already be maxed out on the NSAID - there's not a lot of wiggle room with those medications as they have the higher risk of side effects). Make sure you get Gabapentin in 100 mg capsules, not larger so you can give lower doses more frequently (every 6-8 hrs is preferred) and add it in gradually to avoid wooziness.

 

This info is all in the osteo threads, but I know how overwhelming it can be when you are first faced with this diagnosis so I'm trying to answer your questions as best as I can, but when you have time, do read through the current and previous osteo thread (check out the first post now if you can and the links) and post when you need support.

 

As far as when to make the decision to let your dog go, that's very personal and different for everyone. What I think is important to keep in mind is that 1) this is a terminal disease. Your dog isn't going to get better so when the quality of life is deteriorating it's time to think long and hard about what's best for your dog. And 2) bone cancer is supposedly very painful so if you are seeing visible signs of pain (dog is limping, having difficulty getting up or down, not doing normal activities, not eating or playful, panting a lot, unable to settle, etc.) his pain is probably not managed. Err on the side of staying ahead of the pain. Having said that, like I said above, if you feel you are in the earlier stages, you could have a lot of good quality time where you don't need to do much with the medication. I would actually suggest you send good quality digital x-rays to OSU through their consultation program and ask them to evaluate how progressed the tumor is. You can also post them here.

 

The last thing I will say - it is possible that at any point Arrow could fracture his leg. I discussed this issue in depth with my oncologist, the folks at OSU, and the radiation specialist who reviewed Neyla's x-rays and what I was told again and again is that you cannot predict when and if this will happen, even based on what the progression looks like on the x-ray. There are plenty of dogs (I've seen it here on GT numerous times) whose first sign of osteo is a fracture and there are dogs who are walking on a leg that has virtually no bone left in the area where the cancer is who never have a leg break. If you choose to continue with palliative care, it's a risk you take. If you don't want the risk at all, your only options are to let him go or amputate (and even the latter is not a guarantee as the cancer could return in another leg and cause a fracture there before you realize). However, there are some things you could do to minimize the risk, keeping in mind that it could still happen just walking around the house some day. That would be to minimize running, especially in large areas and with other dogs where collisions could occur. The other thing would be not to let him jump down, off of furniture or out of the car. I built a step so that Neyla could get on/off the couch and bed without having to jump and lifted her out of the car. I also stopped taking her to the dog park, although I did let her play and run and spin inside our condo. I was comfortable with that, especially given that her x-ray didn't show much progression, but I knew it was a risk. If you continue with palliative care, have a plan in place for what you will do if a fracture does occur. Best thing for your situation from what I can gather would be to have medications on hand (heavy pain meds and something with a sedative effect) that you can administer immediately. If your vet will come to your house right away, then have him/her on your speed dial. If not, have a way to get your dog into the car if you are alone to get him to the vet. If a fracture does happen, your only options are relatively immediate euthanasia or amputation as a fracture is very painful and the bone cannot be repaired at that point.

 

I hope this is helpful. Again, I'm really sorry you are dealing with this. I remember like it was yesterday how I felt when I got the email from OSU confirming what I already knew. It was like someone had punched me in the gut and I couldn't breathe. I will probably never get completely over feeling like Neyla was taken from me far too soon by this horrible monster. She was 11 at the time, but prior to her diagnosis you would have never known. She was still active, taking long hikes iwth me and running with the other dogs in the park, playful and silly and sassy and the cancer just cut her life short. :( But, I am grateful for the time I had, and the advice and support I received here. One thing someone told me that I am forever grateful for is to take a lot of pictures and video and just spoil your pup. You will treasure those memories later.

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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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I'm so sorry you have to face this. Remember though, right now he is "living" with OS, and living in the moment. I hope you have lots of good quality time left.

Jan with precious pups Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si). Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16 and Katie Crazykatiebug 12/11/06 -21/08/21. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Most regular vets, and even some oncologists, are much too conservative in prescribing pain medication for osteo. As reported by humans, which have the same disease, it is hideously painful. Greyhounds are generally very stoic and show little pain reaction, even on direct examination, so staying ahead of the pain is important.

