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19 Sep 2009

Shilos Walk

Author: shiloanne | Filed under: All about Shilo

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Well, I figure I would just start from the beginning. I can’t say how glad I was to find this site, for walking down this road with a loved one is so, so hard.

We have a Rottie named Shilo she just turned 6 years old in June. 2 of my good friends have her sisters and for the most part they have been intwined since birth. At 3 months of age her sister Cheyenne was diagnosed with Parvo, even though they had all received their shots. She had a tremendous struggle but she made it and is with us today. Her other sister Shadow has had a great life of having a couple litters and just being a typical rottie has been in good health.

Shilo was the cleanest in health, spoiled and always an intricate part of our family. We got them when they were 8 weeks old and they have all 3 been with just 1 family. Loved, cherished, and spoiled they have all become one of the kids.

It was mid August, my brother had come over for a visit and we had noticed Shilo had a bit of a weird gate. We checked both front feet but couldn’t see anything visible wrong with either one so tossed it off that one of the kids must have stepped on her. Within a week the favouring of one front leg was becoming more noticeable and so a more in depth search as to the reason was insued. We still couldn’t see anything so tried to get her to rest we were thinking maybe a pulled muscle or something else was to cause.  By Aug 28th we began to notice a small lump on her left leg, the distal area and by that night I did a google search. Limping, lump, leg and what came back shocked me – Bone cancer (OMG)?

Of course the next day I started making phone calls to vets to get her seen, sadly it was a weekend and the soonest anyone had the availability was Monday mourning. We got her in to a vet who ran the x-rays and to which we came back an hour later for results. The vet said that although it didn’t look like the typical flowering out of the bone that osteosarcoma has it did show that the bone densisty was extremely poor. That the hollowing of the bone did indicate the most likelyhood that it would be osteosarcoma but that we should follow up with Oregon State University. We set up an appointment for that Friday.

By Friday she had quit using the limb all together and the tumor started to become more noticeable. The Oncologist at OSU proceeded with an aspirate instead of a full on biopsy, he said it was less evasive and would be better on the bone and if confirmed of cancer they wouldn’t have to do the biopsy. When we came back before the results were given a klenex was handed to me and in that moment I knew- It is cancer. They said that the results were almost fully positive and words such as stong positive results and aggressive tumor were used.  And so our options were laid out –

1. Do nothing – 30-45 days survival

2. Amputation only – no pain and 30-45 days survival

3. Amputation & chemotherepy – up to 1 year survival or more

4. Radiation – 4-5 months on average

We wanted her to have a chance and with a chance we wanted the most quality of life for her and so we decided to go with the amputation and chemotherepy. Our hopes were  that maybe since we were so early in detection that she could be of the 15% that was caught before the spread.  We realize this is high hopes but, this is all we had right now. So, we scheduled the amputation that next Tuesday or so we thought, we were also told it would run around 1,100.

Tuesday we showed up only to be put through the rigamaroe that we went through Friday, we said we already made the decision Friday why are we rehashing this? Why are you showing me tapes of 3 legged dogs? It felt more like a sales pitch then quality of life for our girl. But, we followed through – the alternative we thought wasn’t an option, at least not for us. We went to walk Shilo back to what they called a run (no more then a cage) and I understand that this is normal but for her she had never been in a kennel and this was tramatic for her as well. After taking Shilo to the back, we were then informed –

1. the surgery wasn’t scheduled until wednesday mourning (not happy about this but ok)

2. the bill they drafted went from 1100 to 2000-2500. We were shocked and angered, and we felt a bit taken advantage of. But choices being limited we were at their mercy to save our baby girl. The last thing we thought was that it would make things any worse……

Wednesday 9/9/09 I was frantic, and pacing my home waiting for the vet to call. They promised to give her high priority and that she was suppose to go in first thing. They were suppose to call at the latest by 3pm to give an update. I called at 4pm and was told that she got bumped and that they were just finishing her up. Someone would call me in an hour or so. Angry again I waited and wondered what was higher priority then a dog who has cancer?? Or was it that Shilo was having problems and so worry over took the anger and so I waited.

4 pm the assistant called and let me know that she made it through with flying colors, that although they were concerned that she hasn’t eaten since she had been there, they would give food that night, take her off the pain drip in the mourning and she could possible go home Thursday afternnoon. Her dad and I planned to get her no madder what they said, she had never been away from us and we knew she was scared and that she wouldn’t eat from strangers.

