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Sorry folks, I'm having a meltdown right now. A class-A pity party. I was crying so hard at the vet's office I got a bloody nose.

I've lost dogs to DM, hemangiosarcoma, polymyositis, cauda equina, complete system failure caused by multi-year use of pred, possible bleedout from Deramaxx, and "old age".

The worst I personally experienced was when Niki died from osteosarcoma. It's always so hard to lose a fur kid, but I've always said I NEVER EVER want to go thru that ordeal again as long as I live. The pain could not be controlled by any medication including Duragesic patches and methadone - only amputation of the limb gave him relief.

Kelly's been limping from what I assumed was arthritis (he's been taking Tramadol for problems with arthritis and spondylosis). I took him to the vet today and they took a boat load of x-rays and his doctor is almost 100% sure he has osteosarcoma (it doesn't appear to have spread to his lungs yet). The radiologist will review the x-rays tomorrow, the surgeon will look at them Monday, and he's scheduled for the biopsy Tuesday.

He celebrated his 12th birthday Saturday. He's weakish in the rear and has an elevated ALT problem. Something is causing him to have eye goobers, and is making him chew very gingerly (he had a tooth pulled and complete dental within the past few months). The amoxicillin he's taking for the eye goober/chewing problem has dropped his ALT values to the mid-200's which is still high but not nearly as bad as what it's been before the antibiotic. He's in remission from SIBO.

There's some type of radiation therapy given by a vet group down in Tampa that may help reduce the pain from the osteosarcoma. I haven't done any research yet so can't comment on this option.

IMHO amputation is out of the question given his over all health problems. I know that the pain from osteosarcoma is impossible to control. The radiation may/may not be a short-term solution for keeping him comfortable.

Right now I'm leaning toward allowing him to make the trip to the Bridge when I can no longer offer him a quality life - when the pain can no longer be controlled. I don't know how long this will be. His vet increased his Tramadol from 2 a day to 4-1/2 a day and she's having me add Metacam.
 

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Gayle,

I am SO sorry to hear this. There are some supplements you can give that might help. I will look them up in a bit but I just wanted to say that I am really, really sorry. Every time something new crops up with Chama I worry that it is cancer because that is how I lost my two gsds. Anyway, sending a really big hug your way!
 

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((K(9(hugs))) to you and prayers for the decisions you have to make...I have that coming in the future with a nearly14 yr old.(not GSD) and it is not easy:(((
 

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Oh man, I'm sorry Gayle.
Cassidy had some serious pain with her discospondylitis, she would scream getting up off the floor, and once we got a diagnosis though MRI and I did some research, the pain involved was described on one site as "exquisite". Metacam worked for her. Hopefully it will help Kelly too.

Lots of people cite the side affects of NSAIDs and say they'd never use them, (and the side effects are considerable, up to and including death), but my philosophy is that in extreme circumstances you use what works. With Cassidy her pain was foremost, a constant here today and every day, and if we couldn't control it, euthanasia was the only option, so we had to weigh that against the potential health risks of the only thing that controlled her pain.

Love him, keep him comfortable, and treasure the time you have with him. And definitely research holistic treatments and supplements, they may help too.
 

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sorry your dog isn't doing well. i'm sure you've taken the best care of him. you also have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your friend and make the best decisions. i have a 7 month old boy on Dermaxx. what is bleed out??? give your friend a pet for me. there for you.
 

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Im really sorry youre going through this and Kelly has these problems.
 

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What a rough decission! My eldest is getting up there and the younger dog is just three years younger. I'll be facing some of these issues soon but right now chiropratic treatments help wonderfully. I think accupuncture does too when we can get it. I see chiro visits becoming a bi-weekly thing. These issues are gut wrenching - and the worst is trying to figure out what's best when. What I like to remember is that it IS worth the self-doubt as well as the emotional pain. The benefits of living with dogs outweighs the sorrow & pain that's a part of that package. They take a big chunk of you but even so for me it's hardly anything compared to what they give back.
 

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Gayle, I am so sorry to hear this. We lost Kirby, our 2 yo German Shorthair, to osteosarcoma 10 years ago and it was the hardest thing we have ever been through, so I understand what you are going through. I wish you weren't faced with this again.

You do have Kelly's best interest in mind, which is the most loving thing you can do for him if the biopsy is positive. Looking back at the choices we made, amputation, chemo, etc., I think I would make different choices if faced with the disease again.

Please take care of yourself and let us know how he is doing.
 

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I am really sorry to hear this Gayle...it must be so hard for you
Hopefully the metacam and tramadol will give Kelly some relief. I just wanted to tell you that Heidi has been on both medications for over a year now without complications.

Michaela
 

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Isn't Gainesville closer? I know people who went from Tampa up there when their dog came down with cancer. Just keep him comfortable, you'll do what you know is right when the time comes.
 

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Gayle, so sad that you, Kelly and the rest of the Hooligans are faced with this
Jean is right, all of Kelly's senior buds are sending good vibes
 

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Oh Gayle, oh no......

I just replied to your post about Ringer, and then to hear about Kelly.....I'm just stunned.

I know I don't have much help to offer -- you know more about this than I do. Do let us know if there is anything that we can do.

I bet you're still in shock right now -- I'm so sorry.
 

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I'm so sorry to read this is a possibility. If it helps at all I'm sending you all good thoughts and cyberhugs.
 
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