Sonny is a 15 month old American Staffy, diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) of the proximal tibia of his right hind leg. This is, sadly, a common condition in many older, large breed dogs, but is rare in young large breed dogs. Almost all dogs with this condition are euthanised due to the pain from the condition, not because of the symptoms associated with the spread of the cancer.
Limb-removal can solve the pain problem, because it allows the dog to be pain-free post-surgery, and it does not have to be an expensive undertaking. Sonny’s amputation cost just $1,000, not a small sum, but far more affordable than the approximate $3,000 - $4,000 if the procedure had been undertaken at a specialist centre. Most of these osteosarcoma cases will live pain-free for three to six months post-surgery without any further treatment.
Adding chemotherapy to this can often achieve six to 12 months life-extension post-amputation, and sometimes even longer. Chemotherapy also doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise and Sonny is currently undergoing doxorubicin chemotherapy every 3 weeks for approximately $265 each time. These visits are not onerous and can be as little as one hour each time, with the owners usually being present during these treatments to further support their best friend.