 

Jey's outline above is a very good guide for pain meds, and we have found the combo of tramadol, gabapentin, and an nsaid is the most effective. It is also best to dose every 6-8 hours, as opposed to every 12 which is the standard practice. Greyhounds metabolize these substances much faster than other breeds, and need more frequent dosing.

 

You may be more comfortable if you can crate him while you are gone, but there's no guarantee that a fracture won't occur at any time. Our first - very first - indication our dog had osteo was him breaking his leg while running out in our yard. Dude had no limping or any other clinical sign, and he had been to the vet only weeks prior to this occurrence.

 

Though it is painful, you need to think about your plans *now* for what might happen in the future - if he should break his bone at home or while you're away, how will you handle it? Can you transport him to the car by yourself? Can your girlfriend? Are there people you can call immediately to help you/her? Will your vet come to your home? Do you have other at-home euthanasia options in your area? Will your vet give you a hypo of a substantial sedative and pain reliever, just in case?

 

No one can give you a magic question or a specific time for when the end will come. It's a very personal, very painful, decision, that only you can make for your situation, yourself, and your dog. The questions listed above are excellent. Our onco told us to pick three things he loved the most; when he couldn't enjoy those things anymore, then his quality of life has been compromised, and it's time to make the final decision.

 

I'm sorry you're having to join this club. It's no fun, but you can make it a meaningful and memorable time all the same.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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The pain from bone cancer is excruciating - I believe it is time to let them go when you can no longer control the pain without drugging so heavily that it affects the grey's quality of life.

 

Yes. We lost our Bee Wiseman to osteo (right front shoulder) eight weeks after her diagnosis. She was taking a large amount of pain medication. Once those meds stopped controlling her limp, we made the decision to let her go.

 

And yes, far better a day too soon with osteo than one minute too late. We lived in constant fear of her breaking that leg.

 

I'm so sorry that Arrow is facing osteo. :(

Edited by 45MPHK9

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Tricia with Hopper the terrier mix and Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, River, and Holly
 Oaks Holly 
“You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.“ -Bob Dylan

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Make sure you have someone you can call that will come to your house if Arrow needs help suddenly and your vet's office is closed. Ask your vet or people you know for recommendations. Also, you can Google "in-home pet euthanasia #####" where the ##### is your zip code. If Arrow suddenly has a problem, you want to be able to stay calm and stay with him--not run around trying to hunt up phone numbers. (My phone has 7 numbers listed under "Vet-" so I don't even have to remember the names of the different practices: dermatologist, vet, e-vet, chiropractor, alternate vet, crematorium, and euthanasia vet.)

 

I've cremated two dogs. I'm in a condo, and couldn't legally bury them here. I intended to scatter Oreo's ashes, but I never have. I've told my sister I want to be cremated and have my ashes and the dogs ashes placed together; I'm not fussy about being sprinkled in a particular place, or ashes buried, or whatever. I just want the dogs to be with me. I'm not sure my mother would agree to cremation. If I die before Mother, I've told my sister not to fight Mother over cremation, but to put the urns with the dogs ashes in the coffin with me. (When I adopted my dogs, I told them we'd be together forever--and I meant it.)

 

If you decide to bury Arrow in your yard, make sure you've checked into where utilities are located--cable, phone, power, water, etc. Also, I don't know where you're located, but if Arrow survives for several months more, you could be looking at cold, hard ground; and wherever you are you might have weather problems (like pouring rain) that could delay you from burying him. Just make sure you've considered this sort of thing before you decide.

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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'm just so very sorry to read this. You will get lots of good advice here from those who've traveled this sad road before you. :grouphug

Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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I am heartbroken for you and Arrow. :cry1

 

I have lost four greyhounds since 2010. All for different medical issues - but none osteo. Regardless of the reason, my heart broke each and every time I had to say goodbye (one had nasal cancer, one had protein losing nephropathy (kidney); one had back issues; one had cognitive dysfunction -- all heartbreaking).

 

To echo the others, you WILL know when it's time - but don't wait too long. The look in Arrow's eyes will tell you all you need to know.

 

It's a personal decision but I have had all of my beloved hounds cremated. Wherever I go, they will go with me. Funny, I was reading an article the other day where it was stated that cremation was becoming increasingly popular as our society continues to migrate and roam. Many people no longer stay in the town they grew up in -- so they cremate and take their loved ones with them.

