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The Shocking News and a Hard Decision

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Hi, everyone!

This past weekend turned my world upside down and I just want to thank everyone for being so understanding and willing to give a hug or shoulder to cry on. Your support is so appreciated and in return, I’d like to use this blog as a way to keep everyone updated on Roxy’s progress in our newest journey. 


Roxy has had some problems in the past with her hip but it usually works itself out with exercise. This time, she had been limping for about a week before I finally decided to take her to the vet. The vet looked at her legs and expressed great concern about Roxy’s right rear knee, not her hip. The vet did some X-rays and returned to confirm the worst: Roxy has cancer.

Specifically, she has osteosarcoma in her right knee which is quickly deteriorating the bones in her entire right leg. Additional X-ray images of Roxy’s hips and chest revealed signs of hip dysplasia in her left hip and three suspicious white spots around her heart and lugs.

Devastated and overwhelmed by the news, I was presented with a few options:

  1. Do nothing and try to manage Roxy’s pain with meds–something the vet warned was extremely hard to do and would never stop her limping–until her quality of life deteriorated to the point we needed to euthanize.
  2. Pay a pretty penny for a biopsy of the cancer in her knee to find out more information and possibly have more options.
  3. Pay an even prettier penny to amputate the cancerous leg which would relieve her from the immense pain, but probably wouldn’t stop the cancer which has likely already metastasized to other places. This would also put more strain on her bad hip.

What is a scared pawrent to do? Of course I didn’t want my baby to limp forever, so option 1 was out. We could do the biopsy, but ultimately what would that really do? Confirm that the leg needed to go or open up the possibility of expensive chemo treatments? But would Roxy ever forgive me for dropping her off in a strange place and waking up one leg short?

It was a hard decision and I deliberated over it for a few days. Deep down, I knew the most reasonable option for us was amputation, but I really struggled emotionally with that idea. Roxy has always been a rambunctious, active dog. She loves to run and jump and play hard, wouldn’t amputation take that away from her?

After doing some research online, I found Tripawds, a whole community of loving pawrents of amputee pets. I read about other families’ situations, explored the blogs and resources, and browsed the recommended gear. The more I read, the more I came to be at peace with the decision to amputate Roxy’s leg. This would give her greater quality of life, she wouldn’t hate me for going forward with the surgery, and she would still have fun and be my happy girl when she healed. I realized I could even picture Roxy hopping around with a bit of humor. So the decision was made.

I drop her off for the surgery at 6:45 am tomorrow and then I’ll get breakfast with a friend gracious enough to wake up so early and be with me when I won’t want to be alone.


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8 Responses to “The Shocking News and a Hard Decision”

  1.   otisandtess Says:

    You will be surprised with how quickly Roxy will adapt. The first two weeks or so are tough, but probably more on us than on our dogs. It is a hard decision, but I think that, for Roxy, beign free of pain is a good decision.

  2.   linda8115 Says:

    I’ll be sending hugs and prayers to both you and Roxy on surgery day. Glad you’ll have your friend with you for moral support. Let us know how it goes and if you need us us we’ll be right here for you and Roxy. Hugs!

  3.   Nanük Says:

    Many prayers for your pup, and for her surgeons.

    Nuk & family

  4.   Michelle Says:

    Welcome to the club no one wants to join. I am sorry you have to be here. This community is a wonderful support system and lean on us as much as you need to.

    You made a good decision as amputation will remove the pain it isn’t going to cure the cancer but it will help with her pain.

    We will be praying for Roxy during her surgery.

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

  5.   Andrea Medina Says:

    I’m so sorry that this has been such an emotional experience. Your doggie will be happy knowing that you did what was best. We were against amputation for my 14 year old Scooby. Then we had a consult with a surgeon and make a quick 20 minute decision to go against what we were against. It was the right choice! The last 3 months of Scooby’s life as a Tripawd were happy and full of lots of love. He was a happy dog until the very end and I’m glad we chose amputation. I’m sure you will feel the same in time.

  6.   jeanetteg Says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and Roxy as you begin her TriPawd journey. It is incredible how quickly our furkids adapt to 3 legs. Our crazy Boone is 8 days post-amp and he’s adjusted quickly. The change in him from dealing with an incredibly painful front leg (also osteosarcoma) to life on 3 legs is night and day.

    Will be sending healing thoughts your way. Keep us posted.

    Jeanette & Boone

  7.   benny55 Says:

    ROXY IS BEAUTIFUL!! I could look at that sweet face and soulful eyes all day long!

    I am so sorry you and Roxy are having to deal with this awful poece of crap disease. It makes us make “forced choices” that no one should ever have to make.

    Clearly Roxy has shown you she has no intention of going anywhere anytime soon! She sounds like a spunky gal who is up to the challenge!

    For whatever it’s worth, ma y dogs have had hip issues, arthritis, etc and are able to manage three legs just fine. The fact that she has used her other legs to carry the extra load with no issues when she limped is good!

    I’m glad you didn’t pursue the biopsy. We’ve seen time after time where biopsies have come back inconclusive and have caused unnecessary pain, and sometimes infection.

    It wasn’t too long ago when Vets didn’t do amputations if mets were found. A new way of thinking has been developed through the years and more and more are proceeding. The main purlose of the amputation, regardless of mets or not, has always been to re ove a very painful leg and give them a chance at a quality life!!! It is also evident that no dog has a timeframe stamped anywhere in their butts!! NOWHERE! Some dogs with mets have far exceeded any “statistics” thrown out there.

    And when a dog’s pain is removed, that certainly helps boost their immune system. And a healthy immune system can do all sorts of miraculous things!!

    If you’ve researched the site enough, you know recovery can be a little rough for a couple of weeks…especially the first several days and nights…..loooooong sleepless nights!

    STAY CONNECTED and let us know any questions you have, okay? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We understand the intense stress, the uncertainty, the kick in the gut, the fear, the deep, deep bond. We also understand how HAPPY you will be when you see Roxy hopping around, running around, pain free!!! You have given her a chance at extended pain free time for loving and spoiling and tummy rubs and treats! That is a great gift!! No Roxy doesn’t hate you for that! She loves you for having the courage, and for loving her enough, to .ove forward on her behalf!

    And ues, she will be even more playful and rambunctious because she will be pain free!

    THE most important thing you can do for Roxy and yourself from this point forward is BE. MORE DOG! BE MORE ROXY! Savor the NOW, live in the moment with no worries about the tomorrows!! The NOW is all that matters to Roxy! And take @ots of pictures! We can’t wait to see more Roxy!!

    Oh, and when you pick her up, don’t even look at the incision! Just look I to her druggy eyes and tell her what a good girl she is!! BTW…when you do sneak a peak later…they get real clipper happy and shave a lot of fur!

    Looking forward to your update and then her homecoming! Guess she’s spending one night at hospital.

    @ots of hugs….And eat lots of CHOCOLATE tomorrow!!

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  8.   juliedarling Says:

    HANG IN THERE!!! You are absolutely doing the right thing for Roxy. First two weeks are difficult but do not despair – it will get better and we are here for you every step along the way. Don’t forget the Tripawds Helpline. I used it before my boy’s amp and after. So sorry that this is where you are but you are not alone.
    julie and Spirit Buddy

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