A LONG ROAD BACK FROM A PELLET-GUN WOUND

Let's face it! All pets will experience health problems at some time in their life. These problems may sometime lead to serious conditions and symptoms that can affect the behaviour of your pet. However, you as their owner should be alert and detect these symptoms and changes in his/her behaviour so you can easily relay this information to the veterinarian.

Ike, An 11 year old Greyhound, was brought in late last year after he suddenly slipped and fell on a hard floor. When he came to the hospital he could not bear any weight on his left rear leg. With radiographs it was found that he had fractured his left femur.

Now that so many Greyhounds are rescued from the tracks and adopted into loving families, we are learning what happens to these dogs as they grow old. Unfortunately, a very common disease is bone cancer (Osteosarcoma). Since there was not a major traumatic event, we feared that Ike may have this condition. Osteosarcoma causes bone to dissolve at the tumor site. Common sites are shoulders, carpus and knees but can occur in any bone. When the bone becomes very brittle it can suddenly fracture. In most cases the bone will appear moth eaten on radiographs. In Ike’s case the bone did not appear abnormal aside from the obvious fracture.

We had his case reviewed by a board certified radiologist who agreed there were no obvious signs of cancer on the X-rays. But, with this breed, at this age and this sudden occurrence, osteosarcoma was very highly suspected.

The normal course of action treating osteosarcoma is to surgically remove the tumor by amputating the leg and following up with a course of chemotherapy. After much deliberation and screening tests to make sure Ike was healthy enough for the procedure, we decided to move forward with surgery.

We had his case reviewed by a board certified radiologist who agreed there were no obvious signs of cancer on the X-rays. But, with this breed, at this age and this sudden occurrence, osteosarcoma was very highly suspected.

The normal course of action treating osteosarcoma is to surgically remove the tumor by amputating the leg and following up with a course of chemotherapy. After much deliberation and screening tests to make sure Ike was healthy enough for the procedure, we decided to move forward with surgery.

After amputation Ike recovered like a champion. He was trying to go for walks within a few days.

The fractured bone was sent to a pathologist for review and our suspicions were proven to be correct. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Ike was referred to a veterinary oncologist to begin chemotherapy.

His treatment schedule extended through January. Again, he did very well through the chemotherapy. Ike and his owner were very happy to have their final chemotherapy visit.

Ike’s owner called me with an update recently. She reported that Ike is 100%. We are so happy to hear he is a very happy greyhound enjoying daily walks and playtime.