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Has anybody had a animal that had osteosarcoma? My 9 yr old chocolate labs biopsy came back the other day and thats what they said it is, a bone tumor. I was told if they go in and try to remove a mass that is pushing her trachea over, it will help her coughing (she's doing it constantly) but that it will probably move into her lungs since it's located on her chest. They said she's got about 4-6 months left for sure, maybe longer. It's heartbreaking, she's such a great dog. Does anybody have any pets or have had any pets going through something like this?
I haven't had to deal with that one personally.. We got news about a month ago that our cat, Kong, has Squamous Cell Carcinoma in his mouth. Unfortunately, it's a similar prognosis, generally they only have 2 months left once it's discovered. Our vet said she could 'debulk' it, but, it wouldn't buy him more than a couple weeks more and would make him very uncomfortable. We decided not to go ahead with the surgery since it would just compromise the quality of life he has left.. The way I see it, cats and dogs don't count their days, they don't know their age, they don't keep time the way that we do. They know what time of day it is, but, they don't know what week or year it is.. In that case, I've always felt that quality mattered a lot more than quantity. Because our cat loves food, the day that tumor is too big for him to swallow food is the day we've decided we'll put him down. Sure, we could tube feed him and get him a couple more weeks, BUT, he LOVES food and wouldn't understand why we were tube feeding and why he couldn't just eat his food.
Don't get me wrong, I think uncomfortable procedures are worth doing when they buy time and quality of life, so, that's something to discuss with your vet to see what they feel is the best choice for your pet. I had a 7 year old Dane that ended up with an enlarged spleen. We went ahead and had his spleen removed and it bought him another year before he ended up with malignant melanoma on the roof of his mouth and needed to be put down. Since the recovery time was only a couple weeks from his splenectomy and he got to enjoy another year of quality life, it was worth doing to me.
The question I always ask my vet is, "What would you do if this was your pet?"
My vets answer to that was to allow Kong to enjoy his time left without surgery. Obviously though, your vets answer may be different with your dogs specific problem.
I'm sorry it's not more positive than that.. You have to do what feels right for you guys. For some people, what feels right is to try everything to save their pet even though it's more than likely to be a losing battle. Some people let go sooner. The important thing is that you make the decision that feels right to you.
I worked at the local open admission shelter for about 8 years. I can't justify keeping our cat Kong alive and miserable with tube feeding while 30 cats that could have a great life get put down there everyday. The day we have to have him put down, we will bring another adult cat home from the same shelter we rescued him from. Obviously though, that's NOT the right choice for everyone. You have to follow your instinct with your vets guidance.
Our cat's diagnosis really blindsided us. We had thought he was around 7, but, our vet says that even though he looks great, there's not a chance he's under the age of 12. We thought we were bringing him in for an abscess in his mouth. Apparently, squamous cell carcinoma is a lot more common when the owner smokes. So, we have his previous owner to thank for his shortened lifespan.
It's been a month and we've finally made peace with the diagnosis. It will still be hard when we finally have him euthanized, but, we're trying to enjoy the time he has left. It's a lot easier when they die peacefully in their sleep at home. We've only ever had to euthanize one other pet, my Great Dane, and it still haunts me whether or not he could've had more time. BUT, that's how it always is when you decide the time. If you wait too long, you regret that they suffered, if you euthanize them before they're really suffering bad, than you regret not letting them have another couple days. Sorry if that seems morbid, it's just not feelings I was prepared for when I had my Great Dane euthanized. Just advance warning there..
Good luck, it's going to be a rough next 6 months, but, hopefully your vet can help guide you a bit more on the important decisions..
Thanks for the support ladies, it means a lot. Lacey passed away today after surgery, and we're so heartbroken. It was about 3 weeks between her being diagnosed and now her gone, everything happened so quickly. She went in to get the mass removed around her neck, but she wouldn't wake up and shortly afterwards she stopped breathing. At least she passed away while she was sleeping and wasn't in pain. It was very hard to go back and look at her to pick up her things, they're going to send her body to be cremated and we should get her back within a couple of weeks. I miss her already! I've had her since I was 16 so it's going to be so hard for a while.
Lacey - October 22nd 2001 - November 1st 2010
Sorry the pic is so big, but love this one. She was always so happy.
Oh I'm so sorry! Definitely been there and can understand how you feel. It's hard and it'll never be okay but you start remembering the happier times and leaving the sad ones behind and I think that's the best point you can get at. Glad she didn't suffer and had a good life. Hugs to you and your family!