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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Oct 02

We’ll see how long blogging lasts.  The love of my life, my heart dog, Fallon Ellen Greyhound has cancer.

It’s been a rough week since we found out about this.  It started with a limp, and now we’re at an osteosarcoma diagnosis.

We/re looking at treatment options.

I consulted by email with a greyhound specialist, Guillermo Couto, who is the go-to osteosarcoma guy, and he made me feel really confident about amputation.  He reviewed her x-rays, medical history, and bloodwork and was really straightforward with that recommendation.  My local vets were less optimistic, given Fallon’s age (just turned 11)  and maybe the start of arthritis in her back legs (The tumor is on her left front leg), plus she is a shaky mess when she’s at the vet, and will need to be in the hospital about 2-3 days. Even with that, Dr Couto was all in for amputation.  But he is the only one who hasn’t met Fallon face to face.
A friend from our greyhound group who has a tripod dog who had cancer used a vet/ortho specialist in a town about 1/2 hour north of us.  (Her dog was 5 at the time of the amputation, and she said she would never put an 11 year old through that).  My vet said she would refer to a different specialty practice, which is less than a mile from our house.   We got a very significant unsolicited positive referral to them also by a very trusted friend.
It’s Sunday night.  Our plan was to spend the weekend researching, thinking and considering all the options. My vet is going to call again tomorrow and we’d have well thought out, pertinent questions to pose, and with that we’d have a plan going forward and we would execute that.  However, we’re finding that crying and drinking lots is more in line with our mindset now.
Where we’re leaning this minute (it changes a lot) is to consult with a surgeon–maybe 2, and go from there.  I know there’s no wrong answer about next steps, given we’re without a crystal ball,  and the hardest thing is we’re going on a lot of conflicting opinions based on valid input about next steps.  But Dr. Couto was 100% solid on amputation, so that’s where I think we’ll land, unless the surgeon(s) give us something even more solid.  I’ve been reading lots about the couple of weeks of hell after the surgery, and I’m all in to support our girl.  I think she will be, too.
We’re fearful that Fallon will easily break her leg having seen her x-ray(which is how we found out about her sister Willow’s cancer about a year and a half ago, because we suck), so we carry her up and down stairs, lift her onto the furniture and bed, and we’re limiting her walking pretty significantly, just leash walks down 2 or 3 houses and back.  However, Fallon is really doing excellent, and would happily do all this herself.  She is super playful, alert and trying to be active within our restrictions.  She’s eating and drinking, and the reason we’re leash walking 100% is that she still wants to roughhouse with her younger sister Maggie in the yard.  So she’s in a much better place than we are. She is on Tramadol and it seems to be holding her well, all that seems compromised is her pretty significant limp.
More to come…


12 comments so far

  1. juliedarling
    2:19 am - 10-2-2017

    Please don’t hesitate to call our Helpline if you have any questions. My boy was 10 when he was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He did just find on three. Please know that you are not alone, you have a new family that is here for you!!
    Julie and Tripawd Alumni Spirit Buddy

    • dawn3g
      2:09 pm - 10-2-2017

      I am so appreciative for this site, happy I ran across it. Thanks so much for your kindness.

  2. benny55
    2:56 am - 10-2-2017


    You’ve come to the best place for support and information. And yes, we certainly have had dogs do very well, even with some arthritis and even at a “mature” edge!

    We do say “age is just a number here”, especially when you have a dog as vibrant and full of life as your LOVELY Fallon…..And she is so LOVELY!! I

    You are doing an excellent job with your research and vy talking with a variety of Specialist.

    Orthopedic Surgeons are generally pretty well versed on projecting” how well a dog will do as a tripawd. Xrays, as well as a hands on exam will help him determine any challenges the arthritis may, or may not, present.

    One beautiful Grey who comes to mind is “Nixon”. He was eleven at the time of amp (maybe more) and transitioned at thirteen. He rocked being a Tripawd and got some excellent quality time for more spoiling and loving! There are many more seniors, older thanFallon, who also have had amps and have done very well on three, and some eere Greys too!

    I apologize for this being short for now, but just wanted to touch bzrse with you znd welcome you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE, okay?’

    We fully understand the stress and agony and fear and uncertainty and mental and physical exhaustion, like no others can!! There is some relief though, once you proceed with a plan.

    But for now, continue to drink and breathe!!! Let us know how the consult goes.


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

    • dawn3g
      2:10 pm - 10-2-2017

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Sally and pack. I’ll keep you posted. <3

  3. sessy
    3:31 am - 10-2-2017

    Hi there…..this sounds so much like me….my 11 year old greyhound was diagnosed with osteosarcoma 12/26/16….. on 1/2/17 Sessy’s leg was amputated. She is doing great as a tripawd even if she is 11 (turns 12 in Nov). We did 6 rounds of chemo. Possibly because of being a greyhound, she had to have treatment every 4 weeks instead of 3 because her WBL dropped but were fine a week later.
    Great you are going to DR Couto…..he is the top expert on greyhounds. Make sure to ask him about the special meds they take for five days….to prevent after surgery bleeding in greyhounds…..can’t remember the name (senior moment)

    • dawn3g
      2:12 pm - 10-2-2017

      I appreciate this so much…thanks so much for sharing Sessy’s story, it’s so encouraging to me. Will keep all posted as to where we’re at, I hope to meet with a surgeon super soon. <3

  4. kazann
    3:55 am - 10-2-2017

    You are the absolute best dog parents for Fallon! It sounds like you’re ready to get reduced sleep nursing Fallon after the amputation. It can be stressful but absolutely worth it to have your pet with you for longer. I hope you find a surgeon who is just as confident as Dr. Couto.
    Kerren and Tripawd Kitty Mona

    • dawn3g
      2:14 pm - 10-2-2017

      I’ve read so much about what to expect, have been so appreciative for those who have been there sharing their experiences. Thanks so much for your kind note <3

  5. Wanda
    4:00 am - 10-2-2017

    So sorry to read this…. It sounds like amputation is the only alternative – and it has been for most of us here. She will do fine – but know that it is most likely going to gain you a few more months with your sweet girl. It was totally worth it for MySweetTed since he was still so full of life and joy when we discovered his osteosarcoma. I lost him November 30, 2016 – 8 months after his initial diagnosis. Some others here have gotten more time, and I hope you do too. Keep us posted.

    • dawn3g
      2:15 pm - 10-2-2017

      Thanks so much Wanda. My vet’s point is that it’s a lot to put Fallon through for a little time…but right now, I’ll take anything, she *is* super full of life and joy–and brings both back to me. We hope to speak with a surgeon very soon–I’d love to today. Will keep you posted. <3

  6. benny55
    3:06 pm - 10-2-2017

    Just want to add another note a out “time”. NO ONE knows how long anynof us, including ojr dogs, have on this planet.

    Fallon does not jave a timeframe stamped anywhere in her sseet little Greyhound butt! She doesn’t care about days on a calendar.

    And in human years, a doggy whonis with us for six months is equal to over THREE years, or with us for one year, is with us for SEVEN!
    Gonna hop over to your newest update.

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

  7. tonloc
    4:43 pm - 10-5-2017

    You are doing all the things necessary to care for Fallon. Our big brindle Leonard became a tripod on 9/29/17 and we are all learning together on this journey.

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