Datalounge, please advise about canine bone cancer.
I'm wrecked. My six year old Dane was diagnosed with osteosarcoma yesterday after I took him to the vet because he'd been limping a few days. The cancer is in the ankle of his right front leg. An x-ray of his lungs appeared clear.
Monday we'll see the oncologist where I'm sure the topic of amputation will be discussed. I've researched amputation and potential to extend life, but I can make little sense of the info which seems all over the place.
Therefore, I'd be grateful if DLers would kindly share their experiences with canine bone cancer. What worked for you? What not so much? Thank you.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||05/24/2020|
No experience, OP, but we have a neighbor whose dog lost a leg after being hit by a car and he seems to navigate fine with 3. Sorry for your situation, hope the dog makes it OK.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||03/14/2019|
Danes don't live very long, OP. Six years is about right. I'd let him go.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||03/14/2019|
Potassium cyanide. End of thread.
|by Anonymous||reply 3||03/14/2019|
Why do these gentle giants have such a short lifespan, I'll never understand. Why aren't the breeders breeding for longer lifespans? Also, show me a monster who would be opposed to genetically engineering these doofuses to live twice or three times as long. Dogs living less than twenty years and people just being okay with that never made much sense to me. They're the best, ffs!
I'm sorry, OP, I'm a bird guy so I don't have any useful advice for you. I guess he'd be fine with amputation like r1 said so decide whether it's worth to spend that money to have him around for two or three more years. It's a terrible choice to have to make.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||03/14/2019|
I follow someone on instagram whose dog had an imputation due to cancer & they did great. It extended their life by a couple of years & they ended up dying of old age at 14. The owner 100% recommended the surgery. It only took a few weeks for the dog to adjust.
|by Anonymous||reply 7||03/14/2019|
Thank you for your responses. Danes average life span is 8-10 years presently and growing due to responsible breeding with more attention given to genetic testing. I
My dog has pet insurance which every giant breed owner should have so money isn't the issue here. My primary concern is that I don't act in any way that causes my dog more suffering. The vet said bone cancer is very painful.
R7 if my dog could live another 2 years we'd celebrate every day!
|by Anonymous||reply 8||03/14/2019|
OP, I am sorry that you and your dog are facing this health challenge and I hope that he will resume full and perfect health.
Moreso than the amputation, I would be concerned about putting him under anesthesis given his age and size. Regardless, keeping him free of pain and maintaining the quality of life that he deserves are essential.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||03/14/2019|
I should add that the neighbor's dog is some kind of hunting dog mix, not Great Dane sized, closer to a Shepherd, so maybe in the 70-80 pound range, still a good-sized dog with long legs.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||03/14/2019|
It just seems to me incredibly stressful for the animal to go through all of that. Hospital visits and doctors and pain and misery. I’d doeverything I could to keep them happy and comfortable, and when it’s clear they need to go, then go.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||03/14/2019|
Amputation of a limb on a six year old dog that's life span is 8-10 years? So it gets to wobble around at the end of its life trying to figure out what happens to his damned leg? Good Lord, let it die in peace. Throw it in The van and get rid of it. Pick a stronger breed next time.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||03/14/2019|
Some pros and cons to consider:
By the time osteosarcoma is diagnosed, the majority have metastatic lesions to their lungs. These lesions do not always show in early radiographs as they may still be microscopic/ less than 2 mm. in diameter.
Your dog is a senior giant breed facing amputation of a foreleg. Dogs carry more than 60% of their body weight in the forequarters. Recovery and rehab for large dogs with this type of amputation can be very difficult. They don't always adapt well, especially if they already have arthritis in the remaining legs. Small dogs & cats tolerate this type of surgery much better.
Amputation is only the start; your dog will be facing chemotherapy +/- radiation as well, if you are really trying to buy some time for him.
The most difficult part of the decision is separating your love and desire to have your Dane remain with you longer. Consider his quality of life first. The prognosis for full recovery from canine osteosarcoma is poor, the intervention to extend the life of your pet are going to be painful and difficult.
I have gone through this with a number of clients, and with two of my own greyhounds. My sympathies to you and your Dane.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||03/14/2019|
OP, my heart aches for you. I lost my 8yo bull mastiff a few weeks ago to osteosarcoma. We thought she had sprained her shoulder, but it was so much worse. Diagnosis to death in under 2 weeks. The vet said it would be fast, but we didn’t realise how fast.