 

I also concur with the others: far better a day too soon than a day too late. My beloved heart dog Indy had nasal cancer. I moved up his euthanasia date three times. I wanted him to cross the rainbow bridge with his dignity intact (meaning while he was still eating, walking, doing his business, wagging his tail. There was no cure for his ugly nasal cancer.). And I always told my puppers that I loved them too much to allow them to suffer.

 

Freedom from pain is the ultimate gift of love that you can give sweet Arrow.

 

I wish you strength and courage during these difficult and sad days. I'm so sorry. :brokenheart

Edited by IndyandHollyluv
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Sorry, I meant to add re burial vs cremation - Your vet may know and that's why he told you, but you should check with the regulations in your city/county as to whether it is legal or not to bury a large dog in your backyard. Some jurisdictions, even those right next to one another, have different laws. Also, if you bury him where you are now, you have to leave him there if you ever leave. If you're OK with that, then burial can be your way to go.

 

If you haven't had a pet cremated before, you might want to investigate it further. You can buy some really lovely and creative urns (google "Sarah Regan Snavely"), and even have some part of his ashes made into glass paperweights or jewelry, or even diamonds if you want to pay that much.

 

It's important to us to keep our pets ashes with us, and so we have. Some people think it's weird. :dunno We have an etegere in our living room with all of them, plus their favorite collars or other momentos. My mother-in-law specifically asked that she be put on the shelves with all our other loved ones! So there her urn sits too, right up front. We have sprinkled some of their ashes in special places, and there are plants planted in their memory as living memorials.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

35764734494_93de5b5963_b.jpg

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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First let me say how sorry I am, I know the pain you are experiencing too well. Our Opie was diagnosed with rib cancer, and we had 4 weeks. We went to an oncologist, consult with OSU, visited our vet at least weekly, read everything, added more pain meds, but within 2 weeks he stopped eating. We still felt we could "maybe" do something, to get him to eat, to control the pain. In hindsight, we should have let him go right then. It was so obvious, but we just weren't willing to give up on him, for both of us. The night we "knew", he was just moaning in pain, no matter how much meds we gave him. In the am he was a bit better, but we just knew we could not let him suffer another night like that. Whoever said rather a day to soon than a day too late was so right. I really think we waited too long, but we just kept trying and trying to make him better, and we couldn't. You will know, but sometimes its just so hard to say OK, now, instead of well, let's just wait a few more days. For us it was 1 month from diagnosis till the day we set him free. I still feel guilty that we let him suffer too long. May you have the strength to make the right decision at the right time.

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 elliemae421

First off I am so sorry you are dealing with osteosarcoma with Arrow. I am dealing with cancer now in my greyhound Fast Willie too!

He has squama cell carcinoma of the right tonsillar area and metastasis of the right lymph node.

Surgery is not an option but on Palladia which will give him time with me of about 4 months to a year.

I cherish every moment and day with him even more so now! I always did!

I take a lot of pictures,as I always did too!

I will have to say my other dogs that have passed were cremated,I highly agree with that 100%!

I had to move twice already since I lost them! I have beautiful urns for them.

My last girl,her picture is laser cut on the front of the wooden urn.

I know you and I have some rough road ahead of us in making this final decision and I am quite sure I will know when it comes up on me!

I have already had a few scares.

Please stay in touch with us on here,never hesitate to ask anything.

:grouphug I have had some wonderful help on here about a month ago when Willie was in a painful situation. :grouphug

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Guest yat420

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I'm going through it too right now with my Buddy and my heart is breaking with yours. :( Did they talk to you about palliative radiation? It really helped Buddy for the past 3 months. He has just got worse again this week. We are trying another dose a radiation to see if it helps. We have already lost one to osteo. It never gets easier. We have had all of our babies cremated, so that if we ever do need to move, we can always have them with us.

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.... Once those meds stopped controlling her limp, we made the decision to let her go.

 

And yes, far better a day too soon with osteo than one minute too late.

 

With a terminal diagnosis, I would even say, far better a week too soon than one minute too late.

