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I'm So Scared, My Bodhi Might Have Osteosarcoma


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I haven't posted much on this forum so I don't know many of you, but I am hoping someone can help me. I took my beautiful Bodhi in this morning to see if we can do something more for his arthritis and the vet said his leg looked more swollen than it should, he took some xrays and Bodhi has something seriously wrong with his bones. It is either osteosarcoma or Valley Fever, the vet thinks. If it is osteo the vet is saying I may have to put Bodhi down as soon as next week. I am so frightened right now, I don't know what to do. The vet took bloods to see if it is Valley Fever, we won't get the results until the end of the week, probably.

 

I'm all alone with this, I don't know what to do. I haven't llived here very long, and my only friend is out of town for the rest of the month. I don't really have anyone to talk to about it, and I don't know where to turn for support or help to sort out what to do next.

 

Bodhi's wrist is so fragile that the vet says I can't exercise him at all. In the best case scenario we will have to amputate, but for now I have to wait until the results come back, but his wrist could break at any time. I am carrying him up and down the stairs when I take him outside. He has become lethargic in the last day or so, but he does get up and look interested in things every so often. He hasn't eaten much in the last day or two, but I gave him some canned food a little while ago, and then he went and ate some dry food from his bowl on his own. Then he asked to go outside where he produced some healthy-looking poop.

 

I feel so horribly guilty. He has had arthritis at the site where he broke his leg a few years ago, and that's what we've been assuming was going on. I wish I had taken him in earlier, or pressed the vet to look more thoroughly. I know it can come on very fast, and for most of this time it probably was just arthritis, but I can't help feeling like I should have seen it earlier.

 

I've been reading online for both Valley Fever and Osteo. The main sites just describe them and give fairly optimistic descriptions of treatment. My vet sounds so much more pessimistic for either one. I've known this vet for a long time, before I moved here, and I've always trusted him, but I'm wondering if I should look for a 2nd opinion with a younger or more specialist vet? I'm not working right now, so money is an issue, but I can probably get some money if I have to. I just don't know the best way to go with this. Obviously I have to move quickly, but there doesn't seem to be anything I can do until we get the blood test results back.

 

Please, can anyone advise me? I know on a forum like this one this must come up regularly, are there resources I can turn to?

 

Thank you for any help you can give me. I'm just so scared for him.

 

Ann

 

 

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Guest HoundSmitten

 

Thank you Riverhound. I am not breathing much right now. I will try. And I am definitely spoiling Bodhi!

 

And thank you schultzlc, it helps to get your good thoughts.

 

 

Where are you located?

 

I am in a small town outside of Las Vegas. My vet is in Las Vegas, he's been there forever but he's from my hometown in Missouri. Many years ago I lived in Las Vegas for a few years, and a dog I had then got a cancer of the urinary tract. This same vet referred me to a specialist then, but I can't recall whether that person was a veterinary oncologist, or if he was a urinary tract specialist. As I recall he was only in town for one day a week, he came over from Phoenix or somewhere. I don't know if Las Vegas has any vet oncologists now or not. We are in the Valley Fever zone, too. It could be either. Bodhi is a "nosehound" as much as he's a sighthound, so he could easily have snuffled up some spores.

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i've recently gone through what you're now going through. take a look at this continuing thread for info about osteo. owners post there with updates of their pups, as well as for mutual support. when i posted there it was a great way to get things off my chest because others who shared their OSA experiences in that thread understood what i was feeling.

 

do contact dr. couto at couto veterinary consultants so he can review your pup's x-rays and give you a second opinion. he's been there for all of us who've walked down the osteo road with our greys.

Steve, owner/photographer Crackerdog Photography, writer of ShutterHounds. Follow me on Instagram.
Alex (Sanja Black Eyes [1989-2003] - Sanja Superfrank x TH's Fandango), Nikki (Ein's Ardonis [1995-2008] - Farmer Wilson x Legs Polly),
Sadie (Carla Tar [2002-2014] - Coldwater Guv x Canatar), Katie (Leading Home [2003-2013] - Iruska Excalibur x Impress Me Much),

Bean ([2013-] - DJays Octane x O Ya Cranberry), and Billy Bob (O Ya Billy Bob [2011-2020] Dodgem By Design x O Ya Cranberry)
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Please come look through the current Osteo Thread that Steve posted above. The first post in the thread has tons of links and information, and we have many people who post who have been exactly where you are now - overwhelmed, frightened, more that a little guilty. You should have specialty vets in las Vegas, including veterinary oncologists. If you decide to seek a second opinion, you should go with one of those. Good vets are gold, but no one can keep up on all the current research on something like cancer unless they specialize. An oncologist should be able to offer you a range of options and outlooks for your particular dog and situation.

