Back on October 24, 2008, it was late afternoon and I was looking down at Nova’s front paws and noticed a big swelling in one on the joints on her left front leg. Oh no! I did not have a good feeling about it, as it looked similar to the swelling we saw in our Dalmatian several years back, which back then turned out to be bone cancer (ostersarcoma). Of course I called the vet at 4:30 and begged to get a quick appointment, I didn’t want to wait until Monday. These things always seem to happen on Fridays, or on the weekend, ever notice that?
They got me right in and did an x-ray. Unfortunately it did not look good at all. It showed a big dark tumor in the bone. Of course there is no way to tell just by looking at it that it was cancerous. The vet said that the biggest threat is that the growth of the tumor can weaken the bone, and it can spontaneously break and cause a tremendous amount of pain. :( The recommendation was to arrange for a bone biopsy ASAP, which they couldn’t do until the following Wednesday. They also suggested a chest x-ray, to determine if any spots appeared in the lungs or chest, which would be an indication it was cancerous, and had spread. I agreed to the chest x-ray which they did right there. Luckily, they had several vets available to look at it and all said the chest appeared clear. But the same doctors looked at the x-ray of her leg and all felt that it was most likely osteosarcoma. But of course we won’t know for sure without the biopsy.
Right now I’ve been told to keep her calm (she’s usually pretty calm anyway) and not let her run around or jump. They gave her some medication for the pain. From what I am reading online, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end is around the corner, but amputation is probably inevitable. Awwwww. That’s what we had to do with our Dalmatian. He was in pain from the tumor (it doesn’t seem like it causes Nova much pain right now) and once we amputated he was a new man. He lived another 6 months after that, and all but a week or two were really good, happy weeks. In the end it had spread to his abdomen and pressed on his lungs, so we knew it was time to let him go.
Oh, I love my Nova so much! She is my best friend. I don’t want to see her in pain and thankfully right now she is not. It’s hard to face that she might not be around as long as I had hoped, but I want to make her life as good as possible. She is such a happy dog! Even right now her tail is wagging non-stop.