This page is still under construction there is alot more information to come
PLEASE REMEMBER YOUR DOG IS LIVING WITH CANCER NOT DYING FROM CANCER, YOU NEED TO FIGHT THE FIGHT
WHERE THERE IS GOOD QUALITY LIFE THERE IS HOPE
Your dog has just been diagnosed with bone cancer what should you do??
Here are some things that just might help you. They are the opinions of people who have experienced a dog with bone cancer but remember we are not VETS
1) My vet wants to biopsy even though we know its bone cancer should we.
alot of people who have been down this route, now would not do the biopsy for several reasons, these are, bone cancer is normally easy to diagnose from the xray it sends out a distinctive star burst pattern, biopsy on the bone can cause the cancer to burst and spread, it weakens the bone and can lead to fracture when and if that happens the only option you are left with is amputation. The biopsy is more painful than amputation, costs money which is basically better spent on the treatment.
2. My vet says nothing can be done to save a dog with bone cancer is this true.
Not entirely, though cure is very rare, we were one of the lucky ones we did our treatment choice and we are over 7 years out from diagnosis but we are not the norm. However most vets will give you the grim satistics of 6 weeks on pain medication and 6 months to a year with amputation and chemo, nearly everyone who has been diagnosed has been told this, it is simply not the case, alot of dogs get two of more years after diagnosis with amp and chemo, some just with amp and they are good quaility pain free years.
I would always recommend you ask for a referral to an oncologist, the are dealing with cancer on a daily basis and know alot more than our normal vets who just do not deal with this and amputation enough to have the full facts.
3) My vet reccomends amputation, isn't this cruel just disabling my dog so I can have it a bit longer.
absolutely not, there are literally 100's of dogs on the bonecancerdogs groups who have had amputation and every one of them has coped brilliantly and had a great life as a tripod, it is us humans who have problems with the thought of amputation, the dogs adjust so well it is like they never really needed 4 legs and don't miss the missing limb at all, with the removal of the limb takes the pain away and bone cancer is a horrendous pain, the look in brackens eyes after her amputation was not pain but relief the horrible pain was gone, gone for good.
4) My vet says my dog is too large for amputation is this true.
Once again no, in the group there have been bernese mountain dogs, pry's, great danes, st bernards, etc all who are living life as tripods quite happily, there are even dogs with hip dysplasia and bad arthritis who are fine as a tripod, though these things should be taken in to consideration.
5) You should always have your dogs chest x rayed before starting treatment to check for spread, the normal place for spread is the lungs, if your dog does have lung mets, this is not the end, there are treatments that can be done too check out www.bonecancerdogs.org
6) my dog is not insured and I cannot afford chemo is it still worth doing the amputation
Yes where as the gold star treatment is amp and chemo, I know several dogs who are over 2 years post amp and have not had chemo.
7) We cannot do amputation so do we just keep him pain free till we have to release him?
Where as pain control is essential with these dogs, there are other options to amputation, that still give good results, not as good maybe as amp but still give quality life these can be found on the www.bonecancerdogs.org there are different chemo's, radiation, limb spare etc
There are many options once bone cancer is diagnosed. In the past several years we have seen huge progress in the treatment of this disease. Thanks to excellent research, new surgical techniques and various chemotherapy protocols have been developed. Statistically, the longest survival rates are seen with a combination of amputation and chemotherapy. Amputation provides permanent relief of the horrible pain caused by bone cancer. Giant breeds and older dogs can function well after amputation, and most dogs are fully recovered from their surgery within two to three weeks.
Not every dog is a candidate for amputation or chemotherapy. Conservative yet aggressive therapy for non-surgical candidates includes radiation therapy, the use of intravenous or oral bisphosphonates and alternative oral chemotherapy regimens. All bone cancer dogs benefit from a change in diet, reducing carbohydrates which cancer cells need to grow. Holistic medicine is a valuable part of treatment, with the addition of supplements and immune boosters that strengthen the dog’s immune system.