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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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6 Comments so far ↓

  • Petra &Stewie

    My Mum & I are very sorry to hear that you also have the dreaded Osteosarcoma! I was diagnosed in a similar way. My Mum & Dad thought it was my shoulder that had bugged me in the past.
    I am a large dog too. I am a Bernese/Rottweiler/Retriever cross & I weigh 110lbs.
    I had my front left leg removed two weeks ago and although I tire really easy, I can do the stairs all by myself again! (Even though it scared the crap out of my Mum!)
    I have had a couple of really tough weeks, but my stitches come out today and I start my horrid, but necessary Chemo right away.
    My Mum is writing our story in my blogs on you can find me under Super Stu! Or Stewie2017.
    Good luck Oberon and take it easy. Us big dogs can be very stubborn and independent, but you need to kick back for a couple of weeks and enjoy the apampering!
    All the best from Stewie and Mum!

  • admin

    “But we are spirits of another sort…”

    Welcome Oberon! And best wishes…we look forward to following your three legged adventures. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    • Bob

      Welcom Oberon. My girl had her leg removed in early June, and I did much crying and soul searching before deciding to go ahead with the amputation. She’s done well since then, even though she’s a bulldog with extremely short legs. She till loves going to the park with her ball, and going on (shorter) walks. Best wishes to you and Oberon for a speedy recovery.

  • charliebear

    Kick ass, Obie!!! Yep, cancer does what cancer wants to do BUT SO DO YOU!!! Remeber that:)

  • wanderlustloki

    We’re rooting for you, Obie! ~Brittnie and Loki

  • danielle

    You have a gorgeous boy! You’ve found the right place online to come to for support. You were one step ahead of me in knowing what that dreaded word was. I have had quite an education myself since September of 2016. the hardest part for me, was trying to remain “myself” and not let Gerry know/sense my HUGE upset inside. I wish I had this book then, that a friend recently sent me. It’s called “No Mud, No Lotus: the Art of Transferring Suffering” by Thich Nhat Hanh, and it has helped me. Maybe it will ease your heart a bit too, in the coming days. Just having him home will be also be wonderful. Gerry and I are rooting for you! His blog is called “Brand New World” if you want to read about our journey.

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