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Old 12-10-2009, 01:03 AM
Location: Seek Jesus while He can still be found!
3,140 posts, read 6,007,128 times
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Welcome to City Data Forums! I'm glad that you found us during this very difficult week and also I'm very sorry for your loss of Ozzie on Monday .

Hopefully you will find some kindred souls here on CDF who have been through what you've been through and know the pain and heartache of losing a beloved furry friend. I have had to make that decision twice in the past 3 1/2 yrs and it can be heartwrenching, to say the least.

From what you've written, I can tell that you loved your dog Ozzie and made the best possible decision that you could for him and really, that is the most any of us can do. I too have decided to not go the route of excision and chemo for my dog who was diagnosed with anal sac carcinoma in July and so far, he is doing well and I am happy with my decision .

Prayers that you are able to see that you gave your best and that you still have all the wonderful memories of Ozzie ! Many blessings!

Merry CHRISTmas and Happy Holidays!

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Old 01-14-2010, 02:19 PM
1 posts, read 1,298 times
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Default Hope This Helps

Originally Posted by Kathy S. View Post
Has anyone been through this and can give me advise. I took my 11 year old lab in to have her leg checked and found she has bone cancer. The vets are recommending amputation combined with chemo. However, I am not sure that this will stop the cancer. It may just give her more time. I am not sure I want to put her through all of this. I just want to give her quality of life, but I can't stand the thought of losing her.

Any help would be appreciated.
My lab was diagnosed with cancer in his front leg.Before we could confirm this,he broke his leg where the cancer was.It was recomended that we amputate his leg and then start chemo.Reluctantly,we did the amputation.He has been home a week and is no where near his former self.All he wants to do is sleep,not even coming for his food.If I had a choice,I would use pain meds and let the rest play out.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:10 AM
Location: Florida (SW)
39,237 posts, read 18,776,770 times
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We just adopted a young dog who had a front leg amputated in August; she is a young beagle...and I have to say that she is doing wonderfully.....no limitations.....up and down stairs....jumps onto the couch and bed......but she didnt have cancer....her leg had been shattered and untreated while she was a stray....and she would never regain any use or control of it.....the good people at the humane society who found her and provided the vet service: amputation gave her back the quality of her life. BUT the underlying problem and her age was much different from the OP...once the amputation was done....she could get about the business of healing and gaining strength.....she didnt have to contend with cancer or chemo.
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Old 09-01-2010, 01:34 PM
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My mastiff was diagnosed with osteosarcoma today... Being in the healthcare industry, when I saw the lesion that basically grew in a period of 4 days, I knew it was bone cancer. Xray today showed the classic structure. I don't know what to do. I don't want her in pain, but she is 230 lbs. thus, amputation would be hard on her. I'm contemplating on chemo or anti-angiogenesis, but not sure who to go to. There are no animal oncologist near by. I'd have to drive 5 hrs to get to one. I'm in my last semester of graduate school, & don't have the time to drive her.... My baby...
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:46 PM
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I had a 11 year old beagle that I treated with chemo for lymphoma. I wish I had not done the chemo. It put her through pain and scary vet visits the last few months of her life. She might have been more comfortable in those last months without treatments.
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Old 10-31-2011, 12:04 AM
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Default undiagnosed but suspected bone cancer

My dog was originally diagnosed, about 3 months ago, with arthritis in his right front leg, but 3 months later, it's incredibly swollen and the vet said the xrays look like it's cancer. I don't want to waste money on a bone biopsy since I don't want to put him through chemo, but I am considering amputation because the leg is causing him so much pain. His personality seems just the same and he certainly still has an appetite, but he can hardly get around anymore because of that leg. He's 10, but acts (even hobbling on 3 legs) like he's a puppy, which is how he's always been. Has anyone had a dog with diagnosed bone cancer (and possibly elsewhere) that acts perfectly fine except for the affected limb? I am leaning towards amputation because it doesn't seem as though he's suffering or sick in any other way, but I'd hate to put him through that if the "real" sickness is just a few weeks away or if he's could still be eating and acting crazy even while he's dying of cancer. I just can't justify putting him down when he still has so much spirit and personality. He's 90 lbs lab/american bulldog mix and has never had any other health issues.
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:51 PM
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Some general information...

People tend to react strongly to the idea of chemotherapy in pets because they equate it to chemotherapy in people. However, it really is very different, both because animals tolerate the drugs better and because the dosages given are lower.

