My 11-year-old August developed a slight limp in July of this year. I figured she had sprained her leg and didn’t give it much thought except to keep a closer eye on her to monitor the limp. She was still running and jumping like nothing was amiss, so I assumed it couldn’t be bothering her that bad and would get better with rest.
After a few weeks she was still limping so I took her in to my vet. The vet solemnly told me it wasn’t good news. She said at best guess August had a torn cranial cruciate ligament which is the equivalent to the ACL in humans. It would be an expensive surgery and many weeks of recovery. She referred me to an orthopedic specialist and I immediately set up an appointment.
The specialist called me after the appointment to discuss the diagnosis. Unfortunately it was not a torn ligament. My girl had osteosarcoma, or, bone cancer.
It took awhile for that to sink in. Bone cancer. Terminal bone cancer. What?
The vet explained bone cancer is highly aggressive and had more than likely already metastasized to her lungs. He told me bone cancer can’t be cured, but her best chance at survival would be immediate amputation of the leg with the primary tumor followed up with chemotherapy.
Cut off her leg? Terminal? How long does she have? I wanted answers. I rushed to the internet to pull as much information as I could. I called my primary vet. The thought of amputating her leg made me sick. I had so many questions and wasn’t finding any answers.