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Osteosarcoma Help Needed



 
 
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  #1  
Old October 16th 06, 07:26 AM
Nancy T. Nancy T. is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DogBanter: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 3
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

I am a new member of Dog Banter, specifically joining for help in making difficult decisions about my dog's diagnosis of osteosarcoma. Coalby is an 11 year old Labrador, spayed female. She was diagnosed by xray two days ago with osteosarcoma (the most likely tumor barring bone biopsy) in the right humerus. The tumor is advanced and requires amputation of the limb as soon as possible for pain relief and to prevent fracture, which is likely to occur soon. Further radiographs show that she has no visible metastases in the lungs (though I realize in reading as much as possible this weekend that microscopic metastases could already be present); her other organs are normal, lymph glands are clear. She has no other arthritic changes in any joints, with some minor spondylosis in her spine. She is active and in good spirits despite the obvious pain. Her overall excellent health tempts me to do radical measures in treatment despite her age.
My dilemma (as some of you have probably experienced) is whether to go ahead with the amputation and chemo, amputation only, or to make her as comfortable as possible until the decision to let her go. I am finding a typical survival of less than a year even in the best of circumstances; the 10% or so who survive to two years is discouragingly low. Although her dam is 14 and still in relatively good health, and I would hope that Coalby could come close to that longevity, the odds seem quite stacked against her. I am torn about whether it is in Coalby's best interest, at her age, to proceed with the procedure, or whether I am prolonging for a short few months the inevitable.
I would appreciate any input from those who have gone through this situation. I will be consulting with the oncologist this week, and hoping to make a decision that is best for Coalby soon after.
Thank you very much.
  #2  
Old October 16th 06, 01:21 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
buglady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 863
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

"Nancy T." wrote in message
...
Coalby is
an 11 year old Labrador, spayed female. She was diagnosed by xray two
days ago with osteosarcoma (the most likely tumor barring bone biopsy)
in the right humerus. The tumor is advanced and requires amputation of
the limb as soon as possible for pain relief


My dilemma (as some of you have probably experienced) is whether to go
ahead with the amputation and chemo, amputation only, or to make her as
comfortable as possible until the decision to let her go


.......I'm so sorry. Personally I wouldn't even consider chemo as the only
dog cancer where it has a very good track record is lymphoma. I think it's
bad enough that we do this to people, no sense in passing it on to dogs.
It's a difficult decision and unfortunately you'll have to make one soon.
The problem is that there is almost no way to control the pain without
amputation and still have a functioning dog. Bone cancer is extraordinarily
painful. Most dogs do well with the amputation and have no trouble
navigating on three legs. But it will change the carriage of the dog and I
don't know if the spondylosis will get worse or make it hard for your dog to
walk.

......You might search the archives for Penny and osteosarcoma (couple of
years ago) who posted about her dog. I think she lived over a year. She
was a fairly young dog though.

......Another experience with osteo in a 6 yr old deerhound. Scroll to the
bottom to the beginnning of the story:
http://www.doggedblog.com/doggedblog/raven/index.html

.......Unfortunately only you can make this decision. It's a very tough one
and my heart goes out to you. If you opt not to do the amputation it may
seem that you're giving up without a fight, but really who are those last
few months for? I've dealt with a lot of cancer, but never osteo, so I
don't have direct experience with this particular disease. But I think I
would send my dog across the bridge and release her from pain. To me, at
least, it seems the best way to honor her life with you.

{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}} and please post back
buglady
take out the dog before replying








  #3  
Old October 16th 06, 03:01 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
sighthounds & siberians
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Posts: 2,538
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

On Mon, 16 Oct 2006 12:21:09 GMT, "buglady"
wrote:

"Nancy T." wrote in message
...
Coalby is
an 11 year old Labrador, spayed female. She was diagnosed by xray two
days ago with osteosarcoma (the most likely tumor barring bone biopsy)
in the right humerus. The tumor is advanced and requires amputation of
the limb as soon as possible for pain relief


My dilemma (as some of you have probably experienced) is whether to go
ahead with the amputation and chemo, amputation only, or to make her as
comfortable as possible until the decision to let her go


......I'm so sorry. Personally I wouldn't even consider chemo as the only
dog cancer where it has a very good track record is lymphoma. I think it's
bad enough that we do this to people, no sense in passing it on to dogs.
It's a difficult decision and unfortunately you'll have to make one soon.
The problem is that there is almost no way to control the pain without
amputation and still have a functioning dog. Bone cancer is extraordinarily
painful. Most dogs do well with the amputation and have no trouble
navigating on three legs. But it will change the carriage of the dog and I
don't know if the spondylosis will get worse or make it hard for your dog to
walk.


Also, there are studies in humans suggesting that removal of the
primary tumor accelerates metastasis. Although there was no
metastasis seen on chest films, most veterinary oncologists say that
by the time bone cancer is diagnosed, there is mets, whether visible
or not. This was the main reason we decided against amputation in our
Siberian Husky - - and the lesion in her leg turned out not to be bone
cancer.

Mustang Sally

  #4  
Old October 16th 06, 05:13 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Rocky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,678
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

"Nancy T." wrote in message
...
Coalby is
an 11 year old Labrador, spayed female. She was diagnosed
by xray two days ago with osteosarcoma (the most likely
tumor barring bone biopsy) in the right humerus. The
tumor is advanced and requires amputation of the limb as
soon as possible for pain relief


My dilemma (as some of you have probably experienced) is
whether to go ahead with the amputation and chemo,
amputation only, or to make her as comfortable as possible
until the decision to let her go


I'm piggybacking because the original post didn't come through
to my news server (maybe because it originates from
dogbanter).

