HI - My Madi was just diagnosed with bone cancer at 9.5 yrs. The vet advised amputate will give her 6 months more, no amputate and she has about 2 months. Has anyone else gone through this and what did you do? Any comments are welcome.
I'm so sorry to hear about the diagnosis. The problem with bone cancer, is that usually by the time the cancer is diagnosed...it has spread somewhere else in the body.
I'm going to be honest. I would never put my dog through the leg amputation to buy a bit more time. Often by the time they heal from the leg removal, it's already spread...and they get very little more quality time. The vets push it because there is very little else they can offer...and they take x-rays, and do tests and declare that it's not spread anywhere else. It takes about a million cancer cells to show up as a spot on the lungs, liver,etc. You go through the surgery, the cost, and recovery...with the same thing in the end= a dead dog. I had so many people call me when the fosters that I adopted out, developed bone cancer with the same diagnosis...and not knowing what to do.
Bone cancer is very common in this breed...probably 50% of dogs over 8 develop it. The end is always the same.
Love her, spoil her, and keep her pain free as long as you can...enjoy the time you have with her.
I agree with BBD. We have had four Rotties who had to be PTS because of bone cancer. Amputation wasn't an option for any of them. It's a horror I do not want to live through again. The first one was a back leg and she was too old to give her much time. She was such a tough girl, and it would have hurt her spirit to make her 3 legged when she was the boss of two younger boy Rotties and an extreme Alpha girl. The second one got cancer in her shoulder that was inoperable. The third was bone cancer in his chest bone and rib. We opted for surgery. Found a specialist in Colorado and drove him there. It was a very painful horrible surgery we put him through that we regretted. He died a few days later, died in my husband's arms. The last one had it in her knee. She toed out and had issues with her immune system anyway, so we thought if we amputated her leg chances were she'd just get cancer in the other front knee because of the stress it already received. I have prayed that we never go through that again. All of it was heartbreaking.
I'm so sorry for what you are going through.
I have a concoction that will help give your dog more time. It is the Buddig diet. You can look it up on the internet. It helps the immune system. I have been feeding it to all my dogs for years now as a preventative measure. I think it has been helpful. A friend had a dog with a lung tumor fed this to her dog and he lived several months longer than the vet estimated. She credits this concoction. It was initially a diet for people (and my husband and I drink a shake with these ingredients in it every morning too). What it is, is basically organic low fat cottage cheese and organic flax oil. I feed this with a good quality kibble at night, probably a half a cup of the cottage cheese and a spoonful of organic flax oil. The oil gives my largest Rott terrible gas (he is amazingly toxic when he gets gas) so for him I give him organic flax seeds, he appears to digest them better. I buy all of this at Trader Joe's. Organic flax oil is found in the vitamin section. Flax seeds are found in the breakfast food section. My dogs have taken to it pretty well. They like it. I suspect they think it's people food since they see Tom and I having shakes every morning with those ingredients, so it makes it more attractive to them.
That is their evening meal. In the morning I feed them a combination of Honest Kitchen freeze dried organic food plus cooked meat and a good quality kibble. I work a lot of hours, this combination of food is easy to put together for the working person. It's not a cheap diet, but my dogs never live long enough, I feel it's an investment in their health is more valuable than treating them after the fact and spending that money with the vet.
For people, if you have cancer that runs in your family (like I do) this is the recipe that might help your immune system: a shake with 1 cup organic low fat cottage cheese, 1-3 tablespoons of organic flax oil, strawberry died shake mix from Diet Direct (we have found that the be the tastiest of their shake mixes) - I split that between my husband and I - a handful of blueberries and about 8 frozen cherries, 1/2 banana and a cup of water makes this shake palatable (taste is the thing... the oil makes me gag if I taste it.) There are other ways I suppose you can have this shake or the cottage cheese/flax combination, but this is what I found works for us or for anyone who has an immune system issue. I also add powdered gelatin for my joints into the shake.
It is not a magic bullet. We have had most of our dogs die of cancer since feeding this additional diet to our dogs, however, I have to mention I have had a couple of dogs live much longer than others since I started feeding it. One shepherd mix to 16 years and the longest lived Rottie I've ever had lived to 14 years. Meanwhile, a couple of dogs had cancer tumors that wrapped around their spleens and were bleeding out before we knew and found that if we operated, the dogs would die of the cancer by the time they recuperated from surgery so the only humane option was to PTS. Cancer is an unfortunate fact of life for all the dogs we have ever had, but I feel we have successfully staved it off as best we can with diet.
Just like people there are a variety of things that affect the immune system. I suspect people and dogs who have more worried dispositions are more susceptible to cancer. Genetic predispositions don't help.... but all I can say is I do as much as I can to prevent it in my animals, myself and my husband.
My sweet Ringo got bone cancer in his shoulder at 9-1/2 yrs old. The vet gave him pain meds and when they were no longer effective we had a vet come to the house and put him to rest. So sorry to hear about your Mad.