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She's Madeline, She's Madeline

Bravest of Them All

She's Madeline, She's Madeline

The Beginning

October 16th, 2017 · 10 Comments · Uncategorized

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It feels like we’ve been on a roller coaster ride since the day I saw the lump.  Labor Day – 2017.   The day that everything changed.  Maddie’s been super healthy since she was about 2 years old.  She’s  had a couple UTIs and a close encounter with SOMETHING that gave her a gash requiring stitches – but that’s it.  Normal check ups and one overnight ER stay for stitches.   Her first two years were a struggle with demodex mange and what seemed like one skin infection after another.  But she got past all that and has been a really healthy, happy girl.  She’s also a really big girl.

I’d always worried about bloat and all of us were a little crazy with precautions.  She would get a gas-x pill with every meal.  She wasn’t allowed to run or jump or get excited for at least 30 minutes before and 2 hours after meals.  I always feared that bloat would take her because so many Danes are lost to it.  But then Labor Day came and that one ankle just didn’t look right.  I inspected it and she was fine to let me touch it.  It was hard though, not soft like it was swollen.  It felt like bone.  She wasn’t limping, she didn’t stop running like a maniac after the squirrels, but it was obviously not right.

The vet who cared for Maddie since her puppy days recently retired so I had to figure out who to take her to see about the leg.  The practice had been sold to VCA so I just decided to go ahead and take her to one of the doctors there.  It took a few days to get an appointment but after a brief exam and x-rays, we heard the dreaded news – Osteosarcoma.  Maddie’s chest x ray looked okay, but the doctor said that the “mets” probably just weren’t big enough to show yet.

All I could say was “what do we do now?” I will remember her response as long as I live – she shook her head and said “she’s really big”.  I asked what she recommended and she said “you could amputate for pain relief, but she’s really big and it’s very expensive”.  She suggested we wait for the radiologist report to confirm but that any further treatment would require we see a specialist.  She sent us home with Deramaxx.

The next morning I called the office and ended up speaking to a vet tech.   I told her I’d read up on Osteosarcoma and understood it to be very painful and I was worried Deramaxx wasn’t enough to control her pain, I wanted something stronger.  I also asked about our options and the tech was very kind.  She told me the only real option was amputation, otherwise it would be too painful for Maddie.  She suggested I call an oncologist at our local Vet Specialty Center and also see if I could schedule a surgery consult for amputation.  I immediately did both.  We had to wait a week for the oncologist and two for the surgeon so I spent that time reading and researching.  Admittedly at first I was against amputation.  My daughters also spent the time reading and researching.  Fortunately one of the sites they found was Tripawds.  They began showing me pictures and videos of tripawd dogs, even giants like our Mads.  By the time we met the oncologist (who was AWESOME) I was much more confident about Maddie’s future.  The surgery consult also went well and both the surgeon and oncologist felt Maddie was an ideal candidate.  So we scheduled the surgery and set the wheels in motion.

Now it’s time.  Tomorrow is the big day.  We’ve had some detours along the way – a problem with her blood test results, questionable pre surgical xrays necessitating a cat scan.  And I’ve been on a seesaw of yes amputate, no don’t.  Thankfully reading the Tripawd forums has given me hope.  My fear was that amputation would be for us,  so we wouldn’t have to say goodbye, rather than for Maddie.  I worried it wasn’t “fair” to put her thru more pain with no hope for a cure. But after reading the blog posts and forums on Tripawds, I see that she has a chance to be pain free and happy.  Maybe it will be years, maybe it will be months, maybe it will only be weeks.  The important thing is giving her a chance to have some more pain free and happy days.


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October 16th, 2017 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

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