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I am losing my best friend.

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  • I am losing my best friend.

    My Zack was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. They estimate that he has two weeks to eight weeks to live. He is less than 6 years old. There is no treatment for him. Radical surgery and chemo would give him 4-11 months to live and most of that would be recuperating from a very painful surgery.

    My heart is just broken. I don't know how in the world I am going to let him go. I will have lost three dogs in three years. Zack is my trail dog and constant companion. He goes with me just about everywhere. I am so overwhelmed with grief, I can't even function properly. Every time I look at him I cry with the unfairness of it all. He is such a great dog.

  • #2
    Oh Kerry, I am so so sorry to hear about your Zack.

    I lost my Roxy to OS.

    She was older, but I too, did not opt for that radical surgery. I did not want her last times spent recovering from major surgery, and I could not bear to think of her with 3 legs.

    I opted for pain management.

    There is a STUDY going on right now, and you need to contact these people and get in on it. IT HAS BEEN VERY PROMISING WITH OSTEOSARCOMA!!!

    This is the email that I received, and it is posted here with permission:


    For everyones information. I have an Rhodesia Ridgeback bitch , CeeCee , diagnosed, 1-16-04 with osteosarcoma. Thanks to a medical doctor puppy client my girl was put on a protocol that stopped the cancer in its tracks. My RR, is in a study of her own at Purdue and is observed every couple months by Dr Jamse Morrison as well as my vet Dr Laura Buscher. Other than the tumour on the bone that is now beginning to break up, there is no cancer anywhere in her body. My RR should not have survived beyond end of April, beginning of May of this year but instead she is eating well and playing with the rest of my RR crew and it is now nearing the end of October

    Dr Buscher is working on case studies reguarding this treatment and she needs canine patients that have little or no options left. the only criteria other than cancer is they must be able to eat.........the protocol is of no charge to owners. This treatment may offer more than just hope. Dr Buscher will work with owners personal vets, as long as their vets keep accurate records for study

    Please feel free to ask me any questions
    Psyche Williams 815 657 7559

    Please mention'' CeeCee'' if contacting below

    Dr laura Buscher 815 672 2555
    Dr James Morrison
    Dr Daniel Jackson 815 692 3112
    first doctor to make diagnosis


    Good luck, my heart goes out to you.

    My girl lived from her diagnosis on October 8th, to November 11th.
    Redyre Rottweilers
    "Penny" U-CH Eternal Moon Finders Keepers
    "Didds", TT * "V-"PeeWee" BH AD IPO 1 TT
    Waiting at the Bridge...
    Best in Vet Sweeps, ARC Reg. IV Specialty, 9/01


    • #3
      I pray that this is not some terrible internet scam.
      I have emailed them - all of them and given them all my personal contact information.

      I am terrified to have any hope, but desperate enough to hope that this might be true.

      Thanks for this info. I will let you know if I can make contact with them. THis was very kind of you to post!


      • #4

        My heart goes out to you Kerry. I know the pain well. Lola was diagnosed with OS in April, had the surgery (recovered in one day) in September and is still happily with us (taking care of Cody of course!)

        She is on chemo (with no side effects) - adriamycin. Has had three so far and is due for the fourth on Monday. Knock on wood her bloodwork and X=rays are still fine.

        I will let you know about the three vets later in the day as soon as I can.

        Meantime I need to tell you how I feel about surgery and chemo.

        Lola suffered with a painful limp for two weeks before she was diagnosed. She suffered for ONE DAY after the surgery, gets along great and is still enjoying life (and we are enjoying HER). NOTHING IS FOREVER - there are no 'guarantees' in life other than when we are born we will eventually die. To keep a beloved companion with us for as long as we can, as long as they do not suffer, is NOT selfish - it is loving.

        We are not always able to 'love' our loved ones enough and sometimes feel guilty that 'life' has interfered with the attention we 'should' have paid to them. KNOWING that the end is near 'smacks us in the head' and allows us to refocus our attention and time on them so that they can have as many loving days as possible and so that we can remember how much we have enjoyed their love and company. Lola may have lost a hind leg but she has 'found' so much richly deserved happiness.

