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I feel tremendous guilt for not trying to do more...
I had a working line shepherd on old czech/slovak/ddr lines.
I just lost KANE @ 13 years and 2 weeks to osteosarcoma. He was extremely healthy and active up until the final 2-3months of his life. He was not neutered and he never humped legs nor did he ever roam. it originated in his distal radius as a small hard lump(half size of a golfball or so) that grew rapidly. After reading about neutering, i was surprised he developed it since he wasnt neutuered, especially at his age... I wander if it was genetically predisposed or environmentally caused??? it haunts me as i know he was in pain.

i feel regret for not doing something when i initially saw the lump like take him to UGA vet school for options. Ive heard distal radius tumors have the best chance at success. The tumor grew rapidly and engulfed his entire right leg and paw in 3 months rendering him weak and in pain I am sure and barely able to walk or stand.

I often regret not amputating and trying chemo. My only concern was his back legs/hips that were not in the best shape and at 13 years of age i didnt know how he would handle the amputation.

we are devastated.... i would love to hear any knowledge you would share based on the information i shared with you

THANK YOU
NATE


KANE


on DUTY @ 5 years old with my infant
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss. I think that you did what could or thought was right and you shouldn't second guess that. He is no longer in pain and loves you no matter what.
 

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Our dogs do not live forever. That's sad. But it is just true. You did a very good job with your boy and got 13 healthy years out of him. That's awesome.

Everyone's different, but I think it can border on cruelty to put a very elderly dog through serious medical procedures to prolong their existance. I think for most of us, the best course is to assess their quality of life, provide what it takes to reduce pain, and put the out of their pain when the quality of life is no longer there.

I am sorry for your loss. It is part of the grieving process to feel guilt. We feel it either way, should we have done more? and did wait too long? It is just part of the process.
 

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I understand the guilt, but you do the best you can with choices you have at the time. My first dog was a lab mix. He broke his leg at 1.5 yrs of age and it required a steel plate to repair. The other option was amputation, I went with the plate, but it was the wrong choice, he had to be pts at 6 yrs due to osteosarcoma. It developed at the site of the plate. I shoulda woulda coulda for some time after that. Sorry you lost Kane.
 

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I think you made the best decision for Kane. Don't feel guilty. Think of the good times you had together and save that in your memories.
 

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What a gorgeous dog. He lived good 13 years, be proud.

From my understanding genetically, GSDs are a breed at risk for osteosarcoma- neutering at a young age increases that risk. So whether or not he was neutered, the risk is still there. Had he been neutered, who knows...it may have shown up sooner in his life.

I think you did the right thing by him. It would have been tough for a dog his age to go through chemo. I am so very sorry for your loss.
 

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I can't imagine what you could have done to prevent bone cancer. I'm very sorry for your loss.

Studies suggest that altering increases the risk, but this is the third case of osteosarcoma I've heard of recently--and the other two were also from intact dogs.

I suspect my 12 year old GSD may have osteosarcoma but haven't gotten x-rays done yet. I waited until she was over a year old before spaying her. If she does have cancer, I'm not going through any heroic medical procedures--she's on supplements and pain meds to keep her comfortable, and gets a lot of love and attention and as much play as she can comfortably handle. That's all you can do. <3
 

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I know you PMed me, but I will answer here for others to see too. If you had other questions in private feel free to PM again.

You did what I would have done. No way I would put an elderly dog with arthritis in the back end through that kind of surgery and expect good results. And from my understanding, chemo doesn't prolong survival, just can help keep them a little more comfortable. Not a lot of yield for the price. Missing a front leg is harder than missing a back one.
 

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So sorry for your loss. I'm going thru this with Clipper right now, he was neutered at 6 months, that was what the vet we had then recommended. He will be 12 1/2 in July. Because of his age, we are doing quaility of life. Cody his litter mate was 11 years 8 months, he also was neutered at the same time and had the osteosarcoma in his back leg.from reading on this forum 12 and 13 years is pretty good for this breed. I wish Cody and Clipper could have broke some record and stayed with me thru my golden years. You gave him a wonderful long life with loving memories to help you thru this.
 

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Don't beat yourself up. Many of us have had dogs that we wish had lived to see 13. That many good years is a blessing.
 

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Nate, first, let me say I am so very sorry for your loss. I don't know much about osteosarcoma, but wanted to share our experience with our oldest boy as I empathize with you very much and would like to tell you you should not second guess your choices. Your boy had a long life for the breed and you loved him all the way through.

For the last 9 months we have been struggling with our almost 12 year old GSD mix, Sampson, being diagnosed with adrenal cancer. He also had a splenic mass, which we chose to have removed, but that was the easy part. The last 3 months have been without medication and while I know his time is coming, they have been 3 wonderful months of him being back to his normal self.

