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Koa's osteosarcoma diagnosis and upcoming amputation

2 more days of being a 4 legged dog

May 7th, 2018 · 14 Comments · Uncategorized

What an emotional roller coaster we have been through the last 3 months with our dog, Koa, and his bone cancer diagnosis…He is an 10.5 year old active, social lab husky mix who enjoys hiking, swimming, and hanging out with his dog friends. He was diagnosed w/ osteosarcoma 3 months ago after having a limp that didn’t go away after 2 weeks. We had decided to give Koa the best life for his remaining days and chose not to amputate and just treat with pain medications.

On Thursday, we had a hospice doctor come to see if there was anything else we can do to make Koa comfortable since he’s been really having a difficult time walking. She made us rethink amputation since the tumor pain is the only thing affecting him. He’s still in good spirits, eating, peeing and pooping. If you remove the leg, there won’t be anymore pain. The cancer will still be in his body but no more leg pain and difficulty with walking.  On Friday, I took Koa to the vet for X-rays and labs. No obvious metastasis to the lungs on the X-rays. Liver tests were a little elevated but nothing to0 concerning.

So we’re a go for surgery on Wednesday. Please pray for Koa! It is much needed and greatly appreciated!!! 🙏🏼❤🐶 #teamkoastrong


14 Comments so far ↓

  • dougo1

    What a BEAUTY I am Praying for a great outcome.

    We are a couple moths post op and ” Cookie” has adapted very well to being a tri paw!

  • tlahaye

    Welcome. Sorry we had to meet here.

    Koa looks like an awesome dog, and it sounds like he’ll have a bit of a leg up as while he’s been favoring his bad leg, he’s been strengthening the others.

    We’re here with you, to help as we may. Best of luck as you join us in this battle against this nasty nasty disease.

  • sjstern

    Koa is beautiful! Such a sweet face!

    Watching your baby be in no pain after the surgery recovery is so wonderful. Winston, my 10 1/2 yr old golden is such a happy boy after 7 weeks post amputation. No pain and spunky as ever after adapting to his new anatomy.

    We’re here for you – make sure to read the post on how to prepare your home for Koa after surgery.

    Best wishes for you all!

    • laclear16

      My biggest concern is that we live in a house that we have to go down and up a flight of stairs to get to our yard. He’s having his right front leg removed to the shoulder. I’m afraid of getting him down the stairs to use the bathroom. I’m considering making a grass potty area on our lanai so that isn’t a concern.

  • msvalb56

    So sorry. I hope the surgery isn’t too difficult for him. Sending positive energy your way for a full recovery.

  • jerry

    Koa, you are one handsome pup! And you sound a lot like our Jerry. Active, young at heart, etc. Glad to hear your folks decided to proceed. We send all our best wishes for a boring, uneventful amputation and recovery. Let us know what we can do to make it easier OK?

    As for stairs, I know you guys have got that. We had 18 steps to get in and out of our house, and here’s how we did it with Jerry:

  • clipper

    Best of luck for a fast recovery from surgery for Koa. I have a 8 yr old GSD that is scheduled for forelimb amputation next Monday and am so conflicted about it! Just the unknown of how he will recover and if he’ll be able to do some or most of the things he was doing before….I am sending you positive vibes!

    • dougo1


      You will be surprised at how well they adapt to three legs! He WILL absolutely be able to do most everything as before

    • laclear16

      We understand your confliction. Today is the big day for us. You just have to pray and have faith that everything will be better with amputation. I’ll keep you posted on Koa’s progress this week so hopefully by Monday you’ll be a little more at ease with your decision. 😘🙏🏼

  • dawn3g

    We’re sending all kinds of positive energy to you both! Fallon had her amputation back in October, and she’s doing really well. She is 11, and also a front leg amputee. I’ll tell you, stairs have not been a problem, and she is actually better now going down than up. We helped her with a harness for a few days, but she let us know quickly that she preferred her independence. I bet Koa will surprise you with how capable he is!

    Koa is lovely, hoping for an uneventful surgery day and some good, pain free time together!

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