Realistically amputation is almost never an option for a giant breed, especially an older one. The operation is traumatic, the recovery extensive, and the subsequent quality of life limited. The kindest approach is probably going to be a good palliative painkiller and anti inflammatory, and lots of love.
I am desperately sorry for you, and for your dog.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||03/14/2019|
I don't think we should put animals through these medical procedures. We are trying to avoid the pain of grieving and our animals should not pay the price. They have no choice, it's our duty to them to make choices for them not ourselves.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||03/14/2019|
I had to put my English Lab down in January, he had a tumor on his leg that I had removed, but within two weeks it grew back worse than before. I took him to a specialist and the doctor said that removing the leg was an option, but that my dog would be miserable and that most likely the cancer would come back somewhere else. It was a terrible week, but in the end I knew that the best thing for the dog was for him to be put down. FYI, this specialist said that removing the leg for a large breed dog...those over 100 really isn't an option.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||03/14/2019|
The oncologist will be able to give you a better idea regarding the options. I’ve known dogs that lived years after amputation, but who knows if that’s the case here. Best wishes, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||03/14/2019|
This article might help. It's about a vet who chose amputation for his dog and he details exactly what happened. It's a personal decision but he weighed the pros and cons and he says at the end, he wouldn't have chosen differently.
|by Anonymous||reply 18||03/14/2019|
OP, you should absolutely seek out the assistance of a veterinarian trained in Eastern medicine. They have a lot of tools at their disposal that Western vets do not have or even really know about.
The Eastern vet almost certainly will be able to enhance your dog's sense of well-being and quality of life. There was an Eastern vet in my neighborhood in Brooklyn and I personally know several dogs who were helped a great deal by her Eastern healing techniques. My current dog is a miniature poodle and she has had some significant health problems with autoimmune issues. The Western vets tell me that there was nothing they could do except try to keep her comfortable. I took her directly to an Eastern vet who rejected the 'keep her comfortable' approach in favor of trying to actually help the dog. That was two and a half years ago. That beautiful little healthy dog is sitting on my lap as I type this.
Good luck to you and your doggie.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||03/14/2019|
We have a 75lb rescue lab who was thought to be about 7 years old at the time we got him. We picked him up from the vet when he was released after the amputation (a decision made by the rescue and the vet before we were involved.) His left front leg was removed. He came bounding out and tried to jump in the car. We have had him for almost 4 years and he is going strong. We goes for walks and he would love to go farther than we take him. He has no problems going up and down steps.
Please let us know what the oncologist says. I will be thinking of you and your pup. Almost forgot. We had a cat go through chemo. It doesn't seem that chemo is as hard on animals as on humans. I would do it again, est wishes.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||03/14/2019|
I went through this with an 13-year-old who was that "soulmate" pet you may get once, even in a life of owning adored fauna. I greatly regret how I proceeded, but it was due to total ignorance about this disease and a desire to do right by him by making sure before I made any final decisions.
His leg fractured while he was standing up in the house. Our primary vet took x-rays and mentioned something about possible bone cancer, but said she was optimistic because the image did not show certain markers of it. She referred to a fancy, extremely expensive surgical group in my area. They told me it was "almost surely" this canine bone cancer, which was not curable, but that "there are things we can do." This turned out to be, amputating the leg and fitting a prosthesis. And all that boiled down to at most, a few months to a year more of life.
I insisted on having a definitive test rather than their probabilities about what it was. But I didn't understand the results were a marrow analysis that took at least a week to get back. And he stayed there that whole time. He wasn't in pain, but he was sad and wanted to come home. Near the end of that week I took his Xrays/scans to a specialist a few hours away, and that person was a straight shooter who said, It's bone cancer, and in a 13 year old dog it's going to be tough to have success with a prosthesis just to get a few months. He very directly and strongly advised to let him go. A couple days later the test came back "99% certain," the bone cancer. This whole time, my dog did not have the strength to balance on his 3 legs to go to the bathroom when they took him out to do his business, and was in a diaper. I decided I had to put him down, and this was after a week of him sitting there yearning to come home. Then the euthanasia went badly---some drug they supposedly gave to pre-sedate before the actual lethal dose did not take---and he struggled and whimpered for an hour before the thing got done. The whole thing haunts me to this day, and I wish I had made the tough decision immediately.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||03/14/2019|
Good Lord r21, that a cautionary tale if ever there was one. I'm so sorry you both had to endure this.