In general, most of the time chemotherapy for pets is intended to be palliative, not curative. It is meant to give the animal more time...and to have that time be comfortable for the pet. So the dosages are lower than would be given for a human, where the goal is more commonly to cure, even if it means tolerating harsh side effects.

I've witnessed many animals go through chemo, and most tolerate it very well. There's very little if any vomiting. Sometimes there is diarrhea, but this can be controlled. They don't lose their fur, but they do lose guard hairs and whiskers, which gives them a very silky 'chemo coat'. Most owners do not regret opting for chemo in my experience.

Some cancers, of course, can be cured, and I have seen animals go into remission after chemo treatment. We used to throw remission parties on the year anniversaries for them.

With all that said, bone cancer tends to be a very fast growing, painful cancer. By the time the mass is found in the leg, it usually has already spread into the lungs. Opting to treat for me would depend on x-rays and blood work and the opinion of a oncologist. The unfortunate truth is that the x-rays may look clear for the lungs, but the cancer may be too small to see. So you have the risk of amputating, only for the animal to develop lung cancer a few months down the road.

That is not to say that isn't worth trying....most animals tolerate amputation without a problem, but again, I would really want to consult an oncologist. I would also want strong pain control, which may include something like morphine, as this tends to be one of the more painful types of cancer.

It actually really bothers me when people say they would NEVER do chemo for their pet...it tells me they don't understand how different it is from chemo in people, and so they could be bypassing something that could be of great help to their pet. At the same time, all cancer is not the same, and there are cancers where trying to treat just extends pain.

This past year our cat Heather was diagnosed with multiple masses in her brain. We could have done chemo, but we didn't know exactly what we were treating, and the only way to know for sure would have been a brain biopsy. In the end we opted to try and keep her comfortable, and as soon as it became evident she was suffering we euthanized. In that situation, chemo might have extended her life one or two more months, but they wouldn't have been good months. That's not always the case though, which is why an oncologist can help you make the best, informed decision for both you and your pet.

My sincere sympathy
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Old 10-07-2014, 12:24 PM
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My 12 year old Bella was diagnosed with bone cancer and I'm torn on what to do. Vet says amputate and chemo but I keep reading on how this is hard on them.
I want to do what's right for Bella and feel guilty thinking about all of this.
Read all the post and most have opted to not subject their beloved pets through amputation and chemo.

Thank you all for sharing your stories...
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Old 10-07-2014, 05:43 PM
Location: McKinleyville, California
6,413 posts, read 9,106,598 times
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Originally Posted by rruiz0331 View Post
My 12 year old Bella was diagnosed with bone cancer and I'm torn on what to do. Vet says amputate and chemo but I keep reading on how this is hard on them.
I want to do what's right for Bella and feel guilty thinking about all of this.
Read all the post and most have opted to not subject their beloved pets through amputation and chemo.

Thank you all for sharing your stories...
The dog will recover from amputation. I had my Morgans leg amputated, but he was only six at the time. He recovered from that fine, but I told him I would not subject him to chemo or the complications. He was lucky, cancer never came back, but that was the chance I took. I reckoned that the tumor that was 7 inches by 4 inches somehow locked all the blood and cells in his leg and it did not get the chance to migrate to the rest of his organs and body as the vet said it likely would do. He made it to almost 14 which is pretty good for a normal healthy American Staffordshire Terrier. I do not know if it is good to subject a 12 year old to the rigors of the operation or that she would survive the anesthesia which is always risky with an old dog. Good luck with what ever decison you make, but keep on loving Bella as you have, that is the best you can do for her.
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Old 10-07-2014, 06:20 PM
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,505 posts, read 8,837,705 times
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Originally Posted by ljd1010 View Post
Kathy S - I am very sorry for everything you are being faced with. This is one tough decision. I am a health care professional currently working in Oncology and I don't think I would put my dog through that treatment. This is only my opinion and many would disagree. We have the option of humanely euthanizing animals to prevent undue pain/suffering and I only wish we could sometimes do the same for humans.
I agree with you. I would never put my elderly dog through chemo nor would I remove a limb. I lost my Father and uncles due to cancer; when I saw the suffering (aka pain drug induced haze) I thought to myself I would never want that. I wished there was a way to help them leave. I couldn't do it for my human family BUT I can do it for my dog family.
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