Osteosarcoma diagnosis - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Osteosarcoma diagnosis

My 3 year old GSD was just diagnosed this morning with osteosarcoma. We brought her in 3 weeks ago because of a mass growing on her mouth. We started with antibiotics, it grew rapidly so my vet decided to remove and biopsy it. We just got the results back and it is grade 1/3. I'm still waiting for a referral to oncologist for her.
Does anyone else have experience with their dog having this, particularly in the mouth?
We feed our dogs raw food, should I be adding in some veggies and supplements to help her through this process?
Thank you everyone!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:25 PM
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OH NO! I'm so sorry. I've never heard of a dog so young having osteo.

I lost my last senior dog to it, in 2013. He had it in his elbow, and amputation wasn't possible because he already had pretty bad HD in the rear and couldn't support the extra weight.

You need to get an appointment ASAP with the oncologist. Just make the appointment now and wait for the referral paperwork to come through as they tend to be pretty solidly booked. That way, by the time you get whatever paperwork you're waiting on, it will be time for your appointment. Here's a directory of them:
https://find.vetspecialists.com/


Back when my dog had it, the best treatment option was palliative radiation, which takes the pain away and slows tumor growth, but doesn't cure it. It gives them more quality time without pain. There was no curative option for us. I think the radiation treatments are around $3,000 -- plus more if you add acupuncture on treatment days.

It's a VERY PAINFUL cancer. The most important part of the process is giving your regular vet the job of monitoring your dog's quality of life and pain management, and telling you when it's time to stop fighting and let the dog go -- the oncologists tend to drag out the fight with everything available to them, as that's their training. Fight the cancer for as much good, quality time as you can get the dog, but once you get into the fight, it's very important to have your regular vet in your corner to protect your dog from suffering and tell you when to let go. Making that decision is the hardest thing in the world, and we're often not in a good frame of mind to make it with all that going on -- so have the conversation with your regular vet as soon as you engage the vet oncologist. I actually created a group email and put the regular vet, oncologist, and holistic vet doing acupuncture all together and let them know my regular vet was "quarterbacking" the case, so they needed to keep him in the loop so that he could oversee everything.

Please order yourself a copy of the 2nd Edition of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Dressler & Ettinger (a holistic vet and vet oncologist in dialogue). It was invaluable to me to read before our appointments, so I could go in with questions and better understand what the oncologist was offering as options.
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Last edited by Magwart; 09-18-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLunaShepherd View Post
My 3 year old GSD was just diagnosed this morning with osteosarcoma. We brought her in 3 weeks ago because of a mass growing on her mouth.
I am SO sorry. Is there any way the mass and some of the surrounding jaw can be removed?

Cancer in dogs is happening at younger and younger ages.

A friend of mine had a dog with osteosarcoma that could not be removed. Based on his experience, Magwort's suggestions are excellent. The cancer can rapidly become extremely painful, and many oncologists still want to push on. For your dog's sake, you will eventually need to let go in order to put him out of pain, no matter what the oncologists tell you. Physicians who have worked with bone cancer patients and develop bone cancer themselves sometimes kill themselves. They know what kind of pain is coming and there's no way they're going through it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMyLunaShepherd View Post
should I be adding in some veggies and supplements to help her through this process?
No supplements. Some can be toxic or contaminated with toxins, and some might have really bad interactions with chemo. As for veggies, unlikely to help. Also, some veggies, like broccoli, have substances that are known to cause cancer.

Good luck, and I wish your dog the best possible outcome.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:12 PM
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My friend had a good portion of her Dobermanís jaw removed with the same cancer and he was in terrible pain. They finally lost him. If it canít be treated safely and in a way that gives your dog more life satisfaction, you have some hard choices to make. My older dog had successful cancer surgery but it did not spread. That was almost 3 years ago. We knew going in it would very likely be successful based in the type and location (small, external). You need to look at quality of life before doing anything drastic.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 07:01 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear that. I will keep her and you in my thoughts and prayers.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 02:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magwart View Post
OH NO! I'm so sorry. I've never heard of a dog so young having osteo.

I lost my last senior dog to it, in 2013. He had it in his elbow, and amputation wasn't possible because he already had pretty bad HD in the rear and couldn't support the extra weight.

You need to get an appointment ASAP with the oncologist. Just make the appointment now and wait for the referral paperwork to come through as they tend to be pretty solidly booked. That way, by the time you get whatever paperwork you're waiting on, it will be time for your appointment. Here's a directory of them:
https://find.vetspecialists.com/


Back when my dog had it, the best treatment option was palliative radiation, which takes the pain away and slows tumor growth, but doesn't cure it. It gives them more quality time without pain. There was no curative option for us. I think the radiation treatments are around $3,000 -- plus more if you add acupuncture on treatment days.

It's a VERY PAINFUL cancer. The most important part of the process is giving your regular vet the job of monitoring your dog's quality of life and pain management, and telling you when it's time to stop fighting and let the dog go -- the oncologists tend to drag out the fight with everything available to them, as that's their training. Fight the cancer for as much good, quality time as you can get the dog, but once you get into the fight, it's very important to have your regular vet in your corner to protect your dog from suffering and tell you when to let go. Making that decision is the hardest thing in the world, and we're often not in a good frame of mind to make it with all that going on -- so have the conversation with your regular vet as soon as you engage the vet oncologist. I actually created a group email and put the regular vet, oncologist, and holistic vet doing acupuncture all together and let them know my regular vet was "quarterbacking" the case, so they needed to keep him in the loop so that he could oversee everything.

Please order yourself a copy of the 2nd Edition of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide by Dr. Dressler & Ettinger (a holistic vet and vet oncologist in dialogue). It was invaluable to me to read before our appointments, so I could go in with questions and better understand what the oncologist was offering as options.
My father's beloved Golden Retriever was 4. They told us it was wickedly painful. My parents opted to euthanize him right then and there. It devastated my Dad.



I'm so, so sorry.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 01:33 PM
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My old mutt came down with what turned out to be this. Because we had lived in the south, we had hoped for tick born disease but it turned out to be osteo. in a leg. We didn't discover it until it was too late, it wasn't confirmed as not tick borne illness for about a week to 10 days. (involved a trip to a specialist many miles away, waiting for lab results, getting them after everyone else was closed, etc.) So a very sad experience. If it had been detected earlier, amputation would have been the treatment. Unfortunately, it had spread.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 09:24 PM
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Very sorry to hear this
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