|by Anonymous||reply 22||03/14/2019|
Bone cancer is a misery, if your animal has it, put the animal down.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||03/14/2019|
I had a greyhound that lived to be 14 and was one in the minority of that breed who didn't succumb to cancer, but I learned a bit about osteosarcoma from seeing the many, many discussions about it in the greyhound discussion forums online. It's heartbreaking stuff. Big dogs, like greyhounds and great Danes, do not recover well from amputations. The average life expectancy for a greyhound with osteosarcoma after amputation is only 6 months. Bone cancer can spread rapidly. By the time you see a tumor it's grown into a cluster of billions(trillions?) of cells, but cancer is undetectable if it's in "low" concentrations of say, a couple hundred thousand cells. If it's in one leg it's probably everywhere, and your choice is either to let him go or to gamble with how much pain to put him through to slow the cancer down.
I saw a truly haunting scene unfold in real time on the greyhound forum when a woman said her seemingly healthy young grey was running in the yard when it collapsed and began screaming, absolutely shrieking in pain. The woman had to wait for two hours for her husband to get home and drive the dog to the emergency vet, as their household only had one car. The dog was screaming inconsolably the entire time. X-rays revealed bone cancer in all four legs, and the dog's bones had basically all shattered simultaneously. Bone cancer is insidious and cruel. The breed is being studied to find a cure specifically for osteosarcoma, but until a cure is found, it's essentially a terminal diagnosis.
I'm so, so sorry OP. I would recommend giving your dog one last great week, hire a professional pet photographer to take portraits, and have a veterinarian who makes house calls come put your boy to sleep in his own home where he's comfortable, with you by his side. It takes everything you've got but it's the last and greatest mercy we can give them. You won't regret having him PTS too soon but you will regret even a day or two too late.
They do have something called "genetic preservation" now where you can have some of your dogs' cells cryogenically frozen, meaning you would have the option of cloning him one day. Some people choose to do the preservation just because it is reassuring to know that their dog's genetic blueprint still exists, so it's like a piece of them is still alive.
Alternatively, there's a company called Cuddle Clones that lets you order custom stuffed animals of your pets.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||03/14/2019|
My huge (68 lb) French bull broke his leg getting out of the car, and when they went to set the bone, it was like sponge. Osteosarcoma. In dogs with thicker bones, by the time they present with symptoms, it’s too late to help.
I called a dear friend and asked what to do. She said “give him his peace”. I did. It was the type of sadness that I would wake up at night and remember. But I’m glad he didn’t suffer in confusion through an amputation and chemotherapy.
I had full pet insurance, and could have “afforded” the expense of prolonging his life, but the quality of that life was likely to be very poor. I’m so sorry for you and your friend, and I have been there, too. When I do this again, I will take two dogs, perhaps after I retire.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||03/14/2019|
I lost my lab to osteosarcoma last year. My vet referred me to an oncologist after the initial diagnosis, who did not recommend amputation because of some painless back problems he'd had for years that impacted his balance. X-rays showed the cancer had not spread, at least not enough to show up in radiographs. Well, the oncologist got my hopes up with talks of radiation and a medication called zoledronate which is supposed to slow tumor growth and build healthy bone. 2 months and many thousands of dollars later he was gone, and I probably waited 2 weeks too long at that. The grief was crushing and I was furious at the vet for not being more realistic with expectations. I'm sorry you're going through this, OP. FWIW, I opted to have my dog euthanized at home and I would highly recommend going that route if you have to. There are hospice/end of life vets in most mid-sized cities.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||03/14/2019|
[quote]My huge (68 lb) French bull
I've never heard of such a big French Bulldog.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||03/14/2019|
Normally, I’m a jerk. But not about babies or pets.
