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Obie the big, hairy Newfoundland fights the big C

The last word I ever wanted to hear from my vet was Osteosarcoma

July 25th, 2017 · 6 Comments · Uncategorized

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As I type this, my drool-slinging, hair-shedding, 132 pound housemate is having an i.v. put in place and will soon undergo a surgery I could not have believed just two weeks ago.

It was just a slight limp. Hardly noticeable. No big deal. Even so, it was worth a check with my vet back in December. She examined his right rear leg and sent us home with Rimidyl. A few days later, the limp was gone and out of mind.

The limp returned in July. It was mild at first, but progressed. My big guy didn’t want to put weight on that foot anymore and his ankle was noticeably swollen. So we were back off to the vet.

I went for coffee as she and her vet techs wrangled him onto the table for x-rays. When I returned I could hear them through the door of the exam room. I giggled as I heard one of the techs ask another to, “tell me if my hair smells like pee.” Clearly, she had pulled the short straw on which end to hold steady. The laughter would be short-lived.

Dr. Larroque led me into the dimmed room to show me the films. I noticed right away that it wasn’t just a shot of his leg, but a chest x-ray as well. The first alarm bell went off. As she pointed at the screen, my heart sank. Then she said it. Osteosarcoma. I already knew what it meant.. I’d done my research about my breed and the most common and most serious diseases. I’d taken great care when he was a puppy not to let him grow to quickly to lower his risk. I’d waited (and waited, and waited) to have him neutered to insure he would have the advantage of all the necessary hormones as his big body took shape.

The x-ray showed a tumor fighting its ugly way out of the bone around his ankle. I stared at the enemy as she talked about prognosis and options. At least his chest was clear. She initially discounted amputation as an option due to his size. She gave him a few months with just palliative care. She told me who she would recommend if I wanted to pursue treatment such as radiation or chemotherapy.

I came home and cried. Then I did what I do. I began the search and I found hope. I saw videos of giant breeds happily gamboling about on three. I saw bright eyes and wagging tails.

So here I sit. Oberon my king of the bayou is on an operating table.

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Hello Tripawds!

July 25th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The journey begins.