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Thread: Osteosarcoma

  1. #1
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    My 9 year old pyr, Bailey, was diagnosed with bone cancer in her right front leg yesterday. She had been limping off and on since before Christmas and despite giving her meloxicam, the limp was getting worse instead of better. I decided to have her xrayed yesterday as I was feeling a bit of heat near the wrist joint. Turns out, I was feeling heat exactly where the cancer is. The vet is sending the xrays to a specialist for a consult but she is pretty definite that Bailey has cancer. I could easily see the dark shadow on the xray. I have decided not to treat the cancer. She has issues with arthritis in the left leg and has a very anxious personality so amputation is not an option. The plan is to keep her as comfortable as possible with meloxicam and tramadol. Fortunately, the tramadol is not making her sedated. She seems her usual quirky self but with a limp. I know when she injured her back leg a couple of years ago she was a drama queen so I am watching for that type of behaviour. I think she will be very good at telling me when she is ready to go.

    I am heartbroken. I lost my male pyr last year suddenly to heart failure and he was not even four years old. To lose Bailey so soon afterward is brutal. I am so thankful that I adopted a rescue pyr Mya last summer shortly after Brody died. It was difficult at first, introducing two mature females was a challenge. It took five months before they decided to be friends. Mya has turned out to be an amazing dog, she loves everyone she meets and is very calm around other dogs. After having shy Bailey and reactive Brody, she is a godsend. Her only downfall is she is a dis-a-pyr off leash. My other two had me spoiled, both were awesome off leash.

    I know some of you have been through osteosarcoma so any thoughts would be appreciated. I am having a hard time deciding how much pain she is in currently. The limp is very obvious but she still wants to run and play. My number one goal is to keep her as comfortable as I can. She is getting maximum doses of both drugs since liver damage is the least of my concerns right now. She seems to prefer being out in the cold and snow, I think the cold must feel good to her leg.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    I am so sad to read that this is happening to you & Bailey....

    Yes, I lost Nick when he was 5 1/2....diagnosed when he was 5....we decided to treat exactly as you are doing with Bailey...making him comfortable & as pain free as possible....and spoiling the heck out of him...

    I agree....the cold seems to numb them in some way....I was always concerned with Nick bounding through the deep snow....but it seemed that he actually felt happier being cold....running in the frigid ocean...I let him decide how much exercise he could take, our walks were slow and shorter than before, but he enjoy the scents & being out doors.

    I am glad that Mya is there to help get you through this time.

    It's why I have always had multiple dogs....they always let you know that they are still in need of your attention & care

    Hugs to you...
    and to your girl as well

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Thanks. I read some old threads about osteosarcoma. Your old post about being positive for Nick's sake really helped.
    I am trying to act like everything is fine when Bailey is around me. I don't think she has a lot of time. The vet says the tumor is in the early stages but it is progressing quickly. The lameness only started a few weeks ago. She had been running in deep snow so we assumed it was an injury. Before that she was moving for well for a senior dog. Today she went along on our walk but was very slow.
    We will take each day at a time. She gets unlimited treats! Her appetite is still very good.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    The reason I tried to stay positive for Nick was that it actually helped me.....to enjoy his every moment, try not to dwell on the negative nor the unpleasant.

    I found his attitude reflected mine

    Stay strong for your girl, I'm sure she picks up on your emotions...and she loves getting spoiled!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    as you can see...this was Nick at about a year old....a bit too "fluffy"!!

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Antonia's Avatar

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    I am so sorry to hear this news about Bailey. I lost my first Kangal boy to cancer when he was just 4 years old. He was incredibly attached to me and I had to work very hard to be positive for his sake. I didn't want him stressing out over mama being sad. I considered it the last thing I could do for him. So, we spent our few remaining days being together, doing all his favorite things. We had very little time once we found out about his cancer. It was a huge mass in his abdomen and there was nothing to be done. He was already visibly suffering when we found out about it and it was obvious that he was in significant pain and that he could not enjoy much of life because of the pain, difficulty breathing, etc. I know you will cherish every moment as the rest of us in this situation tried to do. Our hearts are with you.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    This breaks my heart. I am so very sorry to hear about Bailey's scary diagnosis.

    All three of the dogs my family had when I was growing up were lost to cancer. At least two of them had osteosarcoma. We kept them as comfortable as was possible, and let them go when their symptoms were too much for them to bear. My Mom was the one who had to make those heart-wrenching decisions, and I think it is at least part of why she has not had a dog since.

