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Well, It Wasn't Arthritis

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Shadow seemed to rally a bit on Tuesday, and we thought he was getting better.

Wednesday he followed us around the downstairs, walked twice, ate breakfast with gusto, and seemed ok, if a little stiff and gimpy.


I went out for a bit last night and when I came home, my husband was on the floor in front of a heavily panting dog, feeding him string cheese. Apparently Shadow wouldn't' eat dinner. He napped, went out for his evening turnout and when he came inside, would not sit down. At all. For an hour. We called the e-vet who said we could try the Tramadol we had at home, or bring him in.


I'd never seen him like that, and doubted in the state he was in we'd even get a pill in him, so we decided to bring him in. Some wonderful neighbors, who also have greyhounds, came over and helped put him bodily in the car.


Shadow hates car rides, and he began to pant harder in the car. He did get down eventually, but again, was very worked up. His breathing got harsh sounding.


The only thing he hates worse than cars is the vet's, and although he was walking around, he was rasping loudly, and looked panicked. They brought him back to us to see if that would help calm him, but he was so upset, it didn't help at all.


They intubated and sedated him, to get him breathing, and said they were more worried about his breathing than getting x-rays of his legs at that point. They kept him overnight. This morning, he was ex-tubated, and they lightly sedated him to get X-rays.


The Dr. called back to say he does have Lar Par (which I strongly suspected he had, and my regular vet had dismissed that idea! Grr!)

and they found a lydic bone lesion in his (rear, I think) left knee. it's 4 cm x the width of his tibia. They found nothing in the foot/leg he had been visibly favoring, the front right.


She recc'd amputation, pallative radiation or medication. She with likely osteo she did not recc anything for the Lar Par other than keeping him calm.


DH and I had discussed this possibility at length last night and were in agreement that For an 11.5 yr old guy, we did not want to do anything drastic, I don't think he's strong enough to survive a surgery or the recovery, and she had hinted that although they didn't find any other lesions or tumors, it doesn't mean there aren't more.


She said if we went with that course, she would recommend increasing the Deramaxx to 50 mg once daily, and adding tramadol and gabapentin for the pain.


We were about to make arrangements to get him home when she said he'd started having trouble breathing again and had to intubate him a second time, and said she'd call back when he was stable to see if we could take him home. I asked if he'd had any pain meds yet as that's why we brought him in in the first place, and she said they hadn't because they couldn't if we were going for surgery?


I am utterly heartbroken, he is the best dog ever, and such a lovey, good boy. He's been remarkably healthy in the 5 years we have had him. I had the gut feeling it wasn't just a pulled muscle, and knew from reading these boards how likely osteo was. But I'm still just blown away how fast this all seemed to go downhill. I don't want him to die alone in the doggie ER, but we obviously can't bring a suffocating dog home in the car, either.


I put a call into his regular vet to ask about our options at this point. I think they do home visits and Euthanasia, but only scheduled far in advance. I would love, more than anything to get him in his own bed, and spoil him with "lubs", cooked eggs, mac and cheese and anything else he would be willing to eat, and let his passing be peaceful and calm. I don't want our last memories of each other to be me being utterly useless to help his pain, and him being in pain, panicked and alone in a strange place (he has never been overnight there before and only went in once for an emergency with a torn off claw). From how worked up they got him there, I might not even have the choice.



I know a lot of you have been round this mulberry bush before, and would welcome any advice and assurance. How long can he lMy parents aren't dog people, I feel like I din't have anyone other than DH who really understands the hell we're in.


EDIT: they extubated him and want us to come get him right away so he's still relaxed and sedated on the car ride, so he doesn't set off another Lar Par incident in the car. He has had water, but no food all day.


so advice on what to do with a sedated, starved dog with cancer would be very much appreciated.


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My 12 year old Percy was started on Doxepin 50mg twice a day for LP. helped his breathing noticeably. If we're late with a dose we can tell that too.

Would the panting have been from pain?


