Radiation Therapy

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So, Pandora honey?  Mind if Rubygirl has some space on your blog?



On February 26, we took Ruby to see a vet oncologist who laid out all our options.  I’ve already talked about why we didn’t choose amputation in this case (see previous blog post), but what we did chose was radiation therapy.

Based on what the vet said, radiation therapy could in some cases slow down tumor growth (if I remember correctly – my sincere apologies if I’m wrong on this), and can make a dog with osteosarcoma more comfortable and help with pain.  We were all for that, especially considering that, based on what we were told, radiation is not hugely invasive and typically well tolerated.

The clinic we took her to was pretty great and actually leaves space open on clinic days for things like this, so long story short they were able to do the treatment that afternoon.  They did have to sedate Ruby, which of course always comes with a risk, but she thankfully did great.

We picked her up that evening and she was a little groggy from the meds, but overall seemed well.  We were told that radiation treatment can weaken the bone so we tried to keep her particularly quiet for at least the following week.

Since then, it does seem like her gate got and maybe still is a little smoother than it was prior to the treatment (she’s on pain meds so I’m sure that’s helping too).  At her checkup yesterday, her regular vet didn’t notice a significant change in the bump on her leg.  I’ll take what I can get!!


Ask me questions if you have them and I will try to update with more stories about Ruby (swimming is involved), and of course Pandora (if she doesn’t hate me for letting Ruby steal her blog a little ;))

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All About Ruby…..

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My husband and I will have been married 9 years this summer.  A couple of months after we got married, we wanted to add a new doggo to our household.  My husband had previously adopted a border collie / cattle dog mix who doesn’t like to play fetch, so he wanted a dog who would fetch with him.  We generally were looking for a lab, and went and met Ruby (a then 3 year old) at a shelter local to where we lived.  We brought her into the meet and greet room and my husband bounced a ball.  This dog went NUTS for it.  Husband looks at me and simply says “I want this dog”.

As I said in my last post, we found out in February that Ruby has what’s almost assuredly osteosarcoma.  She had been limping.  This wasn’t totally unusual since she’s an old dog now (about 12 years old).  But it wasn’t going away with rest like it usually does, and we did note a bump on that leg, so we took her in for x-rays.

Although amputation and chemo is the most aggressive treatment for this, we decided against that route for a couple of reasons.  Due to her size and body type (she’s large and front heavy – it’s her front right leg) we were concerned she would not take well to losing that leg.  Additionally, her advanced age and the aggressive nature of osteosarcoma played a large roll in our decision – we didn’t want to put her through an amputation when in even under the best circumstances, we have to accept that our time with her is pretty limited.  After speaking with a vet oncologist,we opted for a radiation treatment and I feel good about the decision and outcome (so far).  If anyone is interested, I can discuss the radiation more later.

So we’re keeping up with the pain medications and giving her as much love as we can.  This girl doesn’t know she’s sick – she still tries to tear around the yard, so we mostly take her out on a leash.

Please take this for what it is – I feel like our decision was the right one for us and first and foremost for Ruby.  I’m very aware and totally respect that different decisions (particularly amputation) are right for other families and other doggos.  This was our decision, and we’re doing the best we can.  I know you guys get how much this dog means to me, so I guess I’m just asking for some understanding.  Love y’all.

One year later……


Hey all – Pandora’s human here.  It’s been a year since her surgery.  I’m so thankful because she’s still doing great and is her happy self.  She’s a little clumsier than she was on four legs, but still goes (as cats do) wherever she pleases.  She’s lost none of her sassiness.  We celebrated her 15th birthday last week.  This girl will always have my heart.


I think she’s pondering eating me….at least some things never change, right?




In less happy news, Pandora’s canine sister Ruby was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in February.  In her case, we opted to not go through with an amputation, which if anyone wants to know why we choose that I can talk about in another post.  She’s recieved a radiation treatment and is on pain medication and is doing as well as we could hope so far.  It’s mind blowing what a happy dog she still is.  I’m well aware my time with her is limited at this point and am heartbroken.  The focus is to take the best care I can of her while I can.


Let the Catnanigans Begin!

My amputation surgery was three weeks ago today.  I cannot believe how fast time flies!  In honor of being three weeks post-op, I decided to give Human as many heart attacks as possible today.  First, this morning, she’s sitting up at the top of the stairs tying those things humans wear on their feet for some reason.  I haven’t been upstairs in two and a half months, but it’s all good, and I wanted to be near her, so I ran up the stairs as quickly as possible.  I was up there before she had any idea what I was even doing!!!  We laughed together.  I then showed Human how I can get down the stairs myself.  I was a little bit clumsy, still working on things, but I was happy to show Human I could do it!

Later in the day, Human took away the gate from the door of my cozy room so I could explore the house a bit.  She’s been doing that more lately, I guess that means I’m on the mend?  So anyway, I went exploring!  And at one point I realized she couldn’t find me.  And I was busy anyway so I just stayed really quiet.  Human had no idea where I was and it took her a bit to  find me!!

Best Hiding Spot Ever.  Remember I said I was busy?  I was gazing outside at the birds!

I think Human is being a liiiiitle overprotective.  I’ll just have keep showing her I got this Tripawd thing down.