I’m very sorry. This is a terrible thing to deal with.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||03/14/2019|
Thank you all. As I type my dog is on one of his beds a few feet from me vigorously working to remove marrow from a bone so he's still enjoying this activity and he's got a good appetite so we're OK for the moment. I've wrapped his affected leg to give him more support. He's on Tramadol.
R18. I find that article fascinating and very helpful. I'll be sure to discuss it with the vet oncologist -also trained at CSU - Monday. . Thank you.
To those who've lost your dogs to osteosarcoma thank you for sharing your painful stories. Its very helpful in terms of helping me come to accept that I probably don't have much time left with my lovely/fantastic boy. He's the special dog of my lifetime as well, just like the dog in the article. I want to act responsibly for him.
And thanks for the reminder about alternative medicine/treatment. Something else to pursue asap. .
|by Anonymous||reply 29||03/14/2019|
I'm so sorry, OP. No advice, but Great Danes are lovable giants.. very sweet. I wish you and your dog the best, whatever the outcome.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||03/14/2019|
My brother’s bichon had an aggressive form of cancer in her leg, they chose to amputate it. She was, I think, 6 years old. It’s been 5 years and she’s fine, but I have to warn you—she was able to walk immediately but was hit with random phantom pain for a few months that was horrific to watch. It gradually slowed, but it made them somewhat regret putting her through it. She gets around on three legs just fine though, except for hardwood floors.
|by Anonymous||reply 31||03/14/2019|
The prognosis is unfavorable and the cancer will most likely spread.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||03/14/2019|
I would do amputation, OP! Don’t put your dog down, please!
|by Anonymous||reply 33||03/14/2019|
OP, I'm very sorry. If you weigh the average life span of a Dane against a possible 2 more years, which are likely to be painful, you'll know what's best for your dog.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||03/14/2019|
Listen to R7. But I’m gonna block this thread because everyone is telling you to throw in the towel. And you probably will. So. Blocked.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||03/14/2019|
Nine years ago this summer my beloved ten year old Shih-tzu, Pete, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. It's not what your friend has, but it is a blood cancer of the bone marrow. It's incurable and the odds of a dog getting it are 1 in a million or something.
It is still very painful to talk about and I admit I can't really bear to read the replies to your post. All I can say is, don't let it go on too long. It's painful. If I could go back in time I would have had him a nice meal on a sunny day with the friends and toys he loved, then called the euthanasia veterinarian to my home. I was so grief stricken, and the cancer was so rare that sometimes I didn't really believe he could have it. He would have a good day or two and I would think things might be 'turning around' for the better.
Try not to do that.
They do have veterinary hospice care more available now, more so than they did then. A good one will help you manage his pain and know when it's time to let go. Euthanize at home if you can. It will be easier for you and your beloved dog.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||03/14/2019|
Google CBD oil as an alternative treatment to help with giving your dog comfort. At this point it's all about his comfort. Spoil him rotten.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||03/14/2019|
I can't imagine putting a dog through chemo. How incredibly selfish. A dog can't understand why it's in pain or sick, so why put it through more than absolutely necessary?
|by Anonymous||reply 39||03/14/2019|
There is oral chemo for dogs. Just a few pills every day. Its not the type of aggressive human treatment you imagine.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||03/15/2019|
R40, you are incorrect concerning the chemotherapy recommended for this type of cancer in dogs. The usual protocol consisting of 6 doses of carboplatin, is given as intravenous injections every 3 weeks. Other commonly used protocols include a 4-dose course of carboplatin, alternating carboplatin and doxorubicin (3 doses of each), or doxorubicin alone (5 doses every 2-3 weeks). These are intravenous infusions, not oral drugs.
For osteosarcoma patients undergoing amputation, and chemotherapy, there may be the option of immunotherapy as well (conditional license for this product).
OP, please realize with amputation and chemo, the life expectancy for 12 months of remission for canine osteosarcoma patients is only 50%. Palliative radiation therapy can give 6- 8 months of quality life.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||03/15/2019|
R27 Yeah, I know. He was unusual. He came from a kennel in Normandy, a litter of only two pups. His father was a monstrosity. He looked basically like an English but but with bat ears. Confused everyone.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||03/15/2019|
I’m very sorry for what you’re going through. I lost my gentle giant five years ago he was a English Mastiff. He was a big boy 230lbs but was diagnosed with Leukemia and his health deteriorated pretty rapidly. He was the most loving dog and he got me through some really rough times. I still miss after all this time ultimately the vet stated that treatment would only extend his life maybe a few months so opted to have him at home where he passed.