Otherwise, :grouphug


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Spoil him rotten, rice and broth is rather bland so I would start with that. Give him anything he wants (although this might induce the runs) and keep a fan on him to keep him cool. I would call around to see if anyone else could do a home visit for you. I was lucky in being able to call for someone same day on a long weekend to come in to help me and Kasey at home. I knew it was time and was able to spend a day together before the vet got there (it was a busy day for him). Never had previous experience with him, he had no record of Kasey but he was the kindest man I could have asked for to help us and completely understood the situation. There are mobile vets here that do that sort of thing, I hope you luck out. Sounds like at this point it's a decision to make for a day that he is still feeling ok than to leave it one day too late. If you can't find one like that, book the one you know now and get in the queue. I'm so sorry.

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I am so sorry for the sad diagnosis. Take pictures, make memories and let each day be special for as long as you have with your boy. Hope there are many more good days for him.

Irene Ullmann w/Flying Odin in Lower Delaware
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How sad and stressful for you---I'm so sorry. It sounds like you know your precious boy very well, and his safety and comfort are paramount. Given that this is so important, though devastating, your thoughts about at home euthanasia seem to be the most humane way to proceed. You are right---being in his own bed, spoiled with anything he wants to eat, and not having the stress of a final trip to the vets, is the most loving, unselfish thing you could do for Shadow.


It's so, so hard......sending hugs.

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 Sportingfields

I'm sorry-may sound harsh but please don't wait-make the call. Heavens knows watching him suffocate would be just devastating.

May he have a peaceful passing.

Agreed, I know you are gobsmacked, I'm so very sorry your LP and osteo suspicions were correct.


Had this been my dog, I would not have brought him home, unfortunately BTDT, instead would have spent time with him at the vets, then held his paws as he crossed. Somethings just can't be fixed and when they are in pain, when the only prognosis is more pain and suffering, the best thing, IMO is to release them, with love and compassion. Letting them go is a gift of love that you are giving them. Yes it sucks all the way around. Truly, my heart breaks for all of you.

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:( Hugs. Just hugs.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I'm so sorry. Would someone from the e-vet come to your home to help Shadow on his journey? Is there vet university near you that you could reach out to? Our thoughts are with you. :grouphug

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Thank you for all your support and advice. The past 24 hours have been surreal.


The plan to bring him home sedated and calm didn't work out well. I was wondering why he was panting so hard and so upset on the way home. We found out hours later when they ripped the tape off the catheter thingie on his leg and wrapped it up, they must have accidentally taken off a patch of fur and possibly skin on the back of the leg--ouch!


Shadow is the bravest of all dogs.


It took 45 minutes, but he calmed down and the Lar Par panting stopped and he slept. He woke an hour or so later, and the shot they gave him for pain had worn off.

He walked around a bit and started to get wobbly and pant. I got several pills in him (best dog ever doesn't bite me when I stick my fingers in his mouth!)

and he rested again. He got up a little while ago and ate a cup of mushy rice out of my hands, along with bits of bread and chicken parm from my dinner. He drank.

He got a panicked look and struggled to get up, my husband took him out and bless him, dog took and enormous leak. That's when we discovered that although the hole where the catheter was in his leg was not bleeding, the raw skin on the back side of that leg (we couldn't see previously) was. Sigh. Poor dog.


I got another pill and a half in him so he's up to full doses of the Deramaxx, Tramadol, Trazadone (sp?) and Gabapentin.

DH said, "tonight let's not be stingy at all, he's had an awful day".

My regular vet does home visits on Mondays and Thursdays, and we could give him an extra Trazadone and calm him to get him to the office any weekday its open, if his time came. If anyone knows anyone else who does home visits, including Euthanasia, in Monmouth County, NJ, please send me the info so I have options.


My regular vet says she has had dogs with the same diagnosis live 6 months, and some only last a week before it was their time to be at peace. She said it depends on "how much fight" the dog has in him. Considering what he's survived in the past 24 hours, it seems like he's got more than I thought.


E-vet called (unfortunately before we found what the tech had done pulling off the tape!) and although he'd be due for another round of meds at 2:30 AM she suggested I not wake him if he was sleeping.


