My Two Dogs and Osteosarcoma

My Two Dogs and Osteosarcoma

by Scott L.
(Andover, Kansas)

Daisy Girl

Daisy Girl

Daisy Girl
Jake-e Boy

2011 has been a rough year for us.

In February, My wife and I had to euthanize our 13 year old cat, Elsie. She had suffered a cardiomyopathy and could no longer breathe without struggling to do so. We had tried to treat her, but she got worse and we decided she was suffering too much. That hurt us both but we still had our two dogs, Daisy and Jake.

We got Daisy from a litter of pups my neighbor’s dog (purebred German Shorthair) had – but Daisy was a ½ breed. A fence jumper got to Dixie and superseded the German Shorthair sire that they had used to stud. The puppies were meant to be purebred, but were not. We took one of the “free” pups off my neighbor's hands. Jake came two years later from the same neighbor’s dog and this time was the intended AKC registered German Shorthair purebred. Daisy and Jake were the peas and carrots of Forrest Gump.

May 16th 2011, Daisy turned 12 years old. In a short 3 days’ time later, she came up lame and it turned out to be an osteosarcoma on her left rear leg. She could'nt stand up on her own. We took her in to the vet to learn what it was and to also realize her only option was to perhaps remove the leg, but this cancer had already metastasized. At her age, we couldn’t justify any other option and sadly asked the vet to take her pain away through euthanasia.

Now this just about ripped my heart out. She was my dear friend and I had no warning to prepare for this ending. Since then I have been slowly getting healed – but it’s a long road.

We were down to only Jake and held hopes of him living a long 15 or 16 years old. He is 10½ years old now.

Just last month, the wife and I noted that Jake had a slight dip in his gait as he trotted around the yard. A small hard bump on his front right foreleg. X-rays indicate it MIGHT be an osteosarcoma developing. We are going up to KSU in Manhattan KS this Wednesday (10/12/11) to have a bone biopsy performed. Fully expecting that he will probably lose that leg if it is cancer.

As bad as Daisy’s scenario played out, I can tell you that this feels worse knowing that the unknown is now a ticking clock. We are hoping NOT to lose our special boy Jake. I can barely keep composure as I type this.

To you all in this end of life situation … you are not alone and we all feel helpless. Every day I cry.

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Jun 27, 2012
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Nikko, English Pointer with OSA
by: Cynthia

I am enduring a similar experience of osteosarcoma with my English Pointer Nikko. I do have pictures of her as well. She was diagnosed with OSA May 6, 2011 and on May 10, 2011 she was amputated (left front leg). In June of 2011 I started chemotherapy -- there were some good days and bad days but we managed to go the required chemo treatment. She did well. She still has a good appetite and the desire to do things. I marveled when she reached her 11th birthday on 1-1-2012 and pray she continues to stay healthy and alert.

About two weeks ago, she might have tried to jump onto a bed without being successful and must have injured her only good front leg and possibly her rear legs. She is restricted to the first floor, I sleep on the floor with her and have reduced her food intake to lose some weight. Her recent vet appointment indicates her lungs sound clear and good but she does have a congestion in her throat. She limits her activity and requires help navigating down steps to the yard.

I'm also at a point where I'm not sure if her decline is due to OSA advancement or other things. I wish you the best.

Cindy

Jan 02, 2012
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Celebrating Their Lives
by: Roger Byrne

Thank you for the very kind comments on my situation with Lucy and Frankie. It is comforting to share these moments with people who really understand the close bond that grows between people and their pets. Love is the only thing that can break your heart and love is the only thing that can mend it. (As the music goes). I so commend your spirit celebrating their lives and the wonderful memories they have left you. At the same time you are starting a new journey which will stop the tears and salve the grief. They may be gone but their spirits will live on with you.

I wish you all many years of shared happiness.

Nov 04, 2011
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Shared Grief
by: Anonymous

Scott,

I am so saddened to hear of your losses. I know the feelings rolling around inside. We lost our 13 year old Lab Wendy on Aug 18th. I knew it would be tough, but I was caught a little bit off guard by how much it hurt. We did tell her good bye and thanked her for 13 fabulous years of friendship and loyalty, the healing does come, even if its slow...

I can now smile when I think of her, instead of the tears (most the time). I know that time will come for you too. Jake and Daisy both were lucky to have you, and they always knew/know how much you loved them.

Keeping you both in my thoughts,
Kay

Oct 29, 2011
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Jake will get his own listing here
by: Scott L

I will provide the latest news regarding Jake's Osteosarcoma condition in a new/separate string. The worst has happened.

Editor's note:

Jake's story can be read here.

Oct 16, 2011
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Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers
by: Anonymous

Our 'grand puppy' had to have one of his legs removed as well. That was about 8 yrs ago and he is still off and running along the beach in Fla. He is just as active as he was before the surgery. Our 3 yr old we rescued 9 months ago was hit by a car when he was about 1-1/2 yrs old, shattered his pelvis & left hip. A local vet who specializes in ortho surgery did a wonderful job & he didn't lose his leg; but when he runs he pulls it up tight to his body & runs like the wind on 3 legs.

It hurts us when our K-9 kids are sick, as much as it does when our own children are ill.

We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.
Blessings & Hugs to you and yours.


Oct 15, 2011
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Update on Jake
by: Scott L

It's now after our visit to KSU and the Oncologist took x-rays (to compare with the ones from 2 weeks ago), took a chest x-ray and also did an ultra sound of his body cavity and took blood for a work up.

The good news is that the ultrasound and the chest x-ray did NOT turn up any hidden primary tumors that the leg tumor could be spreading from. The blood work did not indicate anything remarkable which rules out a bone infection.

The bad news is that the new x-rays show that his leg "bump" is now more defined and slightly larger.

We have deceided to switch from diagnostic mode to treatment mode. We have Jake scheduled to have his full right front leg removed on October 21, 2011. We will then have the removed limb biopsied to verify osteosarcoma as a post amputation. I'll up-date more later.

Oct 07, 2011
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Blessings & Hugs, know EXACTLY what you are going thru.
by: Anonymous

Know exactly what you are going thru.

In March 2010 we lost our beloved 'Gramps' who would have been 20 in Aug 2010. Hubby & I were so distraught the neighbors were taking turns checking on us to make sure we were eating (and bringing us boxes of kleenix).

A week later our 14 yr old wasn't himself, we were thinking he was just missing Gramps as they had been together for over 10 years; but we were shocked when the vet diagnosed him with a heart problem. Over the next few months he gradually got worse. He wasn't suffering or in pain, but you could see him declining & it broke our hearts. On the morning of Dec 31, 2010, I found Theodore out on the deck sitting in the sun so calm and peaceful. But he couldn't stand up or walk, so we called the vet and took him in. He had a stroke & it was time to let him go. It hurt so much to lose my best friend; but it was time to let him go.

Since our losses though, we have found a Pekingese rescue (both our boys were pekes) and now work with rescues with behavioral issues (mostly aggression issues), and have adopted 2 of our own, and almost always have 1 or 2 fosters at any given time. It is a lot of work, but so fulfilling, and we NEVER would have EVER seen it coming - but our retirement now has a purpose.

Just remember the Lord only gives us what he knows we can handle... though often times we really wonder if we can. Keep the faith & listen with your heart to find what direction you are supposed to go next.

Blessings & Hugs to you and your family. The heartache gets easier to deal with once you know why things have happened the way they have. It isn't easy, but it is well worth taking a chance on finding 'love' again.

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