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Rio's Battle with Osteosarcoma

Our day to day life with OSA

Rio’s confirmed Diagnosis

Filed under: Uncategorized — nikkiweber at 10:21 pm on Friday, May 9, 2014

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May 5th.

Rio’s histopathology of the amputated leg has came back. Not sure at first what all it meant but quickly went over it with my regular DVM when we stopped in on the 6th (12 days post-op) for his suture removal. Soooo…. (sigh)

Rio was diagnosed with stage 3 (or high grade) Chondrosarcoma.

Chondrosarcoma’s- “tend to be slowly growing tumors and are the second most common type of primary bone tumors in dogs. Metastatic rate of 50% and a guarded prognosis,” 9 months they are expecting.

So of course I googled the hell out of it and it seems that it is a rare form of bone cancer, one of the oncologists at the U of M I talked to said it was “good” that it was that form rather than an osteosarcoma because of the metastatic rate being around 90% in osteo’s, but since his is a high grade it makes it just as bad or likely for the spreading…Apparently only 5-10% of bone cancers are caused by this which makes Rio’s case rare… I’m over here thinking like ” Of course Rio, you had to have the worse of the rarest, good lord buddy ” lol The good thing is the first cause of action is to remove the tumor, which we have done. I’ve read a lot as well and it sounds like because it is rare there are not a lot of studies out there that show Chemo is effective against spreading the disease or at least slowing it down… SO I thought to myself, so that’s it? Thats all we do? I wasn’t sure about that answer. So if anyone has any experience with treating this cancer please let me know I would love to hear you and your animals plan of action. I talked again further with an oncologist and he did recommend doing chemo using carboplatin for about 6 treatments. Sounds like I can move forward with it at any point. Now I love my boy and everyone on here knows this procedure is expensive and I am more than willing to do it for him but I need help here… Right now Rio is sporting a Hanes gray t-shirt and is seemingly comfortable, still doing stairs, laying down and getting up okay. Appetite has increased slightly, although he does still get pretty much whatever he wants. He is currently on NSAID’s twice a day and Gabapentin twice a day, the Gabapentin seems to make him pretty drowsy and little iffy on his feet so I try and give it once a day in the middle of the day. Looking forward to hear from fellow tripawds!

Spaghetti and meatballs dinner (Mama felt bad for me for some reason)

Spaghetti and meatballs dinner (Mama felt bad for me for some reason)

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May 10, 2014 @ 3:07 am   Reply

RIO!! Glad you’re handling this amp. thing pretty darn good.

Wonder if the vet would think doing Gaba on a lower dose with a lower dose of Tramadol would make semse…..maybe you could try lowerd dose of Gaba once a day and then may some tramadol at night…or vice versa. Jist so ething to check on.

All tnis prognosis schmognosis (Jerry’s term) stuff is scarey and confusing AND, in most cases doesn’t mean a whole lot as far as determing a dog’s survival time!

NO dog jas a time frame stamped n his butt and Rio certainl doesn’t!! EACH dog is an individual!

The “stage” while I’m sure ot helps with tje treatment plan, also doesn’t mean a whole lot most times either. Soooooo many dogs who had “poor prognosis” and were on the very low end of “statistics” as far as survival time, far exceeded any “statistics” in spite of “agressive this or that”.

If yo post a thread about this I think more will respond and you’ll hear from more success stories who beat al odds!

You mah also find some great nutritional and supplemental advice. In additio to some home cooking, I gave Happy Hannah K9 Immuity Plus and Apocaps! Research n thise site for info. n that as well as mushroom therapy.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TREATMEMT YOU CAN OFFER RIO… to BE MORE DOG! LIVE IN THE MOMENT WITH RIO!! LET NOTHING ROB YOU OF YOUR TIME TOGETHER! Rio doesn’t give a rip about statistics……..all he knows is his painful leg is gone and he’s getting more loving and spoiling than he ever thought possible!!
so make a vow to Rio right now that you will stay in the NOW with him and will not waste one precious second worrying about the tomorrows when you have Rio by your side today!!

Sending you huge hugs and a reminder you are not alone, okay?

Sally and Happy Hannah



May 10, 2014 @ 7:18 am   Reply

Thanks so much Sally and Happy Hannah! I have definitely been trying to let him be more “dog” but my goodness is he spoiled! But it is good for him! I am glad I can give him the time for it and I know he knows it too! Before his diagnosis I would work 12-16 hour days over the weekend and when I would come home late at night he would wrap his 4 legs around me (which can be very tight, since he is 130lbs lol) and not let go… I would tell him “I’m sorry baby, I’m doing this for us, it won’t last forever!, Mama loves you!” I will never let work change my “limited” time for him ever again. Rio is very good at reading me and hates when I cry so knowing that he is actually keeping me stronger because I know I have to be happy for him to feel happy. Dogs are crazy lol. But I will definitely look into more nutritional supplements. I have him on grain free food, 2 different kinds and he gets home made cooked ground meat, cottage cheese, any cheese really (Do all dogs LOVE cheese or is it just me?!) yogurt etc… I also do the salmon oil and low sodium chicken broth ice cubes which he loves! Did you get the supps online or do you have a local pet store that supplies them? And thank you so much! I love coming on this site for the reassurance that life goes on and the life that is on for Rio and I will be the greatest venture to come! 🙂



May 11, 2014 @ 11:51 pm   Reply

Hey Nikki and Rio!

Yes, the spoiling will thrill Rio AND you! I had THE best time letting Happy Hannah basically do ANYTHING she wanted ANYTIME she wanted and then tell her what a good girlshe was for doing it!

If she wanted to take a plate off the counter, looking at me and smiling ad wafing tje whole time…she got a “good girl!” If she got somethingoutof the trashand carried itmup n the sofa…smiling amd wagging at me the whole time…yep…she got a “good girl”! As long as it wasn’t harmful she could do anything and never hear the word “no”! She rarely heard it before the amutation, but she never heard it afterwards!

It’s so much fun watching them have fun getting you to give them anything they want! In my opinio, dogs are meant ro be spoiled anway (I’m sure there are some “gasps” with that one!), but tripawds are eat to be indulged and spoiled at a higher level than you ever dreamed possible!!

I kow Rio is thoroughly enjoying the quality time you two are sharing! He’s not looking at a calendar or thinkng about tomorrow or yesterday, he just knows he is with you now and that’s all that matters to him.

These blogs go up amd down so quickly. Again, t may be helpful to post a question about Rio under tje Ask a Vet thread. I do know with osteosarcoma five carboplatins seems to be the norm…my Happy Hannah had four as that, according to some oncos is just as effective as five.

And yes, Rio’s life is so blissful now that recovery is continuing and his sparkleis coming back! The joyyu two will experience…the depthof bond…itis the most profound journey of love you could ever imagine!

Enjoy the adventure and make everyday count! Rio sure is!

Oh, and a little scoopofice cream every now and then……yeah, good for the soul…..for both of you!


Sally and Happy Hannah

I got my Kenai Wild Salmon Oil at “Whole Foods” and I got my K9 Imunnity Plus and Apocaps from Amazon.



May 19, 2014 @ 8:56 pm   Reply

You know you’ve entered a whole new world when you’re grateful about having one type of cancer instead of another. I agree, chondro is better than osteo but it still sucks all around, I’m sorry.

Ok here are some posts about chondrosarcoma, I hope they help. Remember, you can always hop over to the Forums for lots of feedback OK? Here goes: (scroll through these results)



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