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15 Jan 2012
My Sweetie is gone. I had to have her put to sleep yesterday morning after the pain from spinal osteosarcoma got too bad. She was diagnosed on 12/28 and we struggleld for 2 weeks after that trying to manage the pain. More like keep ahead of the pain. She ended up on 4 different kinds of medications just to keep her pain under control and in the end it failed miserably. There was no choice but to let her go. She was an awsomely beautiful 8 1/2 year old Akita Shepherd mix whose name reflected her gentle soul and spirit. I got her from the shelter less than 3 years ago and that was the name she came with. It suited her. She was a good girl in every way. She loved trying to chase squirrels, playing with all her stuffed animals, giving kisses, getting belly rubs, going for adventure walks and riding in the car. My life is empty without her. I don't know how I will go on. I am lost. My heart is broken.
18 Dec 2011
Hi there. I've been around for awhile now. I posted originally when I lost my Jack back in April 2009 and I've stuck around to occasionally try to lend support to others facing their own loss. Probably not nearly as often as I could but anyway.

After my Jack died, I adopted Sweetie, a 6 y/o Akita Shepherd mix who was aptly named and who is, obviously, now about 8 y/o. Back in the beginning of August, I noticed she was favoring her left leg when walking up the steps so I took her to the vet and he said it was probably age related arthritis (although warned it could be something worse like a tumor but we'd have to take it one thing at a time), prescribed an NSAID and said let's see how she does. She responded to the NSAID (Deramaxx) but had a really bad side effect of itching so I had to take her off of it. Since then, we've been seeing an accupuncturist every 2 weeks. She's been responding fairly well except every few weeks she'll continue to have these episodes (I don't know what else to call them) where she'll be unable to put any weight down on the left back leg, she'll be limping around, and she is painful to the touch on her left back side hip region. X-rays of her hips showed no signs of displasia or degeneriation. Blood work all came back normal (she does have lymes, which she had when I got her, but her numbers are so low as to be, according to the vet, almost unreadable).

So after several of these episodes, notwithstanding the bi-weekly accupuncture, I took her to an orthopedic/surgical specialist, who gave a tentative diagnosis of a pinched sciatic nerve and prescribed another NSAID (Metacam). Unfortunately, by the time she gets to these vet appointments, Sweetie usually has walked off enough of her pain or whatever she is experiencing that the vets are unable to observe the acute limping etc. that I'm seeing at home. I've finally managed to get a somewhat crude phone video of it that I'll take to our next, as of yet unscheduled, appointment. Anyway, (sorry this is so long), the specialist said if the episodes continue, we should do a CT scan to rule out (1) any soft tissue mass; or (2) lumbrosacral disease. So I've decided to call tomorrow and schedule the CT scan. Since her last accupuncture appointment on Tuesday, I've had to give her the Metacam every day. She has had nothing but bad days, i.e., she seems to be getting worse.

I'm really scared. I don't know what this is but even when she seems to work out the initial limping enough to go for a short walk, I can tell that she must still be in pain because I can see she isn't putting her full weight down on the left leg. But then it's weird because at other points, she'll put all of her weight on it to lift her right leg to pee (she pees like a male dog). I'm so confused. Has anyone else seen anything like this in any of their dogs? Does this sound like a tumor? I am so scared I'm going to lose her. Other than the limping, as of now, she is otherwise fine - her appetitie, energy level, etc. I am a wreck. I feel completely unprepapred to deal with this.
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