Damn I’m tearing up just typing this I wish you and your companion the best whatever you decide.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||03/15/2019|
R41. Thank you very much. I think you make good sense. I can't see putting my boy through such a rigorous protocol to have him sick and unhappy during the little extra time we might gain.
I won't be going to work in the foreseeable future so I can stay with my boy I'm a big 6'3" sobbing MARY! at the moment who awakens every morning weighted down by this terrible darkness This is rough. As most of you know. So very rough.
So we'll see the oncologist Monday, I'm looking for an Eastern medicine specialist now, and we'll see how we progress. (I do give him CBD oil)
One question to the experts: should I discourage my dog from running? He took off a bit this morning to run off wild turkeys and I wondered if his leg could shatter I've wrapped his leg with an Ace bandage for support.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||03/15/2019|
[quote] I'm a big 6'3" sobbing MARY!
So am I, OP, just from reading this thread. Good luck OP. You have the most important part covered - spending as much time as you can with him.
I see euthanasia as part of the pact we make with a companion animal, like any other medical procedure. There may come a time when euthanasia is our duty.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||03/15/2019|
R45 it’s a pact many of my friends make with themselves, to end suffering humanely, with dignity.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||03/15/2019|
I am so very sorry, OP. I have no advice. I hope someone here can guide you.
For what it's worth I care, and I wish I could hug you and your beautiful pup.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||03/15/2019|
I was wrong, OP. Come to think of it my neighbor when I was growing up had a three legged collie, and that dog didn't even seem to miss the forth leg after a time. It ran around and everything.
I imagine it's different for different breeds, though.
|by Anonymous||reply 48||03/15/2019|
This is horrible to say but look at risk versus benefit. If removing the leg was the cure, I’d say go ahead. But if the amputation is done in conjunction with chemo, what’s the gain? The dog being in pain and ill from the chemo, only to prolong the inevitable by a few months, what’s the gain? It’s more for you than the dog. Every once in a while you get a pet that’s more than a pet, and the bond you form is stronger, so letting go is hardest thing you can do. I understand that and don’t mean to minimize your feelings. I'd say palliative care would be the way to go. Feed him steak every night. Take him for long car rides. Let him get up on the furniture. When it’s time, have the vet come to the house and do what has to be done. And then mourn the loss of your best friend as long as you need. I have to say be careful, especially if you have pet insurance. They may prolong the life of your dog for their gain, not yours. My neighbors filed for bankruptcy because they spent every cent they had trying to save their dog even though the prognosis was not good in the first place. My final suggestion, when you are ready, is seek out an animal rescue group and see if they need people to foster animals while waiting for adoption. You have a big heart and are an animal lover, share some of it with a dog in need.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||03/15/2019|
Let him chase the turkeys..... That Ace bandage is a good idea.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||03/15/2019|
Pointless bitchery is one thing, but some of the flippant, nasty comments in this thread go way over being decent. It doesn't speak well for gay men of a certain age- how the hell were you raised? Is it that you're miserable because your dad rejected you, and now you enjoy bringing people down to your level of misery? Get the fuck over it. OP is an actual human being who is going though something painful. There are real, feeling people behind these comments.
I don't get this place sometimes.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||03/15/2019|
R51 You’re right. It can be a downer. I’m not certain how these icons work, but I do hit the orange circle with the blocked profile symbol when a Data Lounger practices bitchcraft.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||03/15/2019|
I suffer from bone loss. It can be ruff.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||03/15/2019|
OP, again my sincere sympathies for this difficult time. I also agree, let your magnificent fellow enjoy himself, including chasing turkeys. Bones weakened by cancer can spontaneously fracture just with the dog standing. Leg supports are fine, just be careful not to apply the ace wrap too tightly.