What do you guys think of that? I don't want to get behind on managing his pain.

I plan to sleep downstairs on the floor with him (so DH can get some sleep upstairs-I'm off, he has to work tomorrow) so if he gets up I can pill him again.


DH has been lifting him bodily to get down the 2 little steps to go outside, so hopefully he won't have to go out until morning, and hopefully in the morning he will be a little less "rubbery-legged". He usually is fine through the night and he ate and drank very little today, especially considering how much he panted. I'm hoping a good night's sleep will rest him up and that he might be a little more mobile tomorrow.

Wish us luck!

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Wake him. I had to change Zuri's med schedule to every 6 hrs instead of every 8 for Tramadol. I have the pills pre wrapped in pill pockets in a pill case along with PB next to my bed, my alarm goes off, I wake up and give them, usually run to the bathroom and we go back to sleep. He barely raises his head.


You said he's up to his full doses of those meds - do you mind my asking what they are?


I'm very sorry you're faced with this. Please feel free to join our small crew in the osteo thread. Also, would suggest googling for in home vets/euthansia and asking local dog friends. I found the person I plan to use looking for a mobile vet just for blood draws and my back up should she not be available as soon as I need her is a service that only does in home euthanasia and cremation who a friend used and recommended.

Edited by NeylasMom


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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Not anywhere near max dosages for a greyhound on the Tramadol and Gabapentin. My recommendation is to always consult with an oncologist. If you don't get good pain relief with those doses please talk to someone about increasing them, and definitely don't skip a dose because he's asleep. My personal experience is increasing frequency before amount goes better - Tramadol and Gabapentin can both be dosed every 6 hrs.

Edited by NeylasMom


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 wrote this in the osteo thread a few posts ago, but Dr Couto recommends every 6-8 hours for gabapentin and tramadol as greyhounds metabolize those drugs faster than other breeds. Trazadone (which is an anti anxiety drug) can probably also be given more frequently. And both the gaba and the tramadol have a lot of room for increases. My Toni gets 300 mg three times a day for nerve pain.


Make sure you keep on schedule with his pills. You simply must keep ahead of his pain and his anxiety. He doesn't even really have to wake up if you're good about pilling. One of mine would take all her pills on a spoonful of peanut butter, some people wrap them in liverwurst or cheese or lunchmeat. There are recipes for homemade Pill Pocket-type dough too. If you do need to pill him, wrapping the pills together makes them go down easier.


If the evet didn't tell you, you should add a pepcid about 20 minutes prior to his meals, especially the one when he gets the Deramaxx. It will help keep the nsaid from bothering his stomach.


You can make a makeshift suport harness out of one of those reusable grocery bags - cut out the two skinny sides so you basically have a long piece of fabric with handles. This will help you get him in and out.


If you can keep him pain free he will probably eat for you, and he will be less anxious. Keeping him cool and calm will help his LP too. If you can do both of those there's no reason you can't have some significant time together to spoil him, and make sure his last days with you are good ones.

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

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

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Willowsmum (Jen, correct?), we just had to say goodbye to our girl, Crouton, last night, not even four weeks after she was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma. We chose palliative care due to a number of complicating factors, and we did not amputate. Within that time, we went from no meds to the following schedule, and it was not enough to keep her from being in pain at the end. I wanted you to see this just for comparison, but your vet can advise you on Shadow. If he does have bone cancer, I sense you will be Shadow's strong advocate.


5:30 am - Carporfen 75 mg, Tramadol 100 mg, Gabapentin, 300 mg, Tylenol 500 mg

9:30 am - Tramadol 50 mg, Gabapentin, 100 mg

1:30 pm - Tramadol 100 mg, Gabapentin, 300 mg, Tylenol 500 mg

5:30 pm - Tramadol 50 mg, Gabapentin, 100 mg

9:30 pm - Carporfen 75 mg, Tramadol 150 mg, Gabapentin, 400 mg, Tylenol 500 mg


As did NeylasMom, I, too, invite you to join our group in the Osteo thread. There is a wealth of information there from people who have been through every variation of osteo treatment with their hounds. I found it very helpful for Crouton.