 

If the dog is limping, the dog is in pain. There are very few exceptions to this and none of them involve bone cancer.

 

I'm so sorry you and your beloved are facing this.

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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Guest sethbest

Thank you so much everyone for your responses. I can't tell you how much the kind and supportive words mean. I felt like I was going to die from the shock and heartache that first day, and it still hits me in waves out of nowhere. I am a big stoic guy and it has really shaken my family, and friends to see me crying. For them, my girlfriend especially who is unbelievably supportive despite how hard this is for her too, and for Arrow I am doing my absolute best to stay upbeat.

 

I have spent two days of solid research and reading, and it has helped immensely. Just knowing that I am doing everything I can for him up until the end has helped with the self pity and guilt that I know is a big chunk of my grief. I joined the bone cancer yahoo group, and the artemisinin treatment group. I have ordered expedited pretty much everything that I couldn't get locally. I am very frugal, work for myself and seldom have much saved at the end of the month after bills, but thank goodness for my cheapness since I do have enough savings at least to stock up on the supplements, good foods, and treatments.

 

I bought some organic free-range chicken and steamed it up with some boiled cassava(yucca), and a little organic long grain brown rice. Arrow was getting a little sick of his food prior to this but as soon as I fill his bowl he's his happy puppy self again charging up there. I'm having trouble deciding how much to give him since he will just eat it endlessly if I keep filling his bowl. I'm mixing supplements in one at a time to make sure they aren't upsetting his stomach as well, greens, probiotics, vitamins.

 

The vet I have is the best I've ever dealt with. He has talked to me several times on the phone, and actually researched without charge several of the treatments that I found that he did not know about. He said the doxycycline studies that suggested it reduced bone tumors never panned out since the dosage had to be too high, so I'm a little disappointed in that but he did look into the pamidronate that was suggested here and said its a good option if i could afford it. I'm researching it now to check for side effects but I'm thinking of going that route. He's also put a dvd together of the x-rays and radiographs that i'll pick up today and upload.

 

I've had arrow on a half dose of the tramadol for the last few days since it makes him so sleepy, and even a little dizzy, but he was hurting this morning so we are up to the full dose at the moment (200mg a day). Like others have suggested here I'm doing 4 doses of his medicine daily instead of two.

 

I don't know how effective all the alternative therapies and tinctures are but just researching and using them makes me feel a little better, and so far has actually improved arrow's stool which has been very soft for the last few months.

 

I took him to his favorite dog park yesterday. It's amazing how he has adapted to using only his good leg. He lifts himself into the car with just his good one then hops up with the back legs. Had to keep a leash on him at the park since he kept trying to gallop and chase. It kills me not to let him run, he always loved to lap circles around me while i pretended to try and chase him. I'm going to stick with a light walk today and see if he's up for the park again tomorrow. He also loved the dog beach but its a drive and I don't know about walking on sand and the heat and everything (we live in Florida by the way).

 

All the other animals in the house (two cats and a basset/terrier mix) have been acting oddly, they know something is up. The normally mischievous cats have been very cuddly and actually have been sitting around Arrow almost as if they are watching over him. The terrier Biscuit is very jealous of all the special treatment arrow has received, and very anxious. I don't know if she can tell he is ill, or that we are upset, or if its just jealousy for all the walks, treats and attention Arrow is getting but she goes from jumping up and whining on everyone, and sulking silently in corners.

 

Several people have suggested a special oncologist to us, but I'm not sure if they can really provide more information and help than my research and the vet can give and I don't want to subject him to too many car rides. He loves the rides but its hard to keep him laying down, and i get very nervous with him standing in the car especially with his bad leg.

 

I haven't decided about burial or cremation. We are planning on moving out of the state next year, but this house is owned by so many different family members after my parents bad divorce decades back, that it will always be in the family. It is against city codes to bury pets in your yard here, but the vet said he was ok with it and my neighbor said he'd help with the digging if I go that route.

 

The greyhound adoption group here said that they very seldom see greyhounds live past 10. I've read some of your accounts of greys living up to 14, I wonder what the low rate is here, if it has to do with their first years as racers or the heat or something.

 

I'm sorry I'm rambling. Thanks again everyone for your kind words, advice, and support.

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