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#1859743 - 10/09/13 01:10 PM Need advice for my pup...
TB 12 Offline
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We got horrible news yesterday regarding our 7.5 year old lab (our baby)-she has bone cancer. A bit of background:
Shortly after we adopted her my FIL fell on her and shattered her femur (she was 5 mos. old). Vet performed surgery and after a couple months she was getting around pretty well. Several months after the surgery, she was limping again so we brought her in-turns out the original surgeon set the leg incorrectly and used the wrong plate and hardware. So surgery number 2 occurred to correct the first one, and the surgeon found she had an advanced case of hip displasia, so 3 months after that she had a hip replacement. After a couple months, she was good to go.

Fast forward to last week-she suddenly has a very hard time going up stairs-we notice her leg was swollen-I brought her in yesterday and after a couple of xrays, bone cancer is confirmed. It doesn't appear to have spread, but it isn't anything that can be cured-just managed. It is not uncommon for cancer to occur in the location of plates-although the vet can't confirm it was caused by the plate, it most likely was.

We have a couple of options:
1) Treat the pain, ride it out and she has maybe 6 months; or
2) Amputate the leg, treat with a couple rounds of chemo, and get 12-18 months.

She is otherwise in great health. Has anyone been through a similar situation and if so, care to share your experiences?

I appreciate your input.
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#1859750 - 10/09/13 01:22 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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This makes me so sad and want to go home and cuddle with my own lab! I have never dealt with any serious issues with mine (yet) so I can't share with you but if it were my baby (which we treat her like one) I would prolong life as much as I could unless it caused her more pain.

As for amputation, my uncle ran over his dog (accident) and had to amputate his back leg. It took some adjusting but the dog soon learned how to balance and run/play with the rest of them. The dog was as happy as you could be, they don't notice the difference after awhile!

Good luck!

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#1859752 - 10/09/13 01:31 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
Skittles Online
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Sox - while I can't offer you any advice I just want to let you know that I'll be thinking about you and your family. Caring for a pet and trying to determine the best treatment is very difficult. While we have been blessed not to have an animal diagnosed with cancer, we've been through kidney failure and congestive heart failure.

{{HUGS}}
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#1859767 - 10/09/13 02:00 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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It is such a personal decision. And I would recommend talking it over with your vet. Cancer with our furry babies is so cruel. I am so sorry.

Our guy was in pain. And chemo was not an option. We went with your first option, until the end, which was around 3 months later. We got 6 great years with our German Shepherd and for that I was thankful.

May your decision bring you peace and may your time together with her be well spent.

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#1859769 - 10/09/13 02:03 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
manimal Offline
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I'm so sorry to hear about your baby, Sox. frown

If I had the means ($$$) I would most likely try to prolong life as much as possible, provided that my dog's quality of life would be good during that time.

If your dog is active for her age, then amputation might be a workable solution. Her good health should help her bounce back after the surgery, much like the other procedures she has had in the past.

Such tough decisions... I will be thinking about you and your family. frown
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#1859801 - 10/09/13 02:43 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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I'm so sorry, Sox. Thinking of you as you wrestle with this tough decision.
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#1859846 - 10/09/13 03:08 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Wow, Sox...I'm sooo very sorry. frown

If there is any possiblity amputation would remove the cancer, based on:

Quote:
It doesn't appear to have spread


I'd go for it. I've know many, many 3-legged fur babies that could keep up with the best of the 4-legged rascals!
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#1859912 - 10/09/13 04:10 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Thanks everyone for the kind thoughts. My inclination is the surgery/chemo route given her otherwise good health and relatively young age. Mrs Sox isn't there yet but she is still working through it and doing research. I can't even imagine not going all out in this situation.

Joker-we just happened to see a 3 legged lab at the park this weekend and I commented how easily he/she was getting along.
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#1859921 - 10/09/13 04:31 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Dogs are incredibly adaptive, I really do think they live "in the moment". Do you have any other dogs at home, Sox? I've heard about other dogs in the home "helping" a disabled/elderly/blind companion dog. In fact, our rescue group had a pair of dogs that had to be adopted together because one was the "seeing eye dog" for the other, who was blind.
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#1859945 - 10/09/13 05:12 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Friends of ours have that type of situation manimal-one looks after the other.

She is the only dog -we do have an 18 year old cat that is a real crank. laugh
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#1859948 - 10/09/13 05:22 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Sox, my dog has the same cancer except it comes from his jawbone.

