Lucy #1: Finding Out that Your Pet has Cancer

August 5, 2023

5th August 2023
Today we’ve been given the news that all pet owners dread: Lucy, our beloved black Labrador has an aggressive cancer in her left shoulder joint.

This came as a terrible shock to us; up until now, although cancer had been mentioned as a possibility, it was felt that it more likely that she was suffering from arthritis, something you would expect in a dog of her age (11 and a quarter). We have been referred to a pain clinic and can only thank the vet there for saying that the swelling around her shoulder wasn’t muscular as we had been previously told.

Fast forward a few hours and a CT scan later, the imaging specialist vet called with the horrible prognosis: whilst the scans would have to confirmed by a radiologist, she was fairly certain that our beautiful Lucy has osteo sarcoma.

When we went to collect her later that evening after she has recovered from the anaesthetic and had been taken off her drip, we were shown several of the images; scary and yet unmistakable. The diseased part of her bone looked like she was suffering from osteoporosis but you could also see from the inflamed tissue alongside that things were not right. The good news is that it hasn’t spread to her lungs, but OSA is quite a rapid spreading cancer and given the location, surgery to amputate the limb is not really an option.

I’m waiting to hear from the head vet who I’ve known for nearly 14 years now, but it looks like she only has 6-8 weeks left; not that you would believe it from her wagging tail and a slight limp aside occasionally, she hasn’t lost any joie de vivre, as yet.

If palliative care is our only option, then it’s about keeping her pain free and making memories; I’m hoping we can take her swimming and maybe play a bit of retrieving which she loves.

PS. Had a chat with head vet and things may not be quite as gloomy as the vet yesterday mentioned. We’re going to wait for the radiology report and then plan. The good thing is that there are some natural supplements that may help/can do no harm.


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