 

Unfortunately, money is an issue with this disease and it will likely influence your choice. As will your dog and how you believe he would handle each type of treatment. Some dogs are good candidates for amputation personality wise. For some, it would only make dealing with a horrible disease worse.

 

You can send copies of digital xrays over the web, or snail mail them to Dr Couto here:

http://www.coutovetconsultants.com/for-ownersadopters/

 

One step at a time. One breath at a time.

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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I a dear friend who has had greyhounds for many years, is the board a greyhound group and lives in Las Vegas. I just told about your situation and has a referral for you to a greyhound savvy vet. She says he is well versed in osteo, Valley Fever, etc. Here is his information:

Dr Neil Patton, Rainbow Animal Hospital, 244 Rainbow Ave, 89145. 702-363-1300. He works Mon - Thurs.

 

Good luck to you, I pray it is something curable.

Edited by seeh2o

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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My 12 yr old had OS and I chose the amp route. She did very well for 6 months until she got OS in another leg.

 

I currently am dog sitting a tripod (not OS, just a bad break) And he's doing just fine as a tripod.

 

Just thoughts for you as you need to make decisions.

 

:grouphug

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Hi Ann, please don't feel like you are facing this alone. As others have said, the osteo thread has a wealth of information, as well as support, which is often just as valuable. I remember the first time I dealt with osteo, back in 2004, when I had NO info, and felt such an avalanche of emotions that I thought of nothing else every day, and didn't know which way to turn. By mostly luck and Winnie's stubborn streak, I think, I made the right decision. But you know your precious boy best, and whatever decision you make will be the right one for you. Having as much info as you can helps, of course, and then you just do what is best for Bodhi. I think this time is the hardest because you are going over so many possibilities in your mind, and have no clear answers. Then when you get a diagnosis, that is hard too, but your next step is coming up with a plan. I think that makes it a bit easier because you have something to focus on. And you will have a lot of support from those (too many) who have walked this path as well.

Please let us know what you find out, how he's doing, and how YOU are doing!

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Nancy, Mom to Evangelina, Kiva and Laila
Missing Lacey, Patsy, Buster, my heart dog Nick, Winnie, Pollyanna, Tess, my precious Lydia, Calvin Lee, and kitties Lily, Sam and Simon
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Guest fastcasper

There is so much info on the oseto forum. I went through this myself last year. I don't know what I would have done if I didn't reach out to the OS forum. Tons and tons of info. Make sure your boy is not in pain. If he is, get him going on some ASAP. You need to stay ahead of the pain. OS is very painful and greys can be very stoic. Dr. Couto's info is on the OS site, contact him now so he can help now. I'm sorry this may be what your boy has but I hope you can have many more months with him. Hang in there!!

 

Kim

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Biggest question: Did your vet send you home with pain meds? If not, then it may be time to find a vet who'll put Bodhi's comfort ahead of everything else.

 

If your vet's assessment of the x-rays is right, then he may be right about Bodhi's future. If there's been that much bone damage--from either osteo or valley fever--then amputation may be all you can do. Read up in the osteo thread and consult Dr Couto. Before you do an amputation, you need chest x-rays for Bodhi. If the problem is cancer, there usually are small metastases that don't immediately show on x-rays, but if metastases are already showing in Bodhi's lungs, your best option may be to spoil him rotten for a while and then let him go. But if it's cancer and it's not showing in his lungs (or in other organs or on other bones), then an amputation might work out: it's expensive--and scary--but it's doable. Again, read the osteo thread. Aside from the worry about whether cancer might have spread (and, frankly, whether you should put yourself into debt for years to give Bodhi, potentially, only a few more months)*, you need to assess Bodhi's tolerance for extended stays at the vet's, as well as his physical condition aside from the sore leg.

