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The Unexpected Results

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The pathology results from Roxy’s leg came back. Good news: Roxy doesn’t have cancer! Bad news: Apparently she never did. We removed her leg because of what turned out to be osteophytes (outgrowths of bone) in her knee. I regret more than ever not doing the biopsy before her surgery. But at the very least, she no longer has a painful leg. We are getting around great! Staples came out yesterday and we hope to hear from the vet by the end of the week regarding treatments and further tests for her diagnosis: osteoporosis. 

I was frustrated, angry, and confused upon receiving the news that Roxy did not have cancer. The vet had been so certain that this was what the X-ray showed and I trusted her. Of course, it was a huge relief hearing that I would be able to keep my dog for many years to come, but it also came with a lot of guilt for not digging deeper before amputating her leg. It’s hard to say if it still would have needed to be removed regardless if I had done the biopsy or not. But to keep myself from throwing a personal pity party, I’ve been focusing on the good news: she doesn’t have cancer!

What she does have is osteoporosis. But we don’t know why. She’s only 4 years old and a pretty active girl. Our fear now is that whatever caused the weakness of bone in her leg might make something weak somewhere else. The vet is doing some research and I will too. And I will be seeking a second opinion before any other major operations or treatments.

In addition to potential causes of osteoporosis in young dogs, I will be researching for some things to do at home to build strength in her bones. Diet, supplements, exercises, if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them!

In the meantime, we are just enjoying being pain-free. Sometime it’s still a little awkward on three legs. I notice her back legs occasionally briefly gives out on uneven terrain, but she quickly regains balance and keeps walking as if she hadn’t noticed. Now that I know the potential condition of her bones, every stumble gives me a mini heart attack and I visualize bones breaking if she falls or twists a leg wrong.

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4 Responses to “The Unexpected Results”

  1.   kazann Says:

    Wow, I’m happy to hear she doesn’t have cancer. But darn it anyways, she lost a leg. Please remember that sometimes biopsies are inconclusive so some people end up getting second or third opinions.

    I ran the risk of getting my cat’s leg amputated without a biopsy. The lump was growing so quick and the vet was concerned it was an aggressive cancer so he took her leg as soon as possible. It did turn out to be cancer.

    Bisphosphonates are used in humans for osteoporosis and in dogs with osteosarcoma. Here is some information:

    All the best to you and Roxy,
    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

  2.   otisandtess Says:

    Hooray for no cancer! I know it must be hard now, wondering if the amputation was necessary, but hooray for no cancer! Roxy hopefully has a long life ahead of her, and she will do just fine on 3!

  3.   mom2shelby Says:

    YAY for no cancer but I definitely get why you are beating yourself up. BUT the good news is that Roxy will do great on 3 and you know now what was up!!! Such a young girl… she will thrive and be awesome!

  4.   jerry Says:

    Hey guys, it’s got to be SO hard when you get news like that. I can’t imagine trying to simultaneously celebrate a “No Cancer” finding while beating myself up over the amputation. Geez I’m both sorry and happy for you guys. I’m not even sure if that’s the right thing to say! But here’s what I do know.

    Odds are, she may have needed amputation years down the road. We’ve seen quite a few dogs whose arthritic legs were so bad that it led to amputation in order to improve quality of life. So although we cannot predict the future, you may have spared Roxy an amputation recovery as an older, arthritic senior dog. At least that bum leg is gone now and that’s one less thing to worry about.

    As for health tips…oh yeah we got em! Have you seen the Tripawds Gear blog ( or our e-book, Loving Life on Three Legs?

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