        We are currently feeding her a 'cancer starvation' diet - NO dog food, LOW carbohydrates (cancer cells feed on these), HIGH protein, lots of veggies, ginseng, green tea, flaxseed oil, l-arginine supplements.

        BTW - 'low carbohydrates' is difficult to define (basically if you look it seems that all 'portions' of anything have the same amount of carbs (43g) per serving and yet some of them say 'low carbs' and some do not - it is basically a matter of marketing.

        We are using 'my' pasta - Tinkyada elbows made with organic brown rice flour.

        Keep your chin up and stop crying - he must continue to feel your love and 'happiness' - it helps keep his stress level down. Stress probably kills faster than cancer so you want to be very upbeat with him - it will help YOU too.

        All of us here love you and know how much all of your companions mean to you. Our shoulders are here should you need them.



        • #5
          Thanks Sara,
          I am going to an Oncologist on Monday for an additional consultation, but the vets told me that he was not really a candidate for surgery because of where it was located - they said they had not seen it often when it was not actually in a limb. His is at the upper end of his rib cage....right under his armpit sort of. They said it was throughout his lungs and bones. They told me the surgery was very painful and would take months to recover from. Is this not true then? I'm so damned confused now.

          Do you recommend an oncologist? My appointment is in Newburgh on Monday. It is a $175 fee for them to look over his papers and xrays and cytology. Would you recommend somewhere else?

          They said it was easier if they could simply remove a limb, but the placement of Zacks tumor was not easily operable and they would need to remove parts of the rib cage, part of his thoracic wall...etc. I may not be getting this all straight. he currently does not appear sick at all, has no limp or pain that I can tell....

          >>Keep your chin up and stop crying - he must continue to feel your love and 'happiness' - it helps keep his stress level down. Stress probably kills faster than cancer so you want to be very upbeat with him - it will help YOU too. >>

          Yes. You are right.
          Absolutely right.
          I gotta pull myself together and stop this baby crap. It isn't helping either of us.

          Tell me more about what to feed him....



          • #6
            Amazingly within hours I heard from both Psyche Williams and the person that initially paid for this study to be done. I have been given some feeding tips that largely echoed what Sara says here, with some other additional advice, but the study itself was cancelled and will not be back in progress for another 2 months or so. That would be too late for Zack but I think that the people involved may be willing to help me anyway by giving me some pointers and an info sheet until things get moving again. I'll keep you posted.


            • #7

              All our prayers are with you and Zack. I haven't had to deal with OS in a pet, but Parvo took one of our shepards when he was only 8 months old. It hurts to lose a friend and family member.

              Gather your friends and let them give you some comfort, and enjoy the time you have with Zack - enjoy the now. Always remember and there will be light and warmth and comfort.

              -----a poem I found----------

              For Just A Moment
              by Brenda Penepent

              For just a moment
              I’m sure I saw
              a flicker of light ahead.
              Perhaps it was your smile.
              Though past now, remembered,
              in my heart
              like the small sound of
              a butterfly passing by.
              No night
              is so dark
              that can not be brightened
              with memories of you.
              Raindrops carry along
              your blessings from heaven
              to wash away my tears
              and bring me hope anew.


              • #8
                I just wanted to say that I am sorry. I never heard of this OS? but nervous now. I will say a prayer for you and your baby. hugs to you.


                • #9

                  IM so sorry, i dont know much about OS , my lastdog jazz died of distemper..Im so sorry . hope you guys have a great time while your still together :cry:
                  ChArLiE aNd ZoEy LoVe YoU!


                  • #10
                    Thanks to all the replies and compassion folks.
                    Zack continues to do well and we've switched his diet to a "cancer-starving" one to help stop the flow. We've also got some appts this week with various specialists and we'll see what they say. I am trying to have some hope but I dunno what to expect. As the EMOTION leaves I can start to think clearly and make some better decisions.

