Osteosarcoma and Amputation Myths

Osteosarcoma and Amputation Myths
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When it comes to your dog, osteosarcoma and amputation are difficult thoughts. Sadly, it implies that your dog will lose a leg. Fortunately, it can be a successful strategy to stop osteosarcoma from spreading to other parts of the body (also known as metastasis).

Conventional treatment for OSA involves:

  1. Localized treatment for the main tumor (radiation). In many situations, amputation is the first suggested treatment.
  2. Micrometastasis with systemic treatment; chemotherapy.

Amputation is a difficult decision, and many dog lovers are unaware of the advantages of amputating their dog’s leg.

The Main Goal of Treatment

The major objectives of treating the tumor locally, whether through surgery, radiation, or both, are to control the severe pain brought on by osteosarcoma and avoid the disease returning. The dog’s quality of life is reduced by the tumor’s destruction of the healthy bone and the agony brought on by OSA.

Keep in mind that many dogs are resilient and won’t display signs of discomfort in the beginning of the condition. Since they are pack animals, they will hide their symptoms for as long as they can stand them since they don’t want to appear weak or ill. This explains why it seems like dogs “get sick overnight” in some cases. However, the truth is that individuals don’t actually start acting ill until they can no longer hide their suffering.

Even though it may seem extreme, amputation is frequently the best course of treatment for OSA patients. The source of the deep, throbbing bone pain is removed together with the affected limb, preventing the development of a potentially painful and catastrophic fracture. It aids in the improvement of life quality.

The Myths Surrounding Amputation

There are also quite a few myths surrounding amputation, including:

Myth:  I don’t think my dog is a candidate for amputation because they have arthritis.

Fact: Most dogs, even older ones with mild to moderate arthritis, can move around with ease on three legs. The best course of action is to have an extensive orthopedic evaluation performed by your veterinarian prior to surgery.

close up photo of dog
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Myth: The surgery for amputation is too painful.

Fact: Despite how challenging surgery is, pain management is a part of both the procedure and the recovery process. Patients are given injectable painkillers while they are in the hospital and oral painkillers when they get home for comfort. Preemptive regimens include fentanyl skin patches, constant rate infusions, and epidurals since we are aware that it is preferable to prevent pain rather than to manage it.

Myth:  Dogs who lose a leg have a poor quality of life after amputation.

Fact: The dog’s quality of life is enhanced by the amputation because they are no longer in agony while walking. Dogs can still use stairs, run, play, and even swim if given the chance since they are frequently highly adaptable to the loss of a limb.

dog swimming in water
Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Myth: Large-breed dogs don’t have the option for amputation.

Fact: Although giant dogs do equally well on three legs as small-breed dogs, large dogs generally perform brilliantly. Although there will be some exceptions to this rule, most dogs who suffer amputations recover well. In addition, due to less pain, most dogs prefer to walk on three legs rather than four when one leg is in excruciating pain. Never take someone’s judgment that your breed, size, age, or weight are acceptable justifications to avoid amputation.

a mastiff dog on a concrete floor near the body of water
Photo by Jerry Vrabel on Pexels.com

Tripawds for Support

Tripawds is the world’s first and only online support community for people with three legs. They are dedicated to helping you find the information and support you need to get your dog back to normal following amputation.

They also have an extensive database of prosthetic manufacturers and veterinary professionals who can help you with your pet’s health care needs.

If you have any questions about Tripawds, you can contact them at info@tripawds.com.

Making a Decision

If the idea of an amputation makes you uncomfortable, you shouldn’t feel alone. Most dog owners simply cannot imagine how their dog might possibly lead a happy existence without having all four limbs. It’s important for you to understand that most owners are happy with their choice. There are several top-notch online tools available, Tripawds being one of them.

Read more:

Evaluation of transdermal fentanyl patch attachment in dogs and analysis of residual fentanyl content following removal

Finding a future for osteosarcoma patients

Canine osteosarcoma. Treatment by amputation versus amputation and adjuvant chemotherapy using doxorubicin and cisplatin

Standard of Care in Canine Osteosarcoma

What To Do If Your Dog Has Been Diagnosed with Osteosarcoma

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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