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The Trip to Colorado State University – Ft. Collins

April 13, 2010

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Today Mary, Buddy and I took a trip up to Ft. Collins to visit the folks at the Flint Animal Cancer Center. We met with Dr. Karen Beckwith and a plethora of others.


We brought with us the X-Rays that Dr. Pyne had taken, and of course discussed all of the events leading up to our visit.

After looking through all of the images, Dr. Beckwith decided that she wanted to do some additional investigation, because she frankly couldn’t tell from the X-Rays if we were dealing with cancer or not. Mary and I left to get some lunch, and Buddy stayed behind to endure more poking and prodding. (He didn’t like this part)


Once we got back, Dr. Beckwith and her student assistant, Aslang, sat us down and talked about the fact that they really can’t be sure that we’re dealing with Cancer. They’ve taken some samples, and will send it to the lab to determine exactly what the problem is. It’s quite possible that we’re dealing with a fungus, and if that’s the case, we’ll be able to knock it down with relative ease. If not, and it does turn out to be cancer, they’ve determined that Buddy is a perfect candidate for one of the limb-sparing palliative studies that they have going on at the moment, which uses targeted radiation and a cancer-inhibiting drug so either way, it appears that we’re only going to have one Tripawd in the family. (I think this is a win, even though technically that means Buddy doesn’t fit in here….)

We’ll know much more once the lab results are in, and assuming the worst, Buddy will get his first radiation treatment next week (The regimen here is a high-dose treatment to start, then 2 more doses at 7 and 21 days. If he responds to the treatment well, this will be repeated at 2-3 month intervals). This means that basically Buddy will keep his leg *and* have a good quality life. Not sure what else you could ask for. (Keep in mind this is the worst case, in the best case, it turns out to be a fungal infection and we just have to fight that)

As you can see, Buddy enjoyed his day out (It’s a 3 hour drive up to Ft. Collins, 3 hours back, and we ended up spending 4 hours there)


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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!


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


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.


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!


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.


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 ( ) 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:


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.


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.