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Staying Overnight at CSU

April 29, 2010

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Early this morning Mary and Buddy left for the 3+ hour trip to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins. Buddy is on his way there to participate in a study that combines a high-dose radiation treatment with some new drugs that will slow/stop the growth of his cancer. (In case you missed it, it has been determined that Buddy does have Osteosarcoma in his rear leg)

Although we worried a bit about how Buddy was going to do when left overnight, the doctors at CSU convinced us that this would be best for him, instead of getting the first treatment and just having to return the next day for the second.

The way this treatment works is that Buddy gets 2 doses of very focused radiation on the cancer area 1 day apart. Then he goes about his normal life for 30 days and the process is then repeated. The idea is that the cancer is stopped from spreading, the pain is reduced or mostly eliminated,  and Buddy is able to keep his leg.

This type of treatment was important to us because Buddy suffers from Hip Dysplasia and we did not feel that he would do all that great as a Tripawd, and since the life expectancy is roughly the same (In other words there’s no way to know how long Buddy will live no matter what treatment protocol is used) we figured that limb-sparing techniques were the way to go.

Leading up to this study, Buddy was placed on Duramax (For whatever reason, the study does not work well with Rimadyl, even though these are basically the same family of medicines) and he has responded very well to that, even getting back to jumping and playing, so we’re thinking that he will do even better once the pain from the cancer is reduced!

Buddy has always been Mary’s dog. He picked her when we first saw him (you can read about this in the About page) and he’s always been by her side when we’re home. However lately Buddy has been really letting me know that he’s an equal opportunity dog. He’s been so happy and playful lately that I wasn’t entirely surprised when he decided to join me on the recliner last night:

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We will pick him up from CSU tomorrow, and then Mary and I will be out of the country for a week. By the time we get back we expect that he’ll be very much out of pain and ready to really enjoy life! (Which is good, because he’ll get a chance to meet some Tripawd friends during the Tripawd Pawty in Colorado Springs on the 15th!)


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Results From the Follow-Up Exam

April 6, 2010

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Good News!! It would appear that whatever type of cancer we’re talking about here with Buddy is not all that aggressive!! We just returned from a follow-up with Dr. Pyne, and she has taken a new set of full X-Rays (We needed to do this to see if we had to worry about the cancer spreading before working with the folks at CSU) that show no additional bone damage!

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We’re also happy to report that Buddy does not appear to have any metastasis to his lungs or internal organs!

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There’s a small spot in the picture above right over his heart (You can barely see it here between the 5th and 6th rib (counting from the left). Since it doesn’t show up in any of the other angles, we’re not going to be too worried about it at this point.

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This is really great news! This means that CSU can see Buddy, and that he most likely a candidate for the limb-sparing surgery, so he will not have to have his leg amputated!

Mary and I are very pleased with this news, as Buddy wasn’t going to have a good time of it with the amputation due to his hip dysplasia..

Next up is a visit to the docs at CSU in Ft. Collins, and a decision as to what the treatment protocol will be.

Buddy was just happy to come home and get on his bed after being in the kennel at the Vet all day!

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Say Hello to Buddy

March 28, 2010

You can read all about how Buddy came to be in our household on the About page of this blog, but I did want to make sure that everyone got a chance to see Buddy as he is today. I took this picture just a few minutes ago just after Buddy came in from the back yard.

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The picture itself doesn’t really do Buddy justice, but for some reason he is very hard to take pictures of. He does NOT like the camera, so he tends to be a bit shy around it.

As you might have read on his adopted sisters blog (http://nikkitherott.tripawds.com ) Buddy was diagnosed with bone cancer on 3/15/10. We don’t yet know what type of cancer he has, but we’re hoping that we caught it soon enough and we might even be able to spare the limb. We’ll know more next week after he’s further evaluated.

The Diagnosis

As is typical with bone cancers, we thought that he maybe twisted his knee or something like that. You’d think we would have been a bit more prepared for the “C word”, given that we’d just gone through this a few months back with Nikki, but of course you’re never really prepared for that. As you can see in the following X-Ray, we see some extra growth right behind the knee:

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We are very hopeful that since this has been identified early, that we’ll be in a position to do some advanced surgery to remove the cancer and yet spare the limb. We’re also going to consult with Dr. Friedly (Nikki’s holistic vet) to see what he recommends.

Right now we’re just letting Buddy take it easy on his leg (He’s already starting to limp pretty bad and not use it) and we’re trying to think positive thoughts about it.

One very challenging complication about this is that we’ve already identified the fact that Buddy has hip dysplasia. Unfortunately he wasn’t treated very well in his early life, so he’s developed the typical malnourished “big dog” hips. This will of course make it difficult for Buddy as a tripawd, so we’re really hoping that we don’t have to go that route.

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It’s a really sad thing to think that just as Buddy has found the home that he deserves, he has to go through this. But, all things happen for a reason, and I suppose it’s much better that he go through this with us as opposed to some family who may not have the means to take care of him.

We will keep this page updated as Buddy progresses through his treatment.