Folks have been asking how our Maggie is doing, so I thought I’d provide a brief update. Maggie is almost 6 months out from her osteosarcoma diagnosis. She has been through the advanced Sterotactic Radiation treatment and six rounds of chemo which included an infusion of Pamidronate, a bone strengthener. She handled all with flying colors.
Her pronounced limp, which was our first indicator that something was wrong, totally disappeared and she was on a very low dose of painkillers for several months. We had one or two flare-ups where her limp came back, but it always resolved with a temporary decrease in exercise and increase in pain meds.
About three weeks ago, her limp returned and this time, it wasn’t responding as quickly to that regime of rest and higher dosage. She is maxed out on her pain medications so there’s no additional relief there. In speaking with her oncologist, there are other options for us to pursue to give her some pain relief, one is palliative radiation. This would be different than her Stereotactic treatment and designed just to provide pain relief from the growing tumor. He also mentioned a Lidocaine drip, which is a five hour IV treatment and is only a short-term treatment that would need to be repeated regularly. We’ve yet to fully discuss these options with our vet, but I am leaning towards not subjecting her to more needle pokes and long days at the vet.
Her appetite is still great, she’s up and ready for her breakfast before we are and starts her usual prodding for dinner 30 minutes before dinner time. She still enjoys her “find the food” game although we have cut back to keep her movement to a minimum. She doesn’t seem to be in discomfort other than the limp. She still gets up and out of bed easily, she’s not holding her leg off the ground like she did for awhile and she’s not exhibiting discomfort at rest. I remember at the end, Becca would whimper softly even when lying down. Either Maggie’s pain isn’t as severe, or she is very stoic.
This additional radiation is really the last option and our vet suggested we hold off a bit since she doesn’t seem to be really uncomfortable, but I fear we are nearing the end for our little princess and my heart is breaking. There has been some improvement the last few days, so we’re hopeful we’re on an upswing.
I’m happy we’ve been able to give her five more months with us. I think she’s enjoyed every minute. We’ve been able to go on some great (short) hikes, we’ve had plenty of extra treats and “find the food” games. We even had a trip to Palm Desert for Christmas. Even though she has never fully gotten over her fears, she has let her guard down enough with us to enjoy her life and reap the benefits of a loving family.