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  1. #41
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    Jun. 11, 2013
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    WAIT!!!!! I hate to criticize your vet but your dog is getting virtually no analgesia. Tramadol is more an SSRI than an opiod. In fact, it's potency is 1/20,000 that of morphine. To do ANY good for pain it should be given 4x a day at 10mg/kg. Gabapentin is a nice drug but by itself also useless. Fosamax is used for osteoporosis in people yet is implicated in bone fractures and mandibular necrosis. We do not know how it works in dogs and the oncologists I know do not recommend it.
    I have a 135# Rottie osteosarc patient that we have managed medically. I would have loved to have been able to give palliative radiation but owners opted not to. He is on Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (APAP) 10mg/325mg. Calculated safe APAP dose is 15mg/kg 3x a day. We started him on 2 tablets 3 times a day, 300mg gabapentin 3x aday, 20mg prednisone twice a day now down to once a day, although pred not my choice but owners. I usually use meloxicam because it is so cheap. Bone cancer dogs NEED a true Mu Opiod. Oral oxycodone and morphine are not bioavailable. Hydrocodone is. So is hydromorphone and the owners keep 4mg tablets on hand if he seems very painful. He was "supposed" to be dead 9 months ago but he is eating and drinking and mobile and pretty much pain free. When we got to the point that he needed more opiod, I cut the hydro/APAP combo to twice a day and gave 4mg hydromorphone for his midday narcotic. We have ramped up the gabapentin to 600mg 3x a day and will go higher if needed.
    My point is, you don't have to spend a fortune using medications that may very well make your dog miserable (although I do think palliative radiation a good idea if you can afford it). You can adequately manage even cancer pain if you take a multimodal approach and don't be afraid to use narcotics. If your vet is hesitant please ask him or her to go on VIN and contact Dave Thompson and Dick Headley in the analgesia forum for advice. There is absolutely no reason for your or any bone cancer dog to suffer needlessly because no one is willing to use these medications. You can keep him happy, functional and NOT doped up with very inexpensive medications. Before you consider esoteric therapy or, God Forbid, euthanasia, at least look into proper pain management. If he's in a lot of pain you may need to hospitalize him for 3 days of continuous rate infusion of morphine and ketamine but once that gets the pain under control, you need to stay AHEAD of it with oral meds. Good luck with this


    4 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    Thank you for the very informative post jkc313. I don't know if it is where we live or what, but vets around here just won't perscribe narcotics. They say if dog is that bad euth is best.
    I managed to scrape together the $ for the pallitive radiation, and I found a vet. oncologist who is close by and can save me a good bit on the Pamindranate, so she is getting that too. Fingers and toes crossed that she will respond well to these treatments.
    Thnaks again to all for the much needed support.



  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

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    The bases have been covered as far as options. So I just wanted to send some jingles.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012
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    14

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    I have been dealing with a horse with RARE cancer of mandibular. We approached it from a palliative care point with radiation & chemo 20 months ago. Guess what? She received a check up with super results yesterday. She is actually now overweight. Miracles do happen. Go to a Vet School near you. they will have the latest research. I swear by Texas A & M, but know there are other good schools out there. In the end, only you can make that decision. Good luck



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug. 7, 2012
    Posts
    14

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    Our horse went through tomotherapy radiation. First in the world to experience that and her tumor has not grown. Since you are in the onco field, I figured this would be of interest to you.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,197

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    I just found out today that my five and a half year old Great Dane has osteosarcoma. He was already on Deramaxx, but they upped the amount we are to give him. They also prescribed him Hydrocodone to keep him comfortable. His appetite has been awful lately and we pretty much have been forcing him to eat just a little bit. I know what the right thing to do is. My heart is absolutely breaking and I'm dreading making the call, but I can't stand to see him in this much pain, no matter how excited he gets when I come home from work.

    I'm sorry you are in a tough situation. I hope the decision comes to you as easily as it has to me.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



  7. #47
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2000
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    937

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Compared to conventional radiation therapy, the precision of CyberKnife radiosurgery allows higher doses of radiation to be delivered to the tumor while minimizing damage to healthy tissue. One to three treatments are the same as 15 to 20 treatments of conventional radiation. The benefits include fewer hospital visits, fewer anesthetic episodes and reduced stress. Treatment is based on how much bone destruction has occurred

    The procedure currently is available on a limited basis. Besides the Animal Specialty Clinic in New York, radiosurgery is performed at clinics in California, Colorado and Florida.
    I had stereotactic radiosurgery done on my 10 year old corgi (glioma brain tumor)at the University of Florida at Gainesville this past March. We had our prep appointment on a Monday (CT scan, they could use the MRI scan from NC State thank goodness) and the radiation (single dose) on the Friday. They need a couple of days for planning. So anyone who goes, plan on being there a week and it is not cheap for sure.

    My corgi, however, is doing quite well. *cross fingers*. A lot of his symptoms have either disappeared completely or have been greatly reduced, his quality of life has been great -- I think he's more energetic than my 4 year old corgi! I also have him on some holistic and natural supplements that I think are also contributing to his success. I know it won't last forever, just taking it one day at a time.

    You might want to look into acupuncture for pain relief. I also have been doing that with him, I think it helps too.



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jun. 19, 2013
    Posts
    48

    Default Thank you for this...

    I just joined this group specifically to say thanks for this thread. I, too, have an older dog with terminal cancer. My boxer, Ginger, is 11 and has malignant mast cell tumors. In the last week, she has gone downhill: not eating as much, not running, losing weight, bloody urine and, of course, the tumors continue to grow in spite of prednisone. I have a vet appointment tomorrow evening and was struggling with the fact that she still does look up and wag her stub. On the other hand, she has no comprehension of why she doesn't feel good and why life is not much fun.

    Ginger belonged to my husband, who passed away in 2011, so she is extra-special in my and my dd's hearts. I am devastated and was questioning my decision because I simply cannot watch her deteriorate. You folks have made me feel that this is the right decision. Thanks again.



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
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    iberianfan, so sorry about your boxer, Baby Girl was my Dad's dog, so I totally understand how our pets can be a link to the people we have lost.
    Have you checked out this web site www.dogcancervet.com Dr Dressler has several youtube presentations, one on feeding dogs with cancer, and the one on knowing when to let go really helped me.
    Mechach, so glad for your good outcome so far- It's good to hear.
    NBChoice- Your Dane sounds alot like Baby Girl a couple weeks ago. She's had two radiation treatments and one dose of Pamidranate and her pain is much better. If that is an option in your area I can say that it does help.

    I am not an expert or vet but I think it is possible that your dogs that won't eat may have ulcers from the stress and pain. Babe's appetite improved dramatically after being on omeprazole(Prilosec).

    Hope I have helped Y'all as much as others have helped me.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    Babe is hanging in there, her radiation was done last week. Funny thing, I was told that the hair on her leg would fall off and a bad 'sun' burn would occur, to be followed by a little oozing and cracking of the skin. So far..nothing



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,505

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    Sometimes the hair fall off after a week or so- sometimes it turns white, sometimes nothing. Glad to hear your pup is doing well!!! Radiation scares a lot of people, but Im assuming your dog had very few, if any, ill effects from it?



  12. #52
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    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    Hi Sqish, So far, still no ill effects, but she had one treatment on a monday and should have had the second the next day, but the machine was broken. We had to wait almost a week for the second treatment and the vet seemed pretty certain that she would have the burn/weeping sore, within a week. Do you think the machine could still be broken?



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2003
    Location
    It's not really mid nor west
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    4,321

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    Quote Originally Posted by iberianfan View Post
    I just joined this group specifically to say thanks for this thread. I, too, have an older dog with terminal cancer. My boxer, Ginger, is 11 and has malignant mast cell tumors. In the last week, she has gone downhill: not eating as much, not running, losing weight, bloody urine and, of course, the tumors continue to grow in spite of prednisone. I have a vet appointment tomorrow evening and was struggling with the fact that she still does look up and wag her stub. On the other hand, she has no comprehension of why she doesn't feel good and why life is not much fun.

    Ginger belonged to my husband, who passed away in 2011, so she is extra-special in my and my dd's hearts. I am devastated and was questioning my decision because I simply cannot watch her deteriorate. You folks have made me feel that this is the right decision. Thanks again.
    Iberianfan, I don't know if your dog is still with you or not, but there is a drug for mast cell disease in dogs called Palladia. You might discuss it with your vet. Sorry to hear of your troubles
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  14. #54
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    The hair still has not fallen out on Babe's leg. I am really wondering if the radiation was done right?! Anyone else have this result?



  15. #55
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    Jul. 10, 2003
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    It's not really mid nor west
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    Quote Originally Posted by csaper58 View Post
    The hair still has not fallen out on Babe's leg. I am really wondering if the radiation was done right?! Anyone else have this result?
    The only way you can get that answer is to talk to the veterinarian who worked on your dog. They can explain what you are seeing.
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    We have had patients that the hair has not fallen out. Primarily dogs with a shorter dense coat (mastiff's, dobes, rotties). But yes, I would call your vet who did the radiation therapy and ask their opinion. I would be surprised if they say all patients lose their fur. "Hair" dogs such as poodles/bichons etc. are more susceptible to changes from chemo and radiation than "fur" dogs.



  17. #57
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    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    Baby Girl has had her second Pamidrinate treatment, and is doing well. She still has a limp, but seems much more comfortable and her leg has begun to show signs of the radiation treatment. Thank you again for all the advice and support


    3 members found this post helpful.

  18. #58
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    Oct. 4, 2003
    Location
    Hurdle Mills, NC
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    4,147

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    Continuing to follow this thread, grateful to this forum for the many different kinds of help it provides and adding my jingles to everyone facing these difficult decisions. It's less than a year since I lost my beloved GSP to osteosarcoma, and I am amazed by the numerous therapies/treatments which seem to have become available in just those few months and with such good promise for improving the prospects for our animals.

    In both human and veterinary medicine, I have been glad to see increasing emphasis on palliative care. E.g., a few days ago, I heard an interview with a Dr. who switched her specialty from Emergency to Palliative medicine, who said she's embarrassed to remember saying "there's nothing more I can do," to terminal patients and their family members, having learned that there are, in fact, countless things that can be done to improve patients' quality of life to the very end.

    So glad that Baby Girl is feeling better



  19. #59
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    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    /\ True Dat!!! Thanks Fish.



  20. #60
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    Nov. 8, 2012
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    gulf coast
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    Baby Girl is doing well. We have been able to reduce her pain meds, and she is much more alert, even barking at the door bell again.


    3 members found this post helpful.

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