T Nation

Osteosarcoma in my Pit Bull


#1

Hey guys. My pit bull was diagnosed with cancer in his right front limb last Saturday. He is 11 years old and in great health up until this point. X-rays were taken of his lungs, abdominal ultrasound was taken and blood work was done as well. There was no sign of the cancer spreading but I know it many cases it has spread but can't be picked up by imaging.

His alkaline phosphatase levels are slightly elevated. The standard procedure is to amputate the limb to stop the pain and potentially stop the spread of cancer(i'm being optimistic). He is scheduled for surgery tomorrow. I am wondering if anybody has been through this experience with their dog before?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for any replies in advance.


#2

I had a much loved cat with a lip cancer. I paid for three surgeries and sadly it ended up doing no good. I saw it had started to regrow in his mouth and was starting to cause him discomfort. So I manned up and had him put down. His last act was to poke his tongue out! I had tears In my eyes.

Your last duty as an owner is to make sure he doesn't suffer unduly, you have to ask if you're prolonging his life for his sake or yours. Hope you have a better result but remember you may have to pull the plug, and its not an easy thing to do.


#3

I had to have the front foot amputated on my lab. She was very unhappy afterwards and chewed on her leg. I did not put her down but she died after suffering for four months. I was simply selfish and should have put her down long before. When her sister got leukemia, we kept her as long as she was happy and then when she got weak it was time to let her go. I cried like a baby.


#4

I agree. But why, when your loved one is terminally ill, you have to just sit there and watch everything unfold?


#5

I am sure your veterinarian has given you most of this information but I thought I would share what I usually talk to clients about when their dog is diagnosed with osteosarcoma. I am an emergency veterinarian. Even with clean chest x-rays, normal blood work, and no visible metastatic disease most of these dogs only survive about 4-5 months with amputation, without aggressive chemotherapy.

Survival is actually about the same whether amputation is performed or not but dogs that have the affected leg amputated have a better quality of life since they do not have the pain of the disease anymore. With adjunctive chemotherapy after amputation medial survival is 12 months with about 20% of these dogs making it to 2 years. Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can try and answer. Sorry to hear about your dog


#6

Rip in peace doggy