                    This was the reply that I rec'd from Dr. Morrison at Purdue:

                    "To all who have asked about osteosarcoma in dogs:

                    "I am sorry for the delay in responding to you but your messages
                    were directed to the wrong individual at Purdue University and I
                    only just received all of them today. The information you found
                    on Cee Cee Williams web site is incorrect. The suggested
                    contact, Dr. James Morrison, is a computer specialist and is not
                    involved. I have examined Cee Cee Williams and agreed to follow
                    the progress of this dog receiving unconventional treatment for

                    "I must make it clear that Purdue University is not involved in
                    any study with Mrs. Williams and I have no information to share
                    with you about the treatment of osteosarcoma in the way described
                    on the web site. I do not know the recipe and I do not recommend
                    it to anyone. As I stated, I have examined this dog and I have
                    followed its progress but that level of involvement is a long way
                    from being involved in a clinical trial or endorsing this
                    approach to treatment

                    "I have asked that any reference to Purdue University be deleted
                    from the web site and that the incorrect information regarding
                    Dr. JAMES Morrison be deleted.

                    "Osteosarcoma is, unfortunately, a deadly disease in almost all
                    dogs and there is no known cure at this time. I understand the
                    need to be open minded and to consider alternative approaches to
                    treatment. That is why I have agreed to evaluate Cee Cee. Do
                    not confuse that willingness to be open minded with an
                    endorsement of the approach to treatment advocated on the web
                    site. If this approach appears successful or even appears to
                    improve the overall survival of dogs with osteosarcoma, the new
                    treatment will need to be fully evaluated in a well conducted
                    clinical trial before any contentious veterinarian should
                    advocate its use. I understand how desperate the prognosis for
                    osteosarcoma is with conventional therapy, but cancer biology is
                    incredibly complex and anecdotal reports of successful treatment
                    with similar alternative approaches almost never hold up to
                    subsequent scientific evaluation. I am sorry that I have nothing
                    new to add to treatment beyond the current standards of care of
                    surgery plus chemotherapy.


                    "Wallace B. Morrison DVM, MS
                    "Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine)
                    "Professor of Small Animal Medicine "


                    • #11
                      I am so sorry to hear all that Kerry. I feel terrible that I may have given you false hope.

                      I would urge you to contact a couple of people re: diet and herbal help for Zack:

                      1) Lew Olson

                      Lew is a pesonal friend, you can tell her I told you to contact her. She is an expert on raw feeding, and can advise you on how to tailor your diet for zack.


                      2) I also urge you to contact Marina Zacharias for herbal advice. She has helped many people and prolonged the lives of many dogs.


                      Please keep us posted on how he is doing.
                      Redyre Rottweilers
                      "Penny" U-CH Eternal Moon Finders Keepers
                      "Didds", TT * "V-"PeeWee" BH AD IPO 1 TT
                      Waiting at the Bridge...
                      V-Roxy CD, ASCA CD, TT, TDI, HIC, CGC
                      Best in Vet Sweeps, ARC Reg. IV Specialty, 9/01


                      • #12
                        It was not a false lead - please do not worry about that. I also heard back from Psyche and the person funding that study and they have emailed me diets and advice and have been really please - the advice you leant was great and I really appreciate it. Sara also put me in touch with a very good doctor and between all the advice of the people YOU sent me to, Sara's help, and this specialist, I have changed Zacks diet and hopefully that is going to help him at least slow down the metasis.


                        • #13
                          RedyreRottweilers - thank you for posting those sites! I intend to email them both. My dog Neka who is 8 just got diagnosed with thyroid condition and is on meds but recently she can't see and walking into everything. I take her to the vet today to see if it is cataracts or the thyroid causing it. Then I will email those 2 websites and see what they suggest for her diet etc. :D


                          • #14
                            Zack is recovering very well. We had surgery on him and he is involved with chemo and some other treatments right now. The biopsy revealed that MOST of his tumor was chondrosarcoma with just a few ostesarcoma cells, so there is some hope for him. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. here is a picture of him the day after I brought him home. He is so cute!


                            • #15
                              Aww, he looks like such a cuddle bug!
                              I'm glad to hear that he's recovering! :D