Some options to discuss with the oncologist are for palliative care:
"The best way to manage pain in any pet with a bone tumor is palliative radiation therapy with a combination of oral pain medications and an injection of a bisphosphonate (see below). Many veterinary oncologists believe that bone pain caused by cancer is never truly managed adequately with pain medications alone. Therefore, we recommend combining radiation therapy with additional medications to provide the best outcome. The various methods to control pain are detailed below:
1. Radiation therapy – Pain is palliated in 75-90% of dogs for a duration of 2-3 months. Response to treatment is rapid, with improvement generally observed in the first 7-21 days. The patient is placed under brief anesthesia for each dose of radiation to make sure that he or she is positioned properly. Significant side effects due to radiation therapy are unlikely with this protocol.
2. Bisphosphonate injection – This medication is used for osteoporosis and bone metastasis in people and works by decreasing additional bone destruction, thereby decreasing pain. It is given injectably every 28 days."
This also may be more invasive than you want, and it is costly. Again, this therapy is palliative only.
There are a wide range of effective pain medications that can be used to keep your Dane comfortable, active and still enjoying the time he has with you. Insist on any and all of them (be careful with Marijuana derivatives since the therapeutic margin is very narrow for dogs). I also agree with acupuncture and such alternative therapies. They can keep patients extra comfortable and enhance their quality of life.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||03/15/2019|
The treatment advised by R54 is what I did for my dog. It didn't prolong his life (2 months from time of dx, went downhill extremely quickly at the end) but the palliative radiation was very effective for pain control. He went in one time for a treatment that lasted an hour or two and I saw a tremendous difference a few days later. I think it was around $1400.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||03/15/2019|
R13 is very wise. Listen carefully, OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||03/15/2019|
Shut up, R51. As far as DL goes, this thread is extremely gentle and quite helpful.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||03/15/2019|
Yesterday I took my dog to the dog park where we met up with my ex who also has a Dane. I hadn't seen him for some time but since the diagnosis he's been very kind and he's offered to be available to us for whatever we might need. I'm grateful for this. And you know, he loves my dog nearly as much as I do so he's gutted as well.
My dog sat on my lap per usual at the park. He plays a bit then sits on my lap to .observe. He loves this. But I could see his leg was bothering him in this position. I think next time I'll take one of his beds so he might be more comfortable lying down.
I also went to the butcher's shop and bought 20 pounds of bones so my dog is aware that this treasure is in the freezer. It delights him. He stands by the freezing smacking his lips and howls regularly to let me know he wants another bone. All normal activity so far.
I'd like to thank everybody again for posting on this thread. Because of you I feel far more educated and prepared for tomorrow's appointment with the oncologist. Datalounge at its best. To DL's Official Emergency Vet , I tip my chapeau to you, sir.
I'll let you know how things go tomorrow
Here's wishing all a marvelous St. Paddy's Day.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||03/17/2019|
R60 All positive thoughts your way.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||03/17/2019|
R13 has a good comment. I don’t have any advice, just wanted you to know you’re not alone and my heart goes out to you.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||03/17/2019|
Awww OP, Danes are such a delight. I'm just here for the support. I love your descriptions of him waiting by the fridge.
|by Anonymous||reply 64||03/17/2019|
Good luck OP. I’m out; this thread is too sad to keep reading.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||03/17/2019|
Hello all. We saw the oncologist Monday. My ex and a friend came along. After a long consultation I opted for palliative radiation, the infusion for bone support and we may do the off study vaccine. Not sure yet.
My dog isn't a.good candidate for amputation (not that I'd do it anyway) because he's had TPLO in both hind legs.
So we had the infusion and radiation yesterday and another round of radiation today. I'm not going to do chemo so he can have as many happy days as possible. We were told 6 to 9 months, but one can't really count on any thing IMO. He should have less pain in his leg within the next week so that's good .
We're going to have a lovely time together all the way to the end.
I'll probably check in here every few weeks to let you know how we're doing Perhaps this will be useful to DLers who find themselves facing this same situation in future.
Feel free to ask questions if you have them.