Which leg is the osteosarcoma in? My old girl, Murphy, at 14
years old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in a rear leg.
Because of her hip dysplasia, amputation was not an option,
though I would have considered it if it was a front leg. She
was in otherwise good shape. We managed the pain with
Metacam, and she had a wonderful final month.

I'm sorry for your situation. Please let us know how it's
going, no matter what you decide.

--
--Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
  #5  
Old October 17th 06, 05:22 AM
Nancy T. Nancy T. is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DogBanter: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 3
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocky
I'm piggybacking because the original post didn't come through
to my news server (maybe because it originates from
dogbanter).

Which leg is the osteosarcoma in? My old girl, Murphy, at 14
years old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in a rear leg.
Because of her hip dysplasia, amputation was not an option,
though I would have considered it if it was a front leg. She
was in otherwise good shape. We managed the pain with
Metacam, and she had a wonderful final month.

I'm sorry for your situation. Please let us know how it's
going, no matter what you decide.

--
--Matt. Rocky's a Dog.

Thank you to all three who have replied to my post. Your thoughts are just what I need in the next few days. Raven's story especially touched me, and gave me great food for thought. I spent most of the weekend reading all I could on osteo and its various treatments. Today I made an appointment to take Coalby in for a consultation with a vet oncologist, just to get the full picture. I am guessing that I will choose amputation (right front leg, by the way) without chemo, but that is tonight. These decisions float back and forth so much that I find I am almost arguing with myself moment to moment! In no case that I have read do I see chemo as having much affect on the outcome of osteo -- an additional few weeks before the inevitable doesn't make any sense to me. I do know this: Coalby is in great spirits and otherwise excellent health; if amputation will be the best relief for the pain of this cancer, and will give her even a few months of pain free life, it will be worth it. What I am expecting from the oncologist is a more thorough exam of the leg and chest xrays and bloodwork and a complete laying-out of my options, even those I will not consider. The linear and analyzing part of me needs those details in place.
I appreciate continued thoughts on this. They help to keep my head clear and open to all possibilities. I will continue the same as details arise on this end.
Coalby thanks you! And is wondering as we speak why I am late with the evening cookies....
  #6  
Old October 17th 06, 12:57 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
buglady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 863
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

"Nancy T." wrote in message
...
Raven's story especially touched me, and gave me great food for thought.

.......yes, and the interesting thing is, I'm sure different people will come
to different conclusions after having read it. A decision like this is
always a very personal one.

Coalby is in great spirits and otherwise excellent
health;

.......that's excellent.

The linear
and analyzing part of me needs those details in place.


.......I'm the same way, I really need to have all the facts. Though, in the
end, sometimes it's a gut thing that really makes the decision. But I still
want facts first.......

I will continue the same as details arise on this end.


........good, having a history of a problem, the thinking process, the
outcome, can all only help future readers in a similar situation.

....an extra cookie for Coalby!
buglady
take out the dog before replying


  #7  
Old November 2nd 06, 06:30 AM
Nancy T. Nancy T. is offline
Junior Member
 
First recorded activity by DogBanter: Oct 2006
Location: Lancaster, CA
Posts: 3
Thumbs up

Update on Coalby, for those who had replied earlier. Her right front leg was amputated 5 days ago, and I now know that it was the best decision that I could have made. Within 48 hours she was trying to chase a rabbit who had come under the front yard fence -- was barking for dinner -- the sparkle was back in her eyes -- and her tail was wagging for the first time in weeks. Now, at 5 days, I am having to keep her in a pen at night because she tried to jump up on the bed. It would be the getting down that I would fear, so she will have to wait for her rightful spot on the Tempurpedic until the doctor clears her for landings....
It is clear to me that the pain of the osteosarcoma must have been excruciating; she is a new dog! My only regret is not having done the surgery a few weeks earlier when she first showed a painful limp. Hindsight.... I am not doing chemo, as the odds just did not warrant it at her age. I can only be glad to enjoy her for as long as she continues healthy and sound in all other ways. The lack of a leg is a moot point.
Thanks again for the input, and allowing me to share my decision-making. Coalby won this one!
Nancy T.
  #8  
Old November 2nd 06, 12:44 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
buglady
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 863
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed


"Nancy T." wrote in message
...
Update on Coalby, for those who had replied earlier. Her right front
leg was amputated 5 days ago, and I now know that it was the best
decision that I could have made. Within 48 hours she was trying to
chase a rabbit who had come under the front yard fence -- was barking
for dinner -- the sparkle was back in her eyes -- and her tail was
wagging for the first time in weeks
It is clear to me that the pain of the osteosarcoma must have been
excruciating; she is a new dog!


.........yes, isn't it amazing how much dogs can bear up under pain......
.....best of luck to you and Coalby

buglady
take out the dog before replying


  #9  
Old November 2nd 06, 05:12 PM posted to rec.pets.dogs.health
Rocky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,678
Default Osteosarcoma Help Needed

"Nancy T." wrote in message
...


Update on Coalby, for those who had replied earlier. Her
right front leg was amputated 5 days ago, and I now know
that it was the best decision that I could have made.
Within 48 hours she was trying to chase a rabbit who had
come under the front yard fence -- was barking for
dinner -- the sparkle was back in her eyes -- and her
tail was wagging for the first time in weeks


That's good news, Nancy. Thank you for reporting back.

It is clear to me that the pain of the osteosarcoma must
have been excruciating; she is a new dog!


They bear up and bounce back. I'm happy for you and Coalby;
please give us an update every once in a while. Since I don't
see your posts, feel free to email.

(Sorry for the piggybacking, but my newsserver doesn't seem to
accept posts from dogbanter.)

--
--Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
 




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