Have they biopsied? Most bone cancers are aggressive and I understnd that amputation is a better option for the dog (a bit harder for my dog with the jaw). Once in a while the cancer is the less aggressive type.

I understand that the amputation is pretty common treatment and the dogs get a long just fine. You might spend less loney this way then just trying to treat and alomost certainly have it come back.

I have spent nearly $7,000 on trying to treat my dog. I wish I could go back to day one and opt for removing part of his jaw and cut the losses to $5,000 but I had already spent $2,000 just trying to find out what the problem was and removing the tumor. I didn't have another $5,000 to go forward from there.

My dog is also, other than the cancer, very happy and healthy, even at almost 11 years old, he still goes for runs, plays and is in great shape.

Anyway, I know what you're going through. It's a tough decision.

I'm here if you want to compare notes from the vet, etc.
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#1859976 - 10/09/13 05:49 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Please don't bash me for what I'm about to say.
Let me preface my comments by saying that, being a pragmatist, I cannot justify spending huge amounts of money on medical interventions for an animal. Not only would it be fiscally irresponsible for me, it is an animal and not a person. Again, this is MY phylosophy and definitely not Sox's.

So, if the prognosis was for years, rather than months, I'd say try the 3 legged route. But it's really only for months more. Sure other dogs bounce back and do fine. But you said it took her months to recover when she was a year or two old. It's safe to assume that five years later, she could use up a good chunk of the time the vet says she has left just recovering.

Don't get me wrong, we did surgery on our Cavalier to fix her dysplasia but she was only a year old and she's ten now. The older newfie in our family just lives with his because it's just too much to put him through at this point in his life.

That's the only real point I'm putting out there for you to ponder, Sox.
I truly hope you and the Mrs. and your dog will have plenty of good time left.

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#1859994 - 10/09/13 06:00 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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out of the frying pan...
I am one of those people who will go into debt for my animals, but that's just who I am. They are members of my family, and I will do whatever it takes to care for them. Having said that, I also firmly believe in quality over quantity. Whichever route would give her the most time with the least pain is the one I, personally, would lean toward. Things like this are never an easy decision, and your family (and fur baby!) will be in my thoughts no matter what you choose.
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#1860094 - 10/09/13 07:25 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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I appreciate the input Truff. Fortunately for us, the expense isn't a concern. As Becca said, we are trying to weigh which option gives her the best quality of life going forward. We have spared no expense on her so far and don't plan to stop now if that gives her the best chance. Otherwise, why bother doing anything.
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#1860132 - 10/09/13 08:31 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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When I was growing up, there was a beautiful 3-legged Irish setter that roamed the neighborhood. If you didn't know he had 3 legs, you'd have never guessed...he was like the neighborhood mascot or something...and absolutely beautiful. I haven't seen many (Irish setters) since that one...but he was something else!

Sorry..this brought up that memory of that smiling red-headed dog! smile
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#1860139 - 10/09/13 08:46 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... RR Becca
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Originally Posted By: RR Becca
I also firmly believe in quality over quantity.


That made our decision for us too. (Our dog's cancer was in the lymph system, though)

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#1860192 - 10/10/13 12:34 AM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Having lost 4 dogs to 4 different types of cancer, I know that each situation is different. My prayers are with you as your family works through the decision.

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#1861693 - 10/16/13 12:58 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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We have decided to move forward with the surgery -it is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 21.

We found a great website called Tripawds-fantastic info and support for those with pets that have lost one or more limbs.

Thank you to everyone here for your support and comments.
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#1861695 - 10/16/13 01:03 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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out of the frying pan...
LOVE the term "tripawds!" laugh

I've know a lot of 3 legged dogs who got along just fine, Sox. I'm sure she'll do well!
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#1861696 - 10/16/13 01:05 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Gosh...it took me a few tries before I got it! blush Awesome! And best of luck to you Sox, I think you've made a wise decision! smile
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#1861700 - 10/16/13 01:16 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Fantastic news - and please keep us posted.
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#1861732 - 10/16/13 02:29 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
manimal Offline
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Wishing the very best for you, your family, and your very special pup, I hope the surgury goes well next week. smile
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#1861802 - 10/16/13 03:30 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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:like:
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#1861912 - 10/16/13 05:21 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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Wishing you the very best for your fur baby. Just having gone through back surgery with my fur baby, I pray for not only your pup, but for all of you. Praying all goes well.

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#1863058 - 10/21/13 01:03 PM Re: Need advice for my pup... TB 12
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How is Cassino doing, sox?
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