I learned the hard way how incredibly painful bone cancer can be, by having to add, and add, and add more meds every few days to help her tolerate it. Crouton's osteo was located above her knee in her left hind leg. She was only 7 years old. One thing I do know is that when you are new to this disease, it really is difficult to know how assertive you need to be to help your hound maintain a level of comfort. Others in this forum really helped me understand that only your greyhound's response can tell you when the meds are enough. Please do not hesitate to call your doctor to discuss changes if you think they are needed.


The past 24 hours have been surreal.


My regular vet says she has had dogs with the same diagnosis live 6 months, and some only last a week before it was their time to be at peace. She said it depends on "how much fight" the dog has in him. Considering what he's survived in the past 24 hours, it seems like he's got more than I thought.


I do not mean to criticize your vet, and am sure she meant well, but I do take issue with how much time a dog has depends on "how much fight" is in him. I think, instead, it depends more on 1) how early in the course of the disease the osteo is diagnosed, and 2) how aggressive the cancer is in your hound. Crouton's cancer was probably both: caught late and highly aggressive. Plus, we know that different dogs have different pain tolerances. Shadow may have been hiding his pain for a long time.


When I asked this wonderful group for support and knowledge, I was told that every dog is different, and you must make the right decision for your hound, based on everything you know. The most important thing to remember is that this is a terminal disease, so love Shadow in every way you can, every day, in the time you have left.


You mention how surreal this all is, and I fully agree. I hope you can find some mental and emotional peace to help you find your balance for you, your DH, and for Shadow. You will be in my thoughts.

Someone here mentioned cream cheese for giving pills. That was especially good for us at those "odd times", because Crouton loved it, and it was easy to swallow when she was sleepy.

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Dr Weinberg from home care vet is local. I believe that homecarevet.net is the website. I love him. Very gentle and caring. I used him for several of my goats before needing him for my dogs. He came out for Mickey on Labor day weekend, and came out on a weekend for

CeeCee. Several of my friends have used him. 732 620-1972. Monmouth and Ocean Counties.

So sorry that you are at this step! Hugs!

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Thank you for the Dr. Weinberg rec. He's available 24 hours, so I don't have to have anxiety about the fact that s#!& *never* seems to hit the fan during regular business hours! Shadow seemed more like himself this morning, drank a lot of water, rested in a more comfortable looking position, and has been following us around the room with his eyes and "eyebrows of doom", which is more like him. We want to see if we skip just the anxiety med now that he's settled in and had a few rounds of pain meds, if he'd be more active/interactive. I think the trouble with the 2 little steps this morning was more "rubber legs" from the drugs than pain or weakness.


DH and I had a talk and made a pact about our baseline goals (eating a meal, walking around a bit, not needing to be carried in and out, getting to lounge in the sun on the deck, "supervising" our dinner as official taste tester, etc) and timeline for when we'll make that call if he can't do any of those things he so loved.


It's been wonderful to have such knowledge from people who've been through this already--we haven't told our family and friends yet.

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Hugs! Did you speak with Dr Weinberg, or just review the web site? If you didn't touch base, you should at least email him. He could be planning to be out of town, and you don't want to be counting on him always available. I have been able to have him come out with as little as an hours notice, but one time I called him in the evening and he was on the road, about six hours away.

Another 24 hour option if your vet isn't available (but you have to take the dog there) is Northstar Animal hospital right off 195 at exit 7.

Not sure where you are. I'm in Howell, so it's an easy trip. They have a private room for folks to sit with their pet. It has a rug and couches, so it looks like a lounge, not an exam room. It even has a private exit so you don't have to go back through the lobby.

Hope you can enjoy the time you have left, and make it special! This sucks, but our dogs count on us to help them out of their pain. It is Sooo hard, but we are here for you. Hugs again!

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Trazodone can definitely cause sedation so I think that seems like a reasonable plan. Having in home vets on call does definitely take some of the pressure off so I'm glad you have that option. Keep us posted! I hope you have a lot more quality time together.


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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