Again, thank you all.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||03/19/2019|
Awww your dog is so lucky to have you. Thanks for the update. Can you post a pic of them?
|by Anonymous||reply 67||03/19/2019|
R66 your dog sounds just like mine, right down to the treatment and TPLOs (I was told the hardware was what caused the cancer). My guy had great pain relief from the radiation for about 5-6 weeks (after feeling worse for the first 2-3 days), but the tumor started growing very rapidly, he started limping, and we knew it was time. In my experience the vets were VERY optimistic with timelines, but hopefully you will have better luck. Pamper the heck out of him.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||03/19/2019|
Thanks for keeping us updated OP this has been an education for all of us. I hope the radiation has helped.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||03/19/2019|
My best wishes for you and your Dane to have extended quality time.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||03/19/2019|
R68. Thank you for sharing that info. It seems to me 6 to 9 months is far too optomistic. My friends tell me to be more positive, but come on, I've had two dogs who succumbed to cancer.. After surgery they went fast.
Perhaps opting to avoid surgery for palliative radiation will give my dog a better quality of life up until the end. Maybe we'll be given more time. I don't know.
I wonder r68, did you consider a second round of radiation after your dog started limping? My vet says we can repeat the radiation about 6 weeks out. Can you kindly tell me was your dog still eating/drinking normally when you came to your difficult decision? What was it that helped you reach your decision? Was your dog lethargic or was it a question of difficult pain management? Thanks for any help.
To DL's Official Emergency Vet, I beg your pardon, Madame.! I am so grateful to you. There are no words.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||03/20/2019|
R71 My dog's tumor grew so quickly after the first round of radiation that I don't think a second one would have been an option. It was not visible to the naked eye before the radiation, and 6 weeks later his knee was roughly the size of an orange. He was still eating and drinking normally, didn't mind you touching it, and only limping significantly the last 2 days. He was more quiet at the very end but until then still seemed happy and followed me around everywhere and still asked to go for a walk every single day. The vet said they would be a bad idea, so I would drive him to the park or the greenway and let him sit in the sun and sniff around and chew on the marrow bones I brought.
I will say that I was very aggressive with his pain meds, I had multiple alarms on my phone to remind me and came home for lunch everyday so that he never went more than 4-5 hrs without something. Dogs are so stoic that it's hard to know how much they are really suffering.
The very first symptom I noticed before he was diagnosed was that he started seeking out cold places to sit, even wanting to sit in the rain when it was 40 degrees outside (he always hated being outside alone or in the rain). After we figured out what was going on I got him a pet cooling pad and he liked to rest with his bad leg on it. Might be helpful for your dog.
|by Anonymous||reply 72||03/20/2019|
Why do dogs eat other animal's poop? So disgusting to have slobbering all over you after they have done that.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||03/20/2019|
R72. Thank you. Can you kindly tell me which pain meds you administered? So far my dog is on Tramadol and Gabapentin.
He's just gone upstairs with a bone giving me side eye as he climbed the stairs because he knows bones are for downstairs appreciation only. . Oh well. Whatever makes him happy at this point. He's still amusing as hell.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||03/20/2019|
R74 My dog was around 85 lbs. He took 3 tramadol and 2 gabapentin (together) every 8 hrs, and 1 carprofen every 12 hrs. I always gave them to him with food. He never did well with opiods so we skipped the fentanyl patch they offered.
|by Anonymous||reply 75||03/20/2019|
R75 Thank you.
My dog seems to be limping less today after his radiation treatments Monday and Tuesday. He's very active and chowing down per usual. We're enjoying ourselves.
Yesterday I took him to the dog park with a friend. I brought his bed which he seemed to enjoy. He'd play a bit then go back to his bed. Funny how other dogs came to lie down beside him to face wrestle. We had a wonderful time.
|by Anonymous||reply 76||03/21/2019|
Do the humane thing and put him down!
|by Anonymous||reply 77||03/21/2019|
OP, best of luck for the continued good quality time with your Dane. BTDT, it's bittersweet, but wonderful in the long run.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||03/22/2019|
Awww face wrestling....I can see it now. Thanks for the update OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 79||03/22/2019|
Hope you and the pup have had another good week!
|by Anonymous||reply 80||03/29/2019|
am huge dog lover. will pray for u , all will be ok, if we visualize it. god bless...
|by Anonymous||reply 81||03/29/2019|
Thank you all for the positive thoughts and words. Very grateful.
FYI my dog is doing very well. He was diagnosed on March 12th, he had radiation for pain relief the following Monday and Tuesday, and true to what the oncologist predicted, his pain has improved quite dramatically.