 

If cancer is confirmed--whether you amputate or not--keep Bodhi on pain relievers, whether he acts as if he needs them or not. Dogs are stoic about major pain (although complete wusses about nail trims ;) ), and your job is to be Bodhi's advocate about keeping him comfortable. You may need to consult with a veterinary oncologist if your vet isn't helpful. Vets have been trained to worry about negative side effects of drugs and the potential for long-term damage. You want a vet who says "Let's just make him as comfortable as we can." Be cautious about opium-based drugs; some dogs don't react well to them. But gabapentin has been useful, along with tramadol and an NSAID. And sometimes methocarbamol (if the dog is straining other muscles walking oddly to avoid injuring the painful leg). (Many of the drugs are available from people pharmacies cheaper than veterinary ones. Check www.goodrx.com for coupons and best prices.) Keep Bodhi eating--even if you have to lure him with unorthodox treats--and make sure he eats before he gets pills. You don't want him to develop stomach trouble on top of his current woes, which can happen if he takes his pills and then turns down the food that should go with them. Pepcid might be useful to help with his stomach.

 

Forget about feeling guilty. Bodhi's not assigning blame. Enjoy the time you have together, spoil him rotten, do whatever it takes to keep him comfortable. In your head, work out your emergency procedure for what you'll do if he does break a leg: keep his muzzle handy, can you lift him and get him in the car, where's the nearest 24-hour vet; or can you get a vet to come to your home on short notice. Once you've worked out that plan, just put it in the back of your mind and live in the present, with Bodhi, knowing that you're prepared for an emergency. You don't want to be trying to make decisions in a panic, when Bodhi might be crying and distracting you. (Been there, done that, with my Oreo.)

 

*We hate to talk money, and no one will criticize your decisions for Bodhi, regardless of what you decide. But I'm still coping with the effect of spending nearly $5,000 on a dog in 2010--and we weren't able to save her (my Jacey). I'm not sorry I tried--I wouldn't have forgiven myself if we hadn't given her a chance (it wasn't cancer)--but spending that money then has left me less able to deal with emergencies for the dogs I have now, and that's something I'll consider before I go into further debt treating my dogs.

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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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Ann, breathe. Then breathe again. Whatever you are facing, you are not alone. So many of us have gone through osteo. When I went through it 10 years ago, I wish I had known about this forum. It would have helped so much. There is a wealth of information and support here. You and Bodhi are absolutely not alone. I wholeheartedly endorse reaching out to Dr. Couto, he is worth his weight in gold.

 

No guilt. You didn't do anything. Bodhi isn't assigning any guilt. Just make every day the best it can be for you both.

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Guest HoundSmitten

Thank you so much, everyone, for your support and suggestions. I have now emailed Dr Couto, and am waiting for a response. I don't know what kind of information he'll need for the consult, but I will try to get my hands on whatever he needs from my LV vet. I will head over to the osteo forum next.

 

Thank you, seeh2o for the info about the vet in Las Vegas. I will check him out.

 

KF_in_Georgia I do have some Tramadol. Bodhi has had trouble with different pain meds in the past, so we're starting with Tramadol until we know more about what we are dealing with. He seems to tolerate it okay. I think it affects him mentally, but he's pretty lethargic today, so I hope he will just sleep through the Tramadol. Bodhi is a real stoic, maybe I would have caught this earlier if he wasn't. I don't want him to suffer, so I plan to make a lot of noise about adequate pain management.

 

Those who have been through this, or something similar, thank you so much for being willing to share your experiences. It helps me tremendously to read your kind words and solid suggestions. I'm so sorry for the suffering that you and your hounds have gone through. I can't tell you how grateful I am that you are willing to help me and others facing it now.

 

I will update as I can.

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So sorry for the diagnosis. Osteo is extremely painful. Please make sure your vet writes some scrips for medication that can control Bodhi's pain. When our dog Bee was diagnosed with osteo, she was on a combination of Tramadol, Gabapentin, and Deramaxx. Tramadol alone isn't enough to control the pain.

 

Osteo sucks. :(

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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Ann -- please take care of yourself, and remember that you didn't CAUSE this. Breathe, and use your time to love Bodhi and enjoy every moment you have together (you'll never regret that).

 

With the clear possibility of bone cancer, pain management is very important. Tramadol can help, although some dogs get side effects that can make you worry (like panting & restlessness). I'm sure the Rx bottle mentions that the tramadol can be taken every 4-6h, so remember that this also means that the medication wears off, so to keep Bodhi fully medicated, you might need to be getting up in the middle of the night to keep him comfortable. Other medications work for longer time periods and work in different ways, which is why most hounds who are dealing with osteo are given a cocktail of pain medications (I think the osteo thread will outline other drugs such as gabapentin & perhaps Deramax, for example).

 

After you've posted enough on this forum (50 posts), you can PM any of us who have dealt with this evil disease if you'd prefer to have some offline support. Meanwhile, I'll keep you and Bodhi in my prayers, and continue checking back to hear how you're both doing (so please keep us updated).

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