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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19778
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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Our 5 year old English Mastiff has bone cancer and was diagnosed

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Our 5 year old English Mastiff has bone cancer and was diagnosed 2 weeks ago and is in good spirits. However we know time is limited, is there anyway we can aggressively reduce the swelling in her right front leg from the ankle down to her paw?


Hello Robert,

If this were my dog, I'd get the leg amputated and then start chemotherapy using Pamidronate (a bisphosphonate). This has been shown to achieve survival times of ~ 12-18 months with osteosarcoma. 1 year in a 5 yr old dog is ~ 20% longer lifespan so it's definitely worth it. They will usually have a normal quality of life during this time and we consider euthanasia when the lung masses start to form and grow causing coughing and respiratory signs.

If you don't want to go this route, then I would at least amputate the limb as that is the only way to remove that source of pain and avoid a fracture at the tumor site.

If you still don't want to amputate, then I would have her on a combination of meds:
1. A Bisphosphonate chemo drug to prevent further breakdown of bone
2. NSAIDS- anti-inflammatories like Rimadyl
3. Tramadol- an opiate type pain med
4. Gabapentin or Amantadine- good for chronic pain if needed

I hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Doc - thank you for the feedback, we were going to amputate and start chemo however the cancer had already spread to her organs we wanted to get as many days with our girl as possible the pain is not so much the issue as is the swelling is there a process or drug that will aggressively reduce the swelling quickily?





Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Doc - thank you we were going to go ahead with amputation but the vet said it had gone to her organs. The pain is not the issue she is basically going on three legs only so fracture would be tough but the swelling is waht is causing the pressure and I would like to know if there was an aggressive procedure or drug that would quickily reduce swelling not so much pain?





Sorry for the delay,

Osteosarcoma dogs always have metastasis at the time of diagnosis. We take chest x-rays to see if there is evidence of spread to the lungs already. Even with clean x-rays, we know that there is spread it's just not big enough to pick up yet.

I would probably go with the Pamidronate + Rimadyl or Pamidronate + Prednisone (steroid) to both slow down spread of the cancer and also help with the inflammation.

There is not really a procedure to bring down the swelling, if you're going to do anything I would amputate- if she's already only using 3 legs, recovery would be quick and I bet she'd be more comfortable in the 2-3 days post-op than she was before surgery.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Dr Gary - thank you I am going to go Pam & Pred to hopefully bring down the inflamation.






Sounds like a plan, good luck with her.