The months we had him on Mitotane, an aggressive but successful medication that had the possibility of shrinking his tumor, were the worst of it so far. I will always regret those months, despite them having possibly given him more time. I ask myself, even now, if choosing to put him through that was a selfish thing to do.

The meds made him terribly sick. He wouldn't eat (even meat, eggs, anything we tried to give him). He lost tons of weight. He just wasn't his normal self. I could look into his eyes and know he was not happy. We were paying over 900 dollars a month for the meds and it was just making him miserable. We finally made the decision after three months to take him off of the meds because we didn't want to put him through any more pain and suffering. They may have slowed the growth of the tumor for a time, but they were not shrinking anything significantly and it wasn't worth what we put him through. At the moment, we are just waiting for his time to come.

Sorry for the novel. I just wanted to give the point of view from someone who chose to try numerous options, most of which I regret here at the end. I just want my boy to be comfortable as long as he can. Putting him through anything unnecessary just seems selfish. I think you did right by your boy. Big huge hugs and much support coming to you and your family in this most difficult time. :(
 

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Theres only one thing you could have done different. Thats not share 13 years of pure joy and love with Kane. Losing something so special as these best friends force the I should have to the surface. The reality is you did the best thing a true friend could ever do for you, let you go on your way.

Clearly a very lucky dog having a family like this, and I promise you, he new it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
THANK you so much everyone. YOU HAVE MADE ME FEEL SOOOO MUCH BETTER ABOUT MY DECISION. I struggled with wanting to do more for kane. Daily tramadol pills were all i could do i guess... he got to a point where he wouldnt even get up to get a drink but if i brought water to him he would drink for a long time. i knew his pain and weakness was overcoming him but he remained stoic and loving throughout.
I always fed either raw or orijen/acana or other super premium food, gave him brocccoli steamed, yogurt, cottage cheese, meats heck i never thought he would get cancer because i never fed crap food and I didnt believe in yearly vaccinations either....i tried ot be as holistic as possible but i guess that didnt prevent cancer... We laid him to rest at home in his bed, I didnt want to subject my big beautiful boy to another vet trip.

KANE May you live on in the memories of many and these pictures



 

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I'm so sorry for your loss ... PLEASE DON'T FEEL GUILTY!!! I only wish there were something I could say or do to make you feel better!!!

Kane was beautiful, love the picture you shared of him with your baby.

You're so lucky to have had him long enough to celebrate his 13th birthday, a milestone not many GSDs get to enjoy. From what you've said, it sounds like you did everything you could have done to help him, you made decisions in his best interest, that's all you can do.

IMHO it would have been very difficult to have asked an elderly 13 year old dog to endure the amputation of a leg, to suddenly become a tripod limping along on the legs and joints of an old man.

Unfortunately I understand the pain and self doubts, the guilt, you're experiencing because I've walked in your shoes. My dear Niki, who was neutered, was only 6 years old when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. My virile dog who could run and jump and play ball for hours on end without getting tired was dead within ten months of his diagnosis. Because he was young and healthy I at first said NO to having his right front leg amputated, thinking the pain could be controlled by medication, but as the uncontrollable pain of the disease took hold, I went ahead and had the amputation. I've always felt guilty that I should have done more for him, but to be honest, there really wasn't anything I could do except keep him as comfortable for as long as possible, but I felt guilty anyway ... I still do.
 

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What a beautiful dog! I am sorry for your loss. I lost my last GSD at 8 3/4 to hemangiosarcoma cancer. It is (sadly), a rare blessing that you had Kane healthy for so many years

Everyone has to make the decision they feel is right but for me, after going through chemo and surgeries for cancer, I believe that putting a dog through chemo or radical surgery that is not curative, but just buys a bit more time is more for us than the dog.
 

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Don't beat yourself up! I am sorry for your loss but 13 years with a few months of issues is something a lot of us would strive for for anymore. He had a good long life.

I can't imagine putting on that old through an ampuation and chemo so maybe it was a good thing that he took another path.

It is a testament to your love and care of this dog that he lived a good long life, healthy, and clearly in good shape and clearly dearly loved. Give yourself and your family some hugs and remember somehow he will be with you in your heart always.
 

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So sorry for your loss, he was a gorgeous dog and obviously a well loved family member. 13 is definitely the upper range for a GSD, and you let him go with dignity and love.

I have seen people put dogs through chemo and surgeries.....they don't do it for the dogs, they do it for themselves. Even with younger dogs it can be horrible...a friend tried with her 8 year old lab/golden cross. For over 4 months, the side effects escalated to so debilitating and disastrous that she was in tears every day....both she and the dog were miserable....she still regrets it.

You did the best thing for Kane - cared for him and loved him enough to take on the pain of his loss and let him rest...

:rip: Kane, Run free at the bridge....

Lee
 

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Sorry for your loss of your precious and gorgeous boy, at his age I believe most of us would have made the same decision as you and did what was best for Kane.:rip:
 
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