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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 Anonymousreply 79Last Friday at 1:55 PM

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 Anonymousreply 103/14/2019

Danes don't live very long, OP. Six years is about right. I'd let him go.

by Anonymousreply 203/14/2019

Potassium cyanide. End of thread.

by Anonymousreply 303/14/2019

Too late, R2 and R3.

by Anonymousreply 403/14/2019

Clone, punch, delete.

by Anonymousreply 503/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 603/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 703/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 803/14/2019

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.

Stay strong.

by Anonymousreply 903/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1003/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1103/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1203/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1303/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1403/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1503/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1603/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1703/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1803/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 1903/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2003/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2103/14/2019

Good Lord r21, that a cautionary tale if ever there was one. I'm so sorry you both had to endure this.

by Anonymousreply 2203/14/2019

Bone cancer is a misery, if your animal has it, put the animal down.

by Anonymousreply 2303/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2403/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2503/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2603/14/2019

[quote]My huge (68 lb) French bull

I've never heard of such a big French Bulldog.

by Anonymousreply 2703/14/2019

Normally, I’m a jerk. But not about babies or pets.

I’m very sorry. This is a terrible thing to deal with.

by Anonymousreply 2803/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 2903/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3003/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3103/14/2019

The prognosis is unfavorable and the cancer will most likely spread.

by Anonymousreply 3203/14/2019

I would do amputation, OP! Don’t put your dog down, please!

by Anonymousreply 3303/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3403/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3503/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3603/14/2019

What r36 said.

by Anonymousreply 3703/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3803/14/2019

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 Anonymousreply 3903/14/2019

There is oral chemo for dogs. Just a few pills every day. Its not the type of aggressive human treatment you imagine.

by Anonymousreply 4003/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4103/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4203/15/2019

OP,

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 Anonymousreply 4303/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4403/15/2019

[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 Anonymousreply 4503/15/2019

R45 it’s a pact many of my friends make with themselves, to end suffering humanely, with dignity.

by Anonymousreply 4603/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4703/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4803/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 4903/15/2019

Let him chase the turkeys..... That Ace bandage is a good idea.

by Anonymousreply 5003/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 5103/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 5203/15/2019

I suffer from bone loss. It can be ruff.

by Anonymousreply 5303/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 5403/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 5503/15/2019

R13 is very wise. Listen carefully, OP.

by Anonymousreply 5603/15/2019

Fully agree, R15.

by Anonymousreply 5703/15/2019

My god, R21.

by Anonymousreply 5803/15/2019

Shut up, R51. As far as DL goes, this thread is extremely gentle and quite helpful.

by Anonymousreply 5903/15/2019

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 Anonymousreply 6003/17/2019

R60 All positive thoughts your way.

by Anonymousreply 6103/17/2019

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 Anonymousreply 6203/17/2019

Good luck tomorrow, OP.

by Anonymousreply 6303/17/2019

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 Anonymousreply 6403/17/2019

Good luck OP. I’m out; this thread is too sad to keep reading.

by Anonymousreply 6503/17/2019

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 Anonymousreply 66Last Tuesday at 5:24 PM

Awww your dog is so lucky to have you. Thanks for the update. Can you post a pic of them?

by Anonymousreply 67Last Tuesday at 5:27 PM

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 Anonymousreply 68Last Tuesday at 5:35 PM

Thanks for keeping us updated OP this has been an education for all of us. I hope the radiation has helped.

by Anonymousreply 69Last Tuesday at 5:41 PM

My best wishes for you and your Dane to have extended quality time.

by Anonymousreply 70Last Tuesday at 6:00 PM

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 Anonymousreply 71Last Wednesday at 5:40 AM

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 Anonymousreply 72Last Wednesday at 6:23 AM

Why do dogs eat other animal's poop? So disgusting to have slobbering all over you after they have done that.

by Anonymousreply 73Last Wednesday at 6:30 AM

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 Anonymousreply 74Last Wednesday at 6:46 AM

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 Anonymousreply 75Last Wednesday at 7:48 AM

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 Anonymousreply 76Last Thursday at 3:13 PM

Do the humane thing and put him down!

by Anonymousreply 77Last Thursday at 3:33 PM

OP, best of luck for the continued good quality time with your Dane. BTDT, it's bittersweet, but wonderful in the long run.

by Anonymousreply 78Last Friday at 11:29 AM

Awww face wrestling....I can see it now. Thanks for the update OP.

by Anonymousreply 79Last Friday at 1:55 PM
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