My Doberman, Ka, and his fight against Osteosarcoma/Fibrosarcoma & What we tried to prolong his life.

December 2003 When the battle with Osteosarcoma began

12/05/2003 - before it began.... them playing in the back yard 12/12/2003 - begging for cookies Just after Christmas I had taken Ka and his sister Grusel (our Puli) out to play. They were chasing each other around the yard when Grusel ran into his back right leg. He gave a slight whimper and started to limp. This was how we were made aware there was a problem.

His yearly shots were due so I took him in January 8th for them. I mentioned to the local vet he had been limping for about a week. She rotated his leg, and told us to give his aspirin twice a day for a week. There was no swelling at this time.

Ka still did not put his weight on the leg that week. We took him back to our local vet around the 15th and she did an x-ray. Something look suspicious. She did a biopsy. We waited one of the longest weeks in our lives for the results. It came back inflamation. We were so releived. I remember driving to the store that day to buy them new toys to celebrate. We were so happy. We continued giving him pain medicine and antibotics.

01/26/2004 - He still was limping into the last week of January, so my husband took him in for another x-ray. He had called me from the vet saying it did not look good. Something was breaking down the bone. My heart sank. This wasn't over. She took quite a few more x-rays and a ran up a bill. (Later we found out a bone scan would have been much cheaper.) She wanted to amputate his leg and send it in. I was not ready to accept that. They made an appointment with the University of Illinois Vet Med hospital 2 weeks out. Ka was not eating at this time and was sleeping a lot. I called down there myself and got him in February 2nd.

We went down and saw the oncologist on Feb 2nd. Dr. Lacoste was very nice. They did an x-ray and took another biopsy. He belived what he saw was osteosarcoma. It had a sun burst pattern which is typical of this form of cancer. Ka was born October 4th, 1999, he had just turned 4 in the fall and we were hearing he most likely had osteosarcoma. I could not belive what I was hearing. They gave him much better pain meds and antibotics. Through my tears I had to schedule the surgery to have his leg amputated. It was set for February 19th, 2004 at 10:30. We took him back home unable to belive what we were having to face, but we had to be strong for Ka. The pain meds really helped and he was eating again, and even played with Grusel a little. His leg had been bandaged up from the biopsy.


We waited about 5 days for the result to come back in. The doctor had called me after 5pm with the news confirming it was osteosarcoma. I sat at the foot of our stairs and could hardly catch my breath. He was sure. I had to make the call to remove the back leg from my 100lb beautiful Doberman who loved to run, hike, and play frisbee. Why him?

On Feb 12th he had his stiches from the biopsy out, and the following day they ran a bone scan to make sure it was no where else. It wasn't. The 19th was fast approching. Ka's leg had swollen even more, I now saw it as we needed to help him. The only way was to remove it. I had seen other dogs down at U of I with 3 legs moving around just fine. I knew Ka was strong, he was in the prime of his life.

Two days prior to surgery. He needs help, he was in pain and needed help.

This is the morning of his surgery

Feb 19th came and we dropped our boy off with his toy elmo. We stayed at the closet hotel we could find to the hospital.

On Feb 24th we brought our baby back home. We visited him everyday he was down there. Any second I could be with him I was. His heart rate dropped lower when I was there with him. Growing up my Grandfather did not have an arm. He lost it in a factory. Ka's amputation was not as bad as I thought when I first saw it. He was already use to not putting weight on that leg, and could stand with no problem. He carried his elmo out the front door on his 3 powerful legs.

2/24/2004


2/25/2004


2/26/2004



March 1st he was schedlued for his first chemo. Cisplatin. He did well. Leaving him there for the entire day was hard, but we were able to bring him home. He drooled a little bit, but that was it. The next morning he was back to him self.

March 7th 2004


March 8th we had his blood work checked - it was still normal.
It was hard to watch him dreaming, he'd always move his lil stub as if in his dreams he had 4 legs.

March 9th 2004







March 11th, 2004
He was chasing Grusel around and life seemed to be ok.





March 16th, 2004
He can play frisbee!!!


Very proud on the ride home :) He had fun!


March 23rd he had his 2nd does of chemo, it was doxorubicin. We stayed over night for him to get a follow up the 24th.



Done with his chemo for this week and on are way home.


March 28th, 2004






April 8th 2004



April 9th, 2004



We purchased a larger car to make the trips easier on him. My Aunt was kind enough to sell us her Izusu Trooper. It was Ka's truck. It had a large back seat that allowed him to be very comfortable.


April 13th he had another chemo does of cisplatin.
That evening we brought him home. Upon jumping out of our Trooper, he hit his shoulder. I felt a lump. I had called down to U of I to see if he got a shot, they had said no. I was a little bit concerned.

A week later on April 20th, I took him for his blood work. I had the lump aspirated at that time, they could not tell me what it was, so again, I felt horrible dread again. I started to read up on fibrosarcoma. Scare to death it was that.

We went down to U of I again to have them look at it. The oncologist said no, don't worry about it, fibro spreads out like a pancake and is hard to find. But Ka had hit that spot jumping out of the car. They came back and took us into a private room. I knew the news was not good. It was grade 3, fibrosarcoma. The 2nd time in my life I had the breath taken out of me, I remember collapsing in the nearest chair. 2 types of aggressive cancer on my 4 year old boy. Things had been going so well. Our hikes, he could catch a frisbee again.

We decided to have it removed, as it was only about the size of a pea on his shoulder. I wanted it gone.

The surgery went ok, they got good margins, however, VWD showed up and he required 3 blood transfusions. I was lucky enough to be able to stay with him in ICU. His heart rate was still lower with me there.

After we brought him home, we kept checking the site to see how it was healing. It was not. Week after week, we took him down to U of I to have it checked, but it was not getting better. We had decided to use LMTPE liposzomes during this time since we could not begin chemo becaue of the infection.

On May 27th, it was earily, I was laying next to Ka and he began to seizure. I kept talking to him to bring him back to me. We got him a shot of valumin, and headed down to U of I. We had found out his body was filled with fibrosarcoma. His sugar levels were low, as the cancer was feeding, that was what caused the seizer. I had no clue our drive down there would be our last. I sat in back with him, as he could not stand. I thought it odd he would not go to sleep. He stared up at me the entire 2 hour ride down. Dr. Lacost came out to the car, and we brought him in a gurney. He felt Ka's abdomin and I heard his pain. The ultra sound concluded what had happened. They gave him meds to make him comfrotable. I took him over to the park across the street that we spent so much time at. I laid with him for hours. I knew I had to be strong to tell my boy it was ok to go. His breathing began to get so shallow. I wanted him to look at me one more time, but I knew he could not. When his breath was very labored, I called the doctor over. Ka had fought with everything he had to stay by my side. I had to tell him it was ok to leave that painful body. We did everything we could.

Dan carried his body back to the trooper, we had planned to have him cremated, so he could be buried with me when I pass. I also wanted to get rid of that horrible cancer once and for all.

Driving away from U of I without him was impossible. Ka was my life. My guardian. My boy.

Later on Dan and I both had a dream about Ka. Mine was Dan and his brother Dave pulled up by some park, Dan let Ka out of the car and he came running towards me with his seat belt on. I reached down and I petted his ears. It was my boy, I got to pet him one last time while he was healthy. He had all four legs too!

Dan's dream was we were at the pond, the doctor kept giving the drug, but it would not work. he gave more and more and I finally said that is enough. Ka then stood up, on all 4 legs and was fine. He visited our family with us afterwards, always there in the background.

My friends 3 year old also remarked Ka watches Kheper, Ka likes Kheper.


I'm writing this Christmas night of 2010, in tears. Christmas was the last happy times we had before we learned of the horrible battle we had to fight. It has taken me this long to record what had happened. When I had found out about the diagnosis, I read many stories online. I wanted to put Ka's out there other people too. It don't have a happy ending, but I made sure each second of having Ka by my side counted. I would not have traded those 4.5 years for anything.


**** I'm not a vet or even close to an expert on this. I've just spent a lot of time reading online trying to figure out what I can do for my boy. Above is the best information I could find.
If you have a story you'd like me to post, either to share with friends, or to cut back on what you need to remember in this hoctic times, please feel free to email me and I can get your pup a page.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at janna@gruseldog.com

Updated 12/24/2010
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