November 30, 2011


Abby had her xray today and the GREAT news is that the lameness in her remaining front leg is NOT from the cancer spreading. In fact, her bone not only did NOT looked compromised at all - it looked beautiful (just like her outsides... just like she's been saying all along...). But, there was too much of it. Yeah, too much bone, caused by this apparently rare disease called Hypertrophic Osteopathy (HO). Dr. V. said it's so rare some doctor's might not have known what the problem was, but being an oncologist he has seen it before, since it is thought to be caused by a tumor(s) in the lungs.

So, it was not the best case scenario (which would have been an overuse injury) and it was not the worst case scenario (which would have been bone cancer and more or less game over). It's a rare and unique case - just like our girl.

I've been saying all along that Dr. V. says her lung "mets" are not acting like normal mets. Normally, once the disease metastasizes (when will I learn to spell that word? It takes me 7 tries to get it right each time...) the dog's lungs fill with lots of little mets - or "lung mints" as we sometimes like to call them on Tripawds. But Abby doesn't have lots of little "mints." She's got a coupla biggish ones and a small one. So, I guess her not-normal mets have led us down this not-normal path.

Dr. V. says the pain will sort of wax and wane, so we have the okay again to take her on walks, as long as she seems willing (and she definitely does, at least the last couple of days). She can even go back to the beach. He gave us some piroxicam (an NSAID, so that should help with inflammation) and tramadol (to help control the pain).

He is going to discuss possible treatment options with the rest of the oncologists there at Vet Cancer Group and then we'll talk more later.

The other good news is that the Masitinib (which we've been trying to get her started on for a while now) should not only help with the tumors in her lungs, but it should also possibly help w/ the HO. So, Masitinib here we come again. Hopefully this 3rd time will be the charm!

So... like I said, it's not great news because she is in pain from it, but it's not as bad as the pain from bone cancer would be (which probably explains why she's still been trying to get me to play with her), AND she is not at risk for a fracture - which is a huge relief.

Hopefully we still have a lot more time with our girl. I had been thinking we might be down to our last few days and that she might never get to go to the beach again, but hopefully we'll have her a bit longer and she can go back to Fiesta Island soon (just want to try a few short neighborhood/park walks first and see how they go before turning her loose at the beach).

Thanks everyone for the good thoughts. I'll post more when I know more.


  1. Relieved to hear that it was not the "Big C" going to work over there in that other gorgeous leg. And now, Miss Abby, that is enough gray hair you are giving all of us! Hope the pain is easily contained so that you can play, play, play.
    Love, your worried Aunt Terry

  2. Nicole and Angel DaggitNovember 30, 2011 at 5:33 PM

    Oh Jackie ... you and Abby remind me so much of me and Daggit! Two OS dogs who followed unusual paths and two OS moms helping them in every way we can! I hope that Abby gets as much and MORE than Miss D... keep up the 'good fight' you two! HUGS!

  3. Phew Abby!!! But my gosh, I've never heard of "HO"'s to hoping the NSAID and tramadol curb some of her on/off pains and the inflammation...enjoy some beach time again!!

    Tracy & Maggie

  4. Oh, this is bitter sweet. But like I said when she got her "lung mints", we are just going to keep making happy memories and enjoy each day! But especially, we are going to be thankful for having her in our lives one day at a time! And hope, hope, hope her pain subsides!
    MB Rocket's mom (and Angel Comet's mom)

  5. I work with a lot of humans who have "heterotopic ossification", what we also call HO. Assume this is similar ot the same. They usually get it around their joints and they lose a lot of mobility at that joint. Seen some who have it removed but the doctors always say they have to wait fot it to mature, which I assume means it stops growing and is stable. They do well. Hopefully Ab will too. D

  6. Hmmmm, Denise - that is interesting. I bet it is the same thing. One site I looked at said it is known by many different names, and I sure don't remember them all. It is definitely making her "wrist" joint look swollen.

  7. The better news we can have!
    We have Abby for a looooooooooot of time!!!!


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