Thursday mourning I got the call that she was doing great and had gotten up to go potty. We couldn’t wait to go get her and so by 2pm we were at the hospital. They brought her into the room and we were severly shocked, no one warned us. Shilo walked in visible, extremely depressed! She didn’t even wag at the sight of us, she just laid there. Her spark gone. At the first sight we were so dispared but, realized it wasn’t even 24 hours since surgery we needed to be positive.

We got her into the car and on our way home we went, we stopped to get a burger knowing she hadn’t eaten. We had to hand feed her and she snubbed her nose at her once favorite meal. She ate it reluctently, she ate it to please us. It broke our hearts and so we went home wondering if we made the right decision after all. Getting home we had to figure a way to get her out of the car, it was done by her dad having to pick her physically up and get her out. We tried to get her to walk in but she got to the porch plopped down and refused to get up. We got a blanket and her Dad and I carried her in. Within a few hours we noticed that she was acting very strange, staring off. Jumping up and staring at walls, walking into parts of the house she would never go before. I knew it was probably the meds but, controlling the pain was a top priority. By the 2 night she was eating chicken off a plate(not much but she was eating).

By day 4 her  food intake went down, she hadn’t pooped, and was decreasing her water. I called the vet and she said to stop the Tramadol continue the Rimadyl and call in the mourning.

Day 5 Food intake was nothing, still no bowl, and took us handing her water for her to drink. I called the vet, she said to stop the Rimadyl and put her on OTC Prilosec and call tomorrow.

Day 6 Food increase slightly, finally a bowl movement, drinking increased. She is getting around much better today. No excitement, and sleeps a lot. Update to vet, said to watch for pain and continue Prilosec for 3 more days

Day 7 Food minimal, water intake good, getting around great. Gets a little winded with walking, still no normal activity.

Day 8 Got her to eat more then I have for awhile chicken breast, roast beef, and cheese. Water and walking good.

Day 9 Still no activity really, no wagging and such. Food about the same. It is noticeable she has lost weight. Vet called left message saying the limb came back from the lab, 100% was osteosarcoma and that it was very aggressive.

Today day 10 again no activity, I did get her to eat some roast this mourning. Won’t do anything that she normally would, just lays around and stares off.

I don’t know if we did the right thing. I am hoping that someone out there has possible went through something similar and can offer me some hope. The vets say her appitite should have come back, she goes in this Thursday to get the staples out, I am going to have them do another x-ray to confirm it hasn’t spread before doing chemo.

We just wanted to give her some quality and I am not so sure that we have……..

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5 Responses to “Shilos Walk”

  1. Tazzie Says:


    Just read your story. So Sorry!
    For feedback from people, you should probably start a post under our forums. In fact, I think I’ll respond there just now.

  2. Tina Says:

    Your story about Shilo’s situation was so touching and familiar.. We found out Toby has bone cancer on the 10th and he had surgery on Monday. This is a tough time for all of us. We’re still waiting on the definitive pathology report regarding the exact type of sarcoma – osteo or fibro. Our vet is very disappointed in the lab because they keep using the word “sarcoma” but won’t specify.. While lying with Toby earlier today, I noticed a small lump on his ankle. Reading your post about Shilo made my heart sink. I’m trying to prepare myself for the worse. I just have to get through this ordeal before I can take on another stressful diagnosis. My heart is heavy for all of us that are going through this. I’ll be looking forward to hearing more about Shilo’s progress.

  3. jakesmom Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Shilo… My 10yr old Jake is only 2 days post-op, but luckily he has been eating just fine. We also have all kinds of concerns, wondering if we did the right thing. From everything I’ve read so far in the forums, every dog reacts differently to the surgery. Guess they’re just like people… some bounce back right away, others are just drained and hate the pain (I’m like the latter).

    All I can tell you is to join the forums and get all your information and tons of awsome support from there. We are all here for a reason… we love our babies and just want to try and help them. I don’t think there is a right or wrong thing to do… Your Shilo might just be reacting badly to the pain meds… Who knows? Only time will tell.

    I hope that Shilo starts feeling better real soon. My thoughts and prays go out to you and Shilo!!!

  4. ostrov Says:

    Thank you,
    very interesting article

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