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Recent Bone Tumor Diagonosis


Guest Oaklove5
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Guest Oaklove5

Hi all. It's been a LONG time since I have posted on this forum. I had hoped I would never need to post in this section. My girl is 11 1/2, I have had her since she was 4. She developed a noticeable limp with her front right leg back in October for a few days, but then it went away so I didn't think anything of it. She started the limping again probably at the beginning of November. It wasn't terrible, and I just figured maybe a toenail was bothering her. I was out of the Country all last week, and she stayed with a friend. It seemed the limp had gotten significantly worse while I was gone. I took her to the vet last Friday, and they X-rayed her. She has a pretty large tumor on her right shoulder, and had lost 8lbs since her last visit in April. Her vet said the cancer has probably been there a while. Amputation and chemo are out of the questions b/c of her age. I don't want to do that to her. So they stocked me up on pain meds, and told me to give it a week and see what happens. So far, it doesn't appear to be working. She still has the limp, and just isn't herself. I can see it in her eyes. I just don't know what to do. How do I know when to let her go? I don't want her to be in pain. Any advice is much appreciated!

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You DO know what to do. You just don't want to do it, and no one ever does. You said it yourself, "I can see it in her eyes."

 

Osteo is a painful cancer, and it will NEVER get any better.

 

Your choice is to give her a painless departure in your loving arms, or keep her alive pumped full of pain pills.

 

Everyone who has ever said goodbye to a beloved pet is aching for you, as am I. But you know what to do.

 

Hugs


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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You are her best friend and she looks to you for peace and comfort. I am so sorry that you have to make this decision.

 

Better a day too early, than a day too late.

 

G-d bless.

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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I am so sorry you are faced with this decision, it's a painful one for sure, but it's a decision based on your love for her if that brings any comfort.

Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, 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; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. 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 heal and 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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Unfortunately, yes, I agree. If you can't get her pain under control then this decision needs to be made.

 

Remember, you don't need to be conservative with her pain management - she's not going to get better - you just need to take away her pain. Most regular vets don't prescribe the high amounts needed to combat the pain of osteo. The best combination is an nsaid (rimadyl, meloxicam, piroxicam or whatever she tolerates), a pain reliever (tramadol is standard, but codeine and other can be used as well), and the nerve drug gabapentin. You can start with the dosage for your dog's weight but it will most likely take more, and at 6-8 hour intervals instead of 8-12 hours. Some dogs will react to gabapentin by becoming lethargic, though they quickly will become used to it.

 

I'm so sorry for you and your girl. {{{HUGS}}}

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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"Amputation and chemo are out of the questions b/c of her age."

 

Dr. Couto says that age is only a number. I went the amp route on a 12 yr old. She made it 6 months before OS hit another leg.

 

While I don't know the rest of your girls health, don't let a number influence your decision. Those 6 months were bliss for my Diamond. I still couldn't have her off leash as she could easily run away chasing deer.

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Guest Sportingfields

I am so very sorry for your girls diagnosis. My heart is breaking for both of you. I've had Greyhounds for over 20 years and they've come a long way on amputations, chemo and dealing with the chronic pain. Before you make an irreversible decision, maybe read the osteo threads and any links there in. A week at this point to make a clear decision, either way, will be okay. If you don't feel her pain is being controlled enough, then call your vet and ask for the meds to be upped. Whatever you decide, please don't wait to long.

 

All that said, osteo - bone cancer is an extremely painful disease. I don't feel there is enough medicine on the planet to kill the pain with the dog still being conscious and able to function. There are only two ways to stop the pain from bone cancer, amputate or give her angel wings. Some will disagree with me, due to their own personal experiences and treatments that they have done for their greyhounds. Don't allow anyone to make you feel ashamed or guilty if you choose the angel wing option. I did that with our two osteo pups within days of the osteo diagnosis. My bottom line is quality of life with absence of pain. You can't fix osteo, sure you can amputate but more often than not, cancer comes back elsewhere or other health problems arise due to the uneven gait of tripod, a blessed few live a year or two after amp with no problems at all. Whatever you decide, it will be the right decision for you and your pup. :grouphug

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Guest goofydog

No advice, though I wanted to tell you that you're not alone in dealing with these final decisions. Many of us have been there and know how difficult this time is for both of you. Sending cyber {{{{hugs}}}}.

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I've had three that presented just like yours. Several years ago, my eight year old had a minor limp that would come and go. He still appeared happy, ate well, and sometimes ran and played with the others. X-rays showed cancer all through his body, and the bones in his shoulder looked like Swiss cheese! My vet was amazed that he didn't show more discomfort than the little limp. I let him go that day.

Last December, my nine year old presented with the same kind of limp. She also continued to play, run, and eat. X-rays showed a moth eaten shoulder, but nowhere as bad as the other dog. I took her home with lots of meds, but within three days I couldn't keep ahead of her pain, and let her go.

In September, my eleven year old had an off and on limp in the back. X-rays showed a large tumor in the ankle area, and moth eaten bone in the hip. Again, I took her home. She lasted just one week. After that, i saw that look in her eye, even after I increased all the Meds. I had to let her go.

It's sooo hard to do the right thing, but you sound like you feel that the right thing would be to free her from her pain. If you are at that point, make the arrangements for her, find someone to be a support for you, give her a great last day, and let her go.

Your only other option is amputation, which is a personal decision, and may not be right for your dog. Recently, two people from my group had amps on their twelve year old dogs, and both are doing well. In January, I adopted a twelve year old tripod who runs and plays with my other dogs. She doesn't know that she only has three legs! She will be thirteen in a few weeks. I have no medical history on her, have no idea why or when she lost her leg. I just use this as an example of a happy dog with three legs.

Whatever choice you make will be made out of love for your dog, and what will work best for your family. You need to make a decision and not look back. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty for your decision. Do it soon! This is a horrible disease that causes extreme pain. I'm so sorry that you are facing this. Hugs!

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Just lived through this Nov 9th from slight limp to total non weight bearing over night.. My vet came that very evening and we said good bye. The possibility/probability of a sudden bone break and the torturous pain she would have gone through if that had happened was something I could not chance. At 13 + she had lived a long and healthy life. She was still eating and aside from the sudden onset of pain had been happy and active. Better a week too soon than a minute too late. Pain meds just numb that deep pain.

You need to make your own decision. You know your dog best, however I think she is telling you and you just need to listen. I'm sorry :(

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Guest Oaklove5

Thank you all for your posts! The pain meds don't seem to be helping with her limp. I know she is in pain, but its baffling to see her still eating like a horse, wagging her tail, and still being herself sometimes. I'm going to call the vet on Thursday and get her opinion, but I think I know the right thing to do is to let her go, even though it breaks my heart.

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It is hard, and I'm sorry you're facing that decision.

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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No advice, though I wanted to tell you that you're not alone in dealing with these final decisions. Many of us have been there and know how difficult this time is for both of you. Sending cyber {{{{hugs}}}}.

This. :grouphug

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees: Aiden. 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.

:paw Upon reflection, our lives are often referenced in parts defined by the all-too-short lives of our dogs.

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Guest Oaklove5

Thanks to all for your kind words. I spoke with her vet, and she agreed with me. She is on the max dosage of pain meds, and there is no relief. I'll have one last weekend with her, snuggling in bed (her favorite thing to do) and feeding her french fries (her favorite food).

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Will be keeping you in my thoughts.

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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