I received an update on Victory the other day and wanted to share it with you.
Victory is a shepherd/husky cross and was diagnosed at 11 years of age with osteosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of the bone, in his left hind leg. He is the dog in the post “Proof That Dogs Don’t Read“.
Victory continues to do well four years after his amputation. He will turn 15 years old this December and is comfortable and active at home with two younger dogs, Hershey and Zeke.
Victory is a great example that there is always an exception to the rule. He and his family are very lucky to have had all this time together.
He never underwent chemotherapy after his amputation. Chemotherapy has been shown to help patients after a surgery like Victory’s.
Pets handle chemo remarkably better than we do because our goals are different. For people, oncologists are aiming for 15-30 years of life and have to wipe out every last cancer cell to do that. Veterinary oncologists are aiming to comfortably extend our pets time by perhaps 12 months. Therefore pets get lower doses of chemotherapy and generally don’t lose their hair or get sick from the treatments.
I believe it is also important to look at the big picture. Each family has to take into account their pet, the diagnosis, the prognosis with or without chemotherapy, the follow up visits and expenses and also the chances of what the chemo will do versus the natural life expectancy of their pet.
In Victory’s case, his family made an informed decision that was best for them and their beloved pet. I am very glad that they did. This was a family decision I supported.
If you have questions about osteosarcoma, pain or quality of life you can message me through this blog or discuss it with your veterinarian.
Here is a recent picture of Victory enjoying the outdoors.
Matt Brunke, DVM, CCRP, CVPP, CVA
Chief Operating Officer – North Country Veterinary Referral Center
Zoetis Elite Speaker – Pain Anesthesia Sedation
CDVMS CE Co-Chair
IVAPM Membership Committee (www.ivapm.org)
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