He runs a bit at the park which I thought he'd never do again. He eats and drinks normally and he's still an active and highly amusing boy.
Now with a bit of time I've come to accept our fate so I'm just grateful to have this time together.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||04/01/2019|
Thanks for the update on your Dane! I hope you both have many weeks of quality time.
|by Anonymous||reply 83||04/02/2019|
Hope you and the pup are finding some peace and that things are as well as they can be, under the circumstances.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||04/27/2019|
I'm so sorry. As a Pet Parent myself my heart bleeds for you OP.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||04/27/2019|
OP here. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Just want to let you know we are doing well six weeks out from diagnosis on March 12th and radiation on March 15th for pain.
My dog is happy, eating well and enjoying himself at the dog park. In fact, over the last few days he's been a bit too playful/rough so I've had to calm him down.
Based on suggestions from other dog owners who've dealt with this subject my dog is taking CBD oil, colostrum, and mushroom complex. We're also following the dietary guidelines set down by Dr. Damian Dressler in his book re canine cancer. The book's available on Amazon.
No one can know if any of these efforts are helpful of course. But you know if somebody told me throwing clams at the sun each morning helped I'd probably do it.
So we carry on enjoying each other's company.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||04/29/2019|
Thanks so much for keeping us updated OP so glad to hear he is a happy camper right now you really are doing the best things. Am keeping notes in case this happens to mine.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||04/29/2019|
know that its only his body he leaves, his spirit resides by u alwys…..alwys...love never dies.
hope he ok!
|by Anonymous||reply 88||04/29/2019|
OP here. My apologies for disappearing from this thread but I've got a bit of a belligerent streak that prevented me from conforming to DL's new rules like registration, etc. So I was not able to post.
But I'm back and I'm very pleased to inform you that my dog is still alive and doing very well! I can hear him now in the next room chomping on a marrow bone. He rarely limps, his activity is normal in every respect
In terms of treatment we've just had the radiation and Bis injection the one time. I've taken him back for a second round of radiation and injection but after an xray the oncologist said the cancer's advance is so minimal that we should save radiation treatment until its really needed as my dog shows no signs of pain. We can do only 3 radiation treatments in total
The oncologist described my dog as an outlier. We're 14 months out from diagnosis so, yes, this is fairly extraordinary. Most extraordinary is that my dog is no longer on pain meds I asked if perhaps the diagnosis was wrong from the beginning. The oncologist is adamant that my dog most definitely has osteo sarcoma and explained that sometimes cases like this occur
For those interested I still give him CBD oil, colostrom, organic mushroom complex and he eats the marrow from about 8 large raw bones a day. His diet is real food, no kibble. Mostly chicken, turkey, sometimes pork, small amounts of cabbage or broccoli He won't eat unless his meals are warm
Again, I want to thank every body for sharing your experiences with your beloved animals. And thank you to DL's Official Emergency Vet. I'm quite sure I would have made some painful mistakes in the beginning had I not heard from all of you
I send my best to those who are dealing with osteo sarcoma now and I hope this thread can be helpful to you in some way.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||05/24/2020|
One of my best friends has a 9 year old Dane with osteosarcoma of the ankle. He was diagnosed around December. She took him to the oncologist and had scheduled him for amputation. She thought better of it and canceled and decided to just do pain control. Five months later he is still doing fine. CBD seems very helpful to him.
|by Anonymous||reply 90||05/24/2020|
I am delighted to hear about your Dane, especially with no progession of the disease! It's obvious you both continue to enjoy life to the max.
If you are preparing his food, I would suggest all of the food groups (dogs often enjoy slices of organic apples, and berries, plus other vegetables/ complex carbohydrates). There are veterinary nutritional services available to make sure your pup's diet is complete. I know you mentioned using a reference by Dr. Dresser for dietary options in canine cancer, but is this too restrictive for remission?
My best to you both! And I definitely understand "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
|by Anonymous||reply 91||05/24/2020|
Thanks very much for the dietary suggestions. I can't get my dog to eat fruit, not even bananas, and I thought every creature on the planet liked bananas. Perhaps I'll have to be a bit more clever about slipping them to him
Thanks again for the good wishes.
|by Anonymous||reply 92||05/24/2020|