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Hello
I have an almost 6 year old female Rhodesian Ridgeback. This dog has been my life - 4.5 years ago I went through a painful divorce and she was there by my side. 2 years ago my best friend (brother-in-law) committed suicide, and she was there for me too. She sleeps on the other end of the bed from me.

In late August she developed a slight limp. I thought it was from her nails being a little too long (she doesn't like me touching her nails), so i made an appointment to take her to the vet middle of September. The limp continued getting worse (front right shoulder), but no other symptoms - she still ran around, ate, etc.

Vet took X-rays and suspected cancer. I visited several other vets over the next few weeks, and got the diagnosis (yesterday) of osteosarcoma. It doesn't appear to have metastasized but her shoulder is very close to fracturing. The vet suggested amputation followed by several months of chemo.

My dog is terrified of the vet - she would bite me even if she had to to avoid going. They have to sedate her to do basic work like rabies shots. Another vet told me that rather than amputation, followed by chemo, I should consider quality of life - perhaps just amputation, or perhaps euthanasia.

I'm devastated. This dog has lived a wonderful life - she has an air conditioned and heated outdoor kennel when I'm not home. I love her more than anything.

I would pay for the amputation in a heartbeat (i'm out around ~$6000 at this point for the diagnosis - she is also dealing with what we thought for months was a UTI, but now we realize since getting an ultrasound earlier this week is in fact a 3.5cm bladder stone, which also needs to be operated on to remove).

I'm looking at $2000 for the amputation, another $2000 for the bladder stone removal, and then 5x chemo treatments at $700 each. In addition to the $6k already spent since September.
I would pay for that in a second, but the vet said I should consider the 'return' (horrible to think of it that way), and what kind of life would she enjoy, and for how long.

My gut is telling me to go forward with the amputation and bladder stone removal (she's already pretty much only using 3 legs, as the other one she holds up), and not do chemo, as the trips to the vet for each treatment will cause unnecessary stress for her.

My understanding is that would give me ~6.5 months average.
She is in a lot of pain today, and it's hard to see, but i think a lot of that is because she was sedated yesterday to get the bone biopsy and abdominal scan. Up until then when she went in she was in pain at night, but throughout the day she was still walking around without problem.

I know there's no 'right or wrong' answer, and i will always do what's best for the dog. But i've spent money on cars and boats over the years, as well as other dumb stuff, and those things never loved me back, so money is not a problem here. I'll spend what is necessary. But I do want to do what's right by her.
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I'm so, so sorry. The loss is always a rip through the heart, but for a dog that young it's worse. As you said, you really have to make the decision yourself for you and your dog. What someone else would do or could do really isn't relevant. I will say that of the people I know or know of who chose amputation for osteosarcoma, the vet's estimation of it buying maybe 6 months seems to be right.
 

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I'm so sorry.

My friend who's senior Doberman was diagnosed with osteosarcoma opted for palliative hospice care for him, no amputation or chemo. He was on some pretty heavy duty painkillers, as well as a few other medications.
 
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