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MattB

11yo very lame in rear leg - preparing for x-ray results tomorrow

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I know there isn't an easy answer but I was hoping for other's thoughts on our situation:

My mum's 11 year old boy, Sparky, has slowed down a lot in the past 12 months. In the last couple of months has been having some stiffness in his rear right leg after exercising, my mum asked their vet (who was visiting the house to treat one of her sheep) to examine him and he suspected arthritis and prescribed paracetamol, Tramadol (and a 3rd, one-per day med that I can't remember now, I'm sorry). However after the examination Sparky became completely lame in the rear leg, hopping on the other leg, my mum took him back to the vet's and they upped his meds and suggested it might take a couple of weeks to get the pain under control, however over the past 10 days he's gone downhill, he's fallen a couple of times and screamed. He won't put his rear leg down at all. 

I spoke to the vet this morning who suggested an x-ray to see if there's something else going on, though did say that with this level of pain it will be hard to envisage coming back from it. Obviously without seeing the x-ray she won't know but she said it could be osteo, or a tumour elsewhere. She suggested if nothing was found then we could look at changing/ adding steroids to his medication to try to control the pain, but poor Sparky is exhausted, we're dreading the logistics of the car-ride tomorrow and though we want to remain positive, we are worried that we could be facing a choice of not waking him up. Given the rate that Sparky has declined, it feels like time isn't on his side in terms of getting more opinions. 

I just wondered if anyone has any thoughts or advice, what questions we should ask, and is there anything we/they might be missing - it's really difficult to think clearly when our hearts are breaking.

Matt 

 

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First of all, I'm so sorry you all are facing this stressful time.

Second, he shouldn't need to be sedated for a back leg xray.  All sedation does is make it easier for the techs/vet doing the xray.  See if you can talk her out of this part.  Second, get him an antianxiety pill, or an actual pain med, to give before the whole car ride to the vet ordeal.  it will help everyone.  If it's too late for all of that, you'll just have to deal with it.

Third, it's highly likely, given his age, that he does have osteo, so it's best to be prepared for the question instead of stressing about it more in the middle of an already stressful situation.  Whether that answer is to not wake him up, try and manage his pain, or even an amputation with chemo is a very personal one only your Mom and you can make.  Just keep what's best for him in mind and you can't go wrong.

Good luck and keep us informed.


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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I agree that there is a strong chance it's osteo.

To help with any decision making,  I had 2 front leg amps. One was a 12 year old.  Two weeks post-op were rough, but then life blossomed for them since their pain was gone. I did question my decision during that 2 week period. But I don't now.

If amputation is an option don't negate it simply for his age. 

Good luck. This is a rough journey. And remember, whatever choice you make is the right choice because you make it out of love.

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1 hour ago, MP_the4pack said:

I agree that there is a strong chance it's osteo.

To help with any decision making,  I had 2 front leg amps. One was a 12 year old.  Two weeks post-op were rough, but then life blossomed for them since their pain was gone. I did question my decision during that 2 week period. But I don't now.

If amputation is an option don't negate it simply for his age. 

Good luck. This is a rough journey. And remember, whatever choice you make is the right choice because you make it out of love.

Thank you. Can I ask, before the amputation, how was your 12yo's pain, and general health, Sparky seems so sick it's hard to imagine recovering? What was life like after recovery from the surgery?

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She was 3 legged lame. I brought her out to Ohio state university vet school (where at that time Dr. Couto practiced) where she spent a day being evaluated by specialist to make sure she could handle amputation at such a late stage of life. They came back that she had arthritis but she was healthy enough for the surgery.

If you have the funds, have him checked out. Just keep in mind if he has osteo of the pelvis, amp is not an option.

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41 minutes ago, MP_the4pack said:

She was 3 legged lame. I brought her out to Ohio state university vet school (where at that time Dr. Couto practiced) where she spent a day being evaluated by specialist to make sure she could handle amputation at such a late stage of life. They came back that she had arthritis but she was healthy enough for the surgery.

If you have the funds, have him checked out. Just keep in mind if he has osteo of the pelvis, amp is not an option.

Thank you. We will keep an open mind. Although the thought of amputation horrifies my mum. 

Did your hound receive chemo as well? I worry that there aren't as many options where we live (UK).

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Amputation is a major surgery, and the dog does lose a leg and some surrounding tissue - about 10 lbs of body weight - but as long as the other three legs are healthy and stable dogs adapt really well and quickly.  The survivability of osteo increases from about 12 weeks with palliative care only to months/years with amputation and follow up chemo.

I know it's much less common to do surgeries such as this in other countries.  And there really isn't a curative reason to do it.  Osteo is hideously painful, and the amputation removes the main source of the pain, which is usually a tumor in one of the long leg bones.  But by the time a tumor can be imaged, it has already spread throughout the body, which is why you'll need at least chest xrays to look for metastasizes before deciding on a course moving forward.  Osteo *can* appear in other bones though, including the pelvis and ribs, which makes amputation not an option.  

If you pursue a treatment modality, no matter what level that is, you will be (should be) referred to a canine oncologist.  This doctor can give you more information regarding your options and costs.  I would also contact The Greyhound Health Initiative regarding their free chemo program and your options as a UK resident.

https://www.greyhoundhealthinitiative.org/

I'll bump up the current "Osteo Thread" for you, too.


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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I must be the only one here who does not believe in amputation.  I am still angry at the vet who xrayed my first GH, found osteo and refused to euthanize her while she was under. She had 6 weeks of pain until the meds stopped working. Yes, 9 years later I am still angered by the arrogant vet who had to sell me $300+ worth of drugs. Do talk to your mom. Your dog has had a good long life so far. 

BTW my 2nd female also ended up with osteo. She horrifically broke her rear leg jumping off a bed. 

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On 10/29/2019 at 8:03 PM, MP_the4pack said:

 

Thank you all for your kind words.

Today Sparky had his x-ray, it was very bad: a large bone tumour. Given Sparky's arthritis the vet thought that amputation wasn't an option at all and my mum agreed with this, she knew him best. We didn't wake him up.

 

We had a lovely morning before this, for an unknown reason Sparky and me bonded like I've never bonded with any other dog, he got so excited to see me, then we took a very slow walk around my mum's garden, I hugged him for a wonderful hour before we went to the vet's and they sedated him straight away so he wasn't waiting around for long. 

 

Sparky is buried with all the other dogs we have loved and lost; we are heartbroken.

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I'm so sorry.


Standard Poodle Daisy (12/13); Greys Hildy (Braska Hildy 7/10), Ivy (Jax Isis 10/07), Toodles (BL Toodles 7/09), Opal (Jax Opal 7/08)
Missing Cora (RL Nevada 5/99-10/09), Piper (Cee Bar Easy 2/99-1/10), Tally (Thunder La La 9/99-3/10), Edie (Daring Reva 9/99-10/12), Dixie (Kiowa Secret Sue 11/01-1/13), Jessie (P's Real Time 11/98-3/13), token boy Graham (Zydeco Dancer 9/00-5/13), Cal (Back Already 12/99-11/13), Betsy (Back Kick Beth 11/98-12/13), Standard Poodles Minnie (1/99-1/14) + Perry (9/98-2/14), Annie (Do Marcia 9/03-10/14), Pink (Miss Pinky Baker 1/02-6/15), Poppy (Cmon Err Not 8/05-1/16), Kat (Jax Candy 5/05-5/17)

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I’m so sorry for your loss. 


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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 our perfect hounds gone too soon
Walls turned sideways are bridges. -Angela Davis

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I am so sorry for your loss.  I do hate cancer.  It is the thief who robs us, every day, of those we love.


Irene Ullmann w/Shine and Odin in Lower Delaware
Angels Brandy, John E, American Idol, Paul and Fuzzy
Handcrafted Greyhound and Custom Clocks http://www.houndtime.com
Zoom Doggies-Racing Coats for Racing Greyhounds

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I am so sorry that Sparky had to leave you and your mum. I will add his name to the list of Bridge Angels here on Greytalk.


 

Charlie the iggy, Hada the podenco maneta, Georgie Girl (UMR Cordella)
Angels: Mazy (CBR Crazy Girl), Potato, my mystery ibizan girl, Allen (M's Pretty Boy), Percy (Fast But True), Mikey (Doray's Patuti), Pudge le mutt, Tessa the iggy, Possum (Apostle), Gracie (Dusty Lady), Harold (Slatex Harold), "Cousin" Simon our step-iggy, Little Dude the iggy ,Bandit (Bb Blue Jay), Niña the galgo, Wally (Allen Hogg), Thane (Pog Mo Thoine), Oliver (JJ Special Agent), Comet, & Rosie our original mutt.

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So sorry to read that Sparky had Osteo. You did what was best for him and there is no blame anywhere.

Run free Sparky until you meet your family again....

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I am very sorry. Cancer takes so may of our pups and it just hurts.


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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