    Sebastian, Chester, and I are sending much love and light to you, Bailey, and Mya.
    Sebastian is on Facebook!
    www.facebook.com/SirSaintSebastian

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    Back in 1997 my almost 12 1/2 year old Irish Setter started limping on his left rear leg and since he had arthritis, we thought that is what he was and gave him his meds for that---only gave them when he seem to be bothered by the 'ritis. He didn't stop limping and in three days was actually dragging tht leg and I got him right to my vet. I knew from the look on his face as he watched Boots come in that it was gonna be bad. Well, 99% chance of cancer, 1 % chance of abcess. Had the tests done, a very, very, verg aggressive bone cancer in his knee. This was a money and Rickey said we had 3 options--amputate THAT DAY, give him a couple of days of lots of love and attention and probably by the end of the week he would not be able to get up and most likely not eating, so give him a couple of days and then bring him to release him, or 3rd, do nothing and just let him go as nature took him. Of course Rickey knew I would not let him suffer, so that was out. Our hearts said amputate, but our common sense said no, he was already almost 12 1/2, arthritis in hips and shoulder, it just didn't seem fair to put him thru tht only to find it had spread and lose him in a couple of weeks. That left a couple of good days. By the way, my first Irish Setter was diagnosed with a "spinal infection" when he ws falling and the vet I had then kept changing antibiotics and Red got worse and worse and couldn't get up , would only eat a couple of bites form my hand. the day he laid there and threw up and couldn't left his head out of all that foam and bile I knew it was no use and I made the decision to let him go. And I said I would never ever let a dog suffer like that again. Now I believe he had cancer, not a spinal infection and was put thru that suffering because of an incompetent vet.

    Okay, back to Boots. He loved to go to the beach, be it the real beach of the bay we wade fished in. He loved to mess with the crabs in the shallow water of the bay, try to catch shore birds, swim. We took him that afternoon and our hearts broke watching him drag that leg. Took him the next day and he suddenly developed a bunny hop--could swing that leg from his hip, just the knee would nto bend. He had a great time there. Well, I took him the next day and the next and he did all his normal things. At the end of the week I took him in to see Rickey and Rickey watched him get around and said we didn't have to do it yet.

    Long story short, that couple of days turned into exactly 10 weeks to the day. I took him every day and while I fished, he did his swimming, bird chasing, crab annoying. One day I released an undersize flounder in about 6: of water and he punced on it then stuck his head under the water and came up with that flounder in his mouth! Another day he pulled a really nice speckled sea trout off my stringer. He had always loved fruits and veggies, pulling tomatoes, yellow squash and green peppers off the vines in my garden. And a sweet tooth you wouldn't believe. SO I let him hae lettuce & tomato tossed salad, melon, veggies. And what we hd for dessert, so did he--a human serving size! He had his own strawberry shortcake, apple pie with ice cream, banana split with 3 kinds of topping and whipped cream and even a cherry, and I went so far as to let him smaller slice of chocolate cake or a brownie, the dreaded doggy no-no chocolate.

    2-3 times a week on our way fishing I would stop in and Rickey would watch him. AND he was gaining, not losing, his apetite was great. Rickey would sa=hake his head and say "I don't understand, but we don't have to do it yet." But then came July 8 and he didn't spend near as much time in the water or bothering crabs or birds, but laid in the shade of the car more. I told myself it was because he was tired from 10 weeks of being there every single day (even went in the rain once) but in my heart I knew luck had run out, our time together was coming to an end.

    The next day he went to get on the sofa and fell and I felt a hardness in his shoulder that I had not felt the day before (he always had a bath when we got home to get salt water and sand out of his fur) and I knew the cancer was in that shoulder, same side. And I knew he would not be able to have fun at the beach. I knew I could have him a couple more days, but decided to let him go while he was still feeling pretty good, no pain, fun the day before. I gave him a dish of Blue Bell Buttered Pecan ice cream and then the final trip to the vet. After he was gone my vet actually had tears as he kissed Boots on the head and said "Good bye Old Red Man."--Rickey had an elderly female Irish Setter at the time and knew her time was coming soon, so it hit hard to have to send Boots to the Bridge.

    I have never regretted not amputating his leg, not at his age and the arthritis he had. I have never regretted letting him go when I could have had a few more days with him as he went downhill. I don't have to remember him suffering as I do with Red becaue I know in my heart that as much as I wanted to keep him (and some since), it was not fair to him. I always tell people who are faced with this that when we hang onto them it is for us, not them, and when we let them go it is for them.

    This is my Boots (Sir Lancelots Irish Pride) at age 3
    Jerry and Moose

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    This breaks my heart. Cancer really does suck. I lost Monty to cancer so I can tell you it's not fun, but you have to stay positive for them. Monty didn't have a super aggressive cancer thankfully, but my vet wanted to treat it as an aggressive cancer and amputate the leg...a part of me wishes I would have done it, but another part of me is thankful that I didn't cause he got to enjoy his life and he was so high strung so not having that leg would have been hard for him.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member)

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    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Bailey. i feel that Great pyr's have a high tolerance for pain and by the time we realize that they are in pain, they really are in alot of pain. i agree with Tsuni's statement "Cancer sucks". the eyes will let you know when their quality of life has gone.

    patrick

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) 2BIGWHITEDOGS's Avatar

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    Thanks for all of your messages. I said goodbye to my girl this afternoon. Despite the drugs, her pain was intolerable. She could barely walk and was starting to show signs of stress. Her cancer progressed very quickly, six weeks ago she took off in deep snow to chase wolves. We had a very quiet weekend, full of love and treats. I took Mya with me to the vets, I always have let my dogs see that their friends have passed. Bailey was always a bit nervous at the vets so Mya helped to give her confidence. She passed very quietly in my arms. Since we have three feet of snow, she will be cremated and buried with her best friends in the spring. Mya seems okay, she knows I am very sad and is staying very close by.

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