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13

The Diagnosis


Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!Our brave and beautiful twelve year old American Bulldog, Sasha was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March, 6, 2012. Liliana walked out through the french doors onto our deck.  It took me a moment to turn around, but when I did, I saw my wife in pain.  […]

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Our brave and beautiful twelve year old American Bulldog, Sasha was diagnosed with osteosarcoma on March, 6, 2012.

Liliana walked out through the french doors onto our deck.  It took me a moment to turn around, but when I did, I saw my wife in pain.  She was holding her breath and straining to contain her emotions.  At once I knew who was on the other end of the line, and the general essence of the woe my wife was feeling.

Earlier that day, Liliana and I had taken Sasha to see Dr. Neuenschwander, our local veterinarian.  This was the second time that we had taken her to the vet’s office for lameness in her right arm.  The pain first presented itself  a few months earlier, but then disappeared as quickly as it had manifested.  In hindsight, and knowing what we know now about osteosarcoma, the initial lameness in late 2011 may not have been related to the cancer in Sasha’s bone.  The nature of osteosarcoma in dogs is such that our girl probably wouldn’t have been with us long enough for a positive diagnosis in March.

Dr. Neuenschwander reviewed Sasha’s radiographs, along with Dr. Clary, a veterinary orthopedic surgeon.  Almost as quickly as the film hit the lightbox, both men recognized the cloudy white blotch on an otherwise beautiful skeleton as the most common type of bone cancer in dogs – osteosarcoma.

Liliana could not bear to listen any longer to the doctor’s diagnosis, and Sasha’s prognosis; she handed the phone over to me.  The news was horrible.  Sasha, our baby, had a death sentence handed to her.  Dr. Neuenschwander explained that we had three choices of how to move forward.  He said that we could opt to do nothing.  Sasha would be in ever increasing pain, and she probably wouldn’t live more than two months.  Sasha is a very stoic dog, and she seldom complains of pain, but this tumor already had her so lame that she refused to touch her paw to the ground when she walked.  For me, option one was no option at all.  I was not ready to say goodbye to Sasha, and I couldn’t imagine her in worse pain than she was already in.

Option two was to euthanize Sasha.  While certainly a more humane option than option one, I didn’t want to loose Sasha.  Not yet.

Option three was to amputate Sasha’s arm.  If we took this option, then we could follow up with chemotherapy treatments.  Dr. Neuenschwander explained that amputation would relieve Sasha of the agonizing pain that she was in.  She would have to go through hell while recovering from the amputation, but after a couple of weeks, she would be feeling better without her cancer ridden arm, than with it.  The Dr. told us that we needed to consider Sasha’s age.  He said that she is an older dog and that she would not recover from the limb removal as quickly as a young dog.  He then said, “but Sasha is a strong dog who is otherwise healthy.  She could do very well with three legs.”  If we opted to amputate Sasha’s arm, we could expect to have her with us four to six months more.  If we decided to amputate her arm, and follow up with chemotherapy, she might live six to nine months.  Possibly even longer.  He then asked if I had any questions.  I had many, but I was not able to speak at that time, and so I told him no, and that we would be over shortly to get Sasha.

I will write more posts here in the future, but if you’d like to know how Sasha is doing today, and watch her catch a Kong flying disc with three legs, then please see my wife’s and my blog: Lilisnotes.com.  And to read about her enrollment in the ground breaking clinical trial currently going on at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, please click: Mason Bone Cancer Study.

Also, check out this article on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the Mason Bone Cancer Study and their first patient, Sasha!




6 Responses

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   Jack & Jill  July 19, 2012  11:04 pm  1

Wow. The study itself seems absolutely amazing. I sincerely hope it works for Sasha – that’s an amazing approach to cancer treatment and could mean a lot for so many folks here. Thank you for sharing this with us!

   Reply

       carlito2002wgn  July 20, 2012  4:04 am  2

    Thanks for reading, and you are absolutely welcome. We have high hopes for this study, and hope that it helps, not only Sasha, but other animals and people as well.

       Reply

   admin  July 20, 2012  2:50 am  3

Welcome and thanks for sharing Sasha’s story. We look forward to following her progress.

   Reply

       carlito2002wgn  July 20, 2012  4:05 am  4

    Thank you.

       Reply

   princess  July 20, 2012  2:55 am  5

Thanks for sharing Sasha’s story. I hope this new treatment works for you and look forward to hearing more

Karen and Spirit Magnum

   Reply

       carlito2002wgn  July 20, 2012  4:06 am  6

    Thank you. I will continue to post here and on our blog: http